Kyoto: is this a walkable distance?

Oct 4th, 2005, 04:41 AM
  #1  
emd
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Kyoto: is this a walkable distance?

The Kyoto Okura hotel is on the northeast corner of the central district of Kyoto, at corner of Oike-dori and Kawaramachi-dori, across from the city office. How far is it to walk down Kawaramachi-dori to the deaprtment stores and that shopping area, and across the river from there to Gion? The map I have shows that there is a subway stop (Shiyakusko-mae station) across from the hotel, but no subway stop by the dept. store area/Gion. If it is too far to walk to those areas from the hotel, I suppose I could walk from hotel to Keihan-Sanjo station and take the train to Keihan-Shijo for Gion and Hankyu Kawaramachi station for the dept. store area.
But I am really hoping it is walkable, as this hotel is pricey and location for evening activities in Gion and shopping areas is one of the big considerations.
Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Depends on you I think. I've always found in Kyoto that what looks walkable on the map takes much longer than I expected. What I would do is ask at the hotel...who will in turn act a bit shocked that you'd walk anywhere and hem and haw a bit...but they'll let you know if it's more than about 10 minutes, and if it's really really far, they'll tell you right out to forget it.

I'd suggest a taxi.
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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emd...I now got a good look at a map, and the Okura appears to be about the same distance from Kiyomizudera as the station is from Kiyomizudera. I've walked from the station to Kiyomizu...took almost an hour. That's when we decided the maps were unreliable predictors of walkability, and from then on we took taxis. The price of the taxis isn't bad at all. The last taxi I took in Kyoto was from the station to the west side to a high school...taxi ride took 30 minutes or so, but only cost 2000 something yen. The taxis are also so easy...get in and go to exactly where you want....no wandering around looking for a station, no figuring out which of the 17 exits you need to use to end up where you want to be outside. Maybe it's just that we've been here so long and I'm basically getting lazier by the day , but we find we use taxis more and more these days.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Hi emd, from Kyoto city hall to Hankyu department store is a leisurely 10 minutes walk and to Daimaru Dept. is 5 min. more on Shijo street (Teramachi arcade shopping street on the way) so usually I walked. I remember this because 2 times I took a bus back from Kinkakuji temple, I got off at the city hall stop to vist the large flee market on the city hall yard and then walked back toward shijo street. To Gion across the Kamogawa River, that's also about 10 minutes more from Hankyu dept store. If you are free of luggage and not tired, no problem. In any case, those streets are full of shops and restaurants it never gets boring. I am a walker so I rarely consider taking a taxi for such distance but after a day of walk and when your feet hurt sometimes you might like to take a bus (esp.if you have 1 day-500 yen pass) or get a taxi.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Referring to Kim's last post, if the starting point is Hankyu Dept.Store on 4jo steet, City hall is 10 minutes walk but Kiyomizu-dera Bus stop (you said Station but meant bus stop, did you?)is about 20 minutes (and of course walk up to Kiyomizu-dera is 10 min.more)
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Oct 4th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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But I agree with Kim, taxi is so easy to use, it's tempting when you are tired. I'm just not used to it. When I visited Kyoto with 2 friends living in Tokyo, they often wanted to use taxi for the distances I would walk.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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emd
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Great info, thanks. I wanted to be sure we could walk it before booking the hotel. I would much rather be able to walk, at least there and then taxi back w/all the shopping bags.

Kappa, please tell me more about the flea market at City Hall area.

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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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I know you are interested in the market at Toji (how did I know ? ). I've never been there when the market is on but from what I read (from the posts by Florence and others), you are right to be interested. The one at the City Hall did not look that interesting in term of the things people were displaying. It was like a garage sale with ordinary 2nd hand things (no antiques, few kimono, etc). I rather went there because the atomophere was nice with all the people gathering under the sun. I don't even know if this market take place regularly or not. If you will be staying at Okura, hotel staff should be able to provide you with more info.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 01:49 PM
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I'll strongly second the Okura's location: I think it's got the best location of any hotel in Kyoto. And the walk down Teramachi-dori, which is a covered, pedestrian-only shopping street/arcade, is definitely the way to go. Be sure to take a detour at some point through the Nishiki market (mostly foods) -- it's a cross-street of Teramachi (and also a pedestrian-only street), about halfway between the Okura and Shijo-dori.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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emd
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Oh, rizzuto, I've been there, and that is why I wanted to be sure that the Okura was located close enough to walk to it.

Thank you so much for the validation. Sounds like I have chosen the best hotel for location and it sounds from the reviews like service and rooms are very nice too. And moderately priced for a good upper tier hotel there (and I am Ms. Frugal usually).

P.S. Join that Okura club if you stay there again and if you haven't already.

Getting very psyched about the trip. Thanks to all of you.
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Oct 12th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Hi emd, I was re-arraging my digital photos and found one I forgot I had taken of the fleemarket in front of the city hall of kyoto.

http://photobucket.com/albums/a227/H...t=DSCF0249.jpg
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Oct 12th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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emd
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kappa, i tried that site address twice, once using a zero and second time using a capital "O" in the DCSF"O" position, and I can't get to it either way...I think I had this problem getting into photobucket for your pics once before.

BTW, I saw something funny in the grocery store last night that made me think of your screen name. It was a wine from California and it had a screw cap on it (like so many CA wines are doing these days) and it was called, of all things, "Screw Kappa Napa" Very strange use of "kappa"! There should be a site like www.engrish.com, where people post funny/weird sayings that involve Japanese words like that.
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Oct 12th, 2005, 09:05 AM
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emd:
just "copy and paste" the site onto your web browsers address line....works great...no chance of mistyping (is there such a word)...nice picture.
Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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emd
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good tip, hawaii.

kappa, i know now, it was not just the City Hall picture- you sent this link and the photos to make me hungry! I thought the 800 yen lunch looked pretty good.
Very nice pictures. My digital camera pics from Japan look so washed out. Yours are nice and crisp. It must have been very late Feb. to get that pic of the first few sakuras popping out??
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Oct 12th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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emd
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hawaii, did you register for the Okura Club Internatl. hotel card? I recd. mine in the mail from them today. I see on the list that there are two locations in Hawaii where you could use your points for rooms or dining.
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Oct 12th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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emd, watching these photos makes me want to be back in Kyoto right now. And there are so much food I like there at low prices.

No they are not sakura, were ume (plum) or momo (peach). I can't easily tell the difference. Due to my work schedule, I can take longer (usually about 3 weeks)holidays to return to Japan only end of Feb to early March which is too early for sakura. I envy you can see sakura at home in Washington (wasn't it you who posted a link to photos of sakura festival last spring?).
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Oct 12th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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emd:
yes I did...they said it would take three weeks to get here. Thanks for the tip!
Aloha!
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Oct 12th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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emd
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hawaii, it took less than a week for me to get my card, even though it said 3 wks.

And kappa, is that you in the photos? Someone else posted that DC sakura photo link. But I was at that DC Sakura Japanese festival and met up w/mrwunrfl that day. Of course, he has now flown away from Northern VA and is a CA surfer guy now. So no more DC sakura for him. They have lots of cool stuff in CA, but I don't think they have sakura.
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Oct 12th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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emd, I must be on one photo, standing next to a maiko doll, that was in the Kyoto station. There are my friends too who arranged the trip to Kyoto for me, Harue (wife)& Shinji (husband, the guy with red cap on)from Tokyo.

And that's funny about Kappa Napa. Kappa rather meaning the greek K than the Japanese creature (mine)?
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Oct 12th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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emd
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Maybe. But maybe they know about the cucumber and the water creatures too.
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