Hello again at my favourite time of the year!!
This year I had chance to enjoy autumn in … *Taiko-roll*…. Yay Japan!
This was my second time visiting Japan, my previous was 2 years ago in Spring – yes, the most popular season in Japan. And now I came back in Autumn! If you met a Japan hardcore lover, they would say Japan has different atmosphere to offer in every season and all them are beautiful so we need to come back and come back again. But, if they might choose the top 2 favourite, it would be Spring and Autumn. So yeah, I am feeling so grateful I could experience 2 major season of the country!
This time I went with my cousins. It was practically our first time traveling abroad together. Our initial plan was just going to Kyoto and Kansai area. But after so many discussions, most of them never been to Tokyo. So it’s decided, that we will sweeping all the mainstream way from Osaka – Kyoto – Takayama – Tokyo.
And my highlight goes to… KYOTO!
The city has been awarded as the most beautiful city in the world, a place where the traditional and modernity collides. The true Japanese culture can be easily found in the centre by walking around Higashiyama area you’ll see traditional houses and bars, temples or shrines, zen gardens, people walk in Kimono (though most of them are tourist), and if you’re lucky you might bumped in to Geisha.
If you want to see a modern life, go to the city centre just outside of Kyoto Station, you’ll see the glare of lights of Kyoto Tower and it’s surrounded buildings. My fav place is actually the Kyoto Station itself. The best train station I’ve been to! So huge, modern and futuristic. I love it! (Hint: Go up, up, up until you get to the top of the building, you can see the city view for FREE!)
If you ask me where is the best place to enjoy autumn leaves in Kyoto? I have 2 mandatory spots!
Arashiyama surely one of the place that can not be missed when you visit Kyoto. People usually come for the Bamboo Groove Forest. But in Autumn, please make sure you don’t skip to get yourself on Sagano Romantic Train. I repeat, Sagano Romantic Train! It is a 30 mins scenic train that will bring you from Saga Torokko St – Arashiyama Torokko St – Hozukyo Torokko St – until Kameoka Torokko St. Believe me, this is the best thing you can do if you want enjoy Autumn foliage while in Kyoto.
So, when you arrived in JR Saga – Arashiyama Station, go outside the station. Soon you step out, there will be another train station named Saga Torokko Station. Go inside, buy the ticket that scheduled about 3-4 hours later. Ask for the seat in the Car no.5 – the only open air car.
Why do you need a ticket for 3-4 hours later? So that you have enough time to explore the bamboo forest and the village around before you go back to the station and get on the scenic train. But if you don’t want to go to Bamboo forest, then you can buy the ticket for the closest time schedule.
Actually when you are in the Bamboo Forest, you can just go to the closest station called Arashiyama Torokko Station instead of going back to Saga Torokko Station. The train will stop by anyway, but I’d prefer to go from the 1st station because I did not want to miss a thing. Though apparently, nothing you can see in between these 2 station. So, yeah whichever convenient to you.
The train will go along Hozukyo Ravine – indulging your eyes with the beauty of the gorge that full of Japanese maple trees lining with Hozugawa river. It was definitely the best autumn view I’ve ever seen. I could not stop screaming ‘wow’ for the whole 30 mins – I guess LoL.
I made a short video here so you know what to expect. Pardon the quality!
The last time I went here was when Cherry Blossom season. The temple was thoroughly ornamented by Cherry Blossom trees. But this time… all the pinkish trees changed to red – yellowish maple trees in Autumn. Not sure how it can be. Amongst the temple or shrine in Kyoto, Kiyomizu Dera still became my favourite!
Oh I would never had enough of this season <3