Temples. Kyoto has many...
Temples. Kyoto has many temples. I spent a month in Kyoto and have barely scratched the surface, I loved learning the stories behind each temple.. If you are like my sister (after three temples she had enough), my tops picks are Ryoanji (rock garden), Chion-in (nightingale floors), Kinkakuji (golden pavillion), Kiomizudera (butai, love stones, and water), and Sanjusan gendo (golden buddhas and achery hallway).
Down the Hozu river
Old Cliffie is a bit too old for white-knuckle pastimes such as bungee jumping or whitewater rafting. But he did enjoy the 'Hozugawa Kudari' - trip down the river Hozu - near Kyoto. Take the train (20 minutes) from Kyoto to Kameoka, from where it's a ten-minute walk to the river. The trip lasts just under two hours along a deep, twisting gorge through mildly exciting rapids to Arashiyama on the west side of Kyoto. At about 40 dollars (25 for children), the trip is not cheap. Poor old Cliffie had to dig deep into his pocket when he volunteered to take five junior members of the Claven clan on the trip one day.
If you are coming in from...
If you are coming in from Kansai International Airport (KIX), and you know where you are going AND have a map and contact number, the best way to get to Kyoto is to take the MK taxi mini-bus service 'from Kansai International Airport to your door'. Cheaper and easier than the train or bus, especially when you are carrying luggage. You should book before, but you can walk to the far left-hand exit of the departure lounge and pay your fare there. If you haven't booked, you may have to wait.
If you are planning on travelling in Japan, get a Japan rail pass. Don't ask any questions. Get one now. You'll see why when you get here and it pays for itself in a single return trip somewhere.
Use the buses and trains. Kyoto Tourist Information Center (in front of Kyoto Station), International Community House (near Keage Station and the Miyako Hotel), and Kyoto Handicraft Center (on Marutamachi, near Heian Shrine) all have free maps. There are discount tickets, too. These places will be able to fill you in on the details.
This buddhist temple was founded in 780. Nowadays it belongs to the UNESCO "World Cultural Heritage". Kiyomizu means pure water. And, indeed, here you have a well with very special water. If you drink from that well you have better chances of getting a good spouse (if you're still single that is). People come here to pray for succesfull and happy marriage. Great panorama view over Kyoto from the famous wooden terrace.
It's an official candidate for the new 7 wonders of the world.
Admission: 300 Yen
Open: Daily 6:00 to 18:00 (regular hours)
Arashiyama sakura train
From late March to early April there is "sakura train" that runs from Arashiyama (keifuku-train station, not JR) to hakubaicho station. The train will pass the road that both left and right sides were full with sakura trees. You can enjoy sakura from the train. The train was different from Romantic train.
Train fee is 200 yen for one ride.