Japan – Day 12: Arashiyama

Day 12 marked our last full day in Japan.  While we reconciled the fact that we’d be departing soon, we biked from monkeys to bamboo, from a castle to Japanese music videos.

I had one final must on my list that had not yet been reached: the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  Aaron was also excited about the associated monkeys, though I didn’t remember that in the brochure.  We hopped our (t)rusty bikes and pedaled across Kyoto to Arashiyama.  Though we were out by 8am, I still felt it was terribly late; I was desperate to beat crowds to something I knew would be quite populated. Continue reading

Japan – Day 4: Tokyo

This day was all about a day-long bike tour of the city.  Biking through Tokyo allows you to cover a lot of ground while going slowly enough for pictures and historical tidbits.  We were able to hit a lot of items on our list, and we learned far more about Japanese history and culture than we bargained for.  It was truly a day well spent!

After another breakfast at the hotel (fish, miso soup, and rice never get old!), we hopped the subway.  This was very different from the train rides up to this point, most notably due to the populous mob packed into each car.  Every day, we knew this was a possibility, and we always tried to leave early to beat rush hour, but this day, the cards were stacked against us.  But I won’t complain; it was a true Tokyo rite of passage.  At least the men with the white gloves weren’t needed. Continue reading