Sagano Romantic Train arrives in Kameoka city, and you can board the boat I mentioned in Part 1 after a 10 minute walk, but we did not have enough time to go down the rapids. After taking some photos of the countryside we took the train back.
From there, we walked down to Arashi-yama (‘storm mountain’) area. Hozu river downstream is much wider and gentle. There are a number of shops and restaurants catering for tourists, and we had tea in a small café, with a small garden. The tea set served was matcha, powdered green tea, and a small rice cake. Later we had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the river. It is in the prime location, but the prices are reasonable. We both enjoyed a beautifully presented lunch set with a glass of shochu.
We visited a number of small temples tucked away in the hills. They are not grand at all, but are true gems with wooden huts and gardens covered with lush green moss. Adashino-Nenbutsuji is famous for the thousands of tombstones. Rakushisha, with its iconic persimmon tree, is a small house related to a famous poet and now a mecca for Haiku lovers. Visitors post their haiku into the box in the garden and selected poems are printed in the quarterly pamphlet.
When I talked to a local lady, she mentioned the fact that the area was looked down on by town people in Kyoto as ‘rural’. It may lack the sophistication and grandeur of central temples and shrines, but it certainly has beauty and charm essential to Japanese culture.
It was a very satisfying and memorable trip for both my daughter and me.