central kyoto

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Friday 14th July 2017. 15:00 Kyoto Japan.

Apo had to leave about 2ish to head back to uni. I didn’t want to go back home so I decided to go for a wander on my bike. I’ve missed cycling so much so I’m fully embracing it. I cycled up the river towards my house and then detoured through a new neighbourhood. I cycled past the cutest house, covered head to toe with trees, plants and flowers.

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Sunday 7th May 2017. 16:00 Kyoto Japan.

After our hike down from the mountain we had arrived in Kibune. Kibune (貴船) is a small town in a forested valley in the northern mountains of Kyoto City, which developed around Kifune Shrine. According to legend, a goddess traveled in a boat from Osaka all the way up the river into the mountains north of Kyoto, and Kifune Shrine was built at the site where her boat journey had come to an end.

We were pretty hungry and we noticed the street was lined with kawadoko style restaurants. This was a very traditional way of dining in the summer so we decided to head inside. We arrived 10 minutes before last orders so we had the restaurant to ourselves haha, it was sick! 

Kawayuka, or Kawadoko as it is known outside of central Kyoto, is the summer pasttime of dining outdoors on temporary platforms built over flowing water. Developed as a way to beat the summer heat, kawayuka is a great way to experience one of the traditional Kyoto cuisines listed above while taking in the cooling effects of the flowing water and lively summer atmosphere. The most famous area to experience kawayuka is along the Kamogawa River in central Kyoto, especially around Pontocho. From May to September, restaurants here construct temporary wooden decks over the canal on the river’s west bank. Many places serve kaiseki meals, however other types of cuisine are also available.

Kibune and Takao in the forested mountains just north of central Kyoto, are also popular places to try kawayuka, although here it is called kawadoko. In Kibune especially, the platforms are built just centimetres above the river and provide almost complete relief from the summer heat.

Our host, Junko San, was so funny, super lovely and very chatty haha. She even asked me about english lessons for her granddaughter which was sweet. I asked her if I could get a portrait of her outside her restaurant to which she posed in the most sassiest fashion! She was great.

anonymous asked:

hello! this is random, but have you ever been to japan? if so, can you give me some tips? like, which japan rail ticket should i purchase? i know there's a foreigner rate for the train passes, but idk if the pass works for ALL the train lines? (excluding shinkanses maybe??) also do you think staying at a ryokan is less expensive than a budget hotel?

Hello! I’ve been there twice and been familiar with the culture and the country more or less 20 years. 

I recommend that if you are doing long trips often, then Japan Rail Pass is a good option. It’s valid for a week max, so you have to be on the move a lot, and it doesn’t include shinkansens.

For cheaper long trips, which aren’t done often, I recommend bus services, which are good and operate all around Japan. Willer Express offers tickets in English! It’s a lot cheaper than a train and very comfortable from my opinion. I always take a night bus between Tokyo and Osaka.

For short trips, like going to the next city and similar, you can buy just a regular ticket from any station. They aren’t that much in the end and you often save money by using just normal commute train services instead of JR. For example trip from Osaka to Kyoto, which takes 1h 40min, costs only 410 yens by local train service. If I don’t remember wrong the faster service was only 460 yens. Public transportation is very cheap, as long as you don’t use shinkanses, planes or taxis. Avoid taxis, they’re expensive.

You can google in English your trips and you immediately get the route info and prices!

Rush hours in Japan are usually at the morning around 9-10 am and at evening from 5-6pm, depending a bit of the city from my experience. Avoid last train/metro services, they’re always veryvery cramped! 

I can’t say much about hotels or ryokans, as I always stay at my friends’ places and never pay for accommodation. The accommodation is rather expensive in Japan, that’s for sure, and in some cases ryokans are more expensive than budget hotels/hostels. In Tokyo Yadoya Guesthouse is from the cheaper range. That’s something my friend has used a lot and it’s near the central area. 

In Kyoto I recommend ryokan Tanakaya for the experience, but it has got normal hotel prices. It’s on the old side of Kyoto, very near central (15 min walk) and Fushimi Inari (direct train service, 15 mins only to Fushimi Inari). The owner is a lovely elderly lady who speaks only a few words in English but that doesn’t stop her from making you feel welcomed! 

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Touji-in in Autumn by Patrick Vierthaler

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Touji-in in Autumn by Patrick Vierthaler

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Hosenin Temple (宝泉院) in Ohara (大原) Kyoto (京都) Japan by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
Hosenin Temple (宝泉院) in Ohara (大原) Kyoto (京都) Japan. Ohara (大原) is located about an hour north of central Kyoto (京都). Camera Information: Model: Sony ILCE-6000 (A6000) Lens: Sony 10-18mm f/4 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens OSS Alpha E-mount (SEL1018).

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Sanzenin Temple (三千院) in Ohara (大原) Kyoto (京都) Japan by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
Sanzenin Temple (三千院) in Ohara (大原) Kyoto (京都) Japan. Ohara (大原) is located about an hour north of central Kyoto (京都). Camera Information: Model: Sony NEX-6, Focal Length: 24mm Lens: Sony 24mm f/1.8 Wide-Angle Prime Lens Alpha E-mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar Optics (SEL24F18Z).

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Ohara (大原), Kyoto (京都) Japan by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
Ohara (大原) is located about an hour north of central Kyoto (京都). There are many famous temples and shrines with beautiful japanese garden in Ohara (大原), including Sanzenin Temple (三千院) and Hosenin Temple (宝泉院). Camera Information: Model: Sony ILCE-6000 (A6000), Focal Length: 24mm Lens: Sony 24mm f/1.8 Wide-Angle Prime Lens Alpha E-mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar Optics (SEL24F18Z).