Navigating Kyoto’s Delights in a 3-Day Adventure

As in all places, the most frequently asked question is how many days to dedicate to the city. Kyoto is actually a fairly large city and many of the places are separated from the center, so it is not possible to do everything on foot.

I say 3 days because it is a good amount to visit the best-known tourist places, many add more days since they take it as a base to visit Nara or Osaka.

In my case, I spent the night in Osaka and from there I took the train to Kyoto and then returned to Tokyo.

Arrival in Kyoto – how to get around

I arrived at the Kyoto train station and from there I had to take a bus because no metro or subway would let me near the hotel, or at least not as close as the bus would let me.

I even think Kyoto was the only city in Japan where I took the bus. They saw that when you go to a city you sort of escape the bus, sometimes it is difficult to pay or you don’t want to wait or take the wrong one, the subway always gives us more security.

Well, in the case of Japan it is nonsense, plus it works well with Google Maps, the issue of timing and which one to take is easy to travel with.

You get in through the middle doors and pay when you get off with coins or bills and the machine gives you the change. The collective forever, you don’t have to raise your hand.

First day in Kyoto

In Kyoto I stayed in a hostel, capsule style but super modern, with a lot of technology, the name is Millenials Kyoto and it is in the central area of ​​the city, highly recommended. I came from hostels where the bed was a wooden plank with a mattress and this was like sleeping in a suite.

And the good thing is that the bed was closed with a kind of panel with a padlock at the bottom so you could leave everything inside the capsule so that no one could enter or take anything.

To visit the first place, I also had to take the bus. I think the maximum you can walk is 30 blocks, which is not much for a trip, but it was so hot that I preferred not to spend energy getting to the first point.

Arrive at the first temple in Kyoto, the Ginkaku Ji all the information about the temples and shrines of Kyoto that I mention is in that article.

From that temple I went to the next one, Eikando but this time I did it walking through it path of the philosophers. A very calm place and luckily enough shade. It is about 2 kilometers bordering a canal, covered with trees, flowers and they say that visiting it during cherry blossom season is something magical.

The name is due to the fact that a philosopher meditated in this place and the truth is that I find it totally accurate, at least when I was there, despite the fact that tourists pass by, there is a lot of peace.

Once I had lunch in the area I continued towards the first shrine in Kyoto, the Heian Jingu Shrine. I did it on foot, it was only about a thousand meters and although I was dying of heat I wanted to explore the city a little on foot.

I walked again towards the next Shrine, Yasaka located in the Gión area and where I would stay until the night, to see if any Geisha crossed paths.

The neighborhoods of Kyoto are scenes from a movie, permanently. But if you saw memories of a geisha, that image will come to mind all the time, a city frozen in time.

Precisely on the street Hanamikoji-dori It was where I passed the most geishas in the early morning, from the corner where the Ichiriki tei is located to the end of it.

From what they told me you can see them at 6 when they leave for the ceremonies and from 12 at night when they start to leave. In the afternoon I couldn’t see any. And the good thing is that at night there are almost no tourists so that is when they are quietest.

Second day in Kyoto

We start the day very early, as usual, and go straight to Fushimi Inari. One of the places that has gone the most viral in recent times in this city and where everyone goes to get their photo with the famous red toris. Luckily here we do arrive by subway and I recommend going early not only to avoid tourists but because the route is quite tiring and the cooler it is the better.

More than likely it will take them all morning so if they arrive like me at 8, they will be finishing up so they can have lunch and regain energy.

The next place I visited was one of the largest temples in Kyoto, Kiyomizu Dera. The truth is that it is not in the way but that is how I organized it because I did not want to continue walking so much from one place to another. So I took the subway again to end up combining with a bus. I stayed at the temple for a long time and even returned at night before it closed as I wandered around the area, which by the way is magical.

Near the temple is the Higashiyama district , another possible place to see geishas. And they also have 2 streets that break it up for photos since they look like something out of a movie. One is Ninenzaka and the other is Sannenzaka. Here we will see the typical blue tile roofs with the typical construction that comes to mind if we think of Kyoto.

I left day 2 quite relaxed, to get lost in the streets, take photos and the truth is that it is a city where it is worth doing that, I assure you…

Last day in Kyoto

Another day to start early in the city, and I would say super early, at least if you are fans of photography or want to get something nice in another of the places that has become famous. He bamboo or arashiyama forest. The good thing is that the metro leaves you just a few meters away, so you can get there quite quickly.

In my case, I actually got nice photos, but if you don’t have time or are going to arrive late, it is more worth walking around the area than going to the bamboo forest, since if you arrive after 7 you will see a forest of tourists. I arrived at 6 and until 7 you can take photos without people.

The forest is only 300 meters long surrounded by bamboo trees that give the environment something unique and special. At least at that time it is very quiet and you can enjoy the place, then it loses all its charm.

Once I finished, I walked down the kameyama park going down to the Katsura River, where I didn’t find almost anyone there. The landscape is truly incredible and I take a few minutes to lay back and just contemplate the place. Just listen to the sound of the water.

Bordering the river I reached the Togetsukyo bridge, there were some boats there that I think take you sailing. I don’t have the information, nor did I see anyone doing it, maybe they were for work, but they didn’t look like such.

Crossing the bridge they have a monkey sanctuary, which are supposedly loose hanging around. When I arrived it was closed and the entrance fee seemed a bit expensive, I don’t remember how much it was.

I think it is an area to dedicate a full day to. There are many places and it seemed super quiet to rest but I had to continue with my tour. I took the subway again, oh first they are going to pass through the Kimonos forest. Some tubes with kymono fabrics rolled inside, something half crazy…

I had to have lunch so I took the opportunity to go to the nishiki market , a market that I found super clean and with delicious things to try. The good thing is that you go through and buy little things so you end up trying everything for good prices. Covered by stained glass in a long hallway with stalls next to each other as you can see in the photo.

Having already eaten I went to him Nijo Castle. The entrance fee was 600 yen, which I thought was quite expensive even though the place is quite large. Plus point is that they give you brochures in Spanish and then in each place there are explanations in English, it is super prepared for tourism. If you like the story, great, otherwise I don’t consider it super necessary.

It was one of the places where the beginning of one of the most important periods in Japanese history, unification, was announced. Inaugurated in 1603. Some palace buildings with a history of 400 years are the only survivors of the Edo era. Quite a large area with several buildings. It can be visited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And the last place I visited was Kinkaku-ji and Ryon–Ji Temple , because they were the furthest from the city center. In both cases I moved by bus.

I returned to the hostel, took a shower and went for a walk in the area. pontocho. Over there There are the most expensive restaurants in the city with views of the river. The truth is that it exceeded my budget to try any of them. And then I walked through the shopping streets of Shijo and Kawarachi

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