Day 0, May 22 arrival in Kansai International Airport
From the international arrival in ground floor, change money from Forex or withdraw cash from an ATM. Head to second floor and buy a JR ticket (Haruka return with 1500 Icoca card) for 4,000 Yen.
Platforms 4-8 are unreserved seats and will stop over several stations including Osaka and will arrive in Kyoto after 75 minutes.
Exit in Hakubaicho (go to subway, it’s near Karasuma line), from there you can see Avant mall. Go straight and then turn left.
Piece Hostel is new place (only 2 years old). I only paid $5500 for 2 nights here including breakfast.
Since I arrived here past midnight, I quietly climb to my bed and making sure all other 7 girls in the room wouldn’t be bothered.
Day 1, May 23 Sightseeing around Kyoto
I woke up 6 am and had a quick shower and by 6:30 I am already by Kyoto Station where I had my breakfast in McDonald’s for 200 Yen. I bought some nom noms in a convenience store inside Kyoto Station quickly catching a JR Sagano Line from Kyoto to Arashiyama, the fare is 210 yen but I use my Icoca card here.
From Arashiyama, I walked around 20 minutes going to the Bamboo Garden. It was hard to find the right route as the signs there are not in English and people barely speak English. Anyway, these kind Japanese men and women help me using sign language to finally find my way to the Bamboo Forest. Even though I got lost, I enjoyed walking around the residential area. The smell of the place is really different, it smells like pine trees and flowers, it is so refreshing!
I passed over a nice temple (which I forgot the name, sorry!)
Since it is spring time, what can you expect to see but flowers! Everywhere!
So after 20 minutes of walking around, I found this superb bamboo forest!
I am lucky that there are only less than 10 tourist exploring this beauty considering it’s late already (8 am), I am also lucky that these tourist, usually solo traveler like me from Singapore and Korea are nice enough to take picture of me too!
The one kilometer walk is not tiresome especially if you are surrounded by fresh smelling bamboo. I want a garden like this back in Antipolo!!!!
After few minutes of walking, I ended up in Tenryu-ji Temple. Pay 500 yen for the entrance.
Everything is green with envy. This how maple tree looks during spring time!
The most picturesque place I have ever seen in my life is this pond, I wonder how much pretty it would look like during autumn!
If you want to see how the temple looks like inside, pay 100 yen.
It was such a nice experience and at around 10:00 am, I went outside this beautiful temple and check out souvenir shops outside.
After 30 minutes, I decide to leave and ride randen train just in front of the temple. I headed to Ktano-Hakubaicho. Note that you can pay 210 yen or you can use your Icoca card upon exit.
From there, I stopped over a small restaurant and had a miso soup and rice toppings for $550 yen. After filling my tummy, I rode bus 201 (you can also ride 101, 102 or 204) and paid 230 yen. Prepare exact fare as the driver cannot break your money unless its 1000 yen bill.
From the bus stop, cross the street and park your bikes before entering the temple grounds. It was past 11 am and people started pouring.
Entrance fee is 600 yen.
Most students also visit this shrine to learn about their culture (how I wish I can understand what their teacher is telling them about the place.
It is hard to get a nice spot since there is a huge crown, luckily, I was able to get these shots:
I spent only an hour in this area. After resting, I hopped on a bus 201 to Nijo castle. I paid 230 yen again.
Entrance fee is 600 yen. The whole castle is so big. Taking photos is prohibited inside the castle.
The garden in this castle is wonderful as well and too bad my camera’s battery almost died L I spent an hour resting in a refreshment area in the castle ground. At 3pm, I decided to head to Fushimi Inari.
From Nijo castle, I rode Karasuma Oike (subway) to Sanjo. From Sanjo, I took a JR Inari line. By 4pm I am already greeted by large crowd in Fushimi Inari shrine.
I was too tired to climb to the top so after an hour trek, I called it a day and headed back to Inari station back to Kyoto station.
In Kyoto station, I went to 10th floor where Ramen Koji is located, you can find small nice restaurants here.