So you have a little background on Japanese new year traditions, and I attempted to keep mine following fairly closely to tradition. New Years Eve, much like the preceding days, was filled with constant walking from shrine to other destination. I started first thing in the morning with the trip to Heian Shrine. And after that, I caught the train to Arashiyama. It’s a small tourist town next to Kyoto, about 15 minutes by train. It’s a quaint place that works as a novelty. I originally planned to do a boat trip down the river and ride the old romance train back. However, the boats don’t run after December 20th, and the train doesn’t run on Wednesdays. So I am ended my plans to a walk through the bamboo forest (though the title is a little misleading because it’s really a long bamboo lined path.) but it was refreshing, and still transported you to another lifestyle.
After that stroll, I walked towards the Togetsukyo Bridge, which again, a tad bit trumped up. It’s supposed to be a beautiful bridge that was made to seamlessly fade into the mountainous backdrop, but it turned out looking more like an old wooden bridge that was just very simple. And maybe the simplicity was supposed to be the beauty. Nevertheless, once I crossed the underwhelming bridge, I walked to this monkey park. Literally living up to its name, it was a twenty minute hike up 150 meters to a recreational park where a special breed of Japanese monkeys lived. There, I got to feed them, which was pretty cool. When they see you with the bag of food, they just sit there and extend their hand. Eventually, it gets to the point where they just store the door in their mouths and keep putting their hand out expectantly. It all just left me eerily thinking about rise of planet of the apes. I truly should not have watched that shortly before visiting a monkey park.
From the monkey park I walked back to the train station in preparation for the. Ed years night ahead of me. It was going to be a fairly long night.