Kyoto: Nijo Castle & Arashiyama

A trip to a historic piece of Kyoto – a collection of gorgeous gardens and the ruins of a palace – is only a bus ride away.

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Here’s a tip – on our trip to the palace, several families were holding picnics. Bring some snacks (and a mat, if you can) and enjoy the view! 

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We went back to Kyoto and caught the train to Arashiyama.

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Arashiyama is such a wonderful place. It’s a quaint little town, with quiet streets and cozy-looking homes.

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There are a few washi stores around Arashiyama. Washi does not come cheap (at JPY250 and above for a sheet of washi paper for a legal-sized sheet) – for some, maybe – and there’s one store that sells not only washi paper, but also silkscreen paintings. We bought a beautiful painting of Arashiyama that’s roughly 3 ft x 2 ft for not less than JPY5,000 there. The store is run by an accommodating lady, and she sold some handmade trinkets, too!

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There’s a building full of food establishments in Arashiyama, and not far from it is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

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Also, Kinji Nakamura, a famous Japanese artist, sells postcards there! I’m not sure if he’s always there, but if you do see him, say hi and buy a postcard!

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Later that day, we took the Sagano Scenic Train.

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The train runs along the mountainside and a river, and since it’s kinda slow, tourists can fully appreciate the scenic view. You can read more about the Sagano Train here.

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