Friday 20.09.13 64,69 km
One of my roommates came in late last night making noise. But this morning
everybody sleep sound, when I get up at 6.30am.
Yesterday I found some marmelade, which wasn't imported and cost a fortune. So this morning I have roasted toast with marmelade, a yougurt and grape juice. I've stopped drinking beer with the dinner - for the time being.
There's no point in waiting, so I set off for Arashiyama, a "must see" according to the guide books. I don't take the strict road, but find it easily even it's far. To arrive on bicycle is a bit special for I don't know where to look for "The path of Bamboo Grove". But signs start coming up and within short I walk up the path. Meet a local or two.
Understand? The japanese version of "chinglish"
When I return 3 quarters of an hour later the path is overcrowded. Also the taxis go up there. And rickshaws. And the whole town including the main street is completely changed. Now noone doubts this is a "must see".
But I get poisoned by temples. There are at least 30 scattered over the area. All with an entrance fee of 3-400 Y. I'd like to know about the japanese relation to religion and what's it's about, but you don't learn that here. So I just take some photos.
The muddy waters and Arashiyama in the background
This is where the big river runs from the mountains. The water is still muddy from the rain from the typhoon. They are also doing repairs along the river and branches and trees are still clinging to the bridge. But the real flooding must have been further down.
Then I continue to a village up in the mountains to the north, Kuhara. It's a long ride. I pass a part of Kyoto University up here. There are parked hundreds of motorbikes and scooters. It's at the lunch break so they hurry up and down the road.
Hundreds - just count for self
Tourists, one westener, tells I'm there in Kuhara. There's a temple, whereb I stand and take a photo. The town itself is nicely situated along the road that winds upwards. I go on with an idea that there must be a pass and that I will be able to follow another river back. But I give up and a look in Lonely Planet shows that that would have made me disappear in the mountains outside of all maps. But it's lovely here with the sound of the river and now it goes down.
One temple will have to do...
Out here there are no signs telling the direction to Kyoto. And there are green mountains everywhere. But the sun is a good help for directions and I have a good sense of where the city must be. I pass through a tunnel and end up along one of the main rivers. From here there's no doubt.
The meter ends up at more than 60 km. No wonder I feel a need for a shower.
The rest of the afternoon I wash and drink tea. And now I have all by myself made a call from a payohone and booked a night in Nara on sunday. The area code was in Lonely Planet, the manager knew. And then I made it for the station to find a phone. The first guesthouse was fully booked, but I succeeded at the next one.
It's only tourist magnets as Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima, where Lonely Planet can be used for booking.