Kansai 2015 – Kyoto

For a 3rd year in a row I’m visiting the Kansai region of Japan. It’s my second Japan trip this year and I’m not sick of Japan. This is also my 3rd time in Kyoto and am I sick of this place? No! There’s so much to see in Kyoto and even after this trip, I’m not done. In my first trip, I checked out Arashiyama and Kinkaku-ji. In my second trip, I checked out Nijo-jo and Uji. This time the objective is Fushimi Inari and Kiyomizu-dera. I could have probably done everything in one shot if I had an extended stay in Kyoto but I don’t think it would be fun that way. I do get sick of sight seeing if there’s too much of it. And of course, the good food in Kyoto is endless. There are still many restaurants for me to try including the famous Kitcho Arashiyama by Kunio Tokuoka. I shall save that one for a special occasion.

I arrived in Kyoto pretty late and just in time for dinner. I had reservations for dinner at Chihana, a 3 star restaurant. Reservations are possible through a reliable credit card concierge.

Chihana 千花
584-13-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

And then it was time for some matcha ice cream at Gion Tsujiri.

祇園辻利 Tsujiri Tea house
573−3 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha is a famous shrine on the east side of Kyoto and is open 24h a day. To maximize time, I visited the place early in the morning while most other places are still closed. It’s a good idea because you’ll face less crowd, significantly.

Entrance is free and if you like, you could climb all the way up to the top of the mountain.

Everything in a nice shade of vermillion.

I’m sure the top would be really nice though I didn’t complete my trek up.

Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

The next place was equally famous – Kiyomizu dera. My tip again is to go there as early as possible to avoid crowds. You need to climb uphill from the main road if you’re here by bus and it’s a good 10minutes walk. As it was past 9am, it got increasingly crowded here and I felt the stress.

Nice view of Kyoto up here. I am not naturally interested in cultural sites so I didn’t look up the story behind this place.

There are quite a few interactive activities available here and lucky charms for purchase.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺
294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

It was around 10 when I made my exit and the road down was swamped with people trying to get up. I don’t like this crowd.

Happy to find Kinako soft cream!

There’s a branch of Nakamura Tokichi at Kyoto Station and that’s great because I don’t have to travel to Uji to enjoy my favourite tea products. This set was just ¥1301. It comes with their famous matcha jelly on the side and a cup of Nakamura tea (their own blend). Hojicha is free for all.

Nakamura Tokichi Kyoto Station Store
Suvaco JR Kyoto Isetan, 2nd and 3rd fl. (in front of the west ticket gate of JR Kyoto Station)

And then it was time to hop on a train to Kinosaki Onsen.

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