24 Hours in Kyoto

Last Tuesday (April 18), we stayed in Kyoto for a night with our relatives from Australia. It’s my first time to visit Kyoto for more than a day, we usually have half a day or so since it’s 2 hours away from home.

In this post, I’ll be sharing you what we did in Kyoto for (about) 24 hours.. maybe this itinerary would help you decide for your next trip. I think it would be perfect for a family outing since we’ve brought my grandparents with us, this trip is kind of laid back and slow-paced. Since Kiyomizudera is under renovation (as of April 2017), we decided to skip it and pick Arashiyama as our first destination. We arrived in Kyoto Station at around 10:00am. Tip: If you’re taking the bus around Kyoto, there is a ¥500 one day pass that you can get from the bus station. There is also a tourist information near there if you’re feeling a little bit lost in translation.

I’ve been to Arashiyama many times before so while our relatives stroll around the famous Bamboo Forest, we opted to go to Arashiyu Kyoto for a Japanese foot spa experience. It’s about 5 minute walk from the bus stop close to Arashiyama (Randen line) station.

You can pick hot and cold drinks (even sake / Japanese beer) while being pampered with a foot spa and massage. I chose hot matcha au last while my sister picked a hot version of this.

[ A C C E S S ]

35-40 Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8384, Kyoto Prefecture

TEL: +81 75-406-0010

 I highly suggest this for a one-of-a-kind girly date with your sister, mother or friends. Even your grandparents will probably appreciate this kind of treat after walking around Arashiyama bamboo forest.

Next stop: % Arabica Arashiyama branch. It is ranked 8th out of 11,000 + restaurants and cafes in Kyoto so except a line and a huge crowd around their tiny shop. I spotted it last summer but it’s my first time to try this branch since it was already closed the time we passed by. The first time I tried it was at the branch near Kiyomizudera and I remember how their latte tasted so rich and milky just the way I like it but this time around.. I must say, it didn’t compare to the my first try. The iced latte (the same order as before) tasted rather ordinary.

Arashiyama bamboo forest on a good day (left) and packed with people (right). Tip: Visit the famous spots in Kyoto such as Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Fushimi Inari Taisha either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowd (just by looking at the photo it stresses me out). Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is actually famous for it’s calming and relaxing effect to people but I guess we could all agree that IT’S NOT when it’s full with people. I highly suggest visiting Hokokuji Temple in Kamakura, if you loved this kind of walking through bamboos experience.

We went straight back to our airbnb place after Arashiyama and just went out for dinner at Daishogun, a yakiniku (Korean BBQ) place across Omiya Station. Their meat is actually good and affordable. For me, it’s a must-try!

 The next morning, we got up at around 6:00am but I’m already awake by 4:00am since we were with our grandparents (they are light sleepers and have to go to the bathroom every so often), I rarely get a good sleep. We had breakfast at McDonald’s Kyoto Station before going to Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Just want to show a comparison between visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha last Summer 2016 and now (April 2017). Again, I highly suggest visiting it early in the morning or late in the afternoon (Fushimi Inari Taisha viewing deck has a nice sunset view).

  No chance for a good photo so we decided to go to Vermillion Cafe near JR Inari Station..

Vermillion Cafe is currently number 1 spot for coffee in Kyoto according to tripadvisor. This time around, I must say, I agree. No matter how bad I wanted to say it’s % Arabica.. Being able to try both cafes for two days, Vermillion’s latte tasted better for me. We went back to Kyoto Station and had lunch at sushi place near East Hachijo exit.

Going home via bullet train/ shinkansen! Not my first time to take the bullet train but felt the same excitement for my grandparents ❤ We took them to Japan for a vacation for almost 2 months now and let them experience riding the shinkansen.. 🚅 My grandfather said he loved it so much that he don’t want to ride a local train ever again 😂 If only we could afford it, we will probably give to the world to them.

As always, if you have any tips / suggestions when visiting Kyoto, let me know.

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  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Whoa! Ashley, I will be in Kyoto this May. Will Fushimi Inari Taisha be this crowded until mid-month? I hate crowded places especially when I just want to relax and enjoy the place. Huhu

  • Reply
    May 11, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Also tried the bus pass last year, but we were only able to visit three shrines (Tenryu-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Fushimi Inari Taisha) because of the GW crowd. </3

    There's a bamboo forest in Fushimi Inari if you stay away from the tori gate path going to the mountain peak. It was more peaceful compared to Arashiyama's bamboo forest since not a lot go to that area. 😉

  • Reply
    July 17, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Hi Ash, I’ve also been to Arashiyama but I never get to visit the Bamboo Forest. Instead, we went to Otagi Nenbutsuji. It is a remote place in Arashiyama and its kind of creepy.

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