Sunday, January 17, 2016

Kyoto ’15, Day 8 – Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nishiki Market and Shopping

After a very good night’s sleep, we woke up, got dressed and went to get breakfast. The breakfast room was downstairs next to the front desk. The room had no atmosphere at all: the tables and chairs looked cheap, everything looked modern. However, since I had expected the entire hotel to be like this and this was not the case, I didn’t mind so much. The breakfast buffet wasn’t spectacularly good quality, however there were many choices and the food was pretty good. Of course, the traditional cold fries were present and especially the bright green kiwi sauce to put over your yoghurt drew my attention.
I was however quite annoyed by a group of elderly people who were loudly discussing their upcoming day. As we turned out to have the same nationality, we spoke the same language so I could understand every single word. They had quite an interesting view of the world and their trip so to say. My mom and I just ignored them as much as we could (and sometimes laughed when someone said something really dumb).
After breakfast we went upstairs to collect our things and then we went on our way to Arashiyama. While looking up information about Kyoto my mom and I had some discussions about where we wanted to go. Of course we had seen some things in Kyoto already, so we discussed what other things were on our list. One of my mom’s things was the bamboo forest of Arashiyama, which is located a short train ride away from Kyoto.
We left the hotel, took some outfit pictures and then went on our way.

Our outfits of the day. ^^

It was a beautiful, sunny day. Perfect weather! We entered the station and quite easily found the right platform. Unfortunately, a lot of people needed to take the same train, so it was completely packed and quite warm inside. I wasn’t feeling all that well, so this didn’t help. After a bit of a stressful train ride (I couldn’t always tell at what station we were) we finally arrived at Saga Torokko station. Most of the passengers left the train with us, so we just followed everyone.

Saga Torokko Station
Saga Torokko station.

We left the station and found ourselves in a charming suburban neighbourhood. It almost seemed to come straight out of an anime! On our right, the railway crossing barriers went down and a train drove by. We crossed a little bridge over a little stream of water. The houses were bigger here and had small cars parked on the driveway. Honestly, I absolutely loved walking there! It gave us a small look into the daily life of a Japanese person living just outside a big city. The houses were all so amazing and so different from back home. My mom and I pointed out small things to each other, like statues or flowers in the tiny gardens. It was so peaceful and nice.

The adorable and quiet neighbourhood we crossed to get to the bamboo forest.

Then suddenly we arrived in a more crowded street, where buses were driving and people were walking along the road. A few tiny cafés marked the entrance to the bamboo forest. It was unexpected how, in the middle of these houses and shops, suddenly the bamboo forest started! A lot of people were entering and we joined.

Bamboo Entrance
The entrance to the bamboo forest.

Describing the bamboo forest is quite difficult, since it was mainly just a path surrounded by low wooden fences and enormous bamboo poles behind it. You’d think that’s just it, but along the way, the structure of the bamboo changed. Sometimes it was really like a forest, very closed and dark. At other times it was lighter, greener and the sun shone through the leaves. The path wasn’t just straight either. Sometimes there were curves and sometimes the road ascended quite steeply.

Bamboo Path
The beautiful bamboo forest of Arashiyama.

A few minutes into our journey through the forest, I suddenly spotted a few really big spiders. I didn’t tell my mom until we had left the forest again and luckily they were only at the beginning of the forest, but I didn’t like it at all! XD
We walked for quite a long time, but still the forest wasn’t as big as I had expected. It was basically a one long path.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
My mom following the path in between the walls of bamboo.

The funny thing is… when you look at our pictures or at my video, the forest seems really peaceful and beautiful, but to be honest it really wasn’t. They say the weather we had that day is perfect: only a slight wind that makes the bamboo rustle. We heard the rustling maybe for one minute at the start of the forest, but after that it really only was noisy tourists talking loudly in sharp, unknown languages. Their electric devices bleeped and played music. No one walking there seemed to long for the peace my mom was hoping to experience. In this case I am glad you can’t hear the sounds in pictures. x)

Bamboo Pictures
The forest seems so quiet in our pictures…

I know it’s hard to understand when you’re not there, but my mom was so disappointed she almost cried. It just wasn’t what she hoped it to be and that made me really sad. She was also really afraid her pictures were all ugly as well, however her pictures were great and I really love this one:

My mom was afraid she hadn’t taken any pretty pictures, while I absolutely love this one! ♥

In the end, my mom was happy she had seen the forest, but she wished she could have seen it in peace. If only, if only… Next time we will visit it at 5 am. XD

Bamboo Selfie
Despite my mom’s disappointment, she did have a nice time.

We headed back to the entrance/exit of the forest, passing a small field of grass with benches and a torii where apparently something interesting was going on. At the entrance/exit, we had some ice cream. I had kakigori, shaved ice, with milk(?) for the first time! It was quite nice. My mom had some normal ice cream.

Ice Cream
Ice cream after a long walk.

We walked back through the suburban neighbourhood and to the station. I was not feeling well at all anymore: I was so tired and slow and my mom felt the same. Finally, the train arrived, but this one was also packed. I was grateful when a seat opened up for me and later one for my mom. We were so tired we decided to have some sleep back at the hotel.
The train ride wasn’t very long, but still too long for our tired selves. We did do some people watching though. There were a lot of school kids, including a super cute dark- skinned girl in a pastelly uniform. She looked so sweet! <3
Finally we arrived back in Kyoto and headed back to the hotel, where we slept a few hours.
Our alarm clock went off and somehow we dragged ourselves out of bed. We had decided to go to Nishiki market. Even though we had been to Nishiki market during our previous stay, my mom liked it so much there we decided to visit it again. So we went on our way!
This is when something really strange, kind of scary and super weird happened. Once again I had trouble finding the right subway line, heck even finding the subway itself was troublesome! When we had finally found it, I just couldn’t figure out how to get to the market. It was hot and I got really frustrated by the stupid system, when I spotted a Japanese man helping some other tourists out. So I asked whether he could give me directions too. He was very nice, he did talk and repeat a lot though. x) Somehow we understood each other and he explained to me we had to get to a certain station first and transfer there to another line and other subway corporation. He helped me buy tickets and showed us the right platform. We got on the train and went to the transfer station, but there I got confused again by the stupid machine and the crowd around me. I thought would have a panic attack when suddenly, the same man appeared again! He was trying to convince us to come with him and suddenly showed us two tickets. Apparently he worked for the subway company of this line(?) and had free tickets, so we thanked him and took them, after which he guided us to the right platform and told us to follow him. He walked down the entire platform and we followed. He went on the train with us, talking with us and asking whether we liked Kyoto etc. We felt so uncomfortable because he stuck with us the whole time and we had no idea whether his intentions were sincere or not, but we were close to the market and hoped he would leave us alone by then. But when we arrived at the right station, he still stayed with us and kept walking with us! My mom and I were both so nervous he wouldn’t leave us alone, but in the end he just wanted to make sure we took the right exit and it turned out he really just wanted to help us! He took the tickets back from us and said he hoped we enjoyed Kyoto and that Kyoto people are really friendly. We thanked him a hundred times (I really was super grateful XD) and then he disappeared forever. Thank you kind Kyoto man! ♥ You are hereby eternalized in my blog.
At this point my energy level was pretty down and I couldn’t find the entrance to the Teramachi street, so I went to ask. Finally we found it and bought some drinks from a vending machine to get reenergized. It helped and we went on our way~!

Teramachi Street
Teramachi street.

We walked along the street for a bit and looked at the shop, but we didn’t enter any of them. We also passed the shop window of Metamorphose, but didn’t enter it this time. Sorry Meta. I did take a picture of it though. ^^

The Metamorphose shop window.

After a bit of walking, we arrived at the start of Nishiki market. It was quite crowded already, so we decided to walk along the left side of the street until the end and walk back along the right side.
If you don’t know what Nishiki market is: it’s supposedly the best food market in Kyoto. Basically it’s one really long street with dozens of stalls selling food (and sometimes other things like socks, interestingly enough). Also, the roof has these really nice yellow-red-mint pattern lamps all along and the atmosphere is really nice.

Entering Nishiki market.

My mom and I walked along the whole market and pointed out things to each other. We were especially mesmerized by the Tako Tamago (tiny octopuses with quail eggs in their heads). We passed several amazing stalls and tried some foods. I also spotted the sock stall where I had bought several pairs of socks last time, haha!
Most of the people working at the market were super friendly and some even posed for pictures with their goods.
br > My personal favourite shop was the one where they sold roasted chestnuts. I thought the whole canon performance in Osaka was just for show, but apparently they really roast the chestnuts in canon-shaped machines! It was really cool.

Chestnut Shop
Shop ladies preparing the chest nuts.

My mom also bought a present box for a friend. It was quite fun walking down the market, but it was also quite crowded.

Nishiki Market
Nishiki market is so colourful and amazing!

We reached the end of the market and walked back on the left side of the street this time (right side if you look at it from where we started). Unfortunately, I was still very tired and it was getting more crowded, so while walking I felt myself getting overwhelmed a lot. By the time we arrived back at Teramachi street I was so tired and full in my head I had to sit down. We were actually planning to go search for the newly opened Angelic Pretty shop after the market, but I remember myself thinking ‘I don’t want to go anymore. I want to stay here. I don’t even like Angelic Pretty!’
“I don’t even like [insert thing you really love here]!” is actually a family inside joke at our home. I can’t really explain it. x) But I guess it shows how I felt at that moment. My wise mom then told me to stay seated and she went to get something sweet from a bakery on the other side of the street. She returned with two pastries.

Life-Saving Pastry
The pastry mom got for me that saved me. ;_; ♥

Apparently the pastries were really expensive, but they were really good and they really saved me. My energy levels went right up and I felt so much better! Magical pastries of love~! ♥
We stood up, walked back to the entrance of Teramachi street and went to look for the shopping mall where Angelic Pretty was located. While walking, we suddenly passed a Sanrio store I had forgotten all about! Of course we couldn’t skip on that, so we entered it.

Sanrio Gallery
The Sanrio Gallery in Kyoto. ☆

We walked around the two floors and of course there were just too many cute items to buy! Argh, Sanrio! Why do you manage to steal my heart every time? I really contained myself this time though, even though I fell in love with the cutest My Melody heels.
Since it has become obvious my mom and I really love Sanrio items, I have decided it is our destiny to visit Sanrio Puroland someday, haha!

Sanrio Store
Shopping at Sanrio is always wonderful!♥

However my mom did not contain herself! She discovered a really cute soft pink My Melody bag that she seriously considered buying. She doubted about it being too childish for her age. However, if you seriously look at it the little My Melodies on it are quite subtle: the print is not flashy at all and it looks like a proper handbag. So it’s more like ‘grown up kawaii’. And in the end she bought it! Yay mom! It also turned out to be cheaper than we thought, maybe because of a tourist discount. That was a really nice surprise. ♥

My Melody Bag
My mom’s beautiful new bag! Do you like it?

We left the Sanrio store again and continued our search for the Angelic Pretty store. It is located in the same mall as the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright store we had visited during our last trip, but I couldn’t really remember how we had found it. This time however, we easily found the mall and I already spotted the sign with newly opened stores, including Angelic Pretty.

New Shops
I wonder if you can find the sign that says Angelic Pretty? XD

We entered the mall and I immediately spotted a small Claire’s shop (it was almost a stall instead of a store). My eye fell on a tulle bag with cute bows in it and I realised these were the kinds of bows I had been looking for for ages! Just simple, pastel bows. Not too big, not too small. This is a reason why I like Japan so much: they have the things I am looking for in stores. You can touch them and look at them with your own eyes, instead of seeing something in a store that resembles what you want but not quite. I decided to get the bows on the way back.
We went up to the 7th floor and there it was, in all its radiance: the Angelic Pretty store. This shop had really just been opened, on the 11th of September I believe. There weren’t even pictures on the official Angelic Pretty website, it was that new. And the store was so beautiful… Usually Angelic Pretty stores are hat typical light baby pink and look really sweet, but this store looked much more mature (as far as that is possible of course) with bright hot pink closets and curtains and tile floors. It was wonderful! ♥

Hot Pink Shop
Browsing Angelic Pretty Kyoto. The store looked so amazing!

The shop girl working (who look super cute by the way) was helping a customer make a custom order for the Holy Lantern series, so my mom and I browsed the shop quietly. They had a lot of lovely things on sale. I must say the special Dolly Cat set in ivory looked quite lovely. I won’t say I regret not buying it, but it was very pretty! However, there was one blouse I absolutely adored. It was sax blue with chiffon see-through sleeves and cute buttons. It was just so pretty… I had also fallen in love with a really cute bag. It reminded me of a perfume bottle, but when I looked up close at had a tag on it that said ‘Drink me’, so apparently it was based on Alice in Wonderland.
My mom really liked the Wonder Gallery print, especially the black one piece, and several more grown up casual dresses. Yes, there were too many lovely things. XD

Whip Jacquard
My mom and I showed each other several things we liked. ♥

There was a really cute table filled with blouses and cutsews that had all these cute picture frames and decorations on top. It made the shop even cuter, because it added a lot of colour. ^^

Cute Decorations
The cute accessories table that brightened up the shop even more.

I checked out the jewelry here too, but nothing caught my interest. Plus, my attention kept going back to the lovely bag…
In the meantime, the customer for the Holy Lantern series had left and the shop girl was free again. I started a conversation and I said I am a Lolita too. She was very happy about it, noticed my Angelic Pretty necklace and loved to hear I had been to several Tea Parties in Paris already. She was so nice!
I told the shop girl I was interested in the bag and she told me they only had two left in store. I asked my mom for advice and she said: ‘Well if you like it so much, I think you should buy it.’ Deal sealed. However, I didn’t have enough cash money with me, so I asked whether the shop girls (there were two now. The second had amazing multi coloured hair!)) knew where I could find one. Luckily, there was one in the building, so I headed to the right floor. I had to wait for a bit since there were other customers as well and then the elevator took ages to get me back to the right floor, but finally I returned to the store and bought my beautiful bag. ♥ I thanked the lovely shop girls and then we left the shop. Thank you sweet Angelic Pretty girls! ♥

Angelic Purchase
Happy with my amazing purchase. ☆

On the way back I quickly bought the bows at Claire’s and then we left the shopping mall.
We were honestly too tired to take the subway back again, so we decided to take the bus. Luckily, we walked past a tourist information center (what a surprise!) and asked for the right bus numbers back to Kyoto station. That helped a lot! We crossed the street and waited in line at the bus stop. For a moment we got confused by the bus numbers, but soon the right bus arrived. We were lucky to get a seat, even though they were very small. x)
Soon we arrived back at Kyoto station. There, we spotted a sign that said ‘Restaurant&Café’ and an arrow pointing down some stairs, so we decided to check it out as we were quite hungry and it was time for dinner. We arrived in a big hall that was part of Kyoto station’s ridiculous network of tunnels and found a whole underground street of restaurants! We didn’t have that much money to spend that night, so we looked for something not too expensive, but most restaurant were quite pricey unfortunately. However, eventually we decided on ramen! We had wanted to try that for a long time, so this was the perfect change! We picked two dishes we looked from the shop window and were soon seated. I walked back outside for a moment to compare the menu to the fake food dishes in the window and then we made our choices. My mom and I both chose a bowl of ramen combined with a bowl of egg on rice.

Ramen Pictures
Taking pictures of each other with our food. ^^

The restaurant was quite nice and I liked how all the waitresses were older women. They looked very dedicated to their work. ^^
The food was quite nice, although thanks to my cold I didn’t really taste it that well. Also, it was too much! x) But very good!
We paid and went back to the hotel, where we met some drunk but funny hotel guests at the elevator. They posed for a picture and it was super funny! XD Finally we entered our room and could just lie down on our beds. It felt very good…
I took purchase pictures and then we went to bed. It had been a very busy and exciting day.

Purchases of the Day
Purchases of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about our adventures in Kyoto! I filmed a lot and tried to make the best videos I could about our trip. I hope you will like it! ♡
You can find day 8 from 3:05 until 6:24. Please take a look if you want! ♡

Thank you for reading! ~☆~


  1. PFOOOOO busy day! I got tired just reading it ;D haha.
    You really bought the cutest prettiest pastelliest things, I didn't even know there was a Drink Me bag!
    sad you can't take pictures in AP, you have made me soooo curious about multicoloured AP shopgirl *O*

    1. Haha I can imagine! XD
      Hehe thank you! I didn't know either until I walked right into it. :P
      Yes very sad indeed *cough* Ahem.

  2. I was also really disappointed when I went to the bamboo forest. I wanted peace and there were just people. Everywhere. And it was so noisy. I just walked through it hoping to get out of it quickly. :(

    1. I am sorry you felt that way, but I also feel a bit relieved. XD