Sunday, May 28, 2017

Japan 2017: Kyoto by Day and Nara by Night

Kyoto

After exploring Osaka, the next city we visited was Kyoto.  Kyoto is Japan’s old capital.  Most tourists prefer to visit Kyoto than any other Japanese city.  At first I was confused, but when we explored Kyoto, I understood why.

Kyoto is where the ancient and modern Japanese culture merges.  You will see all the old houses, buildings, and structures all around Kyoto.  Temples are all over the place as well.  However, modern architectures are also highlighted in this place.  Kyoto Station is one of the most modern train stations you will visit in Japan.

Very modern Kyoto Station. 


There are tourist passes available when touring Kyoto.  Most of the passes will give you access to various temples all over Kyoto, as temples are the known tourist spots in this place. 


Kyoto Tower. 

We only have a short visit at Kyoto so we narrow down our temple visit to two of the most popular: Kinkakuji Temple and Fushimi-Inari Taisha.  We chose to ride the bus instead of the subway to see Kyoto up-close.  While subway is a quicker way to go around Kyoto, buses will offer you a scenic tour of Kyoto.  Buses stop in every street corner to accommodate elderly passengers.  It also runs slower than that of your normal train speed, and thus you can savor the view of Kyoto streets.  Plus riding buses is cheaper than riding trains.


Go-Karting at the streets of Kyoto. 

Kyoto also is known for Gion, the place where there are still a lot of geishas and maikos.  Unfortunately, we don’t have extra time to go visit Gion and go geisha-hunting. 



Nara

Nara is just an hour by train from Kyoto, so we squeezed both cities in a day’s itinerary.  Nara is famous for Nara Park where a lot of cherry blossom trees and deer reside.  And since neither any of us were able to see a deer up close, we decided to visit Nara. 




We were behind schedule when we arrived at Nara Station.  Nara Park is just a close walk from the Nara station but since it was nearing nighttime, we decided to take the bus to the park.  It cost JPY 210 (JPY110 for kids). 






It was dusk already when we get to see the deer.  We weren’t able to buy deer crackers to lure them to us, but a kind Japanese gave Neo a piece of bread so the deer will go near him, but he got frightened and threw the bread to the deer directly.  I was a little bit frightened too since deer are still considered wild animals – good thing their horns were already cut.




Hello, Mr. Deer. 

After exploring the Nara Park, we decided to walk back to Nara station and feel Nara by night.  It is not as lively as Osaka or Tokyo or maybe Kyoto.  It has the feeling of exploring a nearby province from the Metro – progressive yet laid-back.


Passed by Kofuku-ji Pagoda on our way to Nara Station. 


So if you have time, do spend more than day or two at Kyoto, visit all the temples and wonderful sightseeing spots and dive in the rich Japanese culture this city has to offer.  And while you’re at it, hop on a train to Nara to see and experience a nice relaxing feel of Japan.

9 comments:

  1. My son is not fond of temples so for sure I will also choose one or two only. I remember when we visited one temple in Japan, nagmamadali na anak ko magpunta sa next place. He's bored na daw. hehehe!

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  2. We are planning to visit Japan on December and I will make sure to visit Kyoto as well. The place sounds peaceful and I also want to encounter a deer up close hehehe.

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  3. What a wonderful trip of you sis! Exploring other country is very interesting. Isa din sa pangarap ko ang makapasok at maka explore kahit isang temple lang. KAsi lagi ko napapanood sa mga series ng Kdrama and Chinese movies.

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  4. Seems like a lot from my friends, too, have visited Japan for the past few weeks. I've been seeing their FB updates in my feed. It may seem a bit scary visiting a foreign country but it's always exciting too, isn't it? If we ever get the chance to visit Japan, I will make sure to go and visit Nara Park! I haven't seen a deer in real life. And of course, it's almost (if not all) everyone's dream to see those cherry blossoms. I imagine it would feel so wonderful to be able to take a closer look at those lovely blossoms. <3

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  5. Temples are a must visit in any place, I think. I know kids won't always appreciate these cultural structures but it's still better for them to know at least a thing or two about its history.

    Japan is our bucket list, hehe. And bringing both my kids too. So far it's only me and my husband who had gone to a few places. I can't imagine how I can manage to bring two kulilits.

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  6. Too bad you weren't able to go geisha hunting in Kyoto. That would have been interesting. I saw a deer once naman while visiting the US. I can relate to your son's reaction to it. I also got a bit scared of it although it was really cute too. Haha!

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  7. Would love to visit Kyoto. I have read a lot about Geishas and honestly, there is something about them that facinates me. Would love to see and meet a Geisha someday.

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  8. I would love to see a Geisha too! Pero si Nate baka matakot pa sa ichura nila. haha. This is a nice place! If God will let us visit Japan one day, I would love to visit the HP world and also have a photo with Hachiko (kung san man ung rebulto nya nakalagay, haah).

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  9. Kyoto seems a must to include in itinerary. We're just waiting for the kids to be a little older for a japan trip to appreciate the place and enjoy the scenic view.

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