Kyoto Journals

The Other Half of Our Dream Vacation

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An October 2003 trip to Kyoto by getawayguy

Hotel Resorpia Kumihama Bay Photo, Kyoto, Japan More Photos
Quote: The Kyoto and Kumihama Bay areas allowed us to see old-world Japan. The scenic and architectural beauty of Japan has to be seen and experienced in person to appreciate their remarkable splendor. What we saw was unforgettable; what we missed is worth going back to see. We are already looking forward to returning in a couple of years, maybe for the Olympics.

The Other Half of Our Dream Vacation

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Overview

Nishi-Koji Dori Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Kyoto is known as the city of 1700 Buddhist temples and 300 Shinto shrines. Be sure to visit a few. Nijo Castle is 400 years old this year. The Imperial Palace is a must-see, as are Ryoanji Temple and its rock garden, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and Gion Corner with its cultural demonstrations. If at all possible, take time to visit Amanohashidate. It is a sight rarely seen by foreigners and well worth the effort. Take time to walk around Kyoto and get to know the Japanese people, too.Quick Tips: Banks offer the best exchange rates, but are sometimes difficult to locate and often are opened at times other than when you might expect. Plan ahead and carry enough yen to cover your expense...Read More

Hotel Resorpia Kumihama Bay

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Hotel

Hotel Resorpia Kumihama Bay Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Amanohashidate, located nearby on the north coast of Honshu, is one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. Kyoto, Nara and Kobe are conveniently reachable by train for daytrips. Boating and fishing are very popular in Kumihama Bay on the Sea of Japan. Best Things About the Resort:The people who work at the resort are the friendliest and most helpful that we've ever experienced. The rooms are great. The expense of the accomodations was moderate compared to the other alternatives with comparable furnishings.Resort Experience:We expected to have a small room with two twin beds, a private bathroom, and a tiny closet. Typical hotel rooms in Jap...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2003

Hotel Resorpia Kumihama Bay
1302-2 Sorashita, Minatomiya
Kyoto, Japan
(81) 7728-31380

Porta

Restaurant

Porta Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
When we travel we are always looking for new and different places to eat. Given our choice we want good food that's artistically presented, in clean surroundings, at convenient locations, and at affordable prices. With so much to see and do in Kyoto, taking time out to eat is not a priority, but it is a necessity. While passing through the extensive underground shopping arcades, "Porta" and "The Cube" that connect the JR Railway and subway Kyoto stations, we discovered a mother lode of great restaurants. From then on, we ate there all the time, trying different restaurants each day. We enjoyed Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Spanish cuisines, all at very reasonable prices and with a m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2003

Porta
Kyoto Station
Kyoto, Japan

Nijo Castle

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Attraction | "Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo)"

Nijo Castle Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
This castle was originally built in 1603 by the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, and it was completed in 1626 by the third Shogun, Iemitsu, who transferred some structures from Fushimi Castle, which was built in the Momoyama Period (1573-1614). Consequently, the lavishly decorated Nijo Castle is representative of the height of Momoyama architecture. In its day, it served as a symbol of the power and authority of the Tokugawa military government. When Yoshinubu, the 15th Tokugawa Shogun, returned sovereignty to the Emperor in 1867, the Castle was given to the Imperial family. In 1884 it was renamed Nijo Detached Palace and in 1939 donated to the city of Kyoto, renamed Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo) and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2003

Nijo Castle
Nishi Nijojo Nijohorikawa Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, Japan 604-8235
+81 075 841 0096

Kyoto Imperial Palace and Grounds

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Attraction | "Imperial Palace"

Kyoto Imperial Palace and Grounds Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for a period of over 1,000 years. In 784, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital from Heijo-kyo in present day Nara to Nagaoka-kyo in Kyoto. He moved the capital again in 794 to Heian-kyo, which was built in the center of present-day Kyoto City. The city measured approximately 5.3km from east to west. It was constructed in a grid-like pattern, resembling a go board. The Emperors who succeeded Emperor Kanmu held court at the Imperial Palace in Heian-kyo, which served as both a political and cultural center. The Imperial Palace was situated in a fixed place, called a dairi, which was rebuilt every time it was destroyed by fire. While the Imperial Palace was being rebuilt, it was ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2003

Kyoto Imperial Palace and Grounds
3 Kyoto Gyoen Kamigyo-ku
Kyoto, Japan 602-0881
+81 (0)75 211 1215

Amanohashidate (The "Bridge to Heaven")

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Attraction | "Amanohashidate, The "Bridge to Heaven"."

Amanohashidate (The
Quote:
Amanohashidate, on Miyazu Bay about 2¾ hours out of Kyoto, is classified as an "Outstanding Scenic Place" by the Japanese and is known as one of the "Three Great Sights" in the country (the other two are Matsushima in Tohoku, in Northern Honshu, and Miyajima, in Hiroshima Bay). Actually, Amanohashidate is a sandbar covered with fantastically shaped pine trees. Literally, the word means "Bridge of Heaven," and the Japanese have been making trips to visit it for centuries. Its name comes from the Japanese legend that the god Izanagi-no-Mikoto and the goddess Izanami-no-Mikoto crossed the bridge coming down from heaven to visit the Konomiya Shrine in Fuchu. To travel to this amazing scenic w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2003

Amanohashidate (The "Bridge to Heaven")

Kyoto, Japan

Ryoanji (Ryōan-ji Temple)

Attraction | "Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden"

Ryoanji (Ryōan-ji Temple) Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
About a half-hour walk southwest of the Golden Pavilion is Ryoanji--home to what is probably the most famous Zen rock garden in all of Japan, laid out at the end of the 15th century during the Muromachi Period, by Soami. Fifteen rocks set in waves of raked white pebbles are surrounded on three sides by a clay wall and on the fourth by a wooden veranda. People come from all around the world to sit down here and contemplate what the artist was trying to communicate. The interpretation of the rocks is up to the individual. If you're looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind, arrive early to avoid the crowds and noise. After visiting the rock garden, be sure to take a stroll around the 1,000-year-o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2003

Ryoanji (Ryōan-ji Temple)
13 Goryonoshita-cho Ryoanji Ukyo-ku
Kyoto, Japan 616-8001
+81 075 463 2216