After the villa my aunt and uncle were struggling. They were utterly exhausted and I was determined that after walking through the bamboo grove I’d force us to stop and rest. Our guide made it sound like we were heading to the train station anyway so it seemed like a good idea. We headed to the Arashiyama train station located at the center of the area and had my uncle sit and my aunt and uncle got snacks. Our guide hovered for a bit while we ate ice cream (soft serve mango) and my aunt and uncle tried takoyaki and a dark beer.
Our guide asked if we were ready to go and my uncle thinking he meant getting on a train and leaving, jumped up and said yes. Instead we walked with our ice cream amongst the rest of the kimono groove. They’re very beautiful and I didn’t mind walking through them. They light up at night and are pretty as well during the day.
Towards the end of the path is a fountain with a black ball with a dragon etched on it. It’s suppose to bring happiness if you put your hands in the water. It was cool to see because I’d never seen it before.
I figured it was over then and I was ready to go back into town and explore or head back to Kyoto with my aunt and uncle. We were after all at the train station. Instead our guide led us away from the station and we continued our hike. At this point the amount of walking we’d done came crashing down on me and even with mango ice cream in hand I was pretty exhausted and confused. Turns out our tour ends at the JR station which is further from downtown than the Arashiyama station. Our tour guide walked us into the station then turned around and said our tour was over and went along his way. Which was frustrating because if he’d explained that that was what we were doing, and where we were going and how far it was I would’ve asked him to just leave us at the kimono forest. We were all clearly exhausted, I’d even explicitly said so several times but our guide just kept moving us along. It felt like our guide didn’t necessarily want to be there and got roped into it last minute, throughout the day kept looking at his watch and hurrying us along. I was pretty miffed. But speaking to my aunt and uncle they loved our tour guide, who was nice and informative, but I just can’t excuse his rushing or lack of explanations of what was going on or what was happening next.
Learn from my mistakes:
If you go to Arashiyama I highly suggest you make it a full day thing. Get there in the morning and go see what you want to do. If you visit the monkey park make sure you are dressed for a hike and have water and prepared to hike 20 ish minutes up a mountain path. Take your time and enjoy the forest. It really does not need to be rushed through and rushing through it ruins the experience. If you want to read about my first trip to Arashiyama you can do so here.