Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Japan Travelogue: #buddingyeastinJP Day Five - Kimono Day!

Wheeeeeee let's go Arashiyama!
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the places I've been super excited to visit.
The towering wall of elegant bamboos ~ 
We took Sagano-San In Line to JR Saga-Arashiyama station!
I love the clean look of the station, which somehow combines the traditional and the new.

Starting our day bright and early at 9.30 am !
The streets are so quiet and peaceful ~

To get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, it is recommended that we walk via Tenryu-ji Temple
Its a 10 min walk away from the station.
Just walk straight up and follow the signs!

Tenryu-ji Temple is a UNESCO world heritage site, built in 1339 and ranked first of the five important Zen temples in Kyoto.

Tenryu-ji Temple 
68 Sagatenryūji Susukinobabachō, 
Ukyō-ku, Kyōto 616-8385

Opening hours: 
8.30 am to 5 pm

Entrance fee: 
300 yen for garden + 300 yen for buildings

We took a brief walk through the front gardens of Tenryu-ji, just to take a look!
The autumn foliage wasn't much, so we didn't feel it would be worth it to explore the huge place. 
I'd imagine the Sogenchi Teien (Sogen Pond Garden) would be super gorgeous in the peak of autumn or spring!

Don't say never warn you ah ~

To be honest I can't remember some of the names of the various buildings hahahaha

Hatto - Dharma Hall.
There is a gorgeous painting called the Tenryu-ji Cloud Dragon, painted in happo nirami style, 
which means from anywhere you stand in the Hatto, the dragon's eyes will seem to be looking at you.

You'll have to pay an extra 500 yen to enter on weekends, public holidays and certain periods of the year.

Walked around to find our kimono rental store! 
There are many in this area but they don't open as early ~

This is Yume Kyoto. Heheheh kudos to the budding yeast for spotting this store!
It is upslope 

YUME KYOTO Arashiyama shop
Akamanma Floor View First floor, Sagatenryuji Setogawacho
Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Opening hours:
9 am to 6 pm

Dawwwww look at this kawaii imoto!

A basic kimono package costs 3500 yen without 8% tax.
The designs are simpler, and you cannot choose the matching obi belt or any accessories.
Tabi - traditional socks (neh, with that split toe) are not included as well.

Er, really is basic lor hahahaha.

So we selected the 4000 yen package, which allows us to choose the obi belt design, handbag and shoes. And yay free tabi LOL.

Eh actually it was 5000 yen according to the website but we got a discount teehee.

Topped up another 1500 yen for the hairstyling service too.
Spent a total of 5940 yen, around sgd 72?

Damn worth it in my opinion :D

Wearing the kimono was an elaborate process, which definitely requires the help of a professional !
There's an undershirt - a thin cotton wrap piece.
Then goes the kimono - which is actually super long.
So amazed at how deftly they folded it to fit my height! Like magic omg :x

A plastic backing is also stuffed into the collar of the kimono to make it pop.
Next they tie the obi, which also had this towel stuffed at the small of my back to give it that classic silhouette.. 
and also forces you to keep your back straight hahahaha.

You can choose how you'd like your kimono to be tied.
We both opted for a simple twisted ribbon, so that we could keep the focus on the beautiful fabric.

Bimb getting her hair done!
They have a few designs to let you choose from, plus an accessory to add adornment.

The bff opted for this pretty braided up-do!
We are both super amazed at how the hairstylist manipulated her long and thick hair into such a neat style.

Added the hair accessory! 
Wahhhh looks damn chio la. Elegant and fun at the same time.

Color block and pattern pop done right. :D

Mine was a simple chignon, with my hair twisted into a flower design at the base.
and the fluffy pompom hydrangeas with the tassel is soooo pretty.

Obi belt fold!

Can you tell I'm excited? Can you? :D

We were one of the first few visitors in kimono to the bamboo grove, 
so we attracted some attention and photo requests; so paiseh!

Bimb's happiest moment is when this cute korean boy called her pretty noona and asked for a photo!
Dawwww so cute.

Oh and there was this weird angmo guy who was quite.. aggressive?
He didn't ask permission, but instead stood in front of us and directed us to stand here, face there, DON'T SMILE, etc.
And he had this glaring kind of expression.. like wut..

Okay la but his photo not bad.

My swaying bamboo~
The swishing sounds and the soaring bamboo in symphony. 
Such a wonder to behold and super therapeutic to just shut your eyes and listen to the winds rushing by.


How my bff sways vs how the bamboo sways HAHAH

#buddingyeastinJP Day Five! 

So demure sia hahahahahah.

How high can the bamboos grow~
If you cut it down, then you'll never know~


Lucky enough to chance upon a couple having their wedding photo shoot here!
So happy they obliged us to take a photo.

Um the aforementioned grumpy photog also barged in to direct them without asking wtf.

Is it we also having photo shoot hahahahah.


AHAHAHA it actually wasn't that hard to sit! Just cannot cross legs la!

Roamed around for 3 hours cause the weather was just awesome!
Despite the sunny conditions it was quite cooling at the same time.
Wah if it was Singapore I doubt we would have lasted even an hour hahahaha.

One more kimono photo before you guys get sick of us teehee.
Love how our picks is so so representative of our individual style.
And even though we're so different, we still have the same mo qi heheh. 
Now i just look like an air stewardess HAHAHAH

Our last stop in Kyoto is the Shimogamo Shrine, in the Tadasu no Mori forest.

Take Exit 5 of Demachiyanagi subway station and cross the bridge with this stream on the left..

Turn right and walk straight through to the forest.
Walao we walked one big round bwahahahah.

Tadasu no Mori 糺の森 is considered a sacred grove, 
because despite all the burnings and destruction from ancient wars, the forest has managed to rebound and recover.
That's kind of amazing leh.

The forest is now left to grow on its own, with no pruning or planting.
Well, I'd say it looks pretty amazing naturally! 

Because it's nature, geddit? HAHAHAHAH
Okay sorry. :B

Who is surprised that we're visiting another UNESCO site? 

The entrance of Shimogamo Shrine is flanked by stately yama-zakura (mountain cherry) trees.
Seriously, it's super grand and taaaaaall.

Anybody thirsty for sake? heheh.
These are similar to torii gates at fushimi inari taisha - donations by companies hoping for blessing from the shrine.


Back to our hotel to pick up our luggages, and it's the Shinkansen to Tokyo we go!
It's a 2 hr 40 min journey, and we chose to alight at Shin-Yokohama Station instead of Tokyo Station.

Tokyo station is GINORMOUS. and super duper crowded. 
So it can be quite difficult to navigate, especially if you're carrying bulky luggages.

Shin-Yokohama is also connected to many lines as well, and it is smaller and less crowded.

My obsession with sky ombres continue.

My shinkansen bento!
This was simple but so comforting cause we were starvingggggg.

955 yen for so much om nom nom marinated teriyaki chicken and chicken balls~

Whoooo check out our spacious Air BnB in Ginza!

Bwahahah the collection of keys was damn funny, like some spy movie.
Passcode was given to us via a letter, and we had to collect it from the safebox style locked letterbox HAHAH.

Pristine clean toilet! We love.
This is a japanese style toilet - with a bathtub and shower. 
You sit on a stool and bathe, after which you get to soak in the bathtub like your mini spa HAHA.

our first conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan can you believe it.

Kura Sushi
B1F, G Building, 1-19-5 Minami-ikebukuro, 
Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours: 
11 am to 11 pm


It's 108 yen per plate - which is around $1.30.
Not any cheaper than the ones in Singapore, I know, but holy crap the freshness makes all the difference!
All the ingredients were generous and fresh - and this is just conveyor belt sushi leh.
Not even their restaurant grade yet.

Love love love the tamago and inari nigiri~
And the aburi cheese prawn nigiri :D

Er but the seaweed.. why kinda hard ah? :x

We had 17 plates and 3 drinks - spent a total of 1161 yen including tax.

Tokyo is so much colder than Osaka and Kyoto!
Looks like I have to bring out the heattech~

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