Friday, July 22, 2005

Kurama-Kibune Hiking Trail

Kurama (in Kyoto) is generally several degrees cooler than the city. Because the heat and humidity of the city is so oppressive during the summer months (July - September), the forested hills of Kurama is a good place to cool you down.
The air here is clear and refreshing. The river is gentle flowing with sections of swift water. The naturally soothing sound of river water and the green trees create a peaceful surrounding.
Meanwhile, Kibune lies on the opposite side (left) of Kurama Hill from Kurama town (refer map below). But Kibune, it seems, is the 'place to be' for the rich and famous in and around Kyoto.
In the hot, humid summer months, platforms are laid out over the cool river waters and diners can enjoy a nice full meal in a beautiful setting.
The hiking trail is an easy walk along the river and up the hill which takes about an hour or two.
Famed for centuries for its buddhist temples and sacred shrines, Kurama was the site of ancient pilgrimage to the Kuramadera (Kurama Temple). Kurama is also site for the famous Fire Festival (hi matsuri), which takes place each year on the night of October 22nd.
Kurama is covered with huge japanese cedar trees with prayers tied around it. At the top of the hill, this path with exposed roots of the cedar trees.
Omikuji are fortune telling paper slips found at many shrines and temples. Randomly drawn, they contain predictions ranging from daikichi (great good luck) to daikyo (great bad luck). This is a special one from the Kibune Shrine. In order to read the forecast, you have to soak the paper slip in water and the predictions will appear (mizu ura omikuji).
After hiking over the holy Kurama Hill, one can indulge in a luxurious soak in the rotemburo outdoor baths. Reclining in these beautiful cypress wood baths while gazing at the surrounding mountains and breathing in the fresh mountain air - one of the finest ways to relax and destress.
Map of the Kurama-Kibune Hiking Trail.


Eddie said...

hey nice place.. find a day .. we go
by the way it is not "rotemburo" it is "roten buro"= "roten" = open air, and "buro" = ofuro = hot bath.
Brush ur japanese pls

MengZ said... peaceful there.
long time neva hikking...
Malaysia also go hot bath, i love the one at keningau,sabah. it just locate not far from the Mt Kinabalu national park.

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered how to sneak a camera into the ofuro. Imagine the commotion!
Ai Ling

Patrick Leong said...

eddie : hai. wakarimashita. eddie-sensei. let's go for a swim in the hozugawa river. past 12 noon, my room just like a steam room. i am suffering from the intense summer temperatures. been dipping in cold bath to swirl the heat away.

mengz : actually not really peaceful. i was at this place during late summer, when cicada has become less common. not only summer is hot but the cicadas fucking noisy and annoying. bear with me - another hot day ! i have also been to the hotspring in keningau. in japan, you must know how to 'onsen'. one of them - you must dare to jump into the tub naked, shamelessly but modestly. check my future blog. should be coming soon.

ailing : yea, that would be my next assignment. running out of pictures these days. i am going to the shirahama ROTENBURO (eddie, please pay attention to the spelling) next monday. i will take pictures of my labmates in the ofuro and post them in my blog :P. it is crazy - hot summer in hotspring ? by the way, the ofuro picture wasn't mine. downloaded from the internet.

zbjernak said...

wah the stone with the hole very nice....
the river seems refreshing...
and the steam bath..sauna...roten buro.... looks great...

but paisehleh to go in naked in front of so many people

Primrose said...

I like the kurama. Just look at the entwined roots on the ground. Kinda spooky. Imagine walking on it and imagine the trees being alive... Eeee! And the waterfall looks like a replica of Niagara Falls. X)

Acrix said...

Do u need to pay for the omikuji? U got a medium good luck rite? Lately KL been getting pretty cool compared to the hot weather months ago. Yesterday went swimming and it;s for sure and a good way to kill the heat~

emotionalistic said...

Hiking for one to two hours is quite a long journey. By the way, did you try out the Omikuji??

Patrick Leong said...

zbjernak : yea. i didn't get used to it as well during the first time. but after staying here for so many years, now especially during winter i frequently visit japanese bath house - where i can soak, relax and enjoy a good bath. one disadvantage is so many people sharing the same bath tub. these bath tubs are meant for soaking but not cleaning. a high level of hygiene is thus necessary. but you never know ... i will write a post regarding sento (bath house) and onsen (hotspring) next time.

primrose : wah. these days your imagination has gone wild eh ? and niagara falls ? but this is so kecik ?

acrix : yea. the one in the picture is the one that i picked. medium good luck. swimming is good for the body during hot weather. i will go to the beach this coming monday. hopefully i wont get too burnt after the trip. thanks for price info on canon digicam.

emotionalistic : yea. the omikuji is interesting. but after the soaked paper slip dried out, the letters vanish. if you soak it with water again, you can read the forecast one more time. like magic. i misplaced it - probably i have thrown it away.

tubs cedar said...

A Very Nice Place.............. Oh. I feel by heart a good place and also share one more think that natural place to water drop down. There are many kind of Japaneses effort and day by day attract the foreigner by beautiful and natural place.

hot tubs