Tuesday, April 14, 2009 ;
7:55 PM
After Tenryuji, we walked on, to get to the Togetsukyo Bridge (Moon Crossing Bridge or 渡月桥) as we had heard how beautiful it can be in Spring and Fall.

Along the way, we saw many restaurants that were packed and had long lines outside. Japanese restaurants are also famous for the tempting samples of dishes on their menu displayed tantalisingly right outisde the entrance. Made us very aware of our hunger (it was already 1pm then).

But since every restaurant looked crowded, we decided to view the bridge first. See the queue?

ds2 promptly fell asleep. We stood on the bridge and admired the scenery from both sides.
We saw many people picnicking and decided to buy some food and sit on the banks too.

Again, I saw a group of school girls walking my way. I just love their school uniforms. They look so adorable and pretty. But always!! By the time I whip out my camera, they'll have walked past. Argh. I like their ribbons and bows. So cute.

A lot of people walk to the bridge but find it too tiring to walk back, so they take a rickshaw ride. 2 young ladies in their kimonos. Reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha, where they rode in such rickshaws too, back in those times.

In the end, we found a ramen shop right by the bridge and they had seats, so we enjoyed the view of the river and bridge while tucking into our piping hot bowls of ramen. In this pic, we were still waiting for the ramen to arrive, and they served us drinks in the glass bottles!

It was kind of nostalgic cos I haven't had such glass bottles since I was young. Wanted to keep the metal caps as souvenir but they were a little rusty and too far bent, so I gave that idea up.

View of bridge from bank.

Lots of sakura lining the banks. So pretty.

Plenty of wildlife too. Fishes in the river, birds..

Shops with the Togetsukyo sign in kanji.

Dh hadn't meant to take a pic of the young girls. He was admiring the shape of the tree's canopy. Looked like a large replica of bonsai, right? But then he noticed what the girl was wearing and asked me if they'd get rheumatism in their old age? haha. It was cold, but a lot of young girls just wear pretty short short skirts and bare their thighs and/or knees, then wear high boots.

Well, I told him hat young girls everywhere in the world will always be more daring and they definitely want to be different from the older folk. I don't think anything we say would change their minds. Unless they are our daughters maybe??

Passed by a beautiful fan shop.

And ice cream cones are the perennial favourite. Anywhere in the world, they would be popular. Over here, they have local flavours of course, so we tried their special flavours.

The green colour is so nice. The green tea flavour is really yummy, fragrant but not bitter like the tea leaves.

Look at the kids' mouths and faces! I don't know how they eat their ice cream!

The place was so lovely we decided to take our time and stay there for as long as we wished. That's a benefit of travelling alone. No need to fit anyone else's schedule.

The kids climbed up and down, skimmed pebbles over the water surface, and bascially just played along the Oi riverside.

Somebody left food and the pigeons came in droves to feed.

Then it was time for some photo-taking, because the sakura lining the river were so beautiful.

Blue skies, green grass, pink flowers, fragrant fresh air, light breeze, warm sunshine... ahh, paradise...

Lots of veteran and professional photographers were around this area. At least I think they are pro cos they had such big camera bags, vests or cargo pants, different types of lenses and tripods. They stayed for a long time, snapping various things and waiting for something to occur then snap some more. They don't budge much from their positions.

We wanted a family pic. We now know better than to anyhow ask some passerby to snap a pic. Remember when we were at the Arches National Park in Utah? There we were, in front of the Delicate Arch, one of the most famous arches, and we asked someone to take a pic for us. We didn't check and later saw the pic consisted of our family and the wooden barrier only. No arch!!

So we looked around and spied one professional-looking photographer who was waiting around before he took more pics. Dh asked him if he could take photos for us. Wow... professional means professional.

In fact, initially we were like this (see below), and it was the kind "uncle" who got us to stand in proper positions. He also adjusted for lighting. From now on, we will learn to choose only the best to take photos for us. yay...

After watching the water trickle around the rocks, the kids decided it would be very fun to stand on the cemented rocks in the middle of the river and have the water flow around them.

And there were a couple of ways to get down, but they much preferred bashing through a jungle of tall dried weeds.

They kept getting their feet stuck in holes and trapped under the reeds. They are too light to step on and trample the reeds to get past, so they had a hard time getting through that clump indeed. But the more they fell, the more they laughed. It was so exciting for them.

Dh happily sat on the river bank and took pics of us struggling. ds1 was fairly independent, but ds2 needed a lot of "rescuing" when he fell.

Emboldened by their successful first part of the adventure, they wanted to carry on across the river! Didn't they notice the rocks are not flat and they looked so slippery and treacherous? No wonder they need parents to constantly remind them of danger.

So I said no, we're very happy where we were. And they hopped around from cemented rock to cemented rock for a while before we headed back.

On the way to the bus stop, I ventured into a rattan and woodcraft store. Someone was weaving a basket.

Then we took a bus to Uzumasa where we wanted to visit the samurai and ninja.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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