After a long day of travel, the jet lag set in. Luckily, the jetlag was to my benefit. I woke up at 5 am!
This was an excellent opportunity to jump out of bed and explore Kyoto. I had made a pretty detailed list about where to go and what to do before leaving Canada.
The only things on the list were touristy things that I could Google from home. I had things planned down to the hour.
- The Inari Shrine,
- The Bamboo Grove,
- Monkey Park, (never made it here because of typhoon damage)
- Golden Temple.
Typical tourist stuff.
I thought that we could get this done in two days, but I am happy to say that we totally crushed this in one day. It didn’t feel like a rush. We had lots of down time in between.
What can you do in Kyoto in a day?
We made it to the following sites all before 7 pm and met a new friend from the UK along the way. She tracked our steps and we easily did 20,000 steps that day. So if you are going to follow this route bring GOOD walking shoes.
Stop 1: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Tenryū-ji Temple
How to get there: You have to take the JR train from Kyoto Station to Saga-arashiyama. There are lots of signs in English showing you where to go from there.
What it was like: There were lots of fallen trees due to the typhoon a couple days prior, but it was still a lovely area.
I would say that the Instagram photos of this particular spot look better than it is in real life. That being said, if you walk all the way up and around the grove you will find a temple awaiting you. The temple grove is much more aesthetically pleasing.
Tenryū-ji Temple. This 1300s Zen temple at the foot of mountains features teahouses & serene, expansive gardens.
After this we stopped for coffee in a semi outdoor shopping complex Cost: (300¥~$4)
Stop 2: Inari Shrine
This place is 100% touist 100% of the time.
We went here twice. Once on this day and once Day 7 because the tufu ice cream and soy donuts were a must try acording to a local in Osaka.
According to a sweet old man in the Sake District (Day 7), temples are black and shrines are orange. Noted.
he Fushimi Inari shrine is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Mmmm rice.
top 3: Golden Temple
This place was beautiful, but not worth the 600 Yen admission. We did it for the photos! If you are looking to add to your Instagame then visit this place. Also a crowded tourist spot.
Stop 4 Niskiki Market
Peter wanted to stop at Nashiki Market. There were wried things there. Sparrows on sticks, octopus with quail eggs in their heads. Denise and I dared Peter to eat a ocopous and he did!
Stop 5 Gion Corner
We spotted exacty 4 Geiko (Geishas!)
One walking on her own. One with an aprentice (I didn’t get their photo) and a pair of them walking.
We got to the corner at about 5:45 and they were out in full force! I got a few sweet photots (actally 3 mediocore ones, but they will have to do ). Aparently it is pretty rare to spot a geisha let alone take a photo of one, so here you have it! A rare photo 😀
After the corner we headed out of Gion corner and to a resturant on the 2nd floor of a random building. I only went in because they had a photo of Gyozas (mmm gyozas). I heard tofu wad invented inKyoto (I don’t know if this is true), so I wanted to try tofu here too. I hate tofu in general, but this was decent. Slightly slimy, but decent. As an added bonus, it came with little chicken bits on the top. Kind of funny for me as a Westerner since only venetarians eat tofu.
The night ended at about 8:30 and it was time for us to part ways!
Honestly, after this day I decided I didn’t want to see anymore temples or shrines. Once you have seen one, you really have seen them all.