Kyoto – Can you do Kyoto in a day?
Unfortunately, I had just one day to visit Kyoto but I would surely recommend you guys to please stay atleast for two days in Kyoto.
I booked my tour through the Japanican tours :
I thoroughly enjoyed the above tour but it was a little crazy for me as I had to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto in the wee hours of the morning. I took the Hikari Shinkansen train and used JR pass to board Hikari express – All details on JR pass are in the blog. It is always said that Mt Fuji is best seen when you are travelling in the Shinkansen and I was finally fortunate to see the view from Hikari express.
Below is the view of Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train :
So, I reached the station and found my way to Hachijo exit and walked across the road to go to the basement below to find Sunrise Tours Desk. I reached at sharp 8:15 AM 😊 and the tour started at 8:25 AM.
Sunrise Tours JTB have some amazing half day, one day and walking tours and I found them much cheaper than the other tours.
There are a lot of places to see in Kyoto. The ones that you shouldn’t miss at all are Kinkaku-ji temple ( The Golden Pavilion ) Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Sanjusangen-do temple. One of the reasons I opted for this tour is because it had all of these temples in its itinerary. The other places covered in the trip are Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial palace, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and Heian Shrine.
I did want to go to Arashiyama Bamboo forest and Fushimi Inari Shrine but as i mentioned earlier, i just had one day to visit Kyoto and missed to visit these places. I surely regret the fact that i did not stay in Kyoto 🙁
The other things that you should do is visit the Gion which is the famous entertainment and geisha quarter , visit the Nishiki market and take a stroll on the philosopher’s walk.
Below is a view of Nijo caste. What i love about day tours is the kind of information that the guides share with you about every place, its history and its existence.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
A little more detail about Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera and Sanjusangen-do temple :
Kinkaku-ji Temple : The top two floors of the Kinkaku-ji temple are completely covered in gold leaf and the view of the golden reflection shimmering across the surface of the pond before it is splendid.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple : The best part of visiting Kiyomizu-dera is the path that we take to the temple. The walk is along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District which has many shops and restaurants, local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets, pickles and the standard set of souvenirs.
Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.
Behind Kiyomizudera’s main hall stands Jishu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. In front of the shrine are two stones, placed 18 meters apart. Successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in finding love.
The Otowa Waterfall is located at the base of Kiyomizudera’s main hall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. Each stream’s water is said to have a different benefit, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life. However, drinking from all three streams is considered greedy.
Sanjusangen-do temple : No photos are allowed inside the temple. But this is one of the very unique temples that i have ever visited. The temple contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. The deities that stand in front of the Buddhist Kannon have their origins in Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. The presence of both Hindu and Buddhist deities at temple suggest various theories of the origin and spread of the spiritual and cultural ideas from India to east Asia.