It seems to me as we’ve slowly slipped down a steep slope to tourist mania. Somehow in Tokyo, I got the feeling that the city just absorbed everybody, with tourists melting in with the rest. In Kyoto, things were different – there were rivers of crowds at some of the sites, and at others, there were almost none. To nitpick our way to find the emptier spots is a skill we’ve acquired lately. Thank you, kids, for forcing us to adapt or die. J
Here we are in Arashiyama, technically outside of Kyoto but so very close. We took an old train there, very quaint, and found this gorgeous train station decorated with fabric prints and lights. Note: everyone wearing a kimono here is a tourist. Quite a few things make this a popular destination – bamboo forests, boat rides, the snow monkey park, but we found our own Secret Garden in the foothills and escaped the hordes.
And here photos of our Secret Garden, or rather the garden grown by a Japanese actor who as a star of the silent silver screen era. Okochi Sanso was a true sanctuary after we went side stream from the main bamboo grove.