Friday, November 7, 2014

Kyoto Day Trip Temple Hopping

Kyoto is an ideal place to embrace the culture of Japan as it is known for temples, Geisha, and nature. We spent a day in Kyoto for temple hoping and generally, it was refreshing to see the different places of the Gods and emperors. 

We were able to maximize our trip to Kyoto because of the very efficient bus system intended for tourists. Click this link to know more about it and how to avail the Unlimited City Bus in Kyoto (for a day).

We visited 4 temples, 1 huge (?) of bamboos, and 1 market place. Here are the details in order of how we visited all of these. Note that you may change the order of places depending on your priority or "must visit" places but we recommend for you to follow our route to save time if you start from Kyoto Station.

1. Fushimi Inari-Taisha Temple- The temple that is dedicated to God of rice and sake or prosperity and success. There are stone foxes all throughout the shrine because it is believed that foxes serve as messengers to the Gods. This is the home of the famous red tori (shrine gates) and it is one of my favorite temple in Japan. We highly recommend for you to go to Inari Temple :)
 Prayers for the Fox
How to get there?

Address: 68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-Ku (伏見区深草藪之内町68)
It is easy to go in Inari Temple as there is a direct subway station in front of it. It is just 5 min. walk from Inari Station, JR Nara Line and it only has 1 exit so you will not get lost going here.  

You don't need to avail the unlimited bus pass when visiting Inari Temple because it is very accessible via subway.

Operating Hours: Always open!
Fee: absolutely FREE :D

2. Kiyomizu-dera - Is a wooden temple that is located 13 meter high on the side of a mountain. The Japanese would say that it has the best sunset as it faces West of Kyoto-- a very auspicious place and romantic as well. Many tourists go to this place because it is known for the love temple or love match. There's a popular "love stone" located in Jishu-jinja Shrine and it is said that you will find your romantic partner if you can walk to the stone with your eyes closed. Lots of talismans and incense can be bought here. 


How to get there?
To get to Kiyomizu-dera, I highly suggest to get to Kyoto Station first to avail the unlimited city bus for only 500 yen or 200 pesos for one whole day! The purchase will be worth it as you go temple hoping in Kyoto. Click here for more details. 

After availing the city bus. Ride Bus no. 100 or 206 and alight at Kiyomizu-michi bus stop. From there, it will be around 10 minute walk to the temple's entrance. There will be signs which you have to follow. I remember from the bus stop we crossed the road to get to the other side. Turn left when you see a signage and go up hill for about 5-10 mins. 
You will have to take the left road as it will lead you to souvenir shops going up the entrance. If you don't want to distract yourself from shopping...take the right road. All roads lead to the entrance anyway.

Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City.
Operating Hours: Open all year round between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm 
Entrance Fee:  300 yen for adults and 200 yen for children/students

3. Ginkaku-Ji Temple- also known as the Silver Pavilion. It has an elegant temple with outstanding Japanese landscape architecture. Basically just a garden with landscapes :) In my opinion, you can skip this part hehe.
How to get there? Ride bus no. 5 or 17 or 100 and alight at Ginkakuji-michi station. You need to walk around 5 more minutes to get to the entrance.
 Take the left road and go straight
Address: 2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
Operating Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm open all day
Entrance Fee:  500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children/students

4. Gion (Geisha District) and Nishiki Market- Gion is known for being the Geisha district. You can go around here and shop. We didn't get to see real Geisha though because it was still early and it was raining :( but I think the area here is nice at night.
You can ride bus no: 201, 202, 206, 207 and alight at Gion bus stop.
For Nishiki Market, in my research it was described as a seafood market filled with street food. In my mind I thought it will be like the Tsukiji Market but it wasn't. You may skip this part or if you still like, you can still explore the area and eat! Maybe we went too early...
5. Kinkaku-Ji TempleThe famous golden pavilion is a widely-recognized image of Kyoto. It is simply breathtaking and a must visit for a very very short in you can just view and take a picture of the Pavilion then leave because what you see is what you get :)
How to get there?
Ride the City bus No. 12, 59, 101, 102, 204, 205 and stop at Kinkaku-ji-michi OR bus no. 12, 59 and stop at Kinakkuji-mae
Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho Kita-ku, Kyoto
Operating Hours: 9 am to 5:00 pm open all day
Entrance Fee:  400 yen for adults and 300 yen for children/students

6. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove-
How to get there?
Ride the City bus No. 11 and stop at Nagatsuji-dori Station or Arashiyama Station. Walk across the road and walk straight for about 800 meters back until you see a temple to your left and walk past it to go to the bamboo grove which is near the temple.
 There's a shopping complex in Nagatsuji-dori Station bus stop.
When you see this store on your left (see photo above), turn left. I believe there's a sign going to the bamboo grove. If all else fail, find the luscious bamboo trees! you will never go wrong because they're tall hahaha just kidding.

Address: Arashiyama, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
Operating Hours: 24 hours but it is best to go there in the morning or after lunch because photos look good in the morning than at night. We went there past 5 pm already and I didn't get to enjoy the view. 
Entrance Fee:  FREE!


  1. I really like your blog. I will be arriving from Nagoya since the night bus is not available on my chosen dates. I will be dividing your 1 day tour to two half-day tours. May I just ask where is your reference point when you rode all those buses? Was it from Kyoto station?

    1. Hi! thanks for dropping by my blog :) yup Kyoto station is our starting point :)

  2. Hi! I will be having a day-tour in Kyoto as well, glad to have read your entry, but I would like to ask what time you've started and finished? Also, not sure if you had one though, where do you guys get those map with Tourist destination routes?

    1. Hi, thanks for your message! :) to answer your question, we left our place very early around 6:30 am because travel time took us around 45 mins to Fushimi Inari Temple (our 1st stop). We started our temple hoping around 7:30am and ended 7:00pm from our last stop in Arashiyama :)

  3. Hi tin! Is arashiyama near the kyoto station? How do you get back to the station from there?

  4. Really like your websites details! Undoubtedly a beautiful provide of knowledge that is extremely helpful. Keep on to hold publishing and that i'm gonna proceed reading by way of!

  5. hi tinco, when you had your day trip in kyoto, where did you guys sleep/stay overnight?

    1. Hi Bambi, we stayed in Osaka because it's just 30 mins away and because Kyoto hotels are more expensive vs Osaka by almost 2x. I suggest you do the same if you want to travel on a budget :)

  6. Hello .. Very apt blog Kyoto day trip and very detailed with pictures :)
    I understand that you you went to Fushimi Inari Taisha from Kyoto Station. But after that the buses are taken from the places that u have mentioned in order?

    i.e. Place No.1 is the boarding point for bus for place no.2?
    I just want to know what sequence to follow.

    Also is Kinkakuji far via bus when compared to subway?

    1. Hi, thank you!!!! and to answer your question... yes the places listed above is in order :) We first visited Inari then last stop is the Arashiyama.

  7. Hi Tin.

    Your blog is very helpful. By any chance, how much time will it take if we travel from Tokyo to Kyoto via Shinkansen and how much would it cost? Thank you,

  8. Hi Tin,
    your blog is very helpful, may i know if you purchase your train tickets when moving from one place to the other or purchase like a 1 day kyoto pass? Thanks.


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