Japan 2015 Day 35: cable car to Mt Hiei and bus to Ginkaku-ji

Weather: beautiful 14°C, high 28°C

Accommodation: Sakara Kyoto.

We had to pack our things up as while we were out today our bags would be moved from the Sakura to the Bamboo Suite in our accommodation. After accomplishing this we went to a fabulous French patisserie/ cafe around the corner from us, Le Bac à Sable. It was SO GOOD (and so cheap!). I can’t believe we didn’t try it out sooner! (And the novelty of having a kitchen to cook in had worn off.)

Eskil LOVES cable cars or ropeways as they are called here. So we took a trip to the summit of Mt Hiei. This involved a subway ride, then a small 1-carriage train, then a funicular/cable car which went up an insanely steep mountain, then the final ascent in the cable car/ropeway. Eskil enjoyed it! We had a walk around at the top of Mt Hiei. There are views over Kyoto and beyond and Lake Biwa in the other direction – and a geocache.
Single car train to Yase Station
Mt Hiei
North from Mt Hiei
Lake Biwa from Mt Hiei

For some reason Eskil loved checking out vending machines and seeing if they had coffee. I don’t know why; I never tried vending machine coffee as it is sweet. Of course often he wanted to do it when we were trying to catch a train or bus.
Coffee spotto
I liked this stream crossing at Yase; stabilises the embankment as well as stone that Eskil would love to hop across.
Stream crossing at Yase

On the return trip, our subway train was full of Thomas and friends.

A Thomas train in the Kyoto subway!
Thomas subway train

We were passing our neighbourhood on our way to our next destination, so couldn’t resist going back to the french cafe for lunch.

Pear tarte, le bac à sable

Afterwards we took the bus to Ginkaku-ji (the silver pavilion that was never gilded in silver). We just missed seeing a procession.
We just missed out

The stunning gardens really eclipse the pavilion, and the crowds attempted to eclipse the gardens. The raked sands were quite impressive!
It's a BIG sand cone
Sea of Silver Sand and Moon Viewing Platform
Silver Pavillion garden walkways
So many photos
Ginkakuji roof details

We bussed back to the city centre and had coffee on the banks of the Kamogawa (this was a good end-of-the-day tradition). Eskil had had an exciting day.
E napping
We returned to our accommodation to check out our new room (same accommodation; new room). As with our first room, they incorporated a tree trunk into the design of the room. It was a great groom – more open-plan than the other, but as we’d be doing our final packing in the room this suited us quite well!
I love the natural wood incorporated into the rooms here!
We had noticed a craft beer bar that served food almost across the arcade from us a day or so ago, and tonight we checked it out. We may need to check it out tomorrow as well. Just in case. The beer was flavoursome and the food scrumptious.


  • Kyoto Brewing Aki no Kimagure Red Ale (sour and fruity and makes me yearn for Two Metre Tall!) and
  • Akasi Brewery Schwartz (from Hyogo): dark and flavourful!

E pointing to the Akasi Brewery Schwartz (from Hyogo), not to be confused with the Kyoto Brewing Aki no Kimagure Red Ale (sour and fruity and makes me yearn for Two Metre Tall!)
Scallops in browned butter fabulousness
E loves his Karaage
Because we haven't had enough deep fried food, mayo, and green tea flavoured things.

More photos can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cragg-ohlsson/archives/date-taken/2015/10/18/.

Mt Hiei