Thursday, April 5, 2018

Kyoto Sightseeing / Kyoto Tour - Kyoto Sightseeing Bus to Arashiyama → Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) → Fushimi Inari-taisha → Kiyomizudera ๐ŸšŒ Going to Top Kyoto Sightseeing Spots with WOW BUS!

Kyoto Sightseeing / Kyoto Tour 
Kyoto Sightseeing Bus to 
ArashiyamaKinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) → 
Fushimi Inari-taishaKiyomizudera 
 Going to Top Kyoto Sightseeing Spots with 

The Most Popular Place to Visit in Japan 2018


Recently Kyoto has been the #1 place to visit in Japan,
and it's easy to see why...
it's the formal Imperial capital of Japan (its name even means "capital city"),
famous for green tea,
geisha/maiko/oiran, gardens, old tea houses,
small "old Japan" style building, 
making it the heart of the remaining traditional side of Japan.
Not to mention the crazy number of hundreds of World Heritage sites.
as many Japanese and foreign people go to visit Kyoto,
hardly anyone actually stays in Kyoto.
You're more likely to have people stay in Osaka,
and with it being just a bit over an hour away,
people travel to Kyoto then head back to their hotels in Osaka 
or go someplace else.
What we did though this last time we went to hang out in Kansai,
was something surprisingly not so common.
It was both stress-free on our wallets, our backs, and time.

๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ

Take a Tour Bus to Kyoto from Osaka
Look at that smile :) ♡
 We took a Kyoto tour bus to see 4 main tourist spots in Kyoto from Osaka.
Like mentioned above,
most people just stay in Osaka and go to Kyoto for the day then come back.
We however, checked out of our hotel in Osaka,
took a tour bus to Kyoto and stayed at a hotel there!
So basically we got transportation to our next spot
and places we wanted to see in Kyoto 
that are far out there for a really good price!
And it was in English!

Kyoto's transportation isn't as developed as Tokyo or even Osaka,
the only means of transportation is bus, car, or bike.

Which makes things a bit hectic if you're traveling around.
It's almost inevitable when sightseeing,
no matter how hard you try to pack light,
you'll have stuff to lug around.
Even if it's just roller suitcases or a big backpack,
it weighs you down and gets in the way 

especially if you're at a really crowded place.

But since we took the Hankyu travel bus (Wow! Bus),
we just shoved the stuff we really didn't need at the luggage storing place
below the bus until the tour was over.

It wasn't until we started the tour that we realized HOW NICE
it was to not have to carry our luggage everywhere.
A lot of streets and shops in Kyoto are particularly narrow,
so it worked out really well.

Once you check in before boarding the bus,
the tour guide will give you a "Hankyu Travel Wow! Bus" sticker.

As you can imagine,
there are a lot of different tour groups in Kyoto.
So to help you find your group and you from getting on the wrong bus,
you get a sticker.

The bus also surprisingly has some nice leg room.
A lot of buses in Japan are really narrow from seat row
and our knees almost always touch the back of the seat in front of us.
We rode in complete comfort,
enabling us to look at all the things on the way to the tour sites pain-free.  

You of course get free time on the tour.
Once we got off the bus, 

the tour guide took us to the main entrances and 
had a map of some surrounding sites to check out.
Before heading out on your own
the guide will always tell you what time to be back at the bus by
and which lane the bus is parked at.
๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ

Arashiyama (ๅตๅฑฑ) 
(roughly 90min ride)
The bamboo groves or bamboo forest that is a part of Arashiyama
is becoming more and more popular among foreign tourists.
The subtle wind blowing through the bamboo branches
makes a nice short video.
It's said many of the bamboo from Arashiyama is chopped down
and used to manufacture tatami mats, boxes, and other bamboo goods.
So when you're shopping,
keep an eye out for some Arashiyama bamboo products!

You will also see lots of people riding in old rickshaws
while going around the bamboo forest.
We thought it looked fun,
so hopefully we'll get to try it next time.


Places to go see when in Arashiyama

1. Nonomiya Shrine
Nonomiya Shrine was originally built as a sacred house 
for the Ise Shrine Priestess as a venue to prepare herself through purification.
It is believed that Amaterasu (the Goddess of the Sun, 
who is believed to be the direct ancestor of the Japanese emperors),
the protector of childbirth, and the protector of marriage are enclosed here.
What we like about this shrine is 
that there are plenty of Japanese ritual things to participate in.

One thing that is particularly special to Nonomiya Shrine is
this unique way of praying for good fortune.
The shrine priest will give you a piece of paper and a marker to write with.
On this paper, you write about something you wish for,
apparently health-related things are the main thing.
Once you finish writing your wish you place the paper on top of the water
then take a coin (any amount is fine) and put it on top of the paper.

It's believed that once the paper sinks your wish will come true. 

*It's cut out of the picture,
but next to the bucket is a massive stone called the, "Turtle Stone".

Apparently, there is a legend that if you place the stone next to
the shrine with the deity of marriage
your wish will come true within a year.

Nonomiya Shrine(้‡Žๅฎฎ็ฅž็คพ)

2. Kotoimo Honpo
Right in front of the entrance to the bamboo forest 
is a popular green tea ice cream shop, Kotoimo Honpo.
There you can get their 4 layer ice cream,
all different kinds of green tea๐Ÿฆ

When we went, they were out of a flavor
so only a 3 layered ice cream was available.
The flavors were green tea (matcha; ๆŠน่Œถ), roasted tea (houjicha; ใปใ†ใ˜่Œถ), 

and whole tea leaf green tea (sencha; ็…Ž่Œถ).

๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ’ดEither single flavored or multi, the price is 300 yen per cone.

Kotoimo Honpo(ๅค้ƒฝ่Š‹ๆœฌ่ˆ–)

3. Sagano Croquette
Sagano Croquette is a popular and famous local food stand 
in the main street of Arashiyama.
They serve all kinds of croquette but their most popular ones are the "kinsho (1st place/gold) and "sagano croquette".

๐Ÿ’ดKinsho Croquette (contains potato and wagyu-beef): 200 yen
Sagano Croquette (simple, basic recipe): 100 yen

☆Sagano Croquette

4. Arashiyama Marun
This popular souvenir shop has all kinds of really cute Japanese candy,
but there is one (technically two) thing(s) in particular
that makes this store famous.

GIF source Giphy
Remeber the candy the soot balls love so much in spirited away?!
Those little candy stars are called konpeito (ใ‚ณใƒณใƒšใ‚คใƒˆใƒผ)

(L) World's smallest konpeito; (R) Smallest Konpeito in Japan
Here at Arashiyama Marun, you can get Japan's smallest konpeito 
(Japan's small colored sugar candy) and the WORLD'S smallest konpeito!
At first we thought just a picture would service,
but they were really cute and something really special to this store
so we went ahead and got one of each! ^ 0 ^

Arashiyama Marun(ๅตๅฑฑใพใ‚‹ใ‚“)

5. % Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama
This is just your average coffee shop 
but for some reason it always has a massive line...
We asked our friend who told us about it why it was so popular
because it really just seemed like an ordinary coffee shop.

It's apparently really popular due to the view surrounding the shop.
So many people buy a drink then take a picture right in front of Katsura River
and upload the picture(s) on SNS.
The view from there is really pretty though to be fair. 

% Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama

Kinkakuji (้‡‘้–ฃๅฏบ)
(roughly 45min ride)
The Golden Pavilion is a World Heritage Site that Kyoto is known for.
When it was constructed in 1397 it was originally a villa to a lord, 
but after his death it became a temple.
We overhead a funny and unique story about the temple,
and that is that it was burned down in the 50's by an angry monk
who was apparently "jealous of its beauty".
Unfortunately you can't go inside, 
but just looking at the beautiful gold leaf structure 
surrounded by Japanese nature is just as nice.

๐Ÿ’ดAdmission not included: Adult 400 yen, Child 300 yen
(roughly $3.75, $2.80)

Fushimi Inari-taisha (ไผ่ฆ‹็จฒ่ทๅคง็คพ)
(roughly 50min ride)
If you've seen the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha,
then you've seen Fushimi Inari-taisha.
It is a bit out of the way, further from many of the "main" Kyoto attractions,
which makes this bus tour SUPER convenient!!

JAPANKURU has of course been here before,
so we just had some fun recreating old pictures from past trips. ^o^ haha

☆Fushimi Inari-taisha(ไผ่ฆ‹็จฒ่ท็ฅž็คพ)
Google Maps

Places to go see near Fushimi Inari-taisha

1. Matsuya (ใŠใ›ใ‚“ใฎ้‡Œๆพๅฑ‹)
In addition to the shrine,
there are many shops and restaurants right in front of Fushimi Inari-taisha.

We just found this inari senbei (fried rice cracker) place
and we were SO shocked by what the storekeeper told us.
So every American knows about fortune cookies,
and some people know that despite coming with you Chinese takeaway,
they're an American creation....or so we thought.
The storekeeper told us the Chinese American 

who made the fortune cookie big in America got the idea after his trip to Japan.
The man came to visit and during his stay he stopped by this store.
There he got a fortune cookie,
loved the idea,
and took it back with him to America.

We took a bite of the ear before taking a pic >-<

Besides fortune cookies, there are a variety of inari senbei (fried rice cracker), 
one popular item was a big fox mask made of inari senbei.

Matsuya (ใŠใ›ใ‚“ใฎ้‡Œๆพๅฑ‹)

2. Kyozuan Kyoto Fushimi Inari (ไบฌ่ฑ†ๅบต)
This ice cream shop has something really special that's fun to play with.
That special item is....

Ok....but how?!?!!?
The secret is in the ingredients,
but it's not some crazy artificial substance to make it that way.
Inside this soft serve ice cream is "kyozuan",
soybeans (tofu) that's made in Arashiyama
and contains no pesticide.

Kyozuan Kyoto Fushimi Inari (ไบฌ่ฑ†ๅบต)
Google Maps

3. Gohachido (ไผๅ…ซๅ ‚)
Gohachido is apparently a MEGA famous and popular whitebait 
and hot chili oil store among Japanese wives and mothers.

Their hot chili oil though....oh my god.
We got to sample and ended up getting two jars.
You can add some when making stews,
chinese food, or even just on top of your rice!

If you stop by here you have GOT to ask to try some!!!

Or try little itty bitty fishies (whitebait) with eyes that have been seasoned and cooked in soy sauce. 
There are 3 different bowls with a different soy sauce percentage.
Many Westerns can't eat whitebait (shirasu in Japanese),
but it is a popular topping choice in Japan.
You often see it on top of pizza or in a rice ball.

Gohachido (ไผๅ…ซๅ ‚)
Google Maps

Kiyomizudera (ๆธ…ๆฐดๅฏบ)
(roughly 90min ride)
If you go to Kyoto and don't stop by Kiyomizudera,
it's like you didn't really go to Kyoto.
This temple is one of the most known and photographed temples in all of Japan,
partly because it is associated with one of Japan's oldest forms of Buddhism.
Another is because it is just a beautiful sight 

that incorporates Japan's tradition and four seasons.
This picture is taken from our last visit,
but it's important to notice that Kiyomizudera is under construction
and will be until 2020 sadly

๐Ÿ’ดAdmission not included: Adult 400 yen, Child 200 yen
(roughly $3.75, $1.80)

Even though Kiyomizudera is under construction,

there are plenty of things to do and see once inside!
So no worries!

Places to go see when in Kiyomizudera

1. Jishu Jinja Shrine
For you love birds or wanting some love this shrine is for you!
The Jishu Jinja Shrine is said to be the oldest shrine in Kyoto
whose gods are that of love and relationship. 

Take the Koiuranai-no-ishAKA the love fortune stones~
It's believed that those able to navigate between the stones with their eyes closed will have their wish for love granted by the shrine's gods.
Thankfully you can have a friend help navigate you!
It was more difficult than we expected.

Like the white pieces of paper from Spirited Away!

2. Otowa Waterfall
Kiyomizudera literally means the "pure water temple",
 which is said to be from this waterfall that flows down below the temple.
 The waterfall is divided into 3 separate streams and you can use the spoodle like cups there to drink from them. 
Each of the streams is believed to have a different purpose
like for those wanting success, love, or longevity.
Apparently, though you should only pick and drink from one stream though
or else you'd be seen as selfish or greedy.

Stay in Kyoto or Head Back to Osaka
It's Your Choice!
A majority of the tour just went back to Osaka,
us however,
we said goodbye there and went on to our hotel in Kyoto.
The guide said it is also a possibility to leave in the middle of the tour.
So like if you want to get off at Kinkakuji,
just tell the guide!
Just be aware that they won't drop you off at any other place
besides whats decided on the tour.

๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ ๐Ÿ’บ ๐ŸšŒ

Online Reservations
Make a Reservation for WOW BUS at Home

Making reservations is super easy whether you live in Japan or not.
Just pick the tour (in this case 1 day Kyoto tour from Osaka in English)
and it will take you to the calendar with the prices shown for each day.
Once you select a date you'll be taken to a page to register for the tour!

⇩Get more info and make reservations here⇩

There is a possibility that the order of places will be changed depending on weather and traffic,
however the places are a definite so no worries.

Take a Sightseeing Tour in Kyoto Hassle-Free

♡♡Be sure to take lots of pics!!!!!♡♡

More helpful articles on Japan's Kobe & Osaka area 

『』Kyoto Hostel with Great Access to Kyoto's Popular Sightseeing Spots『』



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