THE BEST OF KYOTO : JAPAN ADVENTURES 2016

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

Hey peeps! I’m back with a series of blog posts and now’s the time to share the first part of my Japan Experience..KYOTO.

VISITING KYOTO

kyoto adventures japan

We planned on visiting Kyoto in our day one agenda to see if we could still witness the  blooming sakura flowers in Mid April. Good thing that our Awesome Apartment from Airbnb is very close to Namba Station that has a lot of transit line option including the Midosuji Line that connects to Umeda (JR Osaka) and ride the JR Express line heading to Kyoto.

kyoto station adventures japan

Kyoto Station is a major railway station and transportation hub in Kyoto and consider as the second largest station building after Nagoya. It’s enormously beautiful with it’s futuristic design and glass windows and it’s more than just a station since it’s packed with first rate shops, restaurants and things to see.

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Everything here is Instagram Worthy!–

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Unlimited City Bus Tour:

There are several ways to tour Kyoto. As a tourist, you can ride the train, subway or bus to the destinations you wanna go but if you want to get the most of your Kyoto trip and target  5-6 sights for the day then it is best to avail the Unlimited (1 Day) City Bus Pass that cost for only 500 yen.

We were able to visit 5 sights for the day thanks to the bus pass and google map. Although I don’t guarantee that you will not experience being loss or getting on a wrong  bus

..BWAHAHAHA..kidding. you just need to be alert and know which way to go (unlike me..lol)

How to get one?

The best place to buy the passes is at the Kyoto Bus Information Centre, which is just outside the Kyoto Station. When you visit the center, you just mention the 1 Day City Bus in the cashier and they’ll know it.

The brochure has all the information that you need and a helpful timetable from your current location (Starting Point) and to your desire destination.  Here is a sample:

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1 day unlimited bus pass

It’s really important to follow their bus etiquette (you enter from the back door and exit at the front). and when to pay using your card (when you get off the bus). Listen to the speaker while riding the bus and pay attention to the TV boards displayed since
the destinations of the bus you are riding is flashing on the screen and temples nearby on each stop. It’s announcement is in Japanese and English so you don’t have to worry.

Explore Kyoto

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

Kyoto is so big that it’s impossible to tour all the sites for a day. However, not all tourist sites are that spectacular but there are some that you would consider a must-sees or gems in Kyoto that you want to visit if you’re in it for the Spring, Fall or Winter.

Below are the attractions I recommend if you only got 1 day to visit Kyoto, in the most time-efficient possible:

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. Pictures aren’t enough to capture the magic of this place, you need to witness the beauty of it in person.

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

This is our first stop in Kyoto since it’s very far from the central and will take 30-40 min by bus.

 

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arashiyama bamboo kyoto

arashiyama kyoto

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

arashiyama bamboo kyoto

 

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arashiyama bamboo kyoto

How to get there?

Ride the City bus no. 11 and stop at Nagatsuji-dori Station or Arashiyama Station. Or by JR Train from Kyoto Station by taking the JR Sagano/San-in Line to Saga-Arashiyama Station.

 

 

Ginkaku-ji Temple

ginkakuji temple kyoto

The “Silver Pavilion”, that has magnificient halls and gardens, with a tremendous viewpoint over the entire temple compound.

ginkakuji temple kyoto

A typical garden with beautiful landscapes that is perfect during fall or spring.

ginkakuji temple kyoto

ginkakuji temple kyoto

ginkakuji temple kyoto

ginkakuji temple kyoto

How to get there?

Ride bus no. 5 or 17 or 100 and alight at Ginkakuji-michi station. You need to walk around 5 more minutes to get to the entrance.

ginkakuji temple kyoto adventures
ticket that you can keep as a souvenir ❤
ginkakuji temple kyoto adventures
Don’t forget to stop and get matcha sweets as souvenirs
ginkakuji temple kyoto adventures
I’m in matcha heaven.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

Known as the “Golden Pavilion” one of Kyoto’s leading temple. Built in the 1400s as a villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. But after his death, the villa was converted as a temple of zen and used for religious meditation.

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

 

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

How to get there?

Ride the City bus No. 12, 59, 101, 102, 204, 205 and stop at Kinkaku-ji-michi

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kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

Spotted some cherry trees in the streets of Kinkakuji. *cherry heaven*

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

kinkakuji temple kyoto adventures

kinkakuji kyoto adventures cherry blossoms
beautiful mess.

Nijo-jo Castle

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One of Kyoto’s most popular and impressive sights. It shows the power that the Shoguns have over the emperors throughout the Edo Period. Also, numerous cherry trees are planted throughout the castle ground, including nearly 400 late blooming cherry trees in a cherry orchard. You can still catch up with the season since it can last through the entire month of April.

nijo castle kyoto adventures

nijo castle kyoto adventures

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How to get there?

From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Karasuma-Oike Station and transfer to the Tozai Line to Nijojo-mae Station.  Or by bus: number 9,50 or 101

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nijo castle kyoto adventures

nijo castle kyoto adventures

Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kyoto’s must-see attractions. A wooden temple that is located 13 meter high on the side of a mountain. Tourists visit this place since it is known as the “Temple of Love” where you can buy “love charms” and try the “love stone” that says you’ll find your romantic partner if you can walk to the stone with your eyes closed.

How to get there? 

From Kyoto Station, ride bus no. 86,100,110 and 206.

Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine

fushi inari kyoto adventures
The single most impressive sight in all of Kyoto. foreign visitors come to Inari is to explore the mountain trails, the shrine buildings and especially the Torii Gate which is the main entrance going to Yotsutsuji intersection.

fushi inari kyoto adventures

How to get there?

From Kyoto station, ride the JR Nara Line and stop at Inari Station.

fushi inari kyoto adventures

Gion District

The famous “Geisha District” where you can find real life geisha. The district was built to accommodate the needs of travelers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved as one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan.

Tourist here acts as paparazzi at night, usually starts 5:55pm -7pm where geiko head out  to their evening arrangements (escorted with a black car) which makes the best time to see them.

A real geisha don’t pose for pictures and are dressed up to work and do not have time to spare.

How to get there?

From Kyoto Station, ride bus no. 86, 100, 110 and 206.

 

travel notes kyoto adventures

 

Travel Notes:

– I admit that it was difficult at first exploring Kyoto since we’re not very familiar with the city and have no idea to read Japanese but thank god that buses provide English guides and recommendations on where to go next.

If you get lost don’t hesitate to ask the locals because Japanese people are very nice and friendly and will do the best they can to help you. I also recommend you to have a pocket WiFi in case you get lost and to check the directions and bus stop.

travel notes kyoto adventures

-Everything here is by walking so you must wear comfortable shoes because there’s no other way to go to your destination if you do not climb uphill or walk. If you’re not a fan of walking then I suggest you to stay in Kyoto for two or three days if you like to explore the whole city. My mom is not a fan of walking and so as my annoying brothers so we didn’t get to go to Gion District (which I’m extremely pissed about) and Kiyomizudera. 😦

travel notes kyoto adventures

Be early! All the tourist spot in Kyoto closes at around 5pm but Arashiyama, Gion and Fushi Inari are open 24 hours so you can make them as your first or last stop. But I recommend you to visit Arashiyama first since it’s very far from the city and the bamboos look great during daytime instead of night.

kyoto adventures

That’s it for my Kyoto Trip! Stay tuned to more Japan Adventures ❤

kyoto adventures cherry blossoms

 

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