We woke up early because we want to get to Arashiyama before it’s get too hot and too crowded. We took the JR San-In Line from Kyoto Station to Saga Arashiyama which took around 15 minutes. Exiting the station we walked past the Sagano Romantic Train Station, followed by 10 minutes walk along a nice looking residential area, before arriving at the Bamboo Groves. The fresh air and beautiful scenery made the walk along upward slopes a bit easier. On our way up we passed Tenryuji Temple and decided to take a look inside. The entrance ticket is 500 JPY for adult and 300 JPY for children.
After around 20 minutes (which later proved to be 5 minutes too long), we continued our hike to Torokko Station during which the road is getting steeper. Just hundred meter away from the station, we saw the Sagano Train left, which meant we missed the train to Kameoka. At the ticket counter, we were informed that the next train to Kameoka would be 1 hour later. There’s no taxi at Torokko unless we called for it by phone. It’s 20-30 minutes walk to the nearest JR station, which would not be pleasant to the elders. Not wanting to waste too much time, we decided to take the very short Sagano Train ride to Saga Station instead, which will depart in more tolerable 40 minutes. Moral of the story, pay more attention to the train schedule…
Outside the Saga Station we hailed a couple of Taxis to Kitano Tenmango (costing around 2000 JPY). My wife specifically chose the 25th June as the date of our visit here because there is a flea market at 25th every month at Kitano Tenmangu. Starting from the street outside and all the way up to the Shrine, there were street vendors selling everything from food, kimono, toys, fragrance, and else with very tempting price. My wife bought a kimono for just 1000 JPY there and the big boy just can’t resist the temptation to sample various food along the way.
Since Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is dedicated to a scholar regarded as a patron of scholarship, we came across with a lot of student groups, and in the temple, we saw papers filled with prayer from the students for their upcoming exam and education.
Another taxi ride took us to Kyoto Railway Museum. The admission ticket is 1200 JPY for adult, 500 JPY for elementary school students. Every tickets pictured different train models. Right at the entrance were train from 3 generations, a steam engine locomotive, a post worldwar long distance train, and a shinkanshen. There’s a dining car remodeled as a restaurant, but the queue was very long we decided to skip it. Right before the main building entrance there’s a shinkansen car and locomotive that can be boarded.
The main building is huge. It showcases trains from various generations and technology, train engine, springs, wheels, chair, in short everything you want to know about train.
The upper level has a very large diorama with electric trains scheduled to run several times a day, each lasted around 15 minutes, a cafetaria, train simulators, and a lounge where the tired and weary can rest while the enthusiasts roam around. The kids love it very much. We could have spent another hour or two here if not for the tight schedule.
After a couple of hours, we took a bus ride back to Kyoto Station. We tried to get bus tickets to Nagoya but the only one left is the late night bus. The JR bus ticket counter is at the north side (the one facing the Kyoto Tower). Since we also can’t get the Platt Kodama ticket two days ago, that’s left us with regular JR train to Nagoya, which took more than 2 hours, with standing only room for the early part of the ride.
Arriving at Nagoya, following our Japanese friend recommendation, we went to Yabaton to try the Nagoya’s own Misokatsu dish, and it’s worth the queueing and our effort to find the restaurant. The meal is downright tasty. It’s a crispy pork cutlet poured with miso sauce (warning, contain pork). The restaurant is located at shopping area underneath the JR Nagoya Station. We had trouble finding our way there before finally was told by a station officer that we have to exit the station first then go downstairs just outside the station. And arriving around 7pm we have to wait for around 15 minutes in queue.
With our stomach full, we took a short walk to our hotel at Toyokko Inn, our hotel for the night.