Start early when going to the National Museum
Get up early so you can catch the bus if you wanted to get in to the National Museum. During the Spring time and Fall season, Kyoto is a famous destination for local tourists so make sure that you get to the National Museum before eight o'clock in the morning.
Believe me, we were there early, but there were more local tourists earlier that us! The line was so long, it took us an hour to just buy a ticket to get in the musuem. There were four lines once we got to the ticket line! It was absolutely unbelievable!
Visit the museum last. You don't like to waste your time falling in line. Make sure to visit the shrines and temples first. You do this when you don't have a lot of time spent in Kyoto! The preservation of the papers and other art work is amazing. The government of Japan preserved a lot of their cultures and traditions.
Farmhouses at Kameoka
From Kyoto train station, take the train bound for Arashiyama and alight at Kameoka. Or If you had taken the "romantic train" (or something like that) from Arashiyama, you'll alight at Kameoka.
Walk around the area and see farmhouses with small plots of rice fields, vegetable plots, chrysanthemums or persimmon trees.
Kudos to the warm, friendly shopkeepers who offered me directions and recommendations for lunch (free coffee offered, alas I don't drink coffe). There's also a pastry shop with pretty confectionery.
JR Railways is the most convenient way to get into Kyoto, as Kyoto Station is on the JR Line and a Shinkansen stop.
But depending on where you want to go, it may also be a convenient way to get around!
From Kyoto Station, JR trains travel through Kyoto southward and through the west. Some of the stops and sites they are near are as follows:
- Kyoto Station (Kyoto Tower, Toji Temple, Higashi Honganji Temple, Nishi Honganji Temple, Shosei-en Garden)
- Nijo Station (Nijo Castle)
- Hanazono Station (Toei Movie Village, Myoshinji Temple)
- JR Saga Arashiyama Station (takes you to the Arashiyama area, where you can walk to many of the sites, like Tenryuji Temple and the bamboo grove)
- Tofukuji Station (Tofukuji Temple and all of its subtemples)
- Inari Station (Fushimi Inari Shrine)
- Momoyama Station (Fushimi Momoyama Castle, Gokonomiya Shrine, Gekkeikan Sake Museum, Sake Breweries, Teradaya)
- Mukomachi Station (will take you as close to Oharano Shrine, Shoboji, Shojiji, Konzonji, Yoshimine-dera, Sankoji, and Jurinji as it can get, but they are still far enough that it is best to take a bus from here)
- Nagaoka-kyo Station (Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine)
why is it so blue?
The reason why Soware is blue is because it is dedicated to the artist Seiji Tog. "Sei" can mean "blue"... his works potraying idealized images of women decorate the walls and cups... The coffee and atmosphere! (warning - seats and tables are tiny, clientelle mostly female 20'-30's!)
Jishoji Temple (Ginkakuji Temple/Silver Pavilion)
A standard of the Higashiyama Culture. Originally founded by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth Shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate, as his villa in 1482.
Originally it had to be covered with silver.
Between the two buildings, there is a white sand garden, symbolizing "West Lake" in China with a sand cone, which reflects the moonlight toward the Silver Pavilion.
It's really relaxing to look at this sand garden!!