At my hostel in Kyoto I met Guillaume, who was also travelling around Japan and was equally as impressed with this amazing country as me. He came across some great recommendations and was planning a half-day trip out of Kyoto to Kibune and Kurama. As he was happy for me to join him I had a chance to visit these rural and very scenic villages in his lovely company.
We took a train to Kibineguchi station and later a bus to Kibune to discover a beautiful shrine dedicated to the god of water and rain. We also found some tranquil spots by the river. Unfortunately at this time of the year many restaurants were closed so we could not enjoy sitting on one of the terraces just by the waterfalls. We had to be content with a small bench.
From Kibune our path was leading up the Mount Kurama to a temple hidden in the mountains. It was an easy hike and the weather was ideal so taking a break at the top just by the Kurama-dera’s main hall was fantastic. Beautiful views and peaceful surroundings – what a treat! Yuki-Jinja Shrine with a huge cedar tree, which acts as a natural torii gate, was also one of the highlights of the temple.
To end our trip in style we went to Kurama onsen, an outdoor hot spring to relax after hiking and make the most of this great experience and its natural setting.
If you are planning a trip to Japan add a visit to onsen to your list of things to do. My friend Yasue took me to one in Tokyo so I certainly maxed out my soaking and splashing for a week. Hopefully there will be more spas and hot springs to stop by on my trip.