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Trip Report *COMPLETED* I've climbed the mountain, I've crossed the river, and I'm almost there!

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It may sound weird, but your pictures of the areas with just vegetation or vegetation and buildings were so relaxing to look at.
Not weird at all! Even now I can still imagine being there, breathing in the clean air and just "being." :)
I think we're all experiencing the same, tranquil mood from your lovely pictures of Kyoto. I think the past 5 minutes with your latest photos, have lowered my blood pressure about 20 points! ;)
Who needs doctors and BP medication when you can just look at pictures on the internet? :joyfull:
Lovely photos of the gardens and temples.
Thank you!
Everything looks so beautiful and tranquil in your pictures. Asia has never had any draw for me but I may be starting to second guess that.
TBH I wasn't the most excited for Japan at first. It was more of a choice of convenience since our friends are there. And, once I warmed up to the idea of Japan, I figured it would be once in a lifetime and I wouldn't feel the need to go back. SPOILER ALERT: I can't wait to go back!!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Day 6, cont.

We approached the Tongetsu Bridge...and so did everyone else since they were awake by this point.





















After we crossed the bridge we were not far from our lunch destination! We followed the Google Maps directions and found...nothing. 😑 We were looking for this place:



And it was nowhere to be found. We even asked for help from a random guy on the street and he pointed to where it should have been...BUT IT WAS CLOSED! 😭

Sure, there were other places around...but I reeeeeally wanted an all-veggie place for my birthday! 😢

Incidentally this is the day where we discovered who the two most hangry people in the group were: S and me. Apparently S gets so hangry in day-to-day life that J always has snacks on hand, and occasionally she will be legitimately upset about something that has nothing to do with hanger and he will try to feed her and she will get extra-mad because he's assuming she's hangry and not upset about something else!

So, two of us are hangry, one of us is upset because she's not getting what she wants on her birthday, two spouses are upset because their respective wives are hangry/upset, everyone is frustrated because we have been walking in circles trying to find a restaurant that is CLOSED... 😬

Given my state at the time I don't remember exactly what happened, but someone else picked the first restaurant we saw and went inside and got a table. Once we were all seated and having some hot green tea (complimentary at many Japanese restaurants) things started looking better.



Then we realized there was NOTHING on the menu without meat in it. Not even noodles with egg or noodles with vegetables. 🤦

Somehow, between all of us we managed to ask if M and I could have soba with only vegetable tempura instead of mixed (veg and seafood) tempura. One of my most practiced phrases came in handy: "Watashi wa bejitarian desu!" (I am a vegetarian). And, I learned, if you say "Yasai!" over and over (vegetables) you will get vegetables!

J ordered a set meal and I had to ask for a photo because it looked so nice:



In Japan, the food typically comes to the table as soon as it's ready and it's perfectly polite to start eating as soon as you get your own food, regardless of whether or not your table mates have their food. M and I had to wait a few minutes for our "confusing" orders but they came soon enough:


Soba noodles with yasai tempura in mystery broth.

After eating we all felt MUCH better and apologized for getting snippy with each other when we were hangry. :inlove:

Up next: Monkey time!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

After lunch we walked a few steps to the entrance of Arashiyama Monkey Park.





As you can see above, the cost was 550 yen per person. We paid our admission fees and began the climb up some stairs.





The sun was beginning to shine!



After what felt like a lot of steps, we arrived at this map...



...which indicated we had barely begun the hike to the monkeys!!! :arghh:

Nevertheless, we continued.




This sign would come up later.



At some point on the way up I stopped taking photos because it was such an intense climb. I'm sure for people who regularly hike or live at higher altitudes it would have been no big deal, but it was tough. There were definitely a few times I joked about giving up. Except I wasn't really joking. But luckily there were benches along the way and we took a rest whenever we reached one.




The playground! That means we're almost there!!!!


A slide for the way down!


So close...


FINALLY! MONKEYS!!!

But these were just the first monkeys we could see. I made another joke about quitting, but obviously we couldn't stop now when we'd made it this far! This was when "Almost there" became the theme song of the trip for me. :)

Up next: WILL WE MAKE IT???
 
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bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

As we neared the top we were able to look down at this pretty little pond:


And yes, you CAN see a monkey or two!


HERE WE ARE!!! And there is a BABY MONKEY!!!






Living on the edge!














ANOTHER BABY!!


Looking back the other way

Most of the monkeys were VERY friendly and not afraid of humans at all. Some of them were pretty aggressive with each other but most were either alone or in small groups minding their own business. There was monkey food for sale but plenty of other people we feeding them and we didn't want to. And who knew the view from up here would be SO AMAZING???

Up next: More monkeys, then back down MONKEY MOUNTAIN!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

We all agreed after the climb that "Monkey Park" should have really been called "Monkey Mountain," and through the remainder of the trip we referred to it as such.



We also realized that, beyond the main monkey-meeting part of the mountain, there was one more tiny staircase to climb. It was only 20 or so steps, but we had to get our money's worth and go all the way!












That's not a monkey!!


No!

And so we began the climb down. In some ways it was easier, but with my knee injury I had to take it very slow and I often needed to hold M's hand for support.













On the way down, fairly close to the bottom, we encountered a middle-aged British couple huffing and puffing on their way up. We told them the climb would be worth it, and they asked if they were almost there. We all looked around at each other with shifty eyes, and tried to be as honest as possible without scaring them away. We told them they were not almost there, but that there were benches along the way for resting!



Up next: I've climbed the mountain, I've crossed the river, and I'm almost there!
 
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DisneyGigi

Well-Known Member
Day 6, cont.

We all agreed after the climb that "Monkey Park" should have really been called "Monkey Mountain," and through the remainder of the trip we referred to it as such.



We also realized that, beyond the main monkey-meeting part of the mountain, there was one more tiny staircase to climb. It was only 20 or so steps, but we had to get our money's worth and go all the way!












That's not a monkey!!


No!

And so we began the climb down. In some ways it was easier, but with my knee injury I had to take it very slow and I often needed to hold M's hand for support.













On the way down, fairly close to the bottom, we encountered a middle-aged British couple huffing and puffing on their way up. We told them the climb would be worth it, and they asked if they were almost there. We all looked around at each other with shifty eyes, and tried to be as honest as possible without scaring them away. We told them they were not almost there, but that there were benches along the way for resting!



Up next: I've climbed the mountain, I've crossed the river, and I'm almost there!
Beautiful pictures and Oh my Gosh! I want a baby monkey!!! I just squealed that and showed the pics to B. He said no. 😡😂 😡
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

We climbed back down the mountain and headed back toward the train station where we'd arrived.






The trash can has Italian text on it!

Getting back required us to once again cross the river.







Before going back to the station we needed to get back to Kyoto, we stopped in another station to shop and get some ice cream.


I must have taken this for my MIL since it has a giraffe.


SO GOOD and BEST CONE EVER!!!

We continued to our station...











We swiped in and got to our platform...



...only to realize it was NOT our platform and we needed to be across the tracks! AND our train was leaving in one minute and the next one wasn't for TWENTY MINUTES!!! :arghh:

So we ran DOWN stairs, then UP stairs...and we made it!!! 😂

We were a few stops away from Kyoto Station but our feet were KILLING us! So, we did a maybe bad thing and sat in seats that were reserved for elderly/disabled/pregnant passengers. It was not a super crowded train and every time passengers got on we watched to see if anyone looked like they needed the seats. We would have of course gotten up for anyone who fit in those categories, but we didn't see anyone who seemed to be in need. Don't hate us!!!

So, we arrived in Kyoto Station once more, needing to get to the south side of the station. And wouldn't you know, we managed to go out the wrong way AGAIN! 🤦

At least this time we didn't have luggage. We followed the same way the cab driver had taken us yesterday...


COFFEE BOSS







And, miraculously, we found the correct side of the tracks!!!



Up next: We make a new friend!
 

DisneyGigi

Well-Known Member
Day 6, cont.

We climbed back down the mountain and headed back toward the train station where we'd arrived.






The trash can has Italian text on it!

Getting back required us to once again cross the river.







Before going back to the station we needed to get back to Kyoto, we stopped in another station to shop and get some ice cream.


I must have taken this for my MIL since it has a giraffe.


SO GOOD and BEST CONE EVER!!!

We continued to our station...











We swiped in and got to our platform...



...only to realize it was NOT our platform and we needed to be across the tracks! AND our train was leaving in one minute and the next one wasn't for TWENTY MINUTES!!! :arghh:

So we ran DOWN stairs, then UP stairs...and we made it!!! 😂

We were a few stops away from Kyoto Station but our feet were KILLING us! So, we did a maybe bad thing and sat in seats that were reserved for elderly/disabled/pregnant passengers. It was not a super crowded train and every time passengers got on we watched to see if anyone looked like they needed the seats. We would have of course gotten up for anyone who fit in those categories, but we didn't see anyone who seemed to be in need. Don't hate us!!!

So, we arrived in Kyoto Station once more, needing to get to the south side of the station. And wouldn't you know, we managed to go out the wrong way AGAIN! 🤦

At least this time we didn't have luggage. We followed the same way the cab driver had taken us yesterday...


COFFEE BOSS







And, miraculously, we found the correct side of the tracks!!!



Up next: We make a new friend!
Not meaning to sidetrack from the report but after I saw the monkeys, it made me think... how far away were you from the “Bunny Island” I have read about? If you or @amjt660 ever go there- I need pics! I would never leave. 😍
 

Back!Elbow!Shoulders!

Well-Known Member
On the way down, fairly close to the bottom, we encountered a middle-aged British couple huffing and puffing on their way up. We told them the climb would be worth it, and they asked if they were almost there. We all looked around at each other with shifty eyes, and tried to be as honest as possible without scaring them away. We told them they were not almost there, but that there were benches along the way for resting!
I think you all made the right call- be encouraging but realistic.
 

DisSplash

Well-Known Member
Monkey Mountain is now on the bucket list! 😉👍. I mean, how can it not be? Random monkeys hanging out, gorgeous views from the top, a complete monkey education along the trail, and a slide for part of the way down ... who would not want to try that? 😄. Thanks for taking us along, and frankly, kudos to you on making it up and down without too many issues, given your injury last year. ✋
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

Once we were on the correct side of the station it wasn't too hard to find our way back.



As we got closer to the hostel we met the CUTEST little fluff ball!





I forgot to mention that in Arashiyama we had bought a box of sake Kitkats. We wanted to bring some Japanese candy back as souvenirs for friends and family but wanted to make sure they actually tasted good first, so we tried some in the room.



S and J napped while M and I stayed up so we wouldn't ruin our sleep schedules. After everyone was up we all were ready for dinner. We decided to go back to the cursed Kyoto Station (loljk-mostly) because there are lots of restaurants inside the station.

We left the hostel and whom did we see??


😻

We picked a restaurant that looked good and I have no idea what it was called!


This time we got black tea instead of green.



We ordered and the waiter told us we could also go to the buffet for free.


Various salads


Potato salad

I am a relatively adventurous eater. I will try almost anything (not meat) once. I just could not get into the green salads on the plate. The potato salad, however, was AMAZING. We noted that you could have just the buffet for 800 yen. I totally could have eaten $8 worth of that potato salad!


M and I each had the fried tofu and egg set. It was quite good but the tofu was unexpectedly sweet!


🍚💚

After dinner we attempted once again to get OUT of Kyoto Station...





There were some twists and turns, but we FINALLY got back out in a reasonable amount of time. We stopped at a different 7-Eleven for the next day's breakfast and some dessert to celebrate my birthday.

Back at the hostel I enjoyed my strawberry shortcake, which was AMAZING. Again, Japanese 7-Eleven was WINNING at life!!



The other three sang Happy Birthday to me, and we all got ready for bed after what felt like the longest birthday EVER! :hilarious:

Day 6 Stats
Distance: 9.6 miles
Steps: 24046
Flights: 45


Up next: Day 7! There will be Torii Gates! There will be hangry girls! There will be dramma! There will be animals!
 
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bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Beautiful pictures and Oh my Gosh! I want a baby monkey!!! I just squealed that and showed the pics to B. He said no. 😡😂😡
Thank you! Haha! I wouldn't advise it! Some of the adults were quite aggressive!

Not meaning to sidetrack from the report but after I saw the monkeys, it made me think... how far away were you from the “Bunny Island” I have read about? If you or @amjt660 ever go there- I need pics! I would never leave. 😍
I had never heard of it until today! Looks like it's here:


We weren't terribly far from it when we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Fukuoka.

I think you all made the right call- be encouraging but realistic.
That's what we were going for. I wouldn't want them to give up so early, but I also wouldn't want them to think it was going to be easy.

Monkey Mountain is now on the bucket list! 😉👍. I mean, how can it not be? Random monkeys hanging out, gorgeous views from the top, a complete monkey education along the trail, and a slide for part of the way down ... who would not want to try that? 😄. Thanks for taking us along, and frankly, kudos to you on making it up and down without too many issues, given your injury last year. ✋
Yes, it was amazing and totally worth it! And thank you! Since I have been basically fully recovered I have been challenging myself to do a little more every day, just because I can. I used to almost always take the stairs everywhere, for instance, but now I ALWAYS ALWAYS take the stairs, because I remember a time I could barely walk on a flat surface, much less climb a whole flight of stairs!

yes, DID you slide down the slide?
Haha! No, because I have a big butto!
 

amjt660

Well-Known Member
Not meaning to sidetrack from the report but after I saw the monkeys, it made me think... how far away were you from the “Bunny Island” I have read about? If you or @amjt660 ever go there- I need pics! I would never leave. 😍
I have never been to a bunny island (or the monkey mountain that bee went up - my friend went and stared at the monkeys - bad idea)
I did Miyajima island near Hiroshima - it had a cable car up to the near peak - and we walked the rest of the way.
That island had wild deer and I did a deer selfie
Bee probably did not want to post a monkey selfie and I do not blame her!!!

Max
 
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Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Day 6, cont.

As we neared the top we were able to look down at this pretty little pond:


And yes, you CAN see a monkey or two!


HERE WE ARE!!! And there is a BABY MONKEY!!!






Living on the edge!














ANOTHER BABY!!


Looking back the other way

Most of the monkeys were VERY friendly and not afraid of humans at all. Some of them were pretty aggressive with each other but most were either alone or in small groups minding their own business. There was monkey food for sale but plenty of other people we feeding them and we didn't want to. And who knew the view from up here would be SO AMAZING???

Up next: More monkeys, then back down MONKEY MOUNTAIN!
Wow, what a long walk!!
If you ever come to the Netherlands, there's a Monkey zoo. One of the little guys climved right up on DD's head.347068


It does not include a hike up an entire mountain....there's a certain amount of walking, but it's managable.
 

dizfan917

Well-Known Member
good for you for conquering Monkey Mountain!! I was hoping for a video of your return ride down the slide... hee hee hee

my only encounter with monkeys in the wild was at a café in Jaipur. they were gorgeous until they seemed to get pretty mad and very close, so we ran inside. quickly. I like my face just the way it is. those on the mountain seemed much less angry!! :geek:

and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! did you see the kind of pressure I was under on MY birthday thanks to Ross and @Figment Forever ?! whoa!! ha!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Me too, but I might have tried it anyhow =D
Ha! I forgot to mention that the path down was a little different for the first bit and we didn't get back to the same path we had taken up until a bit later. So if we HAD tried to slide, we would have needed to go back up then down a different way.

Oh my goodness everything is so beautiful! I'm with @Zipitidoda Asia has never really been on my list but it looks stunning maybe someday !
I highly recommend it! It was SOOO beautiful, and I felt totally safe wherever we went.

I have never been to a bunny island (or the monkey mountain that bee went up - my friend went and stared at the monkeys - bad idea)
I did Miyajima island near Hiroshima - it had a cable car up to the near peak - and we walked the rest of the way.
That island had wild deer and I did a deer selfie
Bee probably did not want to post a monkey selfie and I do not blame her!!!

Max
Nope, I was not about to turn my back on those monkeys!

Wow, what a long walk!!
If you ever come to the Netherlands, there's a Monkey zoo. One of the little guys climved right up on DD's head.View attachment 347068


It does not include a hike up an entire mountain....there's a certain amount of walking, but it's managable.
We actually encountered some smaller monkeys like that later in the trip...stay tuned!

Really enjoying your TR and those pictures are absolutely breathtaking! Can't wait to hear about Tokyo Disneyland!
Thank you! I took TOOOOONS of photos at Disney!

good for you for conquering Monkey Mountain!! I was hoping for a video of your return ride down the slide... hee hee hee

my only encounter with monkeys in the wild was at a café in Jaipur. they were gorgeous until they seemed to get pretty mad and very close, so we ran inside. quickly. I like my face just the way it is. those on the mountain seemed much less angry!! :geek:

and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! did you see the kind of pressure I was under on MY birthday thanks to Ross and @Figment Forever ?! whoa!! ha!
Thank you! Yes, I saw and I can't believe it! What will happen next??
 
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