A friend and I made plans to meet in Kyoto for autumn this year (2016). He lives in Tokyo while I live in Fukuoka, so we pretty much agreed we should meet somewhere in the middle if we wanted to see each other at all! Riding overnight buses from opposite sides, we met up at Kyoto Station on a Saturday morning in November and would be going home early the next day, so we only had roughly one whole day of sightseeing - and we planned to go to a LOT of temples and shrines. Since our Airbnb was only two train stops away from Saga-Arashiyama station, we decided to go to Arashiyama first.
We could already see this multicolored view of the mountains as the train pulled into the station, making us nearly squeal in excitement. It's even more beautiful up close! The day was rather cloudy, but the vibrance of the colors just can't be captured as much with my phone camera.
We crossed Togetsukyo Bridge and walked closer to the river to take pictures.
We saw people lining up for this, so we naturally went along. It's called "yuba cheese," a fried snack made of fish paste with cream cheese inside and wrapped with dried tofu skin, said to be made and sold only here in Arashiyama - and it was delicious!
From Togetsukyo Bridge, we aimed to go to the famed Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama, passing by various temples along the way with gorgeous, vivid autumn foliage.
We couldn't get enough of the red, orange, and yellow colors of the leaves, sometimes mixed together in a breathtaking combination.
We finally reached the Bamboo Forest. Natually there weren't any red leaves to be seen here, but being surrounded by the greenery was soothing.
In the middle of the Bamboo Forest is the Nonomiya Shrine. I noticed that most of the visitors who were in line to pray were female.
Along the way we encountered quite a number of young people wearing eye-catching kimonos, just like this group.
We reached the Torokko Arashiyama station at the end of the bamboo paths. "Torokko" means a slow-moving train, generally rode on for the scenery on the way as well as to reach the next destination. Apparently riding from here to Torokko Kameoka station also provides a wonderful view of red leaves along the way.
On our way back to Saga-Arashiyama station, we came upon this cafe named "Sagano Kaede" and decided to take a break here, mostly to charge our phones for more picture-taking after. The view from its windows as well as this cake set was divine!
In the end, most of our Kyoto trip this time around was only around Arashiyama, but our Kyoto autumn experience here was definitely worth it!