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  • Life’s constant surprises.

    weaving dreams & marveling thru the Universe.

    I'm Josephine, a Filipina living now in Singapore.
    A full time dreamer, photographer and soon to be a first-time-Mama.

    This blog is just an extension of my photography site. Thank you for being here! :)

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autumn love – pixie in kyoto – day 2

dear baby pixie love,

this will be another lengthy post. i think. why with all the fall foliage i can’t get enough of, really, my heart is too overjoyed!

Nov 28, 2013. Thursday. the 2nd day we woke up, we were bound to Arashiyama.

“Arashiyama (嵐山) is a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall color seasons.” – Japan Guide.com

Funny why I didn’t include that in our itinerary last 2011. The cherry blossoms was magical enough but I’m glad we visited Arashiyama during autumn. It’s made me dream to come back over and again for the rest of my life. if only. 

Off to the train we went early morning via the Hankyu line that only took less than 30mins ride. We normally check Hyperdia for railway timetable but we tried to ask the hotel staff what’s best way to go to Arashiyama, too. After we were given directions, we mistakenly went another route when there’s supposedly another shorter way. But that’s okay, getting lost is part of our adventure anyway.

Train rides in Japan is quite nostalgic for me. It reminds me of the many Japanese dramas I’ve watched. Haha.
Unlike in Singapore, it’s particularly less noisy inside the trains. See that sign below? It is considered rude when you actually talk on your phone, so either keep it in silent mode or turn it off.
By the time we arrived around 930am, I swear I could hear drum rolls in my heart when I started to glimpse colorful trees from afar.
And then, finally, after less than 15 minutes walk, my eyes beamed at most of trees blanketed with red and yellow maple leaves. All I suddenly ever wished for was to never leave Kyoto. EVER!!! GOD. It was too beautiful my photos won’t even justify how much.
And you Pixielove, kept saying ‘WOW!’ and marveled at the prettiness as much as I did.

Some trees were already bare though since autumn has actually reached its peak (usually after 2nd week of November) in the most part of Kyoto but we still enjoyed and got all mesmerized with the rest of what was still there.
I’m glad I brought my heavy tripod for this. I was sure to regret it if we didn’t have a decent family photo together with autumn as our backdrop. Worth carrrying the load along with my camera. Whew. 🙂
Autumn in Kyoto certainly took my every breath away.
And here was the Togetsukyo Bridge.

The Togetsukyo Bridge (lit. “Moon Crossing Bridge”) is Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark. It was originally built during the Heian Period(794-1185) and most recently reconstructed in the 1930s. The bridge looks particularly attractive in combination with the forested mountainside in the background. – JapanGuide.com
Crossing this bridge felt so monumental. I imagined we were walking along with Japanese samurais walking this same bridge.
Towards the end of the bridge, we saw lots of shops lining up the streets. So we decided to go for an early lunch before we got caught up with many other tourists. We found a soba house and feasted at it’s all original and authentic Japanese goodness.
We continued walking hoping to find our way to the famous Bamboo groove. While we’re at it, we ate some street snacks too.
It wasn’t too hard to find the Bamboo groove since most tourists were obviously going the same way too so we just decided to follow towards the same direction.
I’ve seen bamboos growing up back in Cebu but never seen as many in a groove so it was stunning enough to witness despite the big tourist crowd. I bet it would have been lot more serene to walk along the Bamboo path alone early in the morning or ride a bike through it.
Right after the bamboo path, we just continued walking wherever the path leads, as long as we saw maple trees.
Here’s me, soaking myself with all that autumn goodness, obviously having the time of my life! 🙂
While, you, Pixielove, was taking your cold cold cold afternoon nap.
More shades of love…
I wished I’ve picked up those fallen maple leaves and kept them in a jar with me. *sniff*
Surprisingly, though we felt lost, we found our way to the riverside. And I fell in love even more, I wanted to scream and sing ‘What a wonderful WORLDDDDDD!’ 🙂
There was a more scenic route via Sagano railway knowns as Sagano Romantic Train that winds it way through the mountains but we didn’t have enough time to hop on it sadly. Hopefully there’s a next time for us if we visit Kyoto again in autumn.
You woke up from your nap and so we played along the riverside for quite a while.
One of my many favorite photo of you and me, taken by your Papa.
We continued strolling along till we found a happy place, the Kyoto Music Box Museum. I was probably more excited than you were! Haha

We actually lost your teddy bear the first day we were in Kyoto so we bought you a new one and of course, a musical one from the museum.
I was eyeing those Studio Ghibli souvenirs (Totorrrooo!!!! my heart screamed!) but I had to hold on tight to my pocket — felt proud that I survived coming out from the museum empty handed (except with your new teddy bear!). Hah!!!
Here’s a funny story. Or maybe not. Off we decided next to see the Arashiyama Monkey Park. I wanted you to see the monkeys so we paid for the entrance and started walking. Apparently, strollers not allowed. I got worried wondering why. Only to find out the hundreds of steps (ok, maybe i’m exaggerating!) we had to climb to reach the top of the park. I didn’t expect that at all. I almost cried. Hehe. The first few minutes of climb was manageable but by the time we reach another curve, we were exhausted already from all the walking in the morning. And we came there late in the afternoon (which was a mistake) when it was starting to look dim and cloudy and ‘creepy’ in the woods. Haha. So no choice but went back our way down without even seeing a single monkey and reaching the top. How lousy was that. Oh well.
We went back down the streets and decided to visit a last stop at the temple nearby. It was around 3pm and we knew night time starts by 5pm so we had about 2 hrs left to stroll under the maple trees.

Here you were endlessly picking up maple leaves at your heart’s content. I wished I’ve taken a video of you when you kept saying ‘WOW’ while you showed me every leaf you’ve picked.
Humming ‘What a wonderful world’ again when we went inside this amazing garden.
And just like that, it was time for us to head back to our hotel.
Bedtime routine in our japanese futon beds.

Being able to expose you to Kyoto’s mad beauty felt so memorable enough. Someday, when you’re grown up, I wish for you to rediscover Kyoto and look back at these photos and be grateful and happy we spent wonderful memories together here with your Papa while you were still 15months old.

love you forever,
Mama

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