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Jul 11

May 2016: Kyoto Trip Report

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Day 1:

We stayed the previous night at Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport after arriving late night in Osaka. In the morning I went to the JR Train station outside the airport and grabbed the ICAOCA + Haruka combo ticket. One of the best deals in getting to Kyoto from Osaka/Kansai is the ICAOCA + Haruka combo ticket which costs 3600 JPY (approximately $36 USD) per person. This includes one-way trip from Kansai JR station to Kyoto JR station and a reloadable ICAOCA card with 2000 JPY (including a refundable deposit of 500 JPY).

Family aboard Haruka Express from Kansai to Kyoto

The Haruka Express train takes about 1 hour 20 minutes from Kansai Airport to Kyoto JR station. After arriving at the station we took the complimentary hotel shuttle to ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto where we were staying for 1 night.

After dropping our luggage and having lunch we took the subway to Kitaoji station (on Karasuma line). From there we took a public bus to Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion Temple) also known as Rokuon-ji Temple.

Entrance to Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion Temple)

After paying for 400JPY / person entrance tickets, we entered the gates.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji Temple from a different angle

Kinkaku-ji Temple in the background

Head Priest’s former living quarters

We walked around the lake admiring the serene surroundings.

Serene surroundings @ Kinkaku-ji Temple

Natural surroundings @ Kinkaku-ji Temple grounds

Waterfall in the Kinkaku-ji Temple grounds

After spending about one and half hours we took the bus back to Kitaoji station and took the Karasuma line to Kyoto Station. Kyoto station is pretty big and has lots of dining options on multiple floors. My parents had some noodles while me and Karen went for some burgers.

After lunch, we took the JR Nara Line to Inari Station which lies just outside the Fushimi Inari shrine. From the station itself you can see the bright orange gates going up the hill.

Entrance to Fushimi Inari Shrine

Beginning of the hike up the mountain

Complete Hike path @ Fushimi Inari

Walking through Torii gates @ Fushimi Inari shrine

Me and Karen decided to do the hike after seeing quite a few people doing the same. The full hike to the top of the Fushimi Inari is about 4 km. The hike is strenuous with steep stairs at times. After doing the hike for about an hour and half we finally got tired and since it was getting darker we decided to get back.

We took the train back to Kyoto station and then shuttle to the hotel.

Day 2:

We took the shuttle to the Kyoto station for breakfast. After breakfast we took the subway and then train to Arashiyama station. Tenryuji temple is just 2 minutes walk from the station.

Parents @ Tenryuji Temple

10 minutes walk from the Tenryuji temple is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

Karen @ Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Selfie @ Arashiyama Grove

Next we walked 10 minutes from the Tenryuji temple to Katsura River.

Katsura River flowing near Tenryuji Temple

Katsura River

Next we took took a tram and then subway back to Kyoto station where we had lunch. After lunch, took subway to Higashiyama station. Then we took a bus that dropped us off near Kiyomizu dera Temple.

Tiring uphill walk to Kiyomizu dera Temple

It was about a 1 km uphill walk to get to the temple which was very tiring under the bright sun and high humidity that day !!

Karen with the Dragon @ Kiyomizu dera Temple

Parents outside Kiyomizu dera Temple

Kiyomizu dera Temple

Karen with Kiyomizu dera Temple in the background

Kiyomizu dera Temple foundation

After spending about 2 hours there we took the bus and then subway back to hotel. We were spending the next 3 nights in Osaka so we grabbed our luggage from bell desk and took the shuttle to JR station. I have always wanted to ride the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) and even though it was only a 15 minute ride from Kyoto to Shin Osaka, it still was an experience of a lifetime for me.

Shinkansen flying by the platform

Parents aboard Shinkansen from Kyoto to Osaka

After getting off at Shin-Osaka we took the subway to Tanimachikyuchome subway station which was the closest subway stop to our hotel in Osaka, the Sheraton Miyako Osaka hotel. After having a quick dinner we went straight to bed as we were tired from all the walking in the past 2 days.

 

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