I was happy to see a communal breakfast table as I had just spent 6 days solo in Tokyo and I was looking for some socializing in Kyoto. While a few people sitting there invited me to join them at Nora National Park, I was itching to go to Arashiyama today so I stuck with my plan. I took the train there in the AM, it was just a short 15 minute ride. The town was very cute and I enjoyed walking through it on the way to the first temple, Tenryu-ji. What I liked about this one was the garden area. It was very zen and beautiful even though it was just starting to turn green again. I walked the garden path and it did feel like a moment of meditation. From there I stopped at a cafe to have a little cup cake and matcha green tea.
Then, I went into a bamboo forest. The bamboo was very impressive but I kept thinking it would be so much better walking though if it wasn’t a clear paved path but just a stroll through the forest. I really didn’t need any more matcha, but I saw a matcha ice cream cone that had little colored rice balls on it and I couldn’t say no! I ate my ice cream as I continued to walk and came across a garden of plum trees in bloom. The sun was shining and I was happy to just be leisurely walking around.
Eventually I started to get sore feet so I headed back to the train. At the station I passed by a Tony Romo’s and I was desperately craving boneless buffalo wings. To my dismay, they came out as bone-in and spicy BBQ, but I enjoyed them nonetheless! While sitting there I realized that I wanted to sit longer. So, I found out they were playing Black Panther in English with Japanese sub-titles in the theater next door. No brainer, I went and saw the movie and loved it! Similar to the cross-walk obedience, no one leaves during the credits, but this is just one custom I had to break only because I had drank a lot of water during the movie.
After the movie, a few of us from the hostel had some drinks and then headed out to an area that has some fun bars. A few parted off to get food, buy my Kiwi friend and I had already eaten so went to a small third floor bar that was playing heavy Japanese rock music and made strong drinks. The walls and ceiling were decorated in games, one of them being rockem-sockem robots. Natually, we asked if we could play and that is then how we determined who would buy the next round.
From there, we met up with the rest of the gang in a pub nearby. We enjoyed some coconut flavored Shisha and talking with one another with ‘two truths one lie’. I insisted that we go to a karaoke place next and they obliged. The place was empty but we were rolling with a crew of 8 or so. This place had costumes you could wear which I wasted no time putting on. Then we sang a few ballads until the none-karaoke friendly folks had had enough. Upon leaving, one couple who clearly enjoyed our show bought us a glass of champage.
Up next was a dance club. The entrance to the club was this cool lit up tunnel which only made me more excited for what was inside. I hadn’t danced since Bali so I was eager to hit the dance floor to all my favorite top 40 hits. At this point some of the group parted, but we decided to check out one more place. Once we had had enough, we stopped at a standing ramen joint (standing because it’s so small there is no room to sit). Downed our Ramen and then shared a cab home.