What bring us here is because of Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves and Fushimi Inari Shrine, its famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates.
We spent about 2 days 2 night in Kyoto. After we landed in Osaka Kansai International Airport in the morning, we went to Osaka city for shopping and eating then we took train from Osaka station to Kyoto Station in late evening.
We didn’t purchase any special train passes or JR pass for this trip. We purchased one way ticket rapid train just like a local do. Train fare from Kansai Airport to Osaka city was ¥1160 per person, journey about 1 hour.
Before that, let me talk about our journey from Kuala Lumpur. We begin from KLIA2 at 1am local time via Air Asia Flight then arrive Osaka Airport at 8:35am. The flight cost was about RM1360, so 1 person fare was RM680. We purchased 20kg baggage and meals on flight for RM160. It’s normal for us bringing only 1 large bag and 2 small cabin bags. why not just travel light?
Our trip was in January 2014, so the conversion rate was like this, ¥1000 = RM32. It was very cheap and consider the best time to visit Japan.
Once arrived Osaka Kansai Airport, we leave our 2 bags (1 big & 1 small) in coin-operated lockers for 2 days because we will going back to this airport after Kyoto visit. Daily rate for large size locker is ¥600, can fit 1 big & 1 small luggage. Recommended to use coin-locker here.
We spent a day in Osaka for shopping only. Specifically, we spent our penny in Uniqlo. What is Uniqlo? the name comes from the words ‘unique’ and ‘clothing’ – simple and clever. This is famous Japan leading clothing brand which are high-quality, innovative, functional and affordable. Forget about buying no-brand clothes on the street, go to Uniqlo instead!.
In the late evening, we take train from Osaka to Kyoto station, fare ¥540 per person for about 30 min travel time.
Once arrive Kyoto Station, we buy some snacks & instant noodle at convenience store in Kyoto Station. Then we walk from the station to our accommodation slowly. We stayed at Sunrich Kyoto Guesthouse station, only 15 mins walk from Kyoto train station. Cost for 2 nights stay, ¥13,600 per room. Very nice and cozy guesthouse. Spaciouse living room and comfortable bed.
Note: Unfortunately, Sunrich Kyoto Guesthouse station was permanently closed as at today, year 2019.
Second day in Kyoto, we spent full day to visit some of the attractions in Kyoto. Before we start our own tour, we had breakfast nearby kyoto train station. We only ordered 1 set of Saba Shioyaki and sharing 2 person. What i really like about this restaurant was you can refill steamed rice and green tea as many as you like!.
We catch train from Kyoto Station to Inari station which is the gateway to Fushimi Inari. Travel time approx. 6 minutes and fare ¥140 one-way per person.
Visit to Fushimi Inari, traditionally you will spend about 2 hours at least to engage with the place & understand the attraction. Check the place map at the entrance so you will have an idea which section you want to cover.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Done with Fushimi Inari, we take train from Inari Station to Saga-Arashiyama station (inter-change at Kyoto station, track no32 sagano line). ¥230 one-way per person to Visit the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Then from Saga-Arashiyama station, we walk slowly to the entrance of Bamboo Forest about 600m, approx. 9 min. Here, recommended to spend about 1-2 hour. Some area may be crowded with tourist so, we need to spend sometime to get a good picture here.
We catch train back to Kyoto Station then ride a city bus no 100 to Shijo Kawaramachi. Initial plan was go to Kiyomizudera Temple, but we’re too late because the temple closes at 5pm so we detoured to Gion/Karawamachi street.
Kawaramachi is crowded with many visitors and shoppers, all taking in the many department stores and shops that line the streets in this main area of Kawaramachi dori in central Kyoto. The street run north to south, and this is considered the premier center of Kyoto, focused around Shijo Dori.
Places like the Nishiki Market, in existence for over 400 years and the ancient city mall called Teremachi Kyogoku shopping market are very popular with young people. There’s a small Shinto shrine known for its lanterns, bronze cow & spring water, called Nishiki-Tenmangu Shrine. It’s a beautiful shrine in the middle of a bustling shopping center and at the end of Nishiki market.
Our last stop was Kyoto Tower. We only viewed it from far then we headed back to guesthouse and rest because we need to wake up early to catch Haruka train to Kansai Airport. Yes! next destination is Hokkaido for winter activies!.