I had been to Kyoto before so only made time for a (long) day trip. I missed out on the Bamboo Forest the last time, so that was a priority. It was full-on downpour when I saw it, but even that didn’t thin out the crowds. But when I went to the Okochi-Sanso garden right next to it, it was damn near empty even after the rain let up.

Okochi-Sanso was the former estate of Okochi Denjiro, a Japanese film star. The gardens were stunning but also offered beautiful views, both of the city and the hills to the other side.

I made a return trip to Din Tai Fung, the Taiwanese restaurant that I struggled for days to find last time (it’s on the second floor of a mall, in the middle of women’s business wear). Twice in Kyoto means I’ve made it more times to that location than the one in Glendale, just fifteen miles away from me. It’s in third place behind the first Din Tai Fung I went to in Shanghai, and subsequent returns there, and the dozen times I spent at the one in Seattle, since it was connected to my usual hotel. Still, not above non-Japanese fare in Japan, if it’s Din Tai Fung.


The Bamboo Forest was something I missed the last time I was in Kyoto, so made it my first stop this time around. Naturally, it was overcrowded, even with the rain.




Outside of the gardens I came across a normal looking hill and went traipsing through. I went up for about half and hour before deciding to turn back around since this was not part of the day’s scheduled activities and I didn’t want to keep going where I wouldn’t know where to, when I exited the hills I saw this sign. It seems to indicate the path may contain bears and or wild boars. I didn’t see any, but glad I opted to not explore it further. I could probably get better, when I’m traveling alone, about giving some indication as to where I might be, you know should I get murdered and or eaten by a bear.


I made a return visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha, the massive series of shrines in Southern Kyoto. The first time I made it here is covered in this entry


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