The lure of Kyoto. Not only historic, but atmospheric and dynamic

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October 20th 2009
Published: January 20th 2011
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Nanzen TempleNanzen TempleNanzen Temple

Destination: Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture (Distance from Tokyo: 470km, approximately 294 miles)

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Date: November, 2009

Tokyo is the capital of Japan,,, yes it’s true. But it started only 142 years ago, even though the history of this country counts over 2000 years. Do you know where the nation’s capital was before Tokyo? It was Kyoto.

Thick text books of Japanese history (I had to use for in my school days, yuck) say Kyoto was established as the capital by an old Japanese government in 794 (before Kyoto was Nara from the ancient time) and the function had lasted for more than millennium. That’s why there are tons of historic places existing in Kyoto.

In 1869, a new modernized government of post-samurai era made the capital relocation from Kyoto to Edo and the name of new capital was changed to Tokyo which means “East Kyoto” in direct translation. Did you know that the name of Tokyo derived from Kyoto? So Kyoto definitely used to be on the center stage of this country for years.

With its loooong history, Kyoto people are usually proud of themselves as the residents of the most flourishing city
Tenryu TempleTenryu TempleTenryu Temple

in the country. Meanwhile, the rest of Japanese people feel Kyoto people are snobby, unfriendly, and closed-minded to outsiders. Well, that is true in some aspects. But in most cases, people in Kyoto are very nice and friendly to anybody coming from any part of this planet and show a lot of hospitality to those visitors.

On top of the heartwarming folks, Kyoto provides visitors with the various and dynamic travel scene, because it’s obvious that rich in history is synonymous with rich in culture and lifestyle. You can enjoy not only visiting the tranquil historic sites, but experiencing the interesting art, latest fashion, local cuisines, exciting nightlife, abundant nature, and more in Kyoto.

Once you step in Kyoto, you’ll get many stories and memories you want to share with somebody. It’s hard to describe the atmospheric aspects of the city at once. That’s why many re-visitors are drawn to Kyoto by its atmospheric diversity.

My wife actually visited there tree times in about 6 months between 2008 and 2009. So we are going to post a couple of Kyoto stories from next


Traveling Tips in Kyoto

- Getting there by:
Train; Shinkansen
Kawamichi-ya. Famous noodle restaurant. Kawamichi-ya. Famous noodle restaurant. Kawamichi-ya. Famous noodle restaurant.

to Kyoto from Tokyo (140 minutes). JPY13,520 for a one-way ticket. ( This is the regular fare offered by Central Japan Railway Company. You can get a bit cheaper ticket at around JPY 12,500 from a discount ticket shop.
If you don’t use Shinkansen, the price can be reduced to about half. But it requires you to ride on several non-rapid local trains all day long from Tokyo. The cheapest service would be “Seishun 18 ticket” offered by East Japan Railway Company →
Bus; There are many companies offering overnight bus services from Tokyo to the Kyoto area ( 7 hours – 8 hours). Approximately JPY7,000 for a round-trip ticket.
FYI → (
Car; Tomei & Meishin Expressway (Approximately7 hours) from central Tokyo.

- To get around the Kyoto area:
There shouldn’t be a big problem in going from one place to another by using the public transportation within the city limits. Even if you extend your trip to somewhere its suburb, trains and buses still work well.

- Accommodation in Kyoto:
Because of the high popularity as a tourist destination, there are various types of hotels in Kyoto. From luxury hotels to capsule hotels (,,, you can
With the chief chef of Takuma, Kyoto cuisine restaurant. With the chief chef of Takuma, Kyoto cuisine restaurant. With the chief chef of Takuma, Kyoto cuisine restaurant.

find suitable one according to your needs and budget range.

FYI → (

- Travel Expenses:
You might have to prepare JPY 5,000 – JPY 10,000 (excluding hotel charges) a day to enjoy your stay in Kyoto, but it totally depends on what you do. The highest burden of your cost is probably meals. Other expenses are not so high. For instance, admission fees to get into a historic site are usually less than JPY 1,000. So if you are happy with having your meals at a McDonalds or somewhere similar, you can cut down your expenditures a lot.

- Local Tourist Information:
Official Kyoto Travel Guide (
Kyoto Travel Plans (
Kyoto Perfect Guide ( <Japanese>😉

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Downtown KyotoDowntown Kyoto
Downtown Kyoto

Northward view from Kyoto station.
Downtown KyotoDowntown Kyoto
Downtown Kyoto

Southward view from Kyoto station.
City panorama from Shugunzuka HillCity panorama from Shugunzuka Hill
City panorama from Shugunzuka Hill

Ponto Street @ nightPonto Street @ night
Ponto Street @ night

Hozu Canyon Hozu Canyon
Hozu Canyon

Arashiyama in the morningArashiyama in the morning
Arashiyama in the morning

Bar in the Gion districtBar in the Gion district
Bar in the Gion district


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