Kyoto Journals

Kyoto's Imperial Charms

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A March 2007 trip to Kyoto by dackelynn

Kinkaku-ji/Temple of The Golden Pavilion Photo, Kyoto, Japan More Photos
Quote: Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan. Its imperial charm can still be found in places like Gion and the countless centuries-old temples scattered throughout the city. Kyoto is a craft and cultural center but still retains a throbbing nightlife.

Kyoto's Imperial Charms

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Kyoto is deservedly famous for its temples. The highlights include Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Ryoan, and Kiyomizu. The Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari, called Ishimi Inari, deserves a visit. Those who enjoyed reading Tale of Genji will want to visit the small town of Uji in the south of Kyoto, where many events in the book took place. There are also many art and craft museums. Those wishing to see a real geisha can hunt in the charming alleyways around Gion in the early evening. For those wishing to party, you can hit central Kyoto for some clubbing or head to nearby Osaka. Himeji Castle, located about an hour away, is also worth a side-trip. Quick Tips: If you go to the 9th floor of Kyoto...Read More

Kyoto's Cheapest Inn

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Hotel

Quote:
Kyoto's Cheapest Inn is, as described, a cheap hostel located near Nijo Castle. There are dormitories and private rooms available. The cheapest accommodations are for tatami bunk beds, which means you must bring a sleeping bag if you want to sleep comfortably. The normal bunk beds start at 2,000 yen per night but a sheet charge and possibly a seasonal charge may be added onto the amount. Fortunately, when making a reservation, the inn-keepers outline the full price that you will pay so there are no surprises. A credit card or bank transfer is necessary to secure your reservation.I stayed on the 3rd floor, with the normal bunk beds. The room was neat and clean and included toilets and ta...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2007

Kyoto's Cheapest Inn
783 Sabamatsu-cho
Kyoto
+81 75 821-3323

Kinkaku-ji/Temple of The Golden Pavilion

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Attraction | "Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)"

Kinkaku-ji/Temple of The Golden Pavilion Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Kinkakuji was originally built in the 14th century but The Temple of the Golden Pavilion may have achieved fame in the West due to the book by the same name by Yukio Mishima. This book is a fictionalized account of the psychology behind the crazed monk that decided to burn down the temple after World War II. Fortunately, the beautiful golden pavilion was re-built and now may be even more remarkable than before the fire, when the gold leaf was peeling and barely visible. I highly recommend visiting this popular temple early. It opens at 9am. If you can make it early, you will avoid the masses of tour groups clammering for a peek. After purchasing your ticket, you will walk in for a stunning...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2007

Kinkaku-ji/Temple of The Golden Pavilion
1 Kinkakuji-cho Kita-ku
Kyoto, Japan 603-8361
+81 (75) 461 0013

Ryoanji (Ryōan-ji Temple)

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Attraction | "Ryoan-ji Temple"

Ryoanji (Ryōan-ji Temple) Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Ryoan-ji is a Buddhist temple famous for its Zen rock garden, built in the 15th century. Although the rock garden may be the main attraction, the temple grounds are beautiful, especially during the cherry blossom time or during Fall. After purchasing your ticket, you'll follow a path along the grounds. There's a lake with a small boat and a little island with a small shrine. There are many cherry trees with beautiful blossoms in spring. There is also different kinds of moss covering the trees and ground. The path leads up to the main temple which contains the rock garden. The garden is composed of raked gravel and fifteen rocks. From every angle except one, only fourteen rocks can...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2007

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

Nijo Castle

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Attraction | "Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo)"

Nijo Castle Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Nijo Castle was built in the 17th century to accommodate the Tokugawa Shoguns. Today, it's still in fantastic shape and a great place to learn about Japan in feudal times. Your first view of Nijo Castle will be the imposing moat and bright white fortifications. There's only one open entrance to this large fortress and it's on the east side, across a large bridge. First you must purchase a ticket on the outside, by using a ticket machine. Put your money in first and then select the ticket you want (600 yen for adults and less for children). Once inside the castle, head towards the Ninomaru Palace. Be sure to remove your shoes and put on the provided slippers. This part of the castl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2007

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

Fushimi Inari Shrine

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The Fushimi Inari Shrine can be found just two stops down from Kyoto Station on the JR Nara line. The temple is just a few minutes away from the station exit. This Shinto shrine is dedicated to Inari, the female spirit of fertility and rice. This shrine is particularly remarkable for the unbelievable amount of large torii, or gates, covering the grounds. These large gates were all donated by worshippers as a way of giving thanks to the spirit. Entrance to this shrine is free. After entering the main torii gate, you'll come to a large shrine. There's another shrine up the steps. To the side you'll find the start of the seemingly endless procession of orange gates. This path provides ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2007

Fushimi Inari Shrine
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho
Kyoto, Japan 612-0882
+81 075 641 7331

Miyako Odori (Cherry Blossom Dance)

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The Miyako Odori is one of the few times that outsiders can experience the sight of a true geisha and maiko performance. Normally, one would have to be Japanese, extremely wealthy and have high connections to be entertained by a geisha. In Kyoto, there are supposed to be less than 150 geisha remaining. When I read about the Miyako Odori in the Fodor's Japan book, I jumped at the chance to attend this festival. I got my ticket weeks in advanced. Since I can't speak Japanese, my friend called the Gion Kaburenjo Theatre and reserved the tickets. It required a bank transfer in order to secure the reservation. If you don't have a Japanese friend then supposedly one can ask the tourist office at...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Miyako Odori (Cherry Blossom Dance)
Gion Kaburenjo Theatre, Gion
Kyoto, Japan