Japan Diary – September 11, 2013 – Kyoto

Jose posing in front of Kinkakuji in Kyoto, September 11, 2013. Photo by Jordan Martin
Jose posing in front of Kinkakuji in Kyoto, September 11, 2013. Photo by Jordan Martin

I am re-posting my diary from my September 2013 trip to Japan. This is the report from September 11 while staying in Kyoto with my girlfriend (now fiance) Jordan.

Today was a whirlwind day of sightseeing that left us tired at the hotel when everything was all said and done.

First order of business was to go to Kyoto Station to purchase the three-day Kansai Thru Pass. This is an economical pass that allows unlimited travel on private railways in the Kansai region for 2 or 3 days, and it is only available to foreign tourists. With that done, we were on our way to the first destination, Kinkakuji Temple. We could have joined the long lines for the city bus at Kyoto Station, but instead we opted to take the subway, then take the bus. I can see why this method of travel is recommended… Hassle-free and room to sit (on a weekday morning, granted) and the trip was actually quicker.

Kinkakuji was a wonderful place – a first for me as I’ve never been there. The gold leaf plating was a sight to behold… of course, so impressive that we were not allowed within a good 20 feet of it…

Next stop was Ryoanji, which was a pretty quick trip on the then crowded bus. Ryoanji was our first stop in which our shoes had to be removed before entering.

The rock garden was beautiful… there are a total of 15 stones in the garden and it’s said that when viewing the garden from the angles provided, one rock is always hidden from view. Ryoanji was actually quite a small place otherwise. One thing I did notice was that there was a row of about 15 red water buckets lined up along the side of the main temple…. fire buckets in case the worst should happen.

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto - September 11, 2013. Photo by Jordan Martin
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto, September 11, 2013.
Photo by Jordan Martin

From there we walked to the tram for the trip to Arashiyama. After having a delicious curry lunch next to the station, we went to the Monkey Park. A long, looong uphill climb (for me at least… Jordan was fine) – but we were rewarded with monkeys and an impressive view of Kyoto City and the surrounding mountains from a height of approx. 520 feet above sea level.

We returned on the Hankyu Railway which zipped us back to the subway for the ride to the hotel.

This evening we went to Kyoto Station again for dinner at a rotating sushi restaurant, which was fun for the both of us – this is a place that I’ve been to now in each of the three trips I’ve made here, but the first time I’ve seen all of their menu items translated to English.

After the sushi we went to the Kintetsu Railway station to purchase our “Vista Car” limited express tickets for tomorrow’s journey to Nara, and called it a day.

One thought on “Japan Diary – September 11, 2013 – Kyoto

  1. dave4133

    Hi Jose

    Now this type of thing ( especially Kyoto) is going to be very useful, suffering from information overkill, I have so many web-sites and information about Japan it is just all too much really.

    But reading your blog from last year is really going to be useful.


    Have now after a lot of time, chosen the 2/3 of my Rail Pass time in the States, below if you are interested.

    I know it is not info about Japan but still have not decided where to visit for the last week between Washington DC and New York, I am very much interested in 18/19th Century America History especially the Revolution and Civil War, really fancy walking around historical streets and looking at buildings of that time.

    If you have ideas or suggestions would greatly appreciate ( ie which of the towns and cities are the most interesting historically to look at ) :


    Dave Burridge INTINERARY


    30th June Arrive La at 13:30 – Stay in LA Hostel


    1st July – Catch Coast Starlight From La (10:10am to 9:24pm) to San Francisco – Sleep in Hostel


    2nd July – Explore San Francisco – Sleep in Hostel


    3rd July – Spend part of day also in San Francisco, take Coast Starlight From San Francisco to Portland (9:10am – 3:32pm) – sleep on Train


    4th July – Arrive Portland ( 3:32pm ) – sleep in Hostel


    5th July Spend day in Portland – sleep in Hostel


    6th July Take Empire Builder from Portland to East Glacier Park (????am to 9:54am) – sleep on Train


    7th July – Arrive East Glacier Park at 9:54am – Hire Car sleep at Hostel


    8th July Catch Empire Builder from East Glacier Park arrive Chicago (3:55pm)


    9th July Spend little time Chicago Station – Catch City of New Orleans from Chicago to New Orleans (8:05pm – 3:32pm) – sleep on Train


    10th July Arrive New Orleans (3:32pm) – sleep in Hostel


    11th Spend day in New Orleans – sleep in Hostel


    12th Catch Crescent from New Orleans to Washington DC (7.00am – 9:53am) – sleep on Train


    13th July Arrive Washington DC (9:53am) –


    14th July – Spend time in Washington DC – sleep in Hostel – decide rest of journey


    15th July


    16th July


    17th July


    18th July


    19th July


    20th July


    21st July


    22nd July JFK Airport – Depart 21:00

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