Many travellers enjoy spending a day in Nara, the first Japanese capital.
We considered this option but then decided to spend more time in Kyoto and discover the western side of the city.
You’d do well to follow this route!
It’s Tuesday, April 29th and we haven’t been to a temple for the past 18hours! Time to remedy this point.
From our hotel Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa, we got the bus 205 which stops right by the Kinkaku-ji temple, the Gold Pavilion.
It took us 35 minutes to get there and the entrance fee is 400 yens.
It was bliss! The pavilion is astonishing, brilliant. If it wasn’t raining, I could have spent hours staring at it.
Just right be Kinkaku-ji, you’ll find the Ryoan-ji Temple with its beautiful dry garden. It’s within a 20-minute walk.
The entrance fee is 500 yens.
The dry garden is simple yet perfect! The gardens surrounding are beautiful. If you get ungry, there’s a Japanese restaurant in the middle of the gardens.
From there, to reach Arashiyama, you can take an old-fashioned tram. Finding the tram station was not the hardest part, but finding which track would lead us to our final destination…
Eventually, we made it there. At the station, there is a funny “kimono forest”. It reminded me of the beautiful fabrics from “Le Colonel Moutarde” bowties. I will write a different post about those: they are so chic, your best pick for all circumstances!
It’s 1 pm and I’m starving. Chris ROWTHORN recommended in his blog the restaurant Arashiyama Yoshimura.
We didn’t wait much to get a table and luckily we got a sit by the window, so we could enjoy the beautiful landscape of Togetsu-kyo bridge.
We ordered the Togetsu-zen menu. We were told the noodles were delicious. But so were the pickles, the tempura, the miso soup. I loved it all!! Couldn’t stop repeating “Oh I wish we had the same at home!”.
There is a lot of food in the menu. I was full with the cold soba. But everything is so yummy that you end up eating everything!
A great walk through the Bamboo path helps digesting 🙂
This walk is really unique. I’ve never seen something like this before. Unfortunately, since it was a rainy day, we didn’t get beautiful pictures (especially with the iphone). There is little luminosity so the pictures got a bit dark…
Guess what? The walk through the path is free!
From here, you can visit many other temples or even the garden with monkeys. We picked two places: Tenryiu-ji Temple and Okochi-sanso Villa.
There are various entries to get inside Tenryiu-ji temple and gardens, but only one to the Temple itself. Actually, it drove us crazy to find thee right one. Especially since it was raining and we went three times around the garaden before finding it…
It cost us 600 yens to access the temple and its gardens.
We rested a bit on a bench overlooking the pond and the forest.
As you exit the Tenryu-ji, there is the Okochi-sanso villa very close by.
This place used to be home to a famous Japanese actor who made everything from scratch. As I walk through this lovely place I felt this passion for gardens bewitching me again!
It seems that each element has been very carefully studied before being placed. It’s sick how harmonious it looks.
It’s 1.000 yens to get in. Not cheap, but 10.000 times worth every cent. When you leave, you are served green tea and sweets.
If you are a gyoza lover, we recommend you to have dinner at Anzzuko: a gyoza place only!
Read this carefully: the restaurant is located on the first floor of a building. To find it, look for this sign:
The room is rather small. We had two sits at the bar and could watch the owner and her second preparing the dumplings on a very delicate way.
The English menu explains everything about thee ingredients and the way it is cooked, so you can’t go wrong. We had pickles: the cucumber was light, which made it a refreshing aperitif! We have also been offered tofu: the dressing was amazing. And the different gyozas were all very good.
This is a great choice for a great dinner on a budget and Anzzuko diserves the award of best gyoza restaurant!
Tomorrow is our last day in Kyoto. We’ll visit the Imperial Palace. Read the article here.
To check our Japanese tour at a glance, go here!