Our first day in Kyoto was absolutely beautiful. We rented bicycles just outside the train station where we got off and explored the Sagano Bamboo Grove and Arashiyama district which has many gardens and temples. Riding was amazing as the whole area is nearly completely flat so you barely break a sweat. I hadn't ridden a bike in years so I admit I was a bit wobbly at first, but as they say, you never forget to ride a bike! I felt like a kid again. Plus I fully mastered riding a bike in my dress without scaring onlookers haha. We felt very safe riding on the roads as everyone is very courteous, including vehicle drivers.
We firstly went to the Bamboo groves and Tenryu-ji temple gardens which are next to each other. Everything was so green and lush. There were little garden signs posted throughout listing the different types of flora species too. The bamboo forest made me feel like an ant as they were so tall and forming almost a canopy shielding the sunlight.
After exploring this area, we crossed the river to the other side. See in the last photo that house with the coloured flags? That photo is actually mega zoomed in from the other side of the river from the Tenryu-ji gardens, and turns out that we rode to it (called Daihikaku Senkoji temple) a couple of hours later. The uphill climb was huuuge omg but worth it cause I got to ring this massive bell a few times. Recounting backwards, this was after exploring the Ohkochi-Sanso Gardens which are where most of the lush, green photos from above are from. This garden was exquisite. Stepping stone footpaths, bridges, moss everywhere and little passageways. For the second time in a day, I felt like I was a kid again going exploring! Sorry for those who have me on Snapchat because my Story was spammed with garden cuteness heh~
If getting around by bike wasn't enough, we stopped for a little romantic rowboat sesh along the river after exploring the Ohkochi-Sanso gardens. I was totes nailing the rowing part for about 10 minutes, but then this turned into me steering us in circles so I retired the rowing back to James haha. We had to return the bikes by 5pm so we started heading back and taking mini detours along the way because we loved riding so much. When we go to Nara/Osaka, hopefully we find a bike rental place so we can do the same thing- cover lots of ground and explore!