Japan, Kyoto- Fushimi Inari Shrine

For our last day in Kyoto, I wanted to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto. The beautiful orange colors of the torri gates in the midst of the bamboo forest really caught my attention when I first started reading about traveling in Kyoto. I was also eager to spend sometime outside hiking after almost one week of walking around in the city.

Fushimi Inari

The orange gates of Fushimi Inari

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Japan- Day 2 in Kyoto

We had two days to spend in Kyoto, on the first day we brought a daily bus ticket for $5 to get around the city. First stop was the Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji, it’s about 8 km from the Kyoto train station but it takes about an hour to get there, it is definitely not the most efficient way to move such a distance but it was the cheapest.The entry fee to the Golden Pavilion is $5 per person, it is a short walk around the garden with a beautiful but crowded view on the pavilion. The top two stories of the pavilion is covered in gold-leaf coating, although this is not the original structure, it is almost the exact replica before the 1950 arson incident that destroyed most of the building. The garden is small and takes about 30 minutes to walk through.

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion

The most entertaining part of the park was not the place itself but conversing to the elementary school students from Northern Japan about their English assignment. Their task of the day was to practice English with tourists, their eagerness to learn was adorable. Continue reading

Japan- Kyoto Imperial Palace

We woke up in Tokyo the next day and had a big breakfast before taking the JR train to Kyoto. The weather took a turn for the worse and it began raining hard early in the morning. Thankfully, the weather got better by the time we arrived in Kyoto.

The train ride from Shinagawa to Kyoto is a little over 2 hours. We are staying at Hotel Keihan Kyoto. It is a modest hotel at about $80 per night and it is within walking distance from the Kyoto station. We left our bags with the front desk and ventured out the a Kyoto for a place to eat lunch since we arrived much earlier than the check in time. We discovered a line of restaurants at the basement of the hotel we are staying at and each enjoyed a steamy bowl of udon for lunch, it was perfect rainy day food.

Udon, good eats

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Japan- Riding the JR Train

I have to admit, Japan has never been a country high on my list of must visit places. Being called one of the most expensive countries to visit, it’s a place Louis and I decided to splurge for ten days on our way to visit family in China. The trip all started from Louis’s mom insisting we pay homage to his relatives in China after our wedding in the U.S. When I saw plane tickets to Tokyo for $700, I knew this was the perfect chance to loop in Japan during our mandatory family visit. Continue reading