15 Sep 15 – the 3 distant attractions in Kyoto
Took metro from Nipponbashi station to Kitahama station, where we transferred to take the Keihan line towards Demachiyanagi. Transferred at Tambabashi to Fushimi-Inari station.
Fushimi-Inari shrine is famous for its over ten thousand Torii gates. A Torii gate is taken as the entrance to a shrine in the Shinto religion. Each gate is donated by organisation showing their appreciation for the prosperity and hoping for good fortune in the future. It is a beautiful artwork filled with meaningful history.
You can buy small Torii tokens at the shrine and write Japanese wishes on it.
There are also streets of neat shops and stalls around it which sell food and souvenirs.
Took the subway to Sanjo station and switched to the Tozai line to reach Nijojomae station. However, when we just reached Nijo castle, the ticket office just closed (4pm). Moreover, the front of the Nijo Castle was also under construction. Reminder to start your day earlier!
Hence, we made our way to Arashiyama. Transferred at Nijo station to the JR line towards Fukuchiyama and alighted at Saga Arashiyama. Headed straight to the bamboo forest.
I would advise to come here earlier during the sunny part of the day as the view would be prettier with the sunlight shining into the forest. When we were there in the late afternoon, it was too dim to take good pictures.
The bamboos are grown to its full height.
Arashiyama is actually a region with temples and shrines as well. There is bicycle rental. It may be a good idea to rent bicycle and explore the whole place in half a day or so. View the map below!
16 Sep 15 – walking Kyoto streets in Kimono
Bought 650 yen ticket to Tenjimbashisuji-6-chome station and transferred to Hankyu line to take to Kawaramachi station. We walked around freely around Gion and Higashiyama.
It is a common sight for people dressed in Kimono to walk on the streets of Kyoto. If you do want to rent, do come early as kimono rental is usually for the whole day. We chanced upon this shop that rents kimono at a rate cheaper than the rest of the shop. Paid around 4400 yen for the rental of kimono and hairdo.
It was an interesting experience wearing kimono. I took a video of the process of having the Obi tied around my waist. You get to choose the kimono, the band, hairdo, accessories and shoes.
We headed to Yasaka-no-to Pagoda, which was not opened for entry unfortunately.
The size of my steps were restricted by the Kimono and it was not possible for me to take my usual comfortable wide steps. :p Along the way, we passed by traditional Japanese houses. Very beautiful streets to take pictures! The streets are also lined with many shops selling souvenir. Definitely a good place for shopping. However, we didn’t have much time to shop. If you are there, do spare time to shop.
My aim at Kyoto was also to see Geisha. Regrettably, I wasn’t able to catch any. Will like a chance next time to learn more about Geisha though, dress up as one and learn the traditional dance.
Overall, Kyoto is a beautiful place rich in Japanese culture. Definitely a place to visit.
17 Sep 15 – Kobe
Went to Namba Kintetsu station. Bought the 540 yen ticket to Uozaki station via Hanshin line express.
Nada is Japan’s top sakae producing region. Its reputation arises from the abundant high quality rice, suitable water and favourable weather condition.
From the station, we walked to Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, where we learnt the traditional sake brewing method. This museum has a structured display which you can follow through to learn about the different steps.
There were also costumes for us to role play and take photos.
After the museum tour, we took train to Sennomiya for shopping. However, I think Osaka is better for shopping.
Shin Robeway and Mount Rokko were in my itinerary. However, we didn’t go there in the end. Do give it a try if you are looking for sightseeing places. 🙂