Closing off Japan week on the blog with an itinerary of Kyoto. There has been a lot of travel posts recently, so I will make sure to post in other categories for the upcoming weeks. Until then, enjoy some lovely photos and cute things to do in one of Japan's oldest cities.
Arrived via super fast bullet train and then checked into Royal Park Hotel THE. The location is right in the middle of everything, and the hotel offers free breakfast, which is very helpful option instead of searching every morning. After, we took a long walk over to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Being one of the busiest sights in Kyoto, I highly recommend coming here in the late afternoon. I arrived around an hour before it closed, and I still thought it was a little busy. In the temple is the Otowa-no-taki Spring, a sacred waters that bestows health and long life. After, I walked back down the busy street of Sannen-Zaka, the road leading to the temple filled with small shops, food, and crafts. From here, I slowly made my way to Ishibei-Koji, known as the prettiest street in Kyoto. A little bit down the street is a set of stairs leading to Kodai-ji Temple.
This temple is filled with beautiful gardens and a tiny bamboo forest, but the best time to come is at night. After sunset, they do a light show where the entire garden is lit with wonderful colors, and even includes a show every few minutes over the sand structures in the garden. From here, I traveled to Maruyama- Koen Park.
Known for the famous center covered with cherry blossom trees and lights, giving a very movie-like feel. Finishing off the walking tour at Yasaka-Jinja Gate, I walked though the Gion district and stopped for dinner at Issen Yoshoku. The small restaurant only had one option on the menu, and I had no idea what was in it, but it was pretty good.
Started off the day at Ginkaku-ji Temple, otherwise known as the silver pavilion. It was very pretty, but very busy and nothing super special.
On the way down, I stopped at 2 stands: one for creme puffs filled with different flavors, and another for a warm bun filled with meat. Both were definitely worth stopping at. Next started the walk down Philosopher's Path, a walk along a river lined with cherry blossom trees.
Along the way was a bunch of temples, the first one being Honen-in Temple. It was extremely quiet, giving off a totally different vibe from the crowded temple I had just seen.
The next temple was probably my favorite of them all: Eikan-do Temple. Although mostly known for the colorful leaves in the fall, this temple was pretty cool because you can walk through the whole thing.
Close to here was an udon place known as Hinode Udon. The wait was around 45 min, but well worth it as we got served immediately. The last temple on the walk was Nanzen-ji Temple, which was built near an aqueduct that was fun walking around. Don't come looking for a said waterfall, because I (and others) were unable to find it.
Soon after finishing the past, I took a train up to Fushimi Inari-taisha, otherwise known as the red gates. This location is another one I would recommend visiting later in the day, especially if you want to get some good photos.
For dinner, I stopped at a Katsu place called Fukunaga Katsukura. It was very traditional and came with heaping portion sizes.
This day focused mainly on a completely different side of Kyoto. I took a train ride over to the district of Arashiyama to spend the day. The first stop was the Arashiyama Monkey Park. At first, it seemed a little sketchy and deserted, but once you make it to the top, it is well worth it. Monkeys wander free amongst a great view, making it a great morning stop.
I also stopped to take a few photos of the Togetsukyo bridge before heading to the bamboo forest.
The bamboo grove was busy, but very picturesque. I took a ton of photos while walking down the long path lined with bamboo. After the bath ended, I took a short detour for lunch at Steak Otsuka. Was worth the wait and some of the best steak I have ever eaten. They offer cheaper options as well as the fancy expensive stuff.
Lunch was followed by a visit to Jingo-ji Temple, a very small, very quiet, but very pretty temple. It is known for the moss that covers the center.
The last stop of the day was a KinKaku-ji temple, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion. There wasn't really much to see in this one other than the giant pavilion in the the center of a pond.
Ended the night with a quick stop at Chao Chao gyoza. The restaurant was entirely filled with tourists, but the food was still good. They had some crazy flavors of gyoza too.
On my last day in Kyoto, I hit 2 popular sights before heading back to Tokyo. The first was a train ride away to Nijo Castle. It was really cool to see the inside of the building, with all the colorful walls and decorative rooms. The gardens outside were also beautiful. I do not have photos of the inside, as they were not allowed.
The next stop was at the Imperial Palace, which was just a giant building in the middle of a park which you cannot enter. Still, it was a great background for taking photos.
The final stop before heading to lunch was Nishiki market, a kind of indoor area filled with local vendors selling food, crafts, and other products. It was very cool to walk through and see all the unique things.
Lunch was at Tofu Tavern, a place that specialized in everything tofu. They do set meals which you can try many different types.
That concludes my week of Japan for you on the blog! Let me know down below if you are planning on going to Japan, or have been and have something to recommend. Also, do you want to see a post on some tips I have when travelling to Japan? I'd be happy to make that post for you, so let me know if you find that helpful. Have a fabulous week!
A sixteen-year-old fashion obsessed girl, who stands just under 5 feet tall.