Kyoto Hodgepodge

Aug 9th, 2010, 04:19 AM
  #1  
jep
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 21
Kyoto Hodgepodge

Hello. My husband and I are booked for our Kyoto koyo trip this November. I have put together an itinerary after having gone through many, MANY pages of the Kyoto forum here (and over at Trip Advisor). It is almost done, but still needs polish.

About us: we are in our mid-thirties, would like to mix up temples/gardens with theater, crafts/workshops, shopping. His interests: iaido, katanas and all things samurai; my interests: quaint shops, old streets.

Many thanks, in advance.

Nov 17 (Wed):
arrive at KIX from Manila at 19:30; Haruka or MK shuttle to HotelMume (ETA 20:00)

*Hotel Mume: 261,Shinmonzen St. Umemoto-cho, Higashiyama-ku

Could someone guesstimate taxi costs from Kyoto station to this hotel? Taking Haruka express certainly seems cheaper than the MK shuttle, but we have the added taxi cost..

Nov 18 (Thurs):
DAY: Chion-In, Maruyama Park, Ii museum (swords and armor)
Bunraku play at Minamiza
EVE: park/temple light up
STAY: Hotel Mume

-I cannot find an English schedule for the Minamiza theater and not even sure if there are any shows during our stay. We can certainly build our schedule around it. Are there other theaters for bunraku aside from the Minamiza?
-Is there a list of what temples/ gardens are lit up at night?

Nov 19 (Fri)
DAY: Johnny Hillwalkers tour, Kiyomizu temple and shops leading to it
Philosopher’s walk
EVE: Gion/Pontocho
STAY: Hotel Mume

-tour is not a must, we are mainly after the behind the scenes look at traditional crafts and workshops. I have seen mixed reviews about the Kyoto handicraft center,
We would really like to see something like this workshop…

http://www.kyotoguide.com/ver2/thismonth/karacho.html

but not sure if this is readily accessible because of the language barrier. Any other suggestions?

Nov 20 (Sat)
DAY: Toie Eigamura, Kinkakuji, Ryoanji
EVE: Kanga-an (temple/bar)
STAY: Shunkoin Temple guest house

*Shunko-in- 42 Myoshinji-Cho, Hanazono, Ukyo-Ku


Nov 21 (Sun)
DAY: Shunko-in Temple zen meditation class and temple tour
Nijo castle, Nishijin textile center
EVE: garden/temple light up
STAY: Shunkoin Temple guesthouse

Nov 22 (Mon)
DAY: Fushimi Inari shrine—walk to Tofukuji (leave bags at JR Kyoto)
train to Osaka, Osaka shopping (Dotonburi, Den Den, Namba)
EVE: Osaka neon lights
STAY: Hotel Monterey Grasmere

Will Fushimi/Tofukuji excursion take half a day…more?
jep is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 05:11 PM
  #2  
 
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Posts: 45
-Is there a list of what temples/ gardens are lit up at night?

in higashiyama area,
Kiyomizu-dera
Eikando Zenrin-ji
http://www.eikando.or.jp/English/index_eng.htm
Kodai-ji
http://www.kodaiji.com/e_index.html
Chion-in
Shoren-in

Kyoto as a whole (Japanese web pages)
http://www.kyoto-okoshiyasu.com/see/lightup/koyo.html
http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/kp/koto/mo...dex_yakan.html (if you click the picture of each temple/garden, web page address is listed.)
kanazawan is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 07:16 PM
  #4  
jep
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Thanks for the links Kanazawan....the pictures are gorgeous, makes me want it to be Kyoto in November already...
jep is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 11:38 PM
  #5  
 
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Hopefully your weather will be better than now. I arrived in Kyoto last night and it is very, very hot and very, very humid. It has rained off and on today, and I just found out a typhoon is expected here on Thursday -- it is now Tuesday.
Oh well. . .
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 12:52 AM
  #6  
 
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You will be arriving at the start of the fall leaves season, so you may see some gorgeous fall colors in the hills nearby like Arashiyama.
Minamiza during your stay has a recital by a female Japanese traditional (enka) singer called Miyuki Kawanaka.
http://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/minamiza/101120/
Your hotel is near Yasaka-jinja, and will cost around 1200 yen in taxi fare, depending on traffic, maybe up to 1500 yen if late-night charge applies.
Alec is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 03:17 AM
  #7  
jep
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Yes, Neopatrick, hopefully weather then would be a little more cooperative....though some of my nicest travel pics were shot in the rain. I realize the peak of the fall colors will likely be another week from our travel dates..but work has a way of spoiling the best travel plans....

Thanks for the link, Alec. I put it through google translate and it worked pretty well. I guess it would be a lot like watching an opera in Italian...--the music will just have to speak for itself.

RE: transpo costs
-- looks like only a 1500yen savings with the train vs the convenience of the MK shuttle.
--if you will indulge me, another question about getting around: I tried to group our days by area. would it still make sense to get a bus or bus/subway combo pass or should we just pay as we go? I cannot tell if the sites I grouped together are within walking distance.

Again, thanks a lot.
jep is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 04:18 AM
  #8  
 
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I find the only pass worth getting is Kyoto City Bus one-day ticket at 500 yen (from the driver). You start making a saving from the third ride.
Alec is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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I just bought a two day bus AND subway pass for 2000 yen. It costs a lot more, but I ended up doing 8 rides today, so I think it was well worth it. And since I'm right by a major subway entrance, I really wanted subways as well as bus. Even if you don't save a lot or even any money -- I still like the convenience of a pass to avoid having to mess with tickets each time.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 09:48 AM
  #10  
kja
 
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>Are there other theaters for bunraku aside from the Minamiza?

Gion Corner has a very tourist-y performance of a variety of traditional arts, including bunraku. When I was there some years ago, the bunraku segment was about 20 minutes. I was very glad to see it! I think you might be able to see bunraku in Osaka around the time you'll be there, but I'm not sure.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 04:14 PM
  #11  
jep
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Kja, thanks for the tip about Bunraku in Osaka. There is a show on the weekend that we are there! So we have options...I saw mixed reviews about the tourist-y Gion Corner show, but heck... we are tourists after all.

Thanks for weighing in on my bus/subway pass question. I just downloaded the JNTO's suggested walking tours and most of our days' 1 and 2 sites are covered in their walks; and the included maps give me a better idea of their "walkability".

Here is a link, for anyone who is interested
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-503.pdf
jep is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #12  
kja
 
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Note that the "walking times" listed on the JNTO maps are just for walking per se and don't include any time spent at the temples or other sites along the way.
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Aug 11th, 2010, 02:56 PM
  #13  
 
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Hi jep, We went to the Bunraku theater in Osaka and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Please read my trip report which includes info on this.

Johnny Hillwalker's tour is well worth it. Unless you are familiar with Japan or speak Japanese, you will find it quite puzzling and you will be very glad to get good info in English. Plus, he takes you to the back alleys which you may not notice otherwise. They are a different side of Kyoto - You will see a more "village" side to the city.

I can't wait to hear about the Hotel Mume. I was sorely tempted. It gets great reviews on Trip Advisor.

I will say this re the bus. Good luck figuring it out. The trains are much more user friendly. We did the bus one day and even figuring out which bus to go on was difficult (We started on the bus at a minor station. I'm sure it is easier at the central station, but once you are out there, your English won't get you very far....). We much preferred the subways.

Neo, so sorry about the weather! We were lucky when we were there and it only rained one day and then it was at a time we were not outside. It was plenty hot, though. I think we nearly emptied out a vending machine or two buying drinks.
Orcas is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 06:07 PM
  #14  
jep
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Hi Orcas. I had read your trip report (a really good read, with lots of helpful info) a while ago....I actually first came across the Johnny Hillwalker tour from there! I must have spaced out and missed your account of the Osaka Bunraku theater, the first time. It is good to hear that there are English audioguides available, should make it infinitely more enjoyable.

I am also looking forward to our stay at Hotel Mume. So far, I've had several email exchanges with the hotel staff about logistics...their replies were not only prompt, but always very thoughtful.
jep is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:30 AM
  #15  
 
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I agree with Orcas about the bus. It's quite confusing. I have a bus map, but it's so widely drawn with all the routes, that you really can't tell what streets they are on. And of course, few streets have English names, so you can't match it up anyway. The subway is a breeze. I thought I figured out the bus today for one trip, then realized I had to be going the wrong way, so had to get off and go the other direction.

What to do in pouring rain all day like today? Well, my legs are exhausted from two solid days of walking, so I ended up buying a ticket to the Japanese National Tour of the Broadway musical Crazy for you which is here for two months. I know the show backwards and forwards so the language was no issue. And having seen the original Broadway AND London casts do it, I'd see this one easily compared. Really great voices and amazing dancers. The male lead looked like a young Red Buttons with his red hair but danced like Donald O'Connor. He was terrific. The shows are oddly all at 1:30 except two "evening performaces" at 5:30.

So for me it wasn't Bunraku, it was Japanese Broadway. LOL
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Glad you found something to do in the rain, Neo! It must have been really interesting to listen in Japanese, and great that you knew it so well. If you still have time, the food market, while outdoors, is completely covered and it is fascinating.
Orcas is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 01:02 PM
  #17  
 
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Hi NeoPatrick - I have a reservation at the same hotel as you in Kyoto (you are at the Parkside, right?) - how are you liking it?
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 03:35 PM
  #18  
jep
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Hi Neopatrick, you may want to check out the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts "Fureaikan" ...it might be worth a visit especially on a rainy afternoon. A Kyoto expert over at another forum said it "has immaculate displays (and sometimes demonstrations by craftsmen) of many traditional crafts, as well as a shop with high-quality souvenirs". It is over by Heian shrine

http://www.miyakomesse.jp/fureaika/i...x_english.html
jep is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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Palaceside, not Parkside. Is that what you meant? It was OK. I had a single room and it was very small, with a compartment like bath but a very nice powered shower in tub and a bidet/toilet. I did not eat there. The dining room looked so dreary -- with its clear plastic tablecloths. But the staff was nice and helpful -- and the location was great for the subway.

Oh, and Orcas, actually I started my morning yesterday at the long food market. I was shocked though that nothing was open at 8:30. I'm used to food markets being early morning affairs.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 04:00 PM
  #20  
 
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Right, Palaceside. Thanks - sounds OK. The alternative was another Toyoko, and I'm staying in three others.
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