Moto to Aramayisha

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
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Trip End Oct 14, 2012


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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Sunday, September 2, 2012

After breakfast we caught a taxi to the far side of the city in a residential/commercial area to the only place that rents out motor cycles in Kyoto. Quite a palava but half an hour later we were on the road to Arashyama about 20km West of Kyoto.

We managed remarkably well and got to exactly where we wanted to be without getting lost or being arrested. Driving here, pretty much like everything else, is very controlled and law abiding - something quite foreign to South Africans, particularly two who have been riding scooters in countries where there are pretty much no rule of law like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Arashyama has an ancient wooden bridge that crosses the river that we were advised to go and have a look at. As we drove along the river bank there were 25 to 30 girls dressed in white kimonos carrying an ark type thing on long wooden bars singing and chanting. We asked and were told it was an annual coming of age, or Maiko, ceremony for young women. We watched boats on the river for a while and then drove through the town, coming to a quaint area where there were many local tourists. We parked the scooter next to another scooter outside a house in a quiet street and walked with the Japanese tourists ending up at a railway line and caught up to the girls with the wooden arc. We carried on across the railway tracks and had the most delightful walk through bamboo forests, an old cemetery and a delightful residential area.

After our walk we crossed the wooden bridge, Hozugawa-kudari, and made our way to Nakanoshima Park on the other side of the river. We had to park the bike in a car park at R30 an hour and crossed a smaller wooden bridge over another river to get into the park. We sat and had a strawberry slush & an Asahi beer while the girls with the arc arrived.

We ambled back to Kyoto down the side of the Hozi-Gawa river and crossed it into Kyoto a few km further down and then got hopelessly lost trying to find our hotel not knowing if we were going north, south, east or west, but did see Kyoto quite well. The hotel didn't have anywhere for us to park, so we drove along the river road to a motorbike parking lot we had seen the evening before and parked for the night.

After having a shower, our bodies sore from the moto, we went to where we had seen a few restaurantants hoping to find a teriyaki one, but most have only Japanese menus and they want to sell you a fixed dinner menu. Fortunately we came across a guy in the window of a restaurant rolling and cutting Udon noodles, and decided to give it a go. What a delicious dinner. For about R60 Deb had noodles in a chicken broth and Al has curried beef in his noodles. We also had tempura vegetables that were so good we had seconds. An absolutely delicious meal again.



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