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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Prime cultural landmarks and experiences in Kyoto – Journey Up

Kyoto, one of many oldest municipalities in Japan, is situated simply half-hour away by fast practice from Osaka. Thought-about the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is a must-visit for first-timers touring to Osaka. Kyoto is dwelling to temples, shrines, palaces, and gardens, a few of which have been designated collectively as a World Heritage Web site 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 the town’s most photographed points of interest. Whereas there are lots of different locations you’ll be able to go to round Kyoto, when you solely have a day to spare, it’s finest 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 difficult our scheduled itinerary for the day by asking if we may hire conventional costumes for a couple of of our stops, which conflicted with our lunch plans.

There are various 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 normally made from silk, whereas yukata consult with the light-weight and extra informal robes for summer time months which can be normally produced from cotton or linen. These robes are historically worn with a sash (obi), Japanese sandals (zori), and particular socks (zobi). 

Rental outlets normally supply a spread of kinds and ranging equipment like sashes, hairpieces, and luggage which include further charges, so it’s tough to decide on designs. The extra ornate robes can take some time to placed on and off and are onerous to stroll in, so it’s finest 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 components of the tour so we may make it to our lunch cease.

After getting the rental costumes, we regrouped with the household and briefly stopped on the Kimono Forest, a group of gorgeous cylinder-shaped pillars framing the lane solution to Randen tram station on Kyoto’s Keifuku Arashiyama line. This contemporary set up that showcases textiles dyed within the conventional type, 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 claimed to be a preferred 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 highway.

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 critical 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 solution to Kinkaku-ji or Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple designated as a Nationwide Particular Historic Web site, a Nationwide Particular Panorama and one in every of 17 places that make up the Historic Monuments of Historical Kyoto.

The highest two flooring of this temple are fully coated in gold leaf. The construction was stated to be constructed to echo the extravagant Kitayama tradition that developed within the rich aristocratic circles of Kyoto throughout Yoshimitsu’s instances. Every ground right here represents a special type of structure.

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

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

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

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Then we made our approach 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 motive. 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 appeared 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 identified for its pathway of crimson 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 some extent to stroll by means of the vermillion torri gates to the principle shrine.

The shrine sits on the base of a mountain 233 meters above sea degree and when you take the paths additional up, you’ll be able to 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 youngsters, 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 all the things from Wagyu beef cubes, strawberries on skewers, okonomiyaki, potato twirls, and extra. You may as well discover lots 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 rejoice 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 Fort – Fort
  • 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

Finest native meals specialties in Kyoto

  • Yuba (a tofu-like product produced from 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

Easy methods to get to Kyoto from Osaka

For this current journey, my household chartered a van/sightseeing tour coming from Osaka for the consolation of everybody within the group and to avoid wasting time from strolling in between stops since we had seniors and youngsters with us. On a earlier backpacking journey, we mad use of trains. For those who’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 Practice 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 coated by the Japan Rail Go. Whereas in Osaka, you’ll be able to simply make use of buses to get round. For those who’re keen to pay further, you may also take the bullet practice from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station. The journey lasts simply quarter-hour and prices 1,420 yen every.

The Keihan Primary Line is one other helpful line for commuters touring between Osaka and central Kyoto. A Restricted Categorical practice will get you from Yodoyabashi Station to Sanjo Station in 55 minutes for 410 yen.  Nonetheless, because it’s a personal line, it isn’t coated by the JR Go.

The Hankyu Kyoto Primary Line offers the most affordable route into central Kyoto from Osaka. Restricted Categorical trains run between Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station and Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station in central Kyoto in 44 minutes for simply 400 yen. This line additionally offers quick access to vacationer points of interest in western Kyoto. It’s not coated by the JR Go.

Learn extra concerning the completely different transportation choices right here.

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