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High cultural landmarks and experiences in Kyoto – Journey Up

Kyoto, one of many oldest municipalities in Japan, is situated simply half-hour away by speedy prepare from Osaka. Thought of the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is a must-visit for first-timers touring to Osaka. Kyoto is residence to temples, shrines, palaces, and gardens, a few of which have been designated collectively as a World Heritage Website by UNESCO. 

On the third day of our household trip in Japan after visiting World Heritage sights in Nara and spending some free time biking round Osaka, we went to a number of high vacationer spots in Kyoto, together with the well-known Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the Fushimi Inari Shrine, two of town’s most photographed points of interest. Whereas there are a whole lot of different locations you possibly can go to round Kyoto, if you happen to solely have a day to spare, it’s greatest to select only a few key spots.

Kimono rental in Kyoto

Whereas it wasn’t a part of our sightseeing tour, my sister and I sophisticated our scheduled itinerary for the day by asking if we might hire conventional costumes for just a few of our stops, which conflicted with our lunch plans.

There are a lot of outlets that supply kimono and yukata for hire for vacationers, and Kyoto is a good place to attempt it out due to the basic landmarks. Kimonos are often product of silk, whereas yukata consult with the light-weight and extra informal robes for summer season months which can be often comprised of cotton or linen. These robes are historically worn with a sash (obi), Japanese sandals (zori), and particular socks (zobi). 

Rental outlets often provide a variety of kinds and ranging equipment like sashes, hairpieces, and baggage which include further charges, so it’s troublesome to decide on designs. The extra ornate robes can take some time to placed on and off and are exhausting to stroll in, so it’s greatest to maintain it informal.

Due to time constraints, there was no time to get our hair styled and we had to return to the identical store to return the outfits, so our information Sachi needed to transfer round some elements of the tour so we might make it to our lunch cease.

After getting the rental costumes, we regrouped with the household and briefly stopped on the Kimono Forest, a set of gorgeous cylinder-shaped pillars framing the lane method to Randen tram station on Kyoto’s Keifuku Arashiyama line. This contemporary set up that showcases textiles dyed within the conventional model, was put in as a part of the renovation within the space in 2013.

Togetsukyo Bridge

We additionally stopped by the Togetsukyo Bridge, a 155-meter bridge constructed throughout the Katsura River, resulting in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. This space is alleged to be a well-liked location for interval movies, because it appears to be like timeless and free of recent points of interest from one space, although many outlets line the opposite facet of the street.

Whereas dressed within the kimonos, we proceeded to a standard Japanese restaurant for a bento-style lunch of beef, tempura, and soba noodles, a specialty within the area. The meals had been family-friendly and good for sharing.

For severe foodies who desire a extra distinctive and refined (although costlier) eating expertise, Kyoto is the birthplace of kaiseki ryori (kaiseki delicacies), a Japanese multi-course meal that highlights seasonal elements, conventional methods, and beautiful presentation. 

Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

After lunch, we made our method to Kinkaku-ji or Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple designated as a Nationwide Particular Historic Website, a Nationwide Particular Panorama and one in every of 17 places that make up the Historic Monuments of Historic Kyoto.

The highest two flooring of this temple are utterly lined in gold leaf. The construction was mentioned to be constructed to echo the extravagant Kitayama tradition that developed within the rich aristocratic circles of Kyoto throughout Yoshimitsu’s occasions. Every flooring right here represents a unique model of structure.

After viewing Kinkakuji from throughout the pond, we handed by the pinnacle priest’s former dwelling quarters (hojo) that are recognized for his or her painted sliding doorways (fusuma).

The trail as soon as once more handed by Kinkakuji from behind then leads via the temple’s gardens which have retained their authentic design from Yoshimitsu’s days.

The gardens maintain just a few different spots of curiosity together with Anmintaku Pond that’s mentioned to by no means dry up, and statues the place guests can throw cash for luck.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Then we made our method again to the principle path of the Bamboo Forest Grove of Arashiyama, a scenic pure forest with big bamboo timber lined with pure pathways for vacationers.

That is one in every of Kyoto’s high sights for good purpose. Standing below these hovering stalks of bamboo is like being transported into one other world.

As anticipated, the principle pathway can get very crowded with guests taking pictures, so we simply seemed for a transparent spot to the facet of the doorway for pictures.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

After returning our kimonos to the rental store, we headed to the Fushimi Inari-taisha, a standard Shinto shrine recognized for its pathway of purple gates.

Fushimi Inari is the pinnacle shrine of the kami Inari Okami, the Japanese fox deity, and the Shinto god of rice. Most guests make it a degree to stroll via the vermillion torri gates to the principle shrine.

The shrine sits on the base of a mountain 233 meters above sea stage and if you happen to take the paths additional up, you possibly can attain Mount Inari. Those that have time can attempt climbing as much as the summit of the mountain and again, which takes about 2-3 hours.

Since we had been touring with seniors and children, we simply took the same old sightseeing route. We stopped for snacks on the meals stalls under as a result of children received hungry strolling round.

The stalls right here promote the whole lot from Wagyu beef cubes, strawberries on skewers, okonomiyaki, potato twirls, and extra. It’s also possible to discover a whole lot of souvenirs on the market right here, together with masks of the fox deity.

It was a enjoyable day of sightseeing with the household capped with sushi dinner in a restaurant at an arcade close to our lodge to have a good time Father’s Day.

Different points of interest to go to in Kyoto

  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Buddhist temple
  • Tofukuji Temple  – Zen backyard and temple
  • Rengeo-in (Saunjusangen-do Temple) – Buddhist Temple
  • Nijo Citadel – Citadel
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace – Historic landmark
  • Nishiki Market
  • Arashiyama Monkey park – Animal park
  • Kurama Temple and Kifune Shrine 
  • Yasaka Shrine – Shinto shrine
  • Samurai and Ninja Museum with expertise
  • Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

Greatest native meals specialties in Kyoto

  • Yuba (a tofu-like product comprised of soybeans)
  • Kyoto Sake
  • Kyoto Soba (Buckwheat Noodles)
  • Kyoto Sushi: Saba-Zushi (Mackerel Sushi) 
  • Tsukemono (Pickled Greens)
  • Hamo (Conger Eel)
  • Matcha Inexperienced Tea Desserts 
  • Yatsuhashi: Japanese Sweets

Find out how to get to Kyoto from Osaka

For this latest journey, my household chartered a van/sightseeing tour coming from Osaka for the consolation of everybody within the group and to save lots of time from strolling in between stops since we had seniors and children with us. On a earlier backpacking journey, we mad use of trains. When you’re taking public transportation, one of the best ways to journey between Osaka Station and Kyoto Station is by the Particular Fast service on the JR Kyoto Line.

The Particular Fast Prepare will get you to Kyoto Station in 29 minutes for simply 560 yen. At Osaka Station, the Particular Fast trains depart from platforms 8, 9 and 10. These trains are lined by the Japan Rail Cross. Whereas in Osaka, you possibly can simply make use of buses to get round. When you’re keen to pay additional, you too can take the bullet prepare from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station. The journey lasts simply quarter-hour and prices 1,420 yen every.

The Keihan Principal Line is one other helpful line for commuters touring between Osaka and central Kyoto. A Restricted Specific prepare will get you from Yodoyabashi Station to Sanjo Station in 55 minutes for 410 yen.  Nevertheless, because it’s a non-public line, it’s not lined by the JR Cross.

The Hankyu Kyoto Principal Line supplies the most cost effective route into central Kyoto from Osaka. Restricted Specific trains run between Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station and Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station in central Kyoto in 44 minutes for simply 400 yen. This line additionally supplies quick access to vacationer points of interest in western Kyoto. It isn’t lined by the JR Cross.

Learn extra concerning the completely different transportation choices right here.


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