AsiaJapanKyoto

Riding the Bullet to Kyoto

Kyoto Travel Blog

 › entry 291 of 347 › view all entries
The bullet train!

To help make sure I woke up on time, I left the curtains open in the hotel room.  Well, now I know why the sun is always up when I get home from Roppongi.  It was already light outside a little after 4AM!  Wound up being awake early and made it to the train station around quarter to 6 and changed my ticket to the first Shinkansen, at 6:00AM vs. 6:27.  Had a window seat on the side that might possible offer a view of Mount Fuji…would today be the day?  After leaving Yokohama, I’m not sure how far it will be before I might have a chance to see the elusive Fujisan, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled.  We’re getting closer to the mountains…then we start entering tunnel after tunnel after tunnel!  Am I on a line that doesn’t offer a view of the mountain?  Some very nice views of many very green valleys between tunnels, but none of the mountains I’m seeing look anything like Fuji.

It's there...I swear! Fujisan!
  Very pretty nonetheless.  Around 30-45 minutes after Yokohama we appear to be out of the mountains.  GAH!  I must have missed it.  All I see is flat land and haze…wait…is that…YES!  It’s not very visible…but off in the distance, mostly obscured by the haze, is the unmistakable shape of Mount Fuji.  By no means is this the clear, blue skied, snowcapped view I was hoping for…but it is Fuji!  I finally got to see it (it was a little clearer that it appears in the picture). 

 

We stopped briefly in Nagoya and then continued on to Kyoto, arriving around 8:30AM.  I dropped my suitcases off in a locker at the train station and bought a day pass for the local busses and subways and started on my “American Tourist” sightseeing day in Kyoto.

Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
  By “American Tourist” method I mean start walking / riding and hop from temple to temple, sight to sight taking photos, taking in a little bit of the atmosphere, but keep on running off to the next stop.  I know, this is not the proper way to experience a city, but so much time, so little to do!  Scratch that, reverse it. (do I need to pay royalties now?)

 

My whirlwind route took in:

 

(Subway/Bus to) Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavillion) – Apparently every tour bus of school children decided to start here as well…it was MOBBED!,

(Walk to) Ryoan-ji Temple – Zen rock garden,

(Bus to) Nijo Castle,

(Bus to) Ginkaku-Ji Temple (Silver Pavillion…under restoration so the pavilion itself is not very visible),

(Walk down) Philosopher’s Path – nice walk along a path following a canal along the base of the mountains

(to) Eikando Temple,

(Walk to) Heian Shrine

(Walk to) Chionin Temple

(Walk to) Maruyama Park

(Walk to) Yasaka Shrine

(Walk to) Kodaji Temple

(Walk to) Ryozen Kannon Temple – a must-stop for anyone with WWII interest…not a lot to see, but the Memorial Hall with the memorial urns for the world’s unknown soldiers and large card catalogue of Allied Personnel who Perished in Territory under Japanese Jurisdiction during World War II is an imposing and somber sight.

Me at Nijo Castle

(Walk to) Kiyomizu Temple and Jishu Shrine – Very impressive temple, be sure to check out the view from the old three story pagoda…there are no English signs point this out, but don’t take the immediate stairs down from the main temple but talk the walkway that gives the view over the city.  You’ll hit an intersection where there’s a path that heads upwards with a Japanese sign only…take that path and there’s a great view of the temple and a pretty impressive three-story pagoda…made without a single nail!

(Walk to) Toribeyama – This doesn’t appear on the maps, but right next to Kiyomizu is a HUGE cemetery on the hillside, very impressive.

(Walk through) Nishi Otani Mausoleum

(Walk to) Sanjusangendo Temple – Very impressive structure with the 1001 Kanons inside.  I wish they allowed pictures in here.

 

At this point I was tired so I took a very crowded bus back to the Kyoto main station.

Kiyomizu Temple

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The bullet train!
The bullet train!
Its there...I swear!  Fujisan!
It's there...I swear! Fujisan!
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Me at Nijo Castle
Me at Nijo Castle
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Inside the bullet
Inside the bullet
View from the bullet
View from the bullet
One of the little valleys...the re…
One of the little valleys...the r…
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Me and Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavilli…
Me and Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavill…
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Kinkaku-Ji - Golden Pavillion
Garden of Kinkaku-Ji
Garden of Kinkaku-Ji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
Zen garden at Ryoanji
The Four Accomplishments at Ryoanji
The Four Accomplishments at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Water at Ryoanji
Water at Ryoanji
The Four Accomplishments at Ryoanji
The Four Accomplishments at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Garden at Ryoanji
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle garden
Nijo Castle garden
Nijo Castle garden
Nijo Castle garden
Me in Nijo Castle garden
Me in Nijo Castle garden
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Zen Fuji at Ginkaku-ji
Zen Fuji at Ginkaku-ji
Zen waves at Ginkaku-ji
Zen waves at Ginkaku-ji
Zen garden of Ginkaku-ji
Zen garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Garden of Ginkaku-ji
Walkway of Ginkaku-ji
Walkway of Ginkaku-ji
Ginkaku-ji
Ginkaku-ji
Philosophers Path
Philosopher's Path
Bridge and waterway on Philosopher…
Bridge and waterway on Philosophe…
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Eikando Temple
Heian Shrine
Heian Shrine
Heian Shrine
Heian Shrine
Heian Shrine
Heian Shrine
Chionin Temple
Chionin Temple
Tusks
Tusks
Chionin Temple
Chionin Temple
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Kodaji Temple
Ryozen Kannon
Ryozen Kannon
Ryozen Kannon
Ryozen Kannon
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Ryozen Kannon Memorial Hall
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple Jinshu Shrine
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Nishi Otani Mausoleum
Sanjusanguendo
Sanjusanguendo
Sanjusanguendo
Sanjusanguendo
Sanjusanguendo
Sanjusanguendo
Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station
Kyoto
photo by: ys484