Saturday, 30 December 2017

Japan Day 5 - Kyoto

The last and final day, we went to Kyoto. There are actually many attractions in Kyoto but bearing in mind that we were travelling with kids and this was our last day, I really had to choose wisely on where to go in Kyoto. My word of advice is ONE DAY is NOT ENOUGH for Kyoto! So do try to spend at least 3 days here.

After discussing with an officemate who has been to Japan a few times, he suggested that we went to Southern Higashiyama area where the famous Fushimi Inara is. So from the train station we walked to Fushimi Inara.

We only walked around to the entrance of Fushimi Inara. We didn't do the full round tour as that would be long and tiring for the kids but I was happy enough to snap a few pictures of the famous red Shrine Gates.

Out of the many shrines in Kyoto, I chose Kiyomizu-dera as that was in the area. I read that the attractions in Kyoto are not that accessible via public transportation and it was suggested that we took a cab. So we took a cab from Fushimi Inara to Kiyomizu-dera which costed about JPY1000. Luckily we took the cab as we didn't have to hike up the hill from all the way down. The cab dropped us off around half way so we made the climb up to the shrine. The walk up was packed with people but it was nice to see the old Japanese streets. The area is very commercialised as it was lined up with souvenir shops but the it was still nice to see. Where Osaka is a modern city, Kyoto is your "kampung" (village).

Once we got up to the entrance, it was scorching hot and Kimi was pretty tired. So he sat down at the steps while I walked around the entrance compound taking pictures. The boys followed me and I just let them run around the area which they loved while throwing and playing with the small rocks.

Unfortunately they had renovation works when we were there. So instead of seeing this,

We saw this instead. 

We also opted not to enter the grounds as that would involve more walking and by this point (on our last day) our legs couldn't take it anymore! But I took loads of pictures here and it was enough for me.

Before leaving Kiyomizu-dera we found a restaurant where we had our late lunch eating soba and teriyaki eel with rice. Would you believe that this was our first time actually eating out in Japan. Other days, we either had McDonalds or food cooked from home and every night we cooked dinner ourselves. The boys were sick of our nasi goreng by then so they loved eating something different. 

After our late lunch, we headed to Gion. We only had about an hour of daylight left so we walked around the streets of Gion. I was hoping to see some Geisha but no luck. We did managed to find a street where there was a river running through it. It was so beautiful and apparently it was a pretty famous spot. A few friends commented that they had the exact same picture that I posted. 

It got dark around 5pm and we headed back to Namba. Unfortunately it was rush hour so we had to stand in the train. Luckily the boys were seated in their strollers. Luckily it was a direct train to Namba so we didn't have to change lines or trains anywhere.

Oh there was one thing I found very useful during my travels in Japan which was my iWatch! Using Google Maps from my phone to my destination, I then only need to look at my watch as it would show which stops I need to get off, which platform or direction to go. This saves me from having to hold on to my phone as it was all on my wrist! Super useful!

Google maps on iWatch

So there you go! Phew! I finally finished my Japan series. Hope you found it useful!

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