Hello965 Friends: KYOTO, JAPAN

By @Almallaks

Why we chose this city: Kyoto is the old capital of Japan and if you like history and sightseeing, this is really a city you have to visit. It is filled with beautiful shrines and monuments. There is really a lot to see. It also known to the place where geishas reside.


Duration: Essentially we stayed 2 nights. BUT, we recommend that you stay at least 2 additional nights (total of 4) depending on how much you want to see. There is A LOT to explore in this city and it may take a while to get from one place to the other (especially by train or on foot), so it really depends on you and how much you want to see.


Where we stayed: We stayed at the Best Western Hotel Kyoto. It is a nice hotel and the location was great too in between the markets and main shopping streets.

  • Things to do/see in Kyoto:
    • Monuments and shrines are endless – you must research in advance -but because we didn’t have a lot of time, we picked the top ones we wanted to see. They are:
      • Fushimi Inari Shrine (featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha). This will easily take you 2-3 hours to finish if you plan to walk through the whole shrine.


      • Kinkakuji (Golden Temple) – so, so gorgeous.


      • Arashiyama Bamboo Groves: this was like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Very cool.


    • Make sure to walk around in the Gion district of Kyoto, and ask your hotel for recommendations in this area. It has restaurants, cafes, stores, art, you name it. This is the best place to see geishas – especially in the evening.


  • Shopping in Kyoto:
    • Shijō Kawaramachi – this is the main shopping street in the area and it intersects with many others. So just pick a day and walk around to explore the area. There is really a lot to see.
    • If you take a right after exiting the hotel, there is a whole area of shopping in the back. Really nice stores. There was even one store where you can get new prescription glasses made in 15 minutes. No, we’re not lying, because we actually did it. Japan will blow your mind.
  • Food in Kyoto:
    • Kiyamachi Street. Lovely place. Lots of restaurants.
    • Chaochao: We loved this dumplings place on Kiyamachi Street. Ask your hotel for directions. Simple and delicious food. They even have a dessert dumpling (chocolate on the inside, ice cream on the side, YUMMY!)


    • British Baaba: We had breakfast at this European pancakes place. I know I know, we’re in Japan – but hey, it’s breakfast! Amazing little restaurant with the coziest interior and the most decadent pancakes you’ll ever see. 1 minute walk from the Best Western Hotel Kyoto.


[JR Train: (Kyoto to Kanazawa) – 2h 7m – 0 transfer]


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