Travel: 4 days in Kyoto, Japan
2012 was a crazy year of traveling for me. I've pinned 13 countries and many more cities on my trips. Friends often wondered how S and i. It all boils down to good planning and maximizing all available leave and holidays. Long weekends or weekend trips are good enough for nearby Asian cities that are less than 8h of flight away.
Bus travel is the most convenient as major sights are mostly within walking distance from the stops. What's helpful is that attractions are labelled on the bus map. Each trip costs 220Y within the city zone so it makes perfect sense to get the daily bus pass for 500Y/day which gives you unlimited rides. To get to Arashiyama, you'll need to top up a little more.
So here is how i sectioned Kyoto for my 4 day Autumn trip (sadly we were a little early for the koyo season.)
One of the top attractions, Kinkaku, Golden Pavilion is a Zen temple whose top two floors are completely plastered with gold leaves. I found it hard to enjoy the zen with tourists scrambling to get their perfect shot.
Tetsugaku-no-michi- Philosopher's Path
If you are ok with walking, continue down to Nanzen-ji, one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto. The grounds are massive with several sub temples in it. The central grounds are free and open to public and here is where you'll see the towering Sanmon entrance gate.
3. Shijo and Gion
Tenryuji Temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and considered as Kyoto's top 5 Zen Temples but really i didn't find anything spectacular about it. The must see however is the Sagano Bamboo forest that is behind the Temple. I love the wind chime quality of the rattling of the bamboo and the light rustle of the leaves.
Remember to do a Tofu Ryori in Arashiyama for they are famed for that. I'll introduce an affordable one to you soon. Best Japanese jelly i've had as part of my meal and i totally regretted not buying it back.
There are so many ways to visit Kyoto and here are merely some options based on my experience. It really depends what sort of traveler you are. Remember, whatever you do, don't rush it. The journey is more important than the destination. Hope you've enjoyed this post!