Day Trip to Kyoto

Day Trip to Kyoto

Kyoto is a small city just east of Osaka, about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Osaka City Central (Namba Station) by train. It is known for its shrines and keeping the traditional aspects of the Japanese culture. Being Christian, I'm not a huge fan of shrines but the shrine that is definitely worth a visit is the Fushimi Inari Shrine, simply for it's photo-esque qualities.

After exiting from the Fushimi Inari station, there is a path through a traditional village that will take you to the shrine. Shops on both sides of the street sell local Japanese food/snacks and tourist gifts (the postcards here are beautiful!).

The Fushimi Inari shrine is a path up the side of a mountain and if you were to walk the full trail, it would take approximately two and a half hours. Along the entire path are red bamboo frames with inscriptions of those who donated to this shrine. To save time for other things, we only walked the first flight of steps (to the first "break" point) and snapped a few iconic pictures.

Exiting the shrine, hop back onto the train that you came on to take you into the heart of Kyoto (get off at Shijo station). If you walk in the direction of the Yasaka shrine, there are many shops and restaurants showcasing the Kyoto culture. One of the them are matcha desserts. Kyoto is known for its matcha (tea leaves) and there are matcha cakes, matcha softserve, matcha rolls, matcha you-name-it. Try any of these shops and it will easily be the best matcha dessert you have ever tasted. We bought the matcha soft serve and the matcha flavour was so rich, it was delicious!

Another popular and must see place in Kyoto is the Gion street (near the Yasaka shrine). The Gion street preserves the traditional cobbled stone street and buildings of ancient day Japan. It is also where olden day geisha's used to be (now, it is mostly tourists who dress up as geishas). The restaurants here are quite expensive but it is still worth a visit to experience traditional Japanese culture.

To end the day off, walk along the Great Kamo River towards Sanjo station and take in the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of Kyoto. Have a late afternoon tea at Kyo Hayashiya before you hop on the train back to Osaka!