Thursday, September 1, 2011

Toyko to Kyoto - Hikari Shinkansen "bullet train" and Bamboo Forest

Took the train into Tokyo after getting my Japan Pass started on Sept 1 - 7 Days of train travel. Seems to be the preferred way of getting around here. Here is the Tokyo station where I boarded the Shinkansen to Kyoto. 2 1/2 hour trip. Ran into very kind Japanese and some English travelers who pointed me in the right direction. Just being open and willing to learn new stuff is all I need to get along. Flexibility has been a useful skill on my life;s journey thus far :-)

One of the guys from the UK took this of me as I was about to board my car #12 and get into my reserved seat. Very clean and efficient service of the trains.

Geting used to eating just with chop sticks again. This little box, reminds me of the "bento" box I had when Jane Newell, Jesse and Amy were joined by Harry Maclachlan in Bloomington for a Japan sister city celebration a few years back. When I lived in Bloomington to be close to my mom, during her 2 1/2 year stay in Eden Prairie. Very tasty treat on my way to Kyoto with Mountains and fields passing by.

Typical view out the window of the train in Central Honshu.

I had heard about the Bamboo forest walk in the Arashiyama area by the Western Mts of Kyoto area, and decided at about 4 PM after I found the Gimmond Hotel in Central Kyoto and got settled in, to go out and find "something" natural. And this is the place along the river I found after being let off the #63 bus I took from the front of the Hotel. Interesting very little if no English on the bus. Just watched how others threw their money into a plastic box by the driver on their way out, and the amount to be paid lit up on the screen depending on the number on the paper one took on the way in. Being alert in a new place! Quite exciting to be so aware and just noticing. So here is a walk way with a beautiful pine and I just was drawn up this walkway, with no English signs or maps to follow!

Looking down the river, back toward where I came. Katsura River on my map

Maybe this rock person with Japanese on it had a clue and directed me uphill on this walk!

And then of course, more clues. Actually I enjoyed being here totally alone. I guess 5 PM is closing time for a lot of places. A good clue for future visits. :-) Meditating to be walking by myself. No crowds :-)

So here is the walk I read about, the very tall bamboo, and I came down from the top side. A few walkers and joggers only at the time I was there. The bamboo are very large and graceful. Sweet place....

Love the quiet of this view.

And a lone jogger with muffled footfalls on the path

The Tenryuji Temple after the 5 PM Closing. All the Japanese Maples in a wonderful green! Nice to be tall to take the photo over the fence.

Quiet Burial Ground on the side of the hill by the bamboo forest.

Ceremonial water drinking place.

Map of the area after I visited it. Took the train and subways home after this. Earned a nice restful sleep ready for the new day!

1 comment:

  1. "Being alert in a new place! Quite exciting to be so aware and just noticing." Like.