AsiaJapanKyoto

Imperial Capital

Kyoto Travel Blog

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Our room with futons and kimonos

Ironically, Tokyo is the de facto capital of Japan. The Emperor place of settlement was regarded as the capital of Japan. Historically, Emperor resided for more than a 1000 years in Kyoto. In fact, many imperial palaces cover a large area of central Kyoto now a day. It is free to join any guided tour provided that you register in the tours office near the Imperial Palace and you show your passport to the officer. 

Kyoto is a less busy city compared to Tokyo and nearby Osaka. If you use the JP Rail Pass ensure that you ride the right Shinkansen train (i.

e. usually Nozomi is not covered by the pass). The trip usually takes around 2 and half hours from Tokyo. If you are in Osaka, a trip to Kyoto takes approximately 30 minutes.  Nonetheless, travelling around Kyoto is relatively easy. Bus services are frequent, covers all tourist attractions and has a friendly English notice board inside. We purchased a Bus Pass while in Kyoto. However, the metro which covers central areas of Kyoto is handy if you live near the metro line. I would recommend staying near the central station as it has a shopping complex and many hotels and stores around. The metro is easily accessible from the station too. 

We stayed in a traditional Japanese house for the whole duration of our stay in Kyoto. It was a very nice experience and the staff was very friendly. The futon (rice padded bedding) were laid for us in the evening; the room had an ensuite bathroom, tea set, and nice garden view.
The tiny garden from the room window.
The whole house was made of wood in the traditional way. The rooms were not noise proof and you could hear your neighbours talking or walking.  There was a decent washing machine and a outdoor hot tub. Actually, the hotel had 2 traditional houses and 1 was empty during our stay. 

In the evening, we went to the Shijō Street, the main shopping street which had almost everything around. If you love walking as we did, you can simply walk along Karasuma Street till Shijo Street intersection and turn right. You can either use the metro and stop at Shijo Station or take the bus. However, I found out that Kyoto metro system is useless as the number of stations are few. Kyoto is generally flat and surrounded by hills and mountains. Most of the temples and shrines are on the edge of the city on the hills. Hence, the bus usage is necessary to reach them.

Moreover, we walked across Nishiki Food Market (Kyoto's Kitchen) and then into the nearby Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcade. The area is busy day round and everything can be found here. We found many Indian restaurants around, but had our dinner every day in a decent pizza buffet inside the arcade. It was the only place we saw other foreigners dinning in and we were amazed to see some fat people there (most Japanese were thin!). If you are a shopping fan, I would designate a full day for this area. 

 

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Our room with futons and kimonos
Our room with futons and kimonos
The tiny garden from the room wind…
The tiny garden from the room win…
The Japanese house we stayed at fo…
The Japanese house we stayed at f…
Waiting for our Tokaido Shinkansen…
Waiting for our Tokaido Shinkanse…
View from the shinkansen
View from the shinkansen
Inside the train
Inside the train
Comfortable and spacious seats
Comfortable and spacious seats
Kyoto from the top of the central …
Kyoto from the top of the central…
Kyoto Central Station
Kyoto Central Station
Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market
Japan cool vending machines. You c…
Japan cool vending machines. You …
Seafood ice cream!
Seafood ice cream!
Dried squids
Dried squids
Liquor shop
Liquor shop
Tasty octopus!
Tasty octopus!
Kyoto
photo by: ys484