Please look over my Kyoto itinerary

Feb 9th, 2015, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
Please look over my Kyoto itinerary

First trip to Japan - hubby and I and 22 yo daughter. Will be a total of two weeks with 4 full days in Kyoto. Please let me know if this itinerary for our days in Kyoto seems reasonable. We will be there the first week in April (Cherry Blossom season) so I expect it to be busy. I realize our first afternoon on Tues might be a bit ambitious but there should be time later in the week to explore Gion/Nishiki market if don't make it through everything that day

Tues. - arrive by train from Tokyo in the late morning, hope to be out exploring after an early lunch

Higashiyama District
Maruyama Park
Nishiki Market

Wed. - Bike tour with Kyoto Cycling Tour Project (9:30am - 1:30pm)
after bike tour in afternoon - Nijojo
anything we did not get to see on tues list

Thurs. (my birthday!!)
Philsopher's Path
Kyoto Handicraft Center
Anything we did not get to see on tues list

Fushimi Inari
Nara - daytrip, or if still stuff need to see in Kyoto stay there

We will be staying at Kyoto Brighton Hotel near the Imperial Palace. Not as central as I would have liked, but just started planning in November and was lucky to find such a highly rated place at all considering the time of year!! Thanks for any help!
jgg is offline  
Feb 9th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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You will need the morning to go to Fushimi Inari or at least a good part of it... Not sure you can then cram in a day trip to Nara too....
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 9th, 2015, 04:26 PM
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You can get from Inari to Nara in about an hour - either of two train lines....but there is enough in Nara for a few spending only part of the day there is cheating least imo.
Mara is offline  
Feb 9th, 2015, 06:26 PM
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Agree with smeagol. That's way too much to cram into one day. Either make Nara it's own day, or do something Arashiyama.
filmwill is offline  
Feb 9th, 2015, 06:47 PM
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Just about every day looks too busy to me, especially given relatively short days
and the likely crowds. You might want to think through your priorities in advance so you can adjust as necessary on the fly.

On Tues., I assume by "Higashiyama District," you mean the southern part of that route? Depending on your pace, you might be able to fit in everything you list (no guarantees on that!), but you might want to save Gion for last, after everything else closes....

Re: Wed: I visited Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, one other temple (Ninnaji), and Arashiyama in one very long, very busy day and I did NOT see everything I would have liked to see in Arashiyama. I certainly did not have time for anything else. Again, it depends on your pace and what, exactly, you hope to see in Arashiyama.

Re: Thurs: One of my favorite sites in Kyoto was Heian Jingu, which is near the sites you list for this day. Just something to consider. Should be a nice birthday, even if you have to skip some things!

Re: Friday: I agree with what everyone else is saying about Nara. (I spent 2 full days there, and would have loved more time.) One thing to consider: Fushimi Inari is open 24/7, and so you might consider a SHORT visit of the lower slopes (with, I believe, the densest concentration of torii) after everything you want to visit in Nara has closed.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Feb 10th, 2015, 04:54 AM
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Agree with others. Every day seems too busy. The temples and monasteries in Kyoto deserve longer time to enjoy slowly. They're not places to just snap a picture and put a checkmark on your list. Go to fewer places but spend more time. For example, in most monasteries, you can pay to visit the meditating garden of the abbot, and the ticket includes tea and a piece of cake or snack there. Take your time to enjoy those things, please!

Another thing. Nishiki market closes early. Most stores open 10-6 or at most 9:30-6:30.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 10th, 2015, 05:03 AM
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To further elaborate. I spent 2 full days in Kyoto in Sept by myself. And I am known for being very "aggressive" in my itineraries, especially when traveling by myself. But here's all I did:

Day 1 - Kiyomizu-dera, Chion-in & Nanzen-ji. All in the same area
Day 2 - Arashiyama (Tenryu-ji, including a nice lunch inside; and Okochi-sanso Villa) and Nishiki market only.

Another thing is that Kyoto is mostly visited by bus, and traffic is pretty notorious. If you don't plan to itinerary carefully, or trying to go to too many places, you'll end up spending most of your time in traffic.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 10th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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Friday go to Nara first. You can spend the whole day there but if you've had enough Nara by early afternoon then head to Inari on the way back to Kyoto. Inari is only the second stop from Kyoto so real close.

The other parts of your itinerary would require taking a taxi instead of the public transport or you'll never make it time wise. Kyoto prime cherry blossom viewing this year is April 2-10 so traffic and crowds will have to be taken into consideration during your visit. Slow down and enjoy the views. Personally I would take Nara out of your schedule.

Tuesday looks the worst to me. Just pick one or two sites that afternoon.I would do Kiyomizudera and Gion

I am assuming the bike tour on Wednesday will take you to Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and Roanji so Nijojo in the afternoon would be doable and actually well thought out.

Thursday is well thought out and all in the same area....again a doable day.

Just a different point of view.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Feb 11th, 2015, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
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I second kja's suggestion of Heian Jingu. It is a shinto shrine so would be a nice change from the Buddhist temples listed. The garden is lovely and also has nice cherry blossoms.
lovetoroam is offline  
Feb 12th, 2015, 04:30 PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. I think we will skip Nara and just leave any free time after Fushimi Inari to see things in Kyoto we will probably have missed. Only plan on doing the shorter hike (30-40 min up) at Fushimi Inari rather than going the whole way up.

I knew Tues was too busy so will adjust there.

hawaiiantraveller - yes bike tour does Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and Roanji, so we may not spend as much time as some would recommend, but we always enjoy doing a good bike tour.

Will look at adding Heian Jingu too!
jgg is offline  
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