Japan & Hong Kong 2012, Historic Kyoto

After Nara we headed straight onto Kyoto, to a fantastic accommodation in Gion which was in a traditional Japanese style. Kyoto is an amazing place full of incredibly beautiful temples, and has it’s distinct own old world vibe. Unfortunately there were a number of buildings we went to visit that were being repaired at the time, but we were still able to visit some incredible sights.

A quick tip, be aware of where you can take photos. Some of these buildings are very old and photography isn’t allowed in them. Also, keep in mind that in buildings like Nijo-jo you’ll need to take off your shoes, so if you’re travelling in winter warm socks are a must.

We didn’t make it to all the places in Kyoto I would have liked to visit, so we’ll definitely have to go back to see Kiyomizu after the construction is complete as well as Ryoanji Temple, Fushimi Inari Temple and the bamboo groves around Arashiyama (just to name a few!). From Kyoto it was back to Osaka for a short rest before heading onto Hong Kong!

Some things I learnt during our short time in Kyoto:

  • Japanese public buses board at the middle of the bus, and exit and pay for the ticket at the front
  • Being a foreigner is a novelty in Japan. While we may have asked to take a photo with a lady dressed as a Maiko, she wanted a photo with me!
  • The train station happened to be the place to see actual geisha for us. We managed to time our arrival with a large group which was rather lucky


  • What we did: 1 day spent wandering around Kyoto visiting the different temples and sights
  • Favourite part: Seeing all of the amazingly beautiful temples in the snow
  • Best Experience: Chirping our way across the nightingale floorboards in Nijo-jo
  • Worst Experience: Not particularly bad but a slightly claustrophobic ride on the public bus – I’m sure it was no where near as bad as proper peak traffic
  • Must See Attraction: Kinkaku, or Rokuon-ji, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion
  • Next stop: Back to Osaka and then on to Hong Kong!

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