A small sleepy fishing village that surrounds the peaceful Ine Bay that once fisherman use to lure whales.
Famous mostly for the "boat houses", the house are built right on the shore line, crossing into the water, and has a little "garage" area for their fishing boats.
Quiet and off the beaten track even for Japanese travellers.
Most of the accomodations here face the peaceful and picturesque bay (in boathouses), and offer meals featuring the local catch (in other words, fresh and utterly delicious).
The water is clean and clear, the air is fresh and crisp. The benefit of being so far from a metropolitan city.
There are no malls, or even conbinis (convenience stores) here, but that just adds to it's rural charm.
For 660yen, there's a boat that does a short cruise around the bay (open 9am to 4pm, everyday from 1 march to 15 Jan, 16 Jan to end of feb only on weekends and public holidays. departs every 30mins)
**Images taken from their tourism site
Although in Kyoto-fu (same prefecture as Kyoto City), it is quite a challenge to get to by public transport (No train stations nearby).
There is a Highway bus from Kyoto Stn or Osaka Stn that runs to Miyazu Stn (http://www.tankai.jp/kousoku.html, 2550-3400yen)
Departs Osaka Stn (at Hankyu Sanbangai Bus terminal) at 9:50, 13:20 and 18:10. Takes about 2.5hrs
Departs Kyoto Stn (Bus stop C2) at 13:20 and 18:10. Takes about 2hrs 15min
From JR Kyoto take the Ltd Exp Hashidate (4310yen with reserved seat and takes about 115min) to Miyazu Stn
Take the municipal bus to Ine Yubinkyoku mae(1010yen, about 1hr 20min)
Bus route map http://www.tankai.jp/rosen_img/map/1_kyoga_map.html
The best way is by driving,
Kyoto-Tanba Expressway -> R27 -> Tanba-Ayabe Expressway -> R178
Mapcode: 652 605 113
Toll of 2000yen total
An interesting view of many generations of Imperial Japan.
Things have changed a lot there, but this palace is still used for coronations.
Reservations are required in advance. This can be done on-line. I did and there were no complications.
A nice walking tour around Kyoto is the Johnny Hillwalker tour.
It takes 5 hours and covers only 3 km up and down narrow picturesque tiny streets.
A fascinating exposure the the side of Kyoto that few tourists see. The emphasis is on artists and their homes and on history. We observed some interesting aspects of actual home production, as practiced in Japan, of fans, ceramic work and rope designs.
Hajimi san is an excellent guide with a great sense of humor. His joke are worth hearing!
Walking around Kyoto is a marvelous activity. So much to see and absorb. Absolutely amazing.
For a better understanding and more enjoyability (is that a word?) I highly recommend the book:
On Foot in the Ancient Capital
by Judith Clancy
Includes great maps and marvelous colour photos.
The walking tour of "Johnny Hillwalker" is very worthwhile.
Run in English it is a slow stroll for about 5 hours covering a small section of the artists and craft section of Kyoto in depth.
It is fascinating watching fans being made - they are blown up by mouth individually!
Includes visits to a typical Japanese garden, a couple of Buddhist Temples and so on.
Hajimi Hirooka san speaks excellent English, is full of energy and even more patience!
He provides lots of interesting explanations along the way and is not above making some cute jokes.
The Cherry Blossom dance made me forget everything.
I had an exceptionally good seat - right under the musicians, below the entry walkway of the dancers and just 9 rows from the stage. It was an entrancing performance.
The dance told the story of one entire year from Spring Blossom time in the life of a Geisha. Included an agricultural scene in the summer, a fight between a palace guard and a Samurai, the loneliness and abandonment of winter and of course, the beauty of re-birth in the Spring.
I understood not one word of the minimal amount of dialogue, nor of the songs - but it wasn't necessary. The formal beauty of the dance, the stage scenery done with lights and the costumes made it all comprehensible.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is a shinto shraine dedicated to the spirit Inari, located in Fushimi-ku Kyoto-city.
It is especially well known for the thousands of vermilion torii lining the paths on the hill on which the shrine is located.
The torii gates are all donations from individuals, families or companies.
The Inari spirit is considered to be the protector of grains, especially rice, and has thus historically been associated with wealth.
At the bottom of the hill is the Go-Honden Shrine and the Sakura-mon gate.
After following the torii lined hiking paths, you can stop at various food stalls that specialize in Kitsune udon, a popular noodle dish named after Kitsune which are regarded as the gods of harvest.
The Heian Jingu is a Shinto shrine located at East side of Kyoto-city.
The torii before the main gate is the largest in Japan, and the main building (shaden), is designed to imitate the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The Heian Jingu was built in 1895 for the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heiankyo (the old name of Kyoto).
The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Kanmu and Emperor Komei.
The former moved the capital to Heian, and the latter was the last before Emperor Meiji, who moved the capital to Tokyo.
The Heian Jingu is the destination of the Jidai Matsuri Festival, one of the three most important festivals of Kyoto.
The procession of this festival begins at the old Imperial palace, and includes carrying the mikoshi (portable shrines) of Emperors Kammu and Komei to the Heian Jingu.
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Ginkaku-ji is a temple and is definitely worth a visit site.
It was built by Shogun Ashikaga Yashimasa as a villa in 1482.
The villa's name Ginkaku translates as Silver Pavilion, but the shogun's ambition to cover the building with silver was never realized.
After Shogun's death, the villa was converted into a temple
Kitano Tenmangu is a shrine, called tenjinsan, enshraine Michizane Sugawara, also known as the "the god of learning".
Many tourists visit the shrine during plum blossom season in the Spring.
If you wish to pass a examination, the tenjinsan is a must visit sight.
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Yasaka Jinjya, once called Gion Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto-city.
Situated at the east end of Shijo-dori (Fourth Avenue), it was built originally in 656.
In 869 the mikoshi (portable shrines) of Gion Shrine were paraded through the streets of Kyoto to ward off an epidemic that had hit the city. This was the beginning of the Gion Matsuri, an annual festival which has become world famous.
Today, in addition to hosting the Gion Matsuri, Yasaka Shrine welcomes thousands of people every New Year, for traditional Japanese New Year rituals and celebrations. In April, the crowds pass through the temple on their way to Maruyama Park, a popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) site.
Byodo-in is a temple in the city of Uji in Kyoto-fu.
It built in 998 in the Heian period.
The most famous building in the temple is the Phoenix Hall or the Amida Hall. It is a Buddhist temple, established by Fujiwara Yorimichi in 1052, the former owner, Minamotono Toru, used the building as a country villa. Additional buildings making up the compound were burnt down during a civil war in 1336.
Japan commemorates its longevity and cultural significance by displaying its image on the 10 yen coin. In December 1994, UNESCO listed the building as a World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". The Phoenix Hall, the great statue of Amida inside it, and several other items at By?d?-in are national teasure.
Toji is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in Kyoto.
Its name means East Temple, and it once had a partner, Saiji (West Temple). They stood alongside the Rashomon, the gate to the Heian capital.
The famous priest Kobo Daishi (Kukai) founded Toji in 823 A.D. by order of Emperor Saga. The temple's formal name is Kyo-o Gokoku-ji, indicating that its function was protection of the nation. Its principal image is of Yakushi Nyorai, the healine Buddha.
The pagoda of Toji stands 57 m high, and is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. It dates from the Edo period, when it was rebuilt by order of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu.
The temple is listed on the World Heritage Site.
Kinkakuji-ji, Golden Pavilion Temple is the most famous and beatiful temple in Kyoto.
The building was originally built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
It was his son who converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school. The temple was burned down several times during the Onin War.
The temple's best known feature is the Golden Pavilion (kinkaku) in its garden.
The entire pavilion except the basement floor is covered with pure gold leaf, making the temple extremely valuable. The pavilion functions as a shariden, housing relics of the Buddha.
On the roof of the pavilion is a golden fenghuang or "Chinese phoenix".
Chionin Temple is a major temple of the Jyodo sect of Buddhism located in Kyoto.
Originally constructed in 1234, the oldest buildings currently on the site date from the 16th century.
One of its notable features is the largest temple gate in Japan.
We stayed 3 nights at Kyoto Granvia Hotel from Feb. 27 to Mar 1, 2008. We paid Yen 17,600 per night,...more
2002-3 Hama, Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, 625-0036, Japan
Good for: Families
176 Aza Haze Koazasawaiyama, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, 620-0857, Japan
Good for: Couples