Kyoto Notes: Temples, Trees and Blossoms

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SGMT Japan Kyoto Kiyomizudera Temple 1200x600

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Before I left for Japan last year, I made all these quick notes on places that I thought would be interesting to see. In this post, I’m sharing my Kyoto notes. There are 5 places listed here, though I only got to visit two — the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Kiyomizudera Temple. The latter is in Higashiyama, one of Kyoto’s most preserved historic districts, which I recommend spending some time in. (Better still, stay in the area. I stayed at the Gion Ryokan Q-beh and I highly recommend it.) From Kyoto you can also go on a day trip to Nara — I found this out rather accidentally (tell you about it later) and I recommend it as well.

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Arashiyama

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Known for:

  • Bamboo groves
  • Togetsukyo Bridge
  • Tenryuji Temple
  • Pleasure boats for rent on the river

How to get to Arashiyama:

  • From Kyoto Station, take the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line) to Saga-Arashiyama Station (15 minutes/240 yen)
  • From Saga-Arashiyama Station, it’s a 5-10 minute walk to central Arashiyama

Hotels in Arashiyama

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SGMT Japan Kyoto Fushimi Inari 01

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Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha)

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Known for:

  • Thousands of vermilion torii gates

How to get to Fushimi Inari:

  • Located just outside JR Inari Station, two stations away from Kyoto Station (JR Nara Line) — not served by rapid trains

Hotels near Fushimi Inari Taisha

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Philosopher’s Path / Philosopher’s Walk

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Known for:

  • Pleasant stone path along a canal lined by hundreds of cherry trees that usually explode with color in early April

How to get to the Philosopher’s Path/Walk:

  • From Kyoto Station take bus number 5, 17 or 100 (35-40 minutes/230 yen) to Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) — the path is just nearby

Hotels near the Philosopher’s Walk

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Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

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Known for:

  • Temple covered in gold leaf

How to get to Kinkaku-ji:

  • From Kyoto Station take Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 (40 minutes/230 yen)

Hotels near Kinkaku-ji Temple


SGMT Japan Kyoto Higashiyama 03

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Kiyomizudera Temple

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Known for:

  • Picturesque temple overlooking Kyoto
  • Otowa Waterfall where visitors can drink from either of three separate streams to wish for longevity, success at school, or a fortunate love life (but drinking from all three streams is considered greedy)
  • Surrounding neighborhood of Higashiyama with narrow lanes and traditional Japanese houses

How to get to Kiyomizudera Temple:

  • From Kyoto Station, take bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 yen) to the Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop — 10-minute walk to the temple

Hotels near Kiyomizudera Temple

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SGMT Japan Kyoto Kiyomizudera Temple 01

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Look out for details about some of the places here in future posts.

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Have you been to Kyoto? What was your favorite thing to see/do there?
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Kyoto Notes: Temples and Trees
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