|Arashiyama Bamboo Groves|
After spending two days touring Tokyo metropolitan, it's time for us to move on to another city. (I know two days weren't enough, but we just had to move on)
We took the train from Oji to Yokohama. Luckily there's a direct train from our station. The journey took us 50 minutes. Yokohama Station was indeed a very busy station. I initially thought that Yokohama is a calm place to visit, I bet not. Next, we went to JR Office to redeem our JR Pass. In Malaysia, we were given Exchange Orders which were then to be exchanged to JR Pass in any JR Offices. The officers checked our passports and details before he produced the JR Pass for us. We also made seat reservations for our next journey from Shin-Yokohama to Kyoto. We left our backpacks in a locker at the station exit in Landmark Plaza.
Hard Rock Cafe Yokohama
My main intention to go to Yokohama was to visit Hard Rock Cafe. It's located inside Landmark Plaza and it wasn't too difficult to find as it could be found at ground floor. Sorry Lukman for dragging you along, we came her for my personal interest. Did a little bit of shopping here before proceeding to the upper floor.
My first Pokemon Center experience in Japan. We didn't have time to visit it in Tokyo since the Pokemon Center is located somewhere, not within our tour route. The Pokemon Center here was so crowded, full of children. I spent a few minutes here buying some souvenirs for myself. Lukman was nowhere to be seen, he actually waited for me outside. This center is full of Pokemon stuffs, ranging from plushies, trading cards, keychains, pins, stationery and cutlery.
One of significant landmarks in Yokohama is the Landmark Tower. We took photo from outside only. There was a magic show outside the mall. We stood here for a while, watching the show. Saw a little boy became a volunteer for the show. What a brave boy!
Finally, it's time for...
Bullet train or shinkansen is the fastest train here in Japan. There are a few types of shinkansen but we weren't allowed to board Nozomi and Mizuho trains. Our JR Pass is valid for others types of shinkansen like Hikari, Sakura and Kodama. As a first time user, we had the gate officer to stamp our pass. We dropped by a Family Mart nearby and bought some snacks and drinks.
After two hours (around 440km) of journey, we arrived in Kyoto safely.
Kyoto Station is quite huge. We walked outside and dropped our backpacks in the locker (again) to continue with our next agenda. We're going to visit the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Groves! After placing our backpacks in the locker, we rushed back inside the station and took a train to Saga-Arashiyama station.
Arashiyama Bamboo Groves
Since it's nearly dusk, we walked about 1km towards the forest, with fast pace. The air started to feel cold. We made it to the forest and it was a nice experience walking under the shades of high bamboos. There were a lot of bamboos around here and there's a small Nonomiya shrine located here as well. There were less tourists at this time could be due to the day was getting dark. We saw some men were carrying tourists on carts. The carts were kinda unique, they were pulled by the men themselves neither by bicycle, motorcycle nor animal. Mesti kuat kaki kau lepas ni. Then, we walked back to the station through a few flower gardens.
Back in Kyoto station, we took our backpacks and checked in our hostel, Chita Guest House. It is located about 10 minutes away from the station by walking. The room was nice, with Japanese-style room where we could sleep on mattress and tatami mat. We rested ourselves for a few moments, then walked back outside to buy some dinner. Just a simple dinner tonight, we bought some sandwiches and onigiri from Lawson.