Getting back to what we did yesterday... Paul was finally well enough to make the trek to Kyoto. We weren't quite sure what we were going to do there since there seems to be a lot to do. We're both not feeling great yet, so we knew we couldn't do it all. Somehow we managed to do quite a bit- I was exhausted when we came home! Here's the play by play.
We left a little later to avoid rush hour traffic on the trains. It was the last day to make use of our rail pass, so we took advantage of it. We decided to try to do the riverboat cruise in Arashiyama so we headed in that direction from Kyoto Station. Paul wanted to walk around first before going to the river cruise, so we headed to find the bamboo forest. Please note, right next to the station is the station for the "Romantic Train" or "Love Train" as I keep calling it. Paul said when I call it that it sounds like the Love Hotels, so I better stop calling it that. I can't help it. Whenever I think of it that song Love Train plays in my head. LOL!
Anyway... you can also buy your tickets for the riverboat cruise there too. We didn't get our tickets right away and by the time we got back to buy them, the Love Train was sold out for the day. Booooo. Luckily, we could still buy our tickets for the river cruise and get their by regular JR line. Yay!
Back to what we did... so right outside the love train station they had a couple of kiosks. Paul got the chestnuts and I got a croissant taiyaki.
Then we made our way to the main tourist area of Arashiyama. We had read about the Kimono Forest and wanted to check it out. Neat yah?
And look who was nearby!?
I found a store that had all of those mobiles that I like so much. They were kinda expensive though. I don't think I paid that much in Nakamise, but they had more variety here.
OK by now I was getting hungry, so I wanted to eat before we got on the riverboat. Believe me, I thought this thing was like those kamaboko sticks we got in Miyajima, but it was nothing like it. It tasted like imitation crab. I didn't eat the whole thing. That was junk. Paul got some gyoza and that was just OK.
Next up was the bamboo forest. It was Sugoi! Not sure why, but blogger doesn't seem to like a lot of my bamboo pictures. Junk!
So after we explored the bamboo forest (sorry, no pandas were around), we headed back to the station to check if we could get on the love train. As I explained earlier, that was a bust, but we did get our tickets for the river cruise. The last boat leaves at 3:30 and it was already 2:00, so we had to hurry! We caught the JR to where the boat cruise starts and waited for our turn.
The boat itself held about 25 of us plus the crew. And man, they earned their money. They basically row, row, rowed us gently down the stream! It was about 1 hour and 40 minutes and honestly, I was ready to finish after about 1/2 hour. But I must say it was interesting! I wish I could understand more Japanese though since the crew was talking a lot about what to look at but we missed out on it.
Every once in awhile there would be some mini rapids. I think they tried to make it more exciting for us cause Paul caught the guy on video jumping when we went down the rapid.
We got to see some nice foilage during the cruise.
And some waterfalls...
These were some kind of ducks... We missed getting a photo of the snoopy rock! Darnit!
The forest reminded us of Stranger Things...
What you can't see is that he's pushing us away from the rocks.
At one point we had some company. The boat that left after us caught up to us! I think they wanted to get off work early.
There's the love train... I guess that's all I'll see of it. It was cute, we waived at them and they waived at us! Its an open car train so I'm sure they must've been freezing their butts off. We were starting to as the sun went down.
Towards the end of the ride, there is a guy on one of the rocks with his camera taking pictures of each boat! I wish I knew how to order it. I'm so junk.
And this was the most interesting part to me... at the end, they had this boat pull up next to us and they attached to us and started selling stuff!!! They had oden, skewers, beer, sake, drinks, snacks... you name it! People were buying it too!
Our trip was over.. although I enjoyed it, I was happy to be back on land!
While we were waiting, they showed a video of how they used to tow the boat back up the river. WHAAAATTTT? OMG I would feel so bad if they did that! We were watching to see if they did that along the way but they didn't, so I guess they must have an easier way of getting the boats back.
I totally thought we were going to be in one of these types of boats with the roof. I guess its good we didn't cause we wouldn't have been able to see anything.
We had no idea where they dropped us off. After walking around a bit, we discovered it was the same street that we were on before by the Kimono forest. Since it was getting dark, we decided to go back to the Kimono Forest since they light up the poles! Look how pretty it is!
Try again but no Paul this time. It reminds me of the hamburger guy on McDonalds. Or maybe the filet o fish?
Then we hopped on the train back to Kyoto Station. By then we were hungry, so we found a bunch of restaurants at the station. We settled on a bowl place, mainly cause there was no line. The bowl was huge...
My food, not so much. I was still hungry after I finished.
I needed a snack and smelled the Manneken waffles again! I bought two this time. One caramel apple and one chocolate to take home. They were both yummy!
When we got home I immediately crashed out! I heard a lot of sirens and vaguely remember Paul saying he was heading out to check out the commotion. When he returned I recalled him saying something about a fire. The next morning he told me there was like 25 (mini) fire trucks working on the fire a few blocks down! Scary! Today we visited Nishiki Market and it was all that! Stay tuned!