OKAY I am horrible at maintaining this blog. But I promise to catch up now that it’s winter break (I had a busy summer then life catches up to you).
Anyway, after we had left Mt. Fuji, we headed to Kyoto. From Kawaguchiko, we took the bus to Mishima, which is the nearest JR station so that we could activate our Japan Rail Pass. We had decided to only get the pass for 7 days rather than 14 since it wouldn’t have been worth it to go to Fuji using the rail pass and we were spending a few days in Tokyo and wouldn’t need the pass either. Total travel time using the bus then train was about 4 or 5 hours I think but it was a comfortable ride.
We only stayed in Kyoto for 2 nights because everything was either sold out or extremely expensive since it was sakura season. I decided to book us at a traditional Japanese ryokan since Kyoto has so much history. We stayed at Kyoto Machiya Sanjojuku in the traditional room with the private garden. The ryokan is very nice and I found the floor mattresses that they set up quite comfortable. The bathroom is shared with the other guests, but we didn’t have any problems. They also allowed us to store our luggage after check out which was very convenient since the ryokan was very close to Nijo Castle, which we explored on our last day there.
Because of our short stay, we didn’t have enough time to explore everything and there is so much to see in Kyoto. Our first afternoon was spent walking around. We went to the Nishiki Market then went to explore Gion. We spent most of the night walking around Maruyama park. My mom and I saw a bunch of people wearing kimonos and we had planned on renting some one day also but there was a market in the park and we ended up finding some very reasonably priced ones with beautiful obis and we ended up buying them…Not sure when I will ever wear it again but I love mine!
The next day we headed out to Arashiyama to look at the bamboo forest. We spent most of the morning there then headed back to Gion to explore some of the temples there like Shoren-in and Chion-in. Last stop of the day was to Fushimi Inari-taisha to see all the beautiful torii gates. There are so many people there but if you take time to walk to the top, you’ll encounter much less people and have a better experience.
Our last day in Kyoto was spent at Kinkaku-Ji to see the golden temple then Nijo Castle. After that, we took a short train ride to our hotel in Osaka!
Public transport in Kyoto is a little complicated for getting around since the metro doesn’t go everywhere. There are lots of buses available but it does take a bit longer to get around. Osaka is less than 30 minutes by train and since I was able to get us a room there at a discount and we were going to spend the next few days exploring Nara anyways, it was better for us to stay there!