Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Autumn in Kyoto - Day 5 Final (26 Nov 2013)

A full day of fun at Arashiyama
With our last full day, we visited the very very VERY touristy town of Arashiyama. By train, it only takes 30 minutes to get there. It's an area with a river running through it, many quaint shops selling mostly souvenirs, and quite a few famous restaurants to try. Don't get discouraged by the bus loads of tourist in that area. Just remember to queue early for the restaurant. My journey was Tenryuji - Bamboo Forest -Jojakkoji - Lunch at Hanana. If you have been following my posts, my second of two favourite temples in Kyoto is Jojakkoji. The flowers are so densely red, as you will see in the photos below.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Autumn in Kyoto - Day 4 (25 Nov 2013)

Photo and story of the day - these pine nut mochis
Our super-duper navigator was really looking forward to today, because it's shopping day for her! On the 25th of each month, a market takes place outside Kitano Tenmangu temple. This is where all sorts of traders bring their items out for sale. Some could be second hand, some are their own handiwork. Unfortunately, this was the only rainy day of our trip but it sure didn't dampen our shopping spirits.

Autumn in Kyoto - Day 3 (24 Nov 2013)

Shinnyo-do Temple. No other humans in this photo except me!

Today we visited the first of two favourite temples from this trip: Shinnyo-do Temple. Why is Shinnyo-do Temple so good? Because the colours were really red, it's free, and there weren't many people there at all.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Autumn in Kyoto - Day 2 (23 Nov 2013)

Our group photo at the Byodo-in Temple grounds

Today is D-Day, Japan's Labor Thanksgiving Day, and we're all geared up to meet the crowds. Just how bad can it get? Our first stop is a very popular temple called Tofukuji. We intentionally scheduled a trip to the outskirts of Kyoto to avoid the crowds in the city itself, with the exception of this temple. We figured that if we arrived here early, we can miss the crowds. Lesson learned - Japanese people wake up very early!

Autumn in Kyoto - Day 1 (22 Nov 2013)

Eikan-do Temple, Kyoto

Nowhere else in the world treats autumn as seriously as Japan. And the peak of it all is at Kyoto. Thousands of maple trees were planted at hundreds of temples around the city, and we chose the busiest time of the season to visit - Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, which falls on Nov 23. This entire series deals with the peak and crowds faced during the best time of year to visit Kyoto!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Autumn in Kyoto 2013 - Planned Itinerary

Date of Travel: 22-27 Nov 2013

Before I get to my actual post about Kyoto, here's a look at our itinerary. All in all, RM2700 per person which includes airfare, hotel, all meals, transport and entrance fees to sights. Excludes shopping.

Friday 22 Nov
- Land 0825am. Have breakfast at Airport.
- Pickup ICOCA pass & book the tickets for Sagano Scenic Railway at the JR station!
- Catch 09:40am bus from Bus Stop No.12, 1st Fl North Exit for Shuttle to Rinku Town (100yen/way)
- 10:00am arrive Rinku Town Premium Outlet
- 11:40am depart Rinku Town Premium Outlet back to Kansai Airport (taxi or train)
- 12:16-13:31 Train from Kansai Airport to Kyoto
- Transfer to Kyoto Subway Karasuma Line to Shijo
- 15:00pm Check-in to Toyoko Inn Shijo Karasuma
- Rest until 16:00
- Head to Teppanyaki dinner @ 1600 at Hyakuren, 572 Nakanomachi, Uratera Shijo-dori Agaru
- Take Bus #207 to Kiyomizu-dera Temple for night lightup - 23mins 220yen
- Explore Kiyomizu-dera temple (1830-2130 400yen)
- Take Bus #207 @ 2008/2024 back to hotel - 23mins 220yen

Saturday 23 Nov - Fushimi Inari & Uji
- 07:30 breakfast
- Take bus 207 @ 0805 or 0820 (busstop on hotel side) to Tofukuji - 29min 220yen
- Enter Tofukuji temple - 350yen
- Take JR @ 0939 from Tofukuji to Inari - 17min 140yen
- Stroll around Fushimi Inari Taisha
- Lunch Unagi Don at Nezameya Fushimi @ 11:30am
- Take JR @ 1309 or 1322 to Uji - 23min 230yen
- Walk around Byodo-in shopping street
- Visit Byodo-in Temple
- Walk through Uji park, Uji Shrine, and cross the river
- Eat Green Tea ice cream at Itohkyuemon (19-3 Todouaramaki, Uji City, Kyoto. 1000-1800)
- Take Keihan @ 1607/17/37/47 from Mimurodo to Gion-Shijo, transf at Chushojima Station - 28min 300yen
- Shopping at Kawaramachi before dinner
- Dinner near Gion-Shijo
- Walk back to hotel (< 1km)

Sunday 24 Nov - Ginkakuji Area
- 07:30 breakfast
- Take Bus #5 @ 0815 (busstop on hotel side) to Shinnyo-do Temple - 22min 220yen
- Explore Shinnyo-do Temple (0900-1600)
- Walk to brunch at Hinode Udon, 36 Nanzenji Kitanobocho for brunch (1100-1700)
- Alternative brunch at Yamamoto Menzo, 34 Okazaki Minamigoshocho for Udon+Tempura
- Walk to Eikan-do Temple (5min walk) to explore
- Walk to Nanzenji Temple (5min walk) to explore
- Take Bus #5 @ 1403 to Sanjo shopping area - 220yen
- Shopping time 1430-1730
- Meet back @ 1800 for Dinner

Monday 25 Nov - Kinkakuji Area (Buy Bus Pass)
- Take Bus #55,101 @ 0800 (busstop at Karasuma Shijo Junction) to Kitano Temangu - 30min
- Visit the arts market only open on the 25th of each month
- Explore the Kitano Tenmangu temple
- Walk 5min to Brunch Toyouke Chaya 1100-1500 or when sold out, famous for Tofu
- Take Bus #204,205 (busstop at junction of Kitanohakubaicho Keihan station) to Kinkakuji - 13min
- Explore Kinkakuji (Opens 0900-1700)
- Take Bus #205 from Kinkakuji to Sukiyaki Lunch @ Kirin Tei - 36min 220yen
- Lunch at Kirin Tei, Last order 1400. Good for beef hotpot. Off Omiya Dori & Shichi-jo Dori junction
- Walk to Kyoto Station for shopping at Yodobashi Camera.
- Have green tea ice cream at Isetan Kyoto Station
- Take bus/subway back to hotel

Tuesday 26 Nov - Arashiyama Area
- Take subway @ 0816 to JR Kyoto Station (210yen 5min)
- Take JR @ 0826 from Kyoto to Umahori - 25min 320yen
- Walk 10min to Tarokko Kameoka station
- Take 0935-0958 Sagano Scenic Train to Torokko Arashiyama (600yen)
- Walk north to Jojakujoji
- Lunch at Hanana seabream fish, 26-1 Sagatenryuji Setogawacho
- Walk to Nonomiya for bamboo forest
- Visit Tenruji Temple - 500yen
- Walk across the famous Togetsukyo bridge
- Take train from Hankyu Arashiyama Station to Karasuma, change at Katsura - 27min 220yen

Wednesday 27 Nov
- 07:00 Subway to Kyoto Station
- 0715-0854 train to Kansai Airport
- 11:00 depart Osaka for KUL

Other posts in this series:
Autumn in Kyoto 2013 - Planned Itinerary
Autumn in Kyoto - Day 1 (22 Nov 2013)
Autumn in Kyoto - Day 2 (23 Nov 2013)
Autumn in Kyoto - Day 3 (24 Nov 2013)
Autumn in Kyoto - Day 4 (25 Nov 2013)  
Autumn in Kyoto - Day 5 Final (26 Nov 2013)