% Arabica, Kyoto

After completing our tour of Tenryuji-temple grounds, one of us went to queue at a popular Michelin star restaurant 1 hour before they even open for lunch service; while another went to get a cup of coffee from the famed coffee chain %Arabica.  The name is pronounced ‘Percent Arabica’. %Arabica is a must visit while in Kyoto. I’ve seen a few instagram posts featuring the Arashiyama outlet as one that offered scenic views with their sleek cafe interior design. But we certainly were not prepared to see the crowd and long queue for a cup of iced coffee!

It took us about 30 mins wait before we get our hands on a cup of the iced latte. But the coffee was really smooth and rich. Way better than the US coffee chain that has strong global presence…

If you have the time, you could enjoy the drink while taking a stroll along the riverbank which was dotted with Sakura trees during the Spring season.

Photos taken earlier:

The bamboo grove was relatively empty in the early morning and was a pleasure to stroll through the scenic path. It has a totally different ambience when we passed by the entrance again by noon…people were packed almost shoulder-to-shoulder…

Inside Tenryuji temple (an UNESCO world heritage site) was the Sōgen Pond. A wonderfully manicured landscape garden surrounded by rocks. We spent some time resting at the benches next to the pond which allowed us to take in the expansive view. I could imagine in the past when this place was solely used as a place for religion practice, it would be really calming for the monks to carry out their meditation here.

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