Don't forget mosquito repellant in the Summer.
In a nutshell
Very nice natural scene. Worth visiting.
For the most part our “Essential Honshu” tour, booked through Inside Japan, didn’t include any extras, leaving us free to explore with the group or alone. But an exception to this was the Walking Tour of Gion that had been arranged for us in Kyoto. Gion is one of the main Geisha districts in Kyoto, and arguably its most famous. Our tour was led...more
We stayed 3 nights at Kyoto Granvia Hotel from Feb. 27 to Mar 1, 2008. We paid Yen 17,600 per night,...more
One of the must-have eating experiences on any visit to Japan is a visit to a kaiten or conveyor- belt sushi restaurant, and this one in Kyoto is a great example. On the ground floor (or first floor I guess, since the Japanese follow the US convention in numbering floors) is a counter where diners perch on stools and choose from the plates that...more
The mountain is of course famous for Kurama-dera Temple, but it is also believed to one place where tengu live (the big-nosed half-bird, half-human creatures).One of the biggest draws to Kurama, though, is its nature. The forest is very serene and absolutely gorgeous in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. Along the trail you'll find a...more
It's very easy to reach Kurama by train. First, if you are not on the Keihan Line, you need to get there. It runs through Eastern Kyoto. If you're at Kyoto Station, you can take a train to Tambabashi Station to transfer to the Keihan Line. If you're in Osaka on the loop, go to Kyobashi Station to transfer to the Keihan Line.From the Keihan Line,...more
Kurama-dera Temple was founded by a monk in 770. Although the temple's main building is up the mountain (near the mid-way point along the path from Kurama to Kifune), it is actually spread out over the mountainside. The temple's gate is actually near Kurama Station, before you reach Yuki Shrine, and the pagoda is at the top of the cablecar. The...more
Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine is located atop Mount Otokoyama. It was designated as one of the top shrines in the nation during the Heian Period, and the Imperial court made special offerings here.Enshrined here are three deities, Emperor Ojin, Empress Jingu, and Hime no Okami. It is said that the shrine was established here after the Priest Gyokyo...more
Yawata is very easy to access via Yawata Station. The station is located on the Keihan Line, which travels from eastern Kyoto to Osaka (not Kyoto Station or Osaka Station though!).From Yawata Station, there is a cablecar to take you up to the top of Mount Otokoyama. It's one of the shortest cablecars in the country! You can then take the cablecar...more
Mount Otokoyama is a holy mountain that is important for its spiritual value, as well as its historical significance. Spiritually, atop the mountain is Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine, one of the most important Shinto Shrines in the nation during the Heian Period.Historically, the mountain is important because the bamboo from this mountain was used by...more
Amanohashidate is the sanbar across Lake Aso in Miyazu Bay. There are two places where you can see the iconic view and the view is different from both of them.The first is "View Land" behind Amanohashidate Station. For 800 yen (covers getting there and back) you can take either a cablecar or chair lift to the top. The view from here is more...more
Chionji is located right beside the speedboat docks on the side of Amanohashidate Station. It is most famous for its pagoda, which was built in 1500. It is also said to have one of the top three Monju Boddhisatva symbols. Those traveling from the station to the other side of the sandbar will pass the temple, so it is nice to at least walk around...more
Kyotanabe has some nice local restaurants, but with the abundance of chain restaurants, it's not immediately apparent. Pinocchio is a delicious local restaurant; among the best in the city!Pinocchio serves Italian dishes. They specialize in pasta dishes, and they have a wide variety, including tuna with cream sauce, eggplant and bolognese sauce,...more
Although many Japanese temples are historic, nobody comes to Juhoji to see the temple structure itself, because the building is not that old. The reason people come here is to see its famous Kannon statue. The statue, which dates back to the Heian Period, is one of Japan's Important Cultural Properties. It is also one of the statues of the...more
Kyotanabe is connected to Kyoto and Nara by Kintetsu Railway and Osaka by the JR Line. The main Kintetsu Station is Shin-Tanabe Station. Kintetsu also has Kodo, Kintetsu Miyazu, and Kintetsu Miyamaki Stations within the city. Other JR stations are Matsuiyamate, Osumi, Doshishamae, and Miyamaki Stations.By Kintetsu Train, Shin-Tanabe Station is...more
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What to do:
Go to the counter, they will give you a locker key, a set of clothes, a swimsuit, and 2 towels. Go into the changing room (separate for guys and gals from this point onwards), put your own clothes into the locker room and one towel into the locker. Walk into the pool area with the small towel, go to the corner where everyone is sitting along the wall on stools and find one empty spot and do your own bathing. After you have bathed, you go to the warm pool to soak, then the hot pool, then the cold room, then the sauna if you want. no particular order actually.
No swimsuit needed unless you are going out into the outdoor pool area where both men and women are there. The indoor pools are separated. Everyone I saw was in the nude.
Joruriji Temple is an important temple not just in Kizugawa but in Japan. It was built during the Heian Period and is architecturally the last building of its kind left in the nation. When it was built, other temples of the same sort existed with Amida Halls and representations of the nine levels of Enlightenment inside but today even Amida Halls...more
The "sekibutsu no michi" is the Stone Buddha Path/Trail in the Kamo area of Kizugawa. The trail runs from Gansenji Temple to Joruriji Temple and most (but not all) of the stone Buddhas in the area are located along the trail. Some of the Buddhas are carved into actual statues while others are carved into rock. Most of them are quite old, as well,...more
Gansenji Temple's name means "stone ship" and there is a ship-shaped stone near the entrance of the temple from which its name was derrived. It was originally commissioned by Emperor Shomu but the temple features structures from the Heian Period, Kamakura Period, and Muromachi Period. The temple grounds are nice and although I didn't go during the...more
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