Linda & Rip Take on Japan! Day 6: Kyoto, Shin-Yokohama, Tokyo

Last day in Kyoto, whah!  We got up, packed up and left the machiya after a light breakfast.  We took a cab to Kyoto Station, where we locked up our suitcases so we could go explore unencumbered.  I took extra care to note where the bags were.  I’m so glad because when coming back that afternoon,  I realized how huge that station is!
We took the train to the Arashiyama District, on the Western Edge of the City.  After walking from the train station, we entered the bamboo forest.  The breeze through bamboo is one of the most soothing sounds.  Not a wind rattling the trunks, but a breeze through the leaves sounds like the most gentle, feathery exhale.  
We <3 bamboo!

We walked through the bamboo grove and went to the Okochi Sanso Villa.  He was a famous early Japanese movie star.  He was committed to Zen principles and traditional gardening and the grounds of the villa are completely spectacular.  It was the most expensive entry of the sites we visited in Kyoto (Y1000/each), but completely worth it.  I had never been before and I’m so glad we went.  This was another Rip request since he had researched some gardens beforehand.

Gorgeous view from the small tea pavilion (SMS)

After we strolled the Villa grounds, we went to my favorite washi paper shop where I might have spent a bit too long in, per SMS.  Then we headed over to another favorite temple (ok, ok, I have three favorite temples in Kyoto), Gio-ji.  Although it’s very small, the central moss garden with the trees and small brook is one of the most serenity-evoking places I’ve ever been. The moss was beautiful and vibrant.  I could have stayed there for at least an hour.

Gorgeous Gio-ji

I love this place!

But, it was time to move on.  We had important things to do like get to the Raumen Museum in Shin-Yokohama!  Sagoy!  This was a must-do for SMS.  So, we picked up our bags from the station lockers, hopped on the Shin and went to get some ramen for dinner.  No pictures from the Raumen Museum, but we had a great time and ate delicious noodles, including the vegetarian broth from the temporary German-themed shop.

After dinner, we headed to the New Sanno.  We arrived and were ready to crash but alas!  I had pulled a dumb bunny move and made the reservations for the 14-16th, not the 15-17th.  I couldn’t believe I made such a rookie trip planning move.  Fortunately, the New Sanno saved the day and got us rooms for the night.  The next morning, they were even able to extend our rooms for one more night so it was almost like things went according to plan.  Almost.

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