After my short stay in Osaka, it was time to head to Kyoto. I jumped on the JR Special Rapid Train and said my good byes to Osaka. The train ride was definitely not long, as it only took 30 minutes, but it was very crowded during the time I took the train.
Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital of Japan, is located in the Kansai Region and 42.8km (26.5 miles) from Osaka. The city of Kyoto is known for the thousands of classical Buhhdist temples, imperial buildings, and Shinto shrines.
The first thing I did when I arrived in Kyoto was drop off my bags at my airbnb. Which was not too far from the station. After dropping off my bags and wiped the sweat off my face I head out to go get a quick lunch. Along the streets of where I was staying at there were many different restaurants ranging from Italian food, Spaniard food and Ramen.
Nijo Castle (二条城)
After my quick lunch I decided to head for the Nijo Castle. During the time of my visit there was construction at the front gate and the barracks of the castle. I was not able to see the castle in all its glory, but the castle was magnificent nonetheless. To enter into the actual castle it costs ¥600 per person. Entering into the castle you can see a lot of the beautiful paintings and the detail that was put into the castle. On the outside you are greeted with a beautiful garden with a pond filled with koi fishes and the beautiful scenery. Walking around the premise you see a lot of students and tourist exploring this beautiful castle. There were areas where you can climb up the walls to get an overview of Kyoto and also the Nijo Castle.
After visiting the castle I decided to call it a day by going to get dinner and heading back to the place I was staying at. There is an amazing ramen restaurant near Nijo castle called 麺屋 七福神. The staff there was amazing and the ramen was very delicious.
Nishiki Market (錦市場)
The following day it was raining in Kyoto. A lot of plans had to be changed last minute due to the weather, but it did not stop my exploration. The first thing I did was go to the Nishiki Market. Luckily there was overhead covers at the Nishiki Market which made things easier for me in the rain. The Nishiki Market was bit like the Kuromon market in Osaka, but there were different products being sold. I had the chance to try the famous soy milk donuts at the market and I am glad I got the chance to have the donuts. Unlike normal donuts there is no glaze or no toppings on the donut. The donuts were relatively small and you could buy 10 for ¥250. The donut was a bit sweet by itself and it was very soft and delicious. Also at the Nishiki Market, there is a small temple where a lot of locals were visiting.
After visiting the Nishiki Market I decided to go head towards Arashiyama. In order to get to Arashiyama I had to take the subway and transfer over to the tram. The tram experience was different from taking the other types of public transportation in Japan. I had to enter into the tram from the back and when you need to get off you would need to get off the front and pay the fares at the fare machine. The amazing part of the tram is that there are fare machines in the tram where you can get change at.
Once I arrived at the Arashiyama tram station I saw a lot of different stalls selling different types of matcha snacks. A short walk outside of the station I went to explore the Tenryu-ji. The Tenryu-ji was very beautiful temple. There were lots of buildings to explore and it was hard to decide where to start. Gooing to the Tenryu-ji you can visit the main temple building by paying ¥100 or you can purchase both the temple ticket and the garden ticket for ¥600. There was a lot to see inside the temple. There are a lot of rooms where photos are not allowed, but inside you can see different scenarios and what the rooms are used for. There were many rooms where people sat in to take a break from the heat. There were many areas where you could look out of the temple building to see the beautiful garden that lies outside. The temple building was definitely huge and you could lost easily.
After checking out the main temple building I decided to go visit the beautiful garden. Walking into the garden I was greeted with a huge bond filled with koi fishes. Around the pond lies a rock garden showing the beautiful patterns that were Muso Soseki. Walking around the garden you see a lot of gardeners tending to the different trees and plants. Along with the gardeners you see a lot of locals and tourists dressed in kimonos taking in the beautiful nature.
After exploring the gardens of the Tenryu ji it was time to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. There is a route that leads right into the the forest from the Tenryu ji. The moment I stepped foot inside the forest I was towered by the many bamboo trees that were there. The bamboo trees were so high that you can barely see the tops of them. It took a lot of waiting and patience to get a shot with no one inside the bamboo forest, but it was well worth it.
Thank you for reading my post on Kyoto. This is only part one of my adventures in Kyoto, part two will be published next Monday! Please look forward to it! In the mean time please give us a like on Facebook and follow the Instagram pages below!