Ryokan Kodaiji Awata
413 Minamimachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 605-0824, Japan
More about Kyoto
Cherry Blossoms on Philosopher's Path
Stone Statues With Tossed Coins
A local wedding
I read somewhere that Saijo-ji in Kyoto would be open to the public without reservations sometime this autumn. Normally, you need a reservation and half a day to visit this place. Was I reading wrong? Can anybody confirm this?
I can't find anything like that, and it sounds ridiculous that they would open it up to tramping masses during the busy tourist season. Saihoji is also known as Kokedera, "Moss Temple", and visitors are strictly limited to 100 at a time to protect the gardens. You have to pay about USD30 to enter, which is much higher than other temple fees, and you have to participate in copying some calligraphy. For autumn you should reserve at least 2 months in advance. Better to go to Ohara and see the great Sanzen-in moss temple, or the great moss of Ginkakuji, or any number of places, really.
Travel Tips for Kyoto
If you are short of time: do...
If you are short of time: do the East side of Kyoto one day and the West the other day.
East tour:Kyomizu temple, the Kyomizu temple shop area, Maruyama Park, Philosophers walk, Heian shrine, Ginkaku-ji.
West tour: Kinkaku-ji, Nijo castle, Imperial Palace.
Then spend your evenings wandering around the center eg. Gion or Ponotcho. One of the best things - Kyoto is a very safe city!
You can easily do that in 2 days! But 3 would be better.
Make your VERY own Japanese Sweets @ Yoshihiro!
Just outside of Kyoto's main city area is a local village called Nijo where you can find a modern little shop. And inside this shop you can make your own Japanese sweets (like the ones they use during the traditional tea ceremony!)
Under the careful instruction of an experienced and certified 'sweetmaker', you will receive full step-by-step procedures on how to make your own sweets.
Each season has a different type of sweet you can make. Since I went in Spring, we made a pink and white flower which blooms in Spring.
You work from a previously made sweet, and listen to the Japanese instructions. Don't worry if you can't speak Japanese (I can't), because the instructors use great hand gestures and help you if you're stuck!
Lot's of fun and not too expensive! (Around 2,000 yen for the 1 hour class and you get to eat your sweets with traditional Japanese green tea!)
LOCATION and DIRECTIONS:
The name of the shop is "Yoshihiro" in Nijo.
You have to change trains(JR Sanin Line) at Kyoto station.
You get off the train at Nijo station (2 stops from Kyoto).
It's about a 5-minute walk from the station.
But you should reserve it at least TWO days beforehand!
1-day City Bus Pass
It’s worth getting a bus pass if you plan to travel to places by bus more than twice on the same day, otherwise I would opt for the subway because it’s quicker. So it depends where you plan to visit as some of the places can only be reached by bus only.
The Kyoto City Bus offers 5 major sightseeing routes to Arashiyama, Kinkakuji, Okazaki, Ginkakuji and Higashiyama areas. The pass costs 500 yen comes with a comprehensive bus map which is essential during your stay in Kyoto. It can be purchased either with the bus driver or the office in Kyoto bus terminal. You will need to get it stamped the first time when you board the bus so it indicates the day of use, and afterwards, you will just need to show it to the driver when you get off at the front of the bus. The green machine on your left is for stamping when boarding at the rear end of the bus. For any single trip ride, you will need to obtain a paper white ticket from the same machine, the number printed on indicates which stop you board, hence you will know how much you will need to pay when you get off the bus. The fares are shown on the LED light box above the bus driver. Don't worry if you don't have the exact change as the machine next to the driver would do that for you, but you will need to know what to do. There are 2 slots on the top of the machine, the bigger hole on the right is where you put your fare in and the smaller one on the left is for change, there is also a slot where you can slide notes in, your changes will come out from the front. I didn’t have a clue when I tried to pay for my fare, with little English the driver spoke, I spent a little bit more time to sort it out. Hence, I wonder why Kyoto encourage tourists to travel by buses as I think most of them will not bother to change and ending up paying for more!
This is a tiny bar that serves some Asian-inspired food. It is really cute and the interior also has an Indonesian influence. It is popular and small so you may have to wait for a seat which is nothing unusual in Japan. They also have some random photos which you can take home as a souvenir.
Ryoanji is a Zen temple in northwestern Kyoto. The temple's main attraction is its rock garden, the most famous of its kind in Japan. The simple Zen garden consist of nothing but rocks, moss and neatly raked gravel. The meaning of the garden's arrangement is unknown and up to each visitor's interpretation
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