This admittedly long blog post covers our time in Kyoto. Featuring bus rides, temples, shrines and rainy days.
It’s a walking/cycling/bus-riding city! Familiarize yourself with the system. You can choose to go on the subway/railway lines, but we were told that they aren’t as comprehensive or on-the-spot as the buses are. You’d have to walk a little bit more after a train ride to get anywhere.
Next, be sure to review what temples you want to go to before getting to Kyoto. I mean, there are a lot of temples in Kyoto and they are all beautiful, but if your schedule is a bit tight, be sure to go to the ones which are most breathtaking (like Kiyomizudera —which we weren’t able to visit, boo).
Also, the streets surrounding the busier tourist sites (basically any place with temple) are filled with authentic street-style food stands and quality souvenir shops. Be sure to check them out!
CULTURE Kyoto Imperial Palace
We were very lucky to find this palace open when we visited. Apparently it is closed to visitors on some days —so be sure to check your schedule!
SHRINES AND TEMPLES Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
Entrance to the temple grounds cost around Y400. A lot of temples actually charge a fee, which is another reason why we opted not to go to a lot.
Higashiyama is an old district kind of street. I think it would look equally breathtaking in the early morning or late afternoon. Walking the length of Higashiyama would also bring you to Kiyomizudera, somehow. Which is awesome.
SHRINES AND TEMPLES Fushimi Inari-taisha
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Fushimi Inari-taisha is my favorite shrine in all of Japan. I am in love with the place; not just with its color scheme (which is a vibrant vermillion, and therefore automatically close to my heart), but also its atmosphere.
I feel at peace. I know that I cannot die until the day I climb that mountain to reach its peak and pray.
And foxes! Lots of foxes.
And some food! Actual takoyaki, some crabsticks and filled fishies. Idk.
SHRINES AND TEMPLES Arashiyama (Bamboo Forest)
This is a place where I can imagine myself walking to the music of the world waking up. I’d probably do it in the morning, even. That’s how much I liked the idea of Arashiyama.
Plus: some soft ice cream with awesome flavors (vanilla, green tea and cherry blossom)!
CULTURE Gion (Geisha District)
Gion, where you can find expensive food and conversation, less expensive food and conversation and some sort of theater.
FOOD Spaghetti Goemon
The main station in Kyoto is big, and it offers a selection of food stores under and aboveground. We didn’t stay enough days in Kyoto to try many of them out, but there really were a lot of restaurants which caught our eye.
Sometimes all you got to do is eat.
And that’s it for Kyoto.
I. Credits and Love
II. Japanese Quirks, Signs and Life
III. Tokyo: Part 1
IV. Tokyo: DisneySea
V. Tokyo: Part 2
VI. Hikone Interlude
IX. Osaka: Universal Studios Japan