July 9, 2013
MY GUIDE THROUGH KYOTO, JAPAN
So hello, 30 photos of Kyoto! What can I say? It was just an unique and gorgeous area. Because Kyoto is only 2,5 hours away from Tokyo, we decided to start our journey with some history in Japan. We stayed here for 3 full days and on the fourth we took the shinkansen train to the center of the hectic Tokyo. Here are my favourites from Kyoto:
Hotel: We stayed at the Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto-Hachijoguchi, nothing fancy but just a good and clean hotel with a central location. (walking distance of Kyoto station)
Temples and shrines: We’ve visited (a lot of) temples, one of them was the Temple of the Golden Pavillion, which was unbelievable beautiful (easy to go to by bus). We also really loved the Sanjusangendo temple where they have 1001 human sized statues, it’s very impressive.
Also a must see is the Fushimi Inari Shrine, with thousands of torii gates (the orange gates from my first post). The Fushimi Inari Shrine is very easy to go to by train and only takes you some minutes from Kyoto station.
Shopping: We accidentally found ourselfs in the Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcade which is a really cool area to just walk through with loads of stores, mostly cute souvenir shops but it has such a nice vibe (easy to go to by bus). It is also connected to the larger shopping street. For the great boutiques you just need to explore every little alley you see, because you’ll never know what stores you will run in to. For example; Sanjo Dori street, which isn’t really an alley but we bumped into this street when taking an alley from the more main streets.
Dinner: Take of your shoes and eat with the locals! On our first night we just went in to the first restaurant we bumped in to. I can’t remember the name, but I will try to look it up. It was a great welcome to Kyoto, the food and vibe is amazing and it had ‘Japan’ written all over it.
For dinner with a great view go to Gion. Down the Kamo river they have loads of beautiful restaurants. We decided to have dinner at a rooftop restaurant, where you have an amazing view over Gion and the Kamo river. However, the food was not that great at our restaurant, but with that view it doesn’t even matter that much anymore. (again sorry, don’t know the name of the restaurant, all names on our receipts are in Japanese…).
Try: Green tea gelato, which was in my experience very disgusting! Haha.
Day trips: Arashiyama (easy to get there by train), where you have the bamboo forrest and the Moon Crossing Bridge for example. We rented a little row boat there (first picture), the surrounding was just so peaceful and beautiful.
Neighbourhoods: Gion is the Geisha district, which is best to walk through later in the night, when all the hystericial tourists wanting to spot a Geisha are gone. It’s a really beautiful area and we were lucky to come across of 4 geisha’s, it’s just impressing to see them in person (especially since the book Memoirs of a Geisha was a great read). And, no, we were not camping there, we just happen to be at the right place at the right moment.
I’m sure I have forgotten lots of things, but you get an idea and photos speak more than words. Hope it has any use for some of you one day. :)