Deciding to mix things up a bit, the group decided to head to Kyoto station to eat before heading out to Arashiyama. At the station, one group ate at a French bakery while another ventured to the 10th floor where there was a variety of choices including ramen, takoyaki, soba, okunomiyaki, and....burgers?! It's true - we were aching for some western food, so we most hit up the one burger joint. The tastes of home were nostalgic, but we we're not quite ready to go home yet. We still have a lot to look forward to.
Normally, when we change trains in Kyoto, we take the Nara line, or change to the subway, but today we hopped on a train bound for Arashiyama which took us in a completely new direction, and we got the opportunity to see new parts of the city. Once in Arashiyama, we hastily partook in sakura (cherry blossom) ice cream. Green tea ice cream has found its competition. I myself would gladly make the 15 minute trip just to grab another cone.
The area of town was very easy to navigate, and was very accommodating to tourists, with shops lining the street up to the temple. After meandering around, the group split up and explored on their own. In addition to the temple itself was a monkey park and a bamboo forest. Both are fairly rare things to see in the US so it was a treat to experience.
After another exercise-filled afternoon, the group ended up back in Otsu, but the night couldn't end without yet another visit to the German restaurant. Mmm.