20 December 2016

Japan Trip - Kyoto

I Love Kyoto, I would love to go back again one day. 💓

Accomodation :

Stay 🏨  : Urban Hotel Kyoto - Nijo Premium

Booked via Agoda for 2 nights stay, we got promotion during our stay. We paid Rp 780,000 on the first night and paid Rp 1,100,000 on the second night, so we paid for Rp 900,000/night in average. 

We loved this hotel, clean, spacious, easy to access, good facilities including onsen (hot water bath) separated man/women at top floor but the staff did not speak English that well. The hotel is close to the Nijo Castle which was great was within walking distance however we did not go to the castle because we prefer to visit the Golden Temple. Just down the block though there is a supermarket which was convenient we chose to buy ingredients to have breakfast in our room rather than pay to have the hotels breakfast which would of been 1500 yen per person. 

> Transportation 🚌   :One Day Kyoto Bus Pass   

Can be used within the allocated zone of the city (Arashiyama, Sagano, Takao, Shugakuin etc). Unlimited use of bus on the same day. When traveling outside of the allocated zone, it is necessary to pay the extra amount.

Fare : 500 Yen/adult
          250 Yen/ Kid

You can buy the bus pass at the Kyoto Station. There is another pass if you want to visit other area in Kyoto, but since our main destinations already covered by Kyoto Buss Pass so no need to buy the subway pass.

Attractions :

Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Temple)

Beautiful temple. Serene location with wonderful surrounding nature. The lake right in front reflected the temple and the trees (in foliage) in a magical way. Yes, it is crowded, but then again what is not crowded in Kyoto.

It's very accessible, still within Kyoto city limits and a bus that is clearly labeled will drop you and most likely other tourists right near it. Breathtaking grounds. There's something special about being here. 

There's shops and a place to rest as well. And also there's good Udon Restaurant in fron of the gate, we did try the Udon and it tasted sooooo good. 

Arashiyama Area 

- Sagano Bamboo Forest
- Tenryuji Temple

If you are in Kyoto be sure to take a day trip or two to visit Arashiyama, Definitely to visit Bamboo Forest. The grove itself is a part of Tenryuji Temple, which in itself is a wonder, a lovely and beautiful place, great spot to take million of photos but it was too crowded during our visit. Just go early to avoid crowd.

There is a lot of nice shops and restaurants here too, as well as monkeys across the river and a couple of beautiful temples with great gardens. Plenty to do for at least half a day here, so it's not all about the Bamboo Forest.

Strolling though the bamboo forest will cost you nothing. You just have to prepare yourself and your camera to take this wonderful path.

You can also take a rickshaw ride usually from the young Japanese men, you can ask the men to go through the Bamboo Forest path and around Arashiyama if you want, The price will be around 5000 - 7000 yen depend on where you want to go. Take a rickshaw and wear traditional Japanese costumes so you can enjoy being Japanese for a while and will give you amazing experience. But unfortunately we did not try the rickshaw ride and the traditional Japanese costumes just because we prefer to splurge our budget to culinary than splurge on these, it's just our preference, if you have extra budget do not hesitate to try this ride and wear those beautiful Japanese outfit.

How to get here : Get off at Saga Arashiyama (JR Station) or take the Hankyu Railway to Arashiyama Hankyu Station or you can take City Bus No. 28 from Kyoto Station) using Kyoto Buss Pass.

- Geisha District
- Shinbashi Street
- Yasaka Shrine

Gion is an area in Kyoto worth spending time in. Nice place to killing some time, and nice place to stroll and admire Japanese old town, lots of shops and restaurants and bars. Often, one can come across people dressed in traditional costumes, and even Geikos (if you are lucky!). Would definitely recommend to visit this street especially at night with soft lightings, the canals, bridges, traditional houses transport you back to medieval Japan.

Actually nothing much to do though, just keep walking and chill. We went there during winter, it was so cold, just keep warm in chilly weather!

How to get hereGet off at Gion bus stop. Alternatively, the closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

However, we did not manage to visit all main attraction in Kyoto due to our limited time. We skipped Kiyomizudera Temple and the famous Fushimi Inari. But if you guys have enough time to explore Kyoto, please do visit these two famous destinations.

Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizudera, and Gion can all be easily accessed by the Keihan Line (Fuhimi Inari Station for Fushimi Inari, then Gojo Station for Koyomizudera, and then Gion Shijo for Gion), so the best route would be to begin at Fushimi Inari then go to Kiyomizudera by train. The train ride itself is only about fifteen minutes, though i read the trek up to Kiyomizudera involves quite a walk (nearly all uphill). From Kiyomizudera, you can either take the train or bus to Gion--it is a short distance away by either means (you can walk between the two, but it will take about fifteen or twenty minutes).

Love everything about Kyoto despite its crowdidness, in my opinion Japanese who live in Kyoto are more humble and more nicer than people who live in other Japan area.

Our next destination is Takayama, this is my hubby's pick just because he wanted to see the famous Shirakawa-go. For Takayama and Shirakawa-go stories will be posted soon. Cheers!!!