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3 Days in Kyoto, Japan

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Aug 22nd, 2012, 09:59 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
3 Days in Kyoto, Japan

My partner and I will be in Kyoto from 9/6-9/8 and we have pulled together the following itinerary. Would love to get in put from folks that have visited.

Questions:
-Are we missing any unique or special sites that you would include?
-Are we trying to do too much?
-We are considering a tea ceremony or Kabuki theater - thoughts?

Day 1
Morning: Southern Higashiyama
Kiyomizu-dera
Chion-in
Kyoto National Musem

Afternoon: Northern Higashiyama
Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavillion)
Path of Philosophy

Evening: Gion
Stroll and Dinner

Day 2 (full day)
Morning: Nishiki Market

Afternoon: Central Kyoto & Northwest
Imperial Palace
Fushimi-Inari-Taisha (Shinto Shrine Gates)
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)
Ryoan-ji

Day 3
Morning: Arashiyama
Bamboo Forest
Tenryu-ji
thestyledancer is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 12:07 AM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,119
> Day 1
Morning: Southern Higashiyama
Kiyomizu-dera
Chion-in
Kyoto National Musem
...
Afternoon: Northern Higashiyama
Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavillion)
Path of Philosophy

I was not able to visit both the northern and southern parts of Higashiyama in a single day. For my interests, there was simply too much to see in that amount of time - and even with 2 days, I skipped some sites! BTW, from what I can tell, some guides present the time it takes to walk as though it is the time to walk AND see the sites. NOT the same!

You might be able to spread some of the Higashiyama sites into your Day 2 by shifting some things. I visited Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, and Arashiyama (including Tenryuji, the Bamboo forest, and the Okochi Sanso Villa) in a single (very busy and long) day.

> -Are we missing any unique or special sites that you would include?

Did you consider finding time to visit Nijo-jo? Sanjusangendo?

-We are considering a tea ceremony or Kabuki theater - thoughts?

If you can find the time, go for it! Given that your time is limited, you might consider spending one evening at Gion Corner, where you can see a decidedly tourist-y, but nonetheless enjoyable, display of kabuki and several other unique Japanese performances (I was very glad to see bunraku). For more info;

http://www.kyoto-gioncorner.com/global/en.html

If you haven't already seen it, you'll find a lot of helpful info at:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html

Whatever you find time to visit, you will see some amazing places. Enjoy!
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 12:12 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The shrines and temples of Kyoto are not be rushed through. You want to spend the time strolling through their gardens, and many have simple tea/snack served inside. Definitely don't plan on visiting more than 2 major sights in half-day or more than 3 in a day.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 05:14 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 947
You have made some lovely choices, but I strongly agree with the comments above. I can't imagine how one would accomplish Morning Day 1 or Afternoon Day 2 in particular. On the other hand, I have not been to the market so I don't know, but maybe there is some time that you can recapture from Morning Day 2. What do others think about that segment?

Even if you normally like to move at a brisk pace, 2 temples and a museum in one half-day feels more more like ticking off places on a list than enjoying a quality visit of any one site. Rkkwan speaks for many of us. You will want to slow down, linger, savor these glorious temples and the property they are situated on.

The central Kyoto, Kinkakuji, Ryoanji grouping makes sense to me, but do note that Fushimi Inari is a
couple of train stops south of Kyoto Station so in a different part of the city from the other choices. Then once you arrive at Fushimi Inari, do you want to just browse the lower areas or do you want to climb all the way to the top? Everything depends upon your style of visiting. For my son and me, Fushimi Inari was a full half day visit because we went to the top for sunset. We could have spent less time there, of course, but it did take a little time to get to and from the temple.

One other issue is lines and how they might gobble up time. I wonder if anyone here can comment on how long they are likely to be on your dates. We visited Kinkakuji (Golden Temple) on August 13 -- during school vacation time -- and the lines and crowd were fine first thing but grew to be frightful. We went early in the day; by the time we were leaving around 11 a.m., the line to get in was staggeringly long and would have challenged my resolve to wait for admission.

Please say a little more about your visiting style and your budget. For example, will you rely on trains, buses, and subway to get places or are taxis an option?

Again, you have made sensational choices. We just want to be sure that you get to luxuriate in each one of them.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 01:23 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,320
The only day that looks doable is day 3.

Cut out some from days 1 & 2 as others above have suggested. Day 2 is a nightmare having you in northern, southern and central Kyoto throughout the day. Either add days or subtract venues and start again.

Aloha!
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Aug 26th, 2012, 10:10 PM
  #6
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
These comments and recommendations are just amazingly helpful. I am working to take out some of the sights so we can spend more quality time enjoying the few that we choose to visit. We are not typically the see everything and run around tourists but I am so infatuated with what Kyoto has to offer that I just couldn't resist throwing in the kitchen sink. We want to have bikes on all or some of the days so we hope that will help with getting around to the central sites. We aren't averse to grabbing a cab to save on time. We are definitely going to spend a late afternoon/evening in Gion and we are thinking either Kabuki or a tea ceremony for an "experience" Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts. Best, David
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Aug 27th, 2012, 04:59 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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> We want to have bikes on all or some of the days

Be sure to check out the Kyoto Cycling Tour company (http://www.kctp.net/en/tour/index.html). They offer several different half- and full-day bicycle tours of Kyoto with English-language guides. I haven't personally used them (but hope to correct that late this fall), but they are nearly unanimously recommended on TA.
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Aug 29th, 2012, 04:23 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2004
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pictures Don....we definitely need pictures

Aloha!
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