Let’s be honest. Traveling is fun but its one heck of a tiring affair. From hurrying up to the train station afraid of missing your trip, to waking up way earlier than you usual just to squeeze all the thing you want to see in a day, it get so tiring that sometimes I feel like just turning on the telly for a doze of Mecha Mecha Iketeru! , get comfy on my duvet and just indulge on junk food.
But the truth is once you are at your destination, you certainly forget all the hassle that comes with it and you can’t help but smile that you are experiencing the places you only read or heard about. For me, the biggest reward above all is being able to capture moments that I consider rare which somehow manage to stir a bolt of satisfaction and inspiration- like this photo of a kid admiring the city of Kyoto via binoculars when a snow monkey just decided to join him. Amazing, right?
To see the Japanese macaque monkeys or commonly known as “snow monkey” of Iwatayama Monkey Park, you need to prepare yourself for a short hike. Well, I didn’t know about the hike actually, I though it will just be “pay the entrance, play with the monkeys for 10 minutes and go” sort of thing, so I was just gradually walking the trail when I started to feel like its taking forever to reach them and surprise, there is a signage saying that I am at almost the same height as Kyoto Tower. Nonetheless, even with my heart pounding and my feet trembling, reaching the top is worth it especially learning that all 170 monkeys happily playing around and waiting for peanuts from visitors have distinct individual name and respond by their Japanese names.
There are plenty of things to experience at Arashiyama but it requires patience from visitor since this is one of the many places in Kyoto which can get really, really crowded. I don’t have the energy to visit all of them, so I decided to stick to a certain perimeter around the town’s iconic landmark- Togetsukyo Bridge to view the beautiful Hozu River and the reflection of the autumn foliage from the nearby mountain. Here is where I spent most of my time, just walking around, enjoying the scenic view of the river as it splits into two shades of color- green and yellow, waving at the tourist on-board the leisure boats and willingly help a family to take their souvenir photos.
There is something about Arashiyama that makes you want to take it slow. Even on the crowded pathways of the Bamboo Groves, I still managed to walk leisurely while happily eating a green tea- sweet potato ice cream. Good times.
New year resolution: More traveling. More traveling at slower pace (if I can afford). Happy New Year Bloggers! Happy New Year WordPress!