Arashiyama is quite the hot spot in Kyoto, with glowing bamboo posters hanging freely across the city. Heck, there’s one on my way home, in addition to the one in the AKP building, just near the subway, in the lobby of another building on campus . . . I’m sure you get the idea. Well, yesterday I decided that I wanted to go and so today I did – along with Steph, Lizzie and Lydia. The day did start a bit before Arashiyama though, so do let me backtrack for a moment.
Today I decided that lunch hour would be a good time to brush up on my Pokemon knowledge – it’s not horrid, but Steph’s a master so I thought I’d talk to her about it. Damn son if I didn’t get schooled I don’t know what you’d call it. She gave me the gens, handheld vs console games, side games and when they cam out with platform specified . . . there’s more, but that’s what I’m remembering. She also did it all out of memory, so I was (still am) completely blown away. I mean man, that is a fantastic skill that extends far beyond pokemon to most any video games she has interest in. Shoutout to Steph for being spectacular!
After I had to stop taking notes on her expertise (not that I didn’t stop asking while walking) we went with Lizzie & Lydia to the AKP office. A usually ordinary affair, today’s minute-long trip was noteworthy. There was a rather loud group of boys beyond us, which isn’t particularly strange but it kept on for enough time, rising in volume, until they were shouting behind us like baboons. All of us finally look back to determine the cause and lo and behold, it’s us. They’re just shouting at us. They called out “he’s [the yelling clown] a beast/bad boy” before we let ourselves into the building. Where, after a minute, they also came into and even trailed up the stairs to say they were exploring, then take a picture of the ad calling for Doshisha volunteers for our speaking class. Or at least, one of them did while his friends shyly peeked up from midway on the stairs. Weirdos. None of us could figure out if they were just weirdos, thought we were cute, or ogling our foreign-ness. Whatever it was they could bug off. Get ya asses in classes kids.
Do you know how long it takes to get to Arashiyama? Not likely, especially since if anyone reading this has gone I’m more than sure that the place of departure hasn’t been from Gosho. It takes an hour, approximately, which meant a crowded bus with some loud tourists. You know how long it takes to miss the stop? A hot second. Honestly the bus only flashed ‘Arashiyama’ for a moment before it skipped over it, and I had to go check with the bus driver that yes, we had indeed missed it and now had to walk from the next stop. Anyways . . .
We didn’t quite have a plan of action (at all, honestly) so we wandered over to the bamboo forest and explored what was in there. Found a few shrines and other cool side things, including one shrine with a completely wooden torii, as in made of just tree trunks. Gorgeous!
It was loaded with people, chattering away and cluttering up the path. But amazingly, the bamboo still had a magical atmosphere. As soon as we got into the part where it shot up and met, creating an enclosure of sorts, a kind of silence fell. Not actual silence, but everything went muffled and it was as serene as a place loaded with people can be. I told Steph how I felt and she agreed; we plan on going back when it’s hopefully less crowded to enjoy the atmosphere. Beyond that were a collection of statues/special rocks in the park, as well as a beautiful river that was pretty lively. There were 2 adorable old men having a picnic on a rock jutting over the bank, singing karaoke with an old-school radio and microphones. Where’d they get them? Who the hell knows, but it was a riot watching them. Oh, also the yakimo man returned. Heck yeahhh!
Afterwards we all sat in a cafe for some dessert/tea, with me having a marshmallow matcha. Then Lizzie came home with me to have dinner with the fam (but mainly see Miao-chan again). We had sushi, again, and the cool solid-egg type soup thing that I got 2 helpings of since Lizzie didn’t like it. We all had a great time, especially Miao-chan. Despite her loud and frequent cries. Yeah, she definitely enjoyed it.