Arashiyama, also known as the “Storm Mountain” is the final proof to me that all those old painting with mountains shrouded in clouds and clouds rolling over them truly are accurate. We spent most of the day in Arashiyama with a small portion of the morning learning how to make traditional sweets with rice flour.

here we made some sweets (chocolate, strawberry and sweet red bean)
we made some traditional Japanese sweets (chocolate, strawberry and sweet red bean)

Arashiyama

Togetsu-kyo Bridge is one of the symbols of Arashiyama and also one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms in the mountain from afar.

clouds rolling across storm mountain Arashiyama beyond Togetsu-kyo Bridge
clouds rolling across storm mountain Arashiyama beyond Togetsu-kyo Bridge

Beyond the bridge we come across the tourist section of the town, and down a little alley just off the main street heading towards the bamboo grove I spotted one of the greatest things… cute fluffy animals!

cute-fluffy-animals
silk worm cocoons make great little fluffy animals

Just like a bread crumb trail I followed it, taking photos of the little exhibitions. This led me into the main shop where I was surrounded by lots of little fluffly creatures!

Inside the cute fluffy animal shop
Inside the cute fluffy animal shop

I was so happy and excited and found lots of different creatures for different people I knew. Eventually though I found the one that said take me home! I got it customised with a little Japanese banner and all. When I get back to the UK I’ll post a photo of it then.

entrance-to-cute-fluffy-animal-shop
the entrance to cute fluffy animal shop

The shop entrance is not easy to find, I more or less stumbled on to it though there is a big lantern outside it with the little exhibitions. We then went and visited several temples including Ryoanji and Tenryuji Temple as well as the bamboo groves. You can see more images of these places on Jose’s post for today.

The beautiful rock garden at Tenryuji
The beautiful rock garden at Tenryuji
bamboo grove arashiyama
These bamboo take two months to grow and are originally from China.

Before we got to Ryoanji temple we stumbled across an artists workshop and I wouldn’t have realised what it was if the artist hadn’t been looking out of the window. So we went in, had a nosy around and with the help of our guide interpreting we managed to find out that he not only creates work but collects work and had some pieces from famous Japanese artists.

His name is Masaki Kagei and he gave me a little drawing of himself working in his work shop (which I will post up later on). He also explained that some of the artists used to create their art in the temple as the previous owner had wanted art to be created there.

Masaki Kagei Workshop
the artist Masaki Kagei in his workshop
masaki-kagei journal
Masaki Kagei’s journal which he kindly let me look at and photograph.

There is so much stuff that we did today that I kept thinking about how am I going to capture this all in one post? When I head back to the UK there will be a lot of editing for me todo! There is so much that I want to tell and add like the food, customs, weather the fact that Kyoto-ites say “okiini” instead of “arigatou gozaimasu”.