Jul 2, 2009

Saturday in Kyoto

First Saturday off in a long while, so, we headed off early to Kyoto.  We enjoyed a full day of celebrating Masashi's birthday.  First stop, Kurama-Kibune, north Kyoto.  Neither of us had ever been there before, so we were looking forward to a new adventure.  And we certainly found one.  

We decide to tackle the hike from  Kurama to Kibune which took us up, up, up and up a beautiful temple-inhabited mountain side.  

A worthy guardian stood at the temple entrance....we eyed each other up.

then headed up along lantern-lined walkways, 

past beautiful, ancient, tall trees
huffing, puffing, and breaking for cool water

then down, down, down past root mazes.   

By the bottom my calves were quivering and we were ready for a break.
Luckily, this is what we found along the river in Kibune.
Restaurants with decks built over the cool, flowing river bed.  Mostly way too expensive for us, except the somen noodle place.  So, we walked down the stairs and sat on the "waiting deck."  

No one else seemed to be tempted to dip their toes in the cool water.  Unthinkable to me, so after everyone except us got moved to the next waiting area - the tables on the upper deck, I scooted over to the edge and snuck in some feet dipping.  To my sheer delight, though, a young couple joined us on the waiting deck and the guy immediately slung his legs over the side and partook in the joy of cool water flowing over tired feet.  Ahhhh...  Then I convinced Mashi to give it a try while he partook of another cool, flowing liquid.

This was Saturday relaxation at it's best!

Our turn came and we enjoyed the view before the noodles started flowing towards us in the bamboo troughs.
They kept coming and we kept slurping until the sign came - the last dollop of noodles - the red ones.
So, we walked along the river back to the train station in the mountains and headed back to downtown Kyoto.
Masashi and our friend Cat share the same birthday (Cat 10 years younger, Mashi 10 years...wiser?)  We met for a nice dinner to celebrate their special day.
and later joined some more friends for more casual fare...
and a nice ending to a great day.
We even had cake and candles - 4 + 1 , for my dear 41 year old husband.  Happy Birthday!


Emilie said...

what a great birthday celebration! That waterfall place and the steps up to the temple look gorgeous! I would have put my feet in the water too :)


Cat said...

Thanks for sharing that day! Love you to bits and pieces! XOXO