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Indian Travel Blog - Kyoto, Japan

Indian Travel Blog - Kyoto, Japan

From Tokyo, we shifted our base to Kyoto. Read on my experience and the things to do here. Kyoto, Japan was historically the capital of Japan and former seat of the Emperor. It is a home to stunning sights and unique shrines. To see real Japan, you need to get away from Tokyo and visit the cities that remainsawash with remnants of old architecture and heritage. 

Accommodation in Kyoto 
We stayed in Hotel Granvia which is located in the Kyoto station building. It is a 5 star hotel that boasts an indoor swimming pool and fitness center. There are many dining options in the property but the only place I liked was the breakfast buffet. The Japanese cuisine does not really suit my palate.

Travel in Kyoto 
We kept Kyoto our base and visited other cities nearby. Japan rail-pass was a savior. It is best to order before as the pass is really expensive in the city for foreign nationals. I took 7-day pass from the travel agent in Mumbai, India to avoid any shipping fee online. 
The hotels in Japan are exorbitantly priced. The hotel staff is very hospitable, though. They will be happy to guide you and give their inputs to plan the itinerary. 
Within the city, we got enough options to go around in the bus. The information counters are very helpful. 
For the food, we usually hunted for Indian/Middle Eastern and International cuisine. Although, it is not there in every hook and corner, but you will surely find it in the vicinity. Tripadvisor is your best friend for food. 

Bamboo forest in Arashiyama Bamboo Groove
You will have a great time strolling amidst the towering bamboo trees that stretch up to the sky. It is referred to as one of the most beautiful groves by CNN. I cannot get over the gorgeous tall bamboo trees whispering back and forth in the wind. Be prepared to walk. An insider tip would be to go early in the morning to avoid the crowd. Arashiyama is about 30 minutes from Kyoto station and it is about 15 minutes walk to forest. 
If you have time to explore you can check the temples and do not forget to walk further ahead to catch the views of gorgeous bridge. 

Japanese Makeover

Get dressed in a kimono. It is one of the quintessential things to do in Japan. You can get a Japanese makeover outside the touristy Bamboo Forest Trail. I love getting dolled up in one of the studios for a complete makeover. 

Fushima Inari Shrine
It was a gateway to more gates at Fushima Inari Shrine. The shrine sits on a base of the mountain and is known for thousands of vermilion gates. We trekked all the way up to the mountain which took almost 1.5 hours. But honestly, don’t expect any breathtaking views. Make a wish and enjoy the steps though the gates. Fushima station is about 30 minutes from Kyoto station. 

Gion district
Kyoto boasts a still-working geisha district in Gion district which is the entertainment spot. Since Gion was the scene of the much of a drama in the movie and novel 'Memoirs of Geisha', this definitely got me excited. 
We spotted a Geisha in the Gion district. If you have time, you could also book high-end Geisha experiences. A word of caution: it is exorbitantly priced. 

Osaka and Nara from Kyoto
To be covered in next travelogue.

Apart from this, there are many temples in Kyoto. Honestly, though every temple signifies history, many look similar due to the architecture.

If you have more days, you must do Hiroshima and Miyajima. Miyajima is a small island in Hiroshima Bay. I suggest taking a day tour and covering both. 

Feel free to reach out to me regarding any queries, recommendations and itinerary.

Read a detailed Japan Itinerary here. 


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