Kyoto has nothing to do with Tokyo. They are radically different cities, while the capital is a jungle of endless skyscrapers, Kyoto is tranquility, tranquility and tradition, a lot of tradition.
During our trip to Japan We were able to enjoy this city for four days, its gastronomy and its people, much friendlier and closer than the Tokyoites.
It is true that four days, even a few, are not enough to see everything that this impressive city has to offer. We enjoy the visits, we try to see as much as possible but without running. Also, we took advantage of public transport to get around, it was the best idea. We only used city buses, since almost all the places we went to had a bus stop, so it was the best way to get around.
Here are the places we visited and the link with more details about the place and how to get there.
In addition, you can see all the articles about this city in Articles about Kyoto.
What to see in Kyoto in 4 days
Gion and Pontocho
These are two neighborhoods that complement each other, and p
It seems that they have always complemented each other. First, Gion, is the neighborhood where the geishas and maikos are. Let no one think that these are prostitutes, they are not. Its function is to liven up the meetings through dance, storytelling or music. Unfortunately, certain movies have done a lot of wrong.
In this neighborhood is where you can, if you are lucky, see real geishas.
But nevertheless Pontocho It is the neighborhood of the izakayas, those Japanese taverns where beer and food are the protagonists. We went to several around the city, but I’ll give you some advice about Pontocho’s; If you see a queue of tourists waiting to enter an izakaya, look for another, because that is not the best, nor precisely the one that locals or other Japanese go to.
You can see all the information that we have already written about these two neighborhoods, as well as the best way to get there in the following link, Gion and Pontocho, Geishas and izakayas in Kyoto.
This shrine is one of the most visited places in all of Japan, and not only that, but also, it is quite likely that you have in mind the image of those thousands of orange toriis that make up each of its paths.
It is located on the outskirts of Kyoto, and it is one of the most incredible places I have ever seen. I do have to say, in Kyoto I saw several of these most incredible places that I have ever seen.
This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the spirit of Inari. This spirit was in charge of giving luck both in crops and in business, thus, the toriis were the offering of merchants and farmers.
If you want to know more about Fushimi Inari, see photos and see the best way to get there, we have an article where we talk about all this and much more; Fushimi Inari, the shrine of the toriis labyrinth in Kyoto.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
This is another of the most impressive places in Kyoto, and perhaps in all of Japan. A forest on the outskirts of the city, a bamboo forest. Towering trees offer a beautiful visual spectacle.
We loved the colors and shades of green, as well as everything that surrounds this place. It is a quiet walk, without the noise of the traffic, nothing, just you and the bamboos, yes, if you do not go early, there will also be hundreds of tourists around you.
You can see more in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, nature a step away from Kyoto.
I never thought that entering an enclosure where the center of prominence was a golden temple was something so peculiar. As if it were a movie, when passing through a huge door, a dense smoke welcomed us. And just get over that smoke, bang! a golden temple in the middle of a small lake.
And not only that, but we were also able to enjoy the delicacy of Japanese gardens. Each branch has its reason for being, each leaf grows where it should grow. Amazing.
If you want to know more about this place, and how to get there you can visit, The Golden Temple of Kyoto, a wonder for the eyes.
As its name suggests, this path was a place of reflection, surrounded by cherry trees and a small stream that is the one who puts the soundtrack to this corner.
It was named after a philosophy professor who used to walk the two-kilometer length of this walk for inspiration and meditation.
You can see more about this place and how to get there in The Kyoto Philosophy Walk.
Without a doubt, this temple has some of the best views of the city. To get to the top, where this temple is located, you have to go through dozens of souvenir shops. Some streets that at one point in their existence must have also been places of sale of articles for those who visited the temple.
The first thing you will find when you get there is a small temple, where if you wish, you will go down to the depths until you reach the uterus. Yes, I know the description seems a bit surreal, but it is an ultra sensory experience.
After a walk through the temple and its surroundings, you have to look for the streets of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka, a journey through time to other times in Kyoto.
In the link Kiyomizudera Temple or Kyoto’s Best Views You will be able to see how to get there and what to see in this temple and its surroundings.
Don’t forget to get travel insurance if you travel to Japan. We tell you How to find the best travel insurance to travel to Japan, and for being our reader, you can take advantage of a 5% discount by clicking here.
Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka
These are two quite curious streets in the surroundings of Kiyomizudera, in the Higashiyama neighborhood. Behind them, in addition to there is a curious legend, I will only tell you one thing, try not to fall to the ground when you walk through them.
They are so close to Kiyomizudera that it would be unforgivable not to stroll along these two curious traditional streets.
You can read more about the legend of these streets in Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka the Kyoto tradition in Higashiyama.
Nijo-jo Castle and Ninomaru Gardens
Of the visit to Kyoto, perhaps it was these gardens that I liked the most, in addition to being in a beautiful setting.
Nijo-jo Castle is a World Heritage Site, so this visit, well and no other, will disappoint you.
The entrance to this complex is through the Karamon Gate, and from that precise moment, the enjoyment of this visit begins.
We tell you more details in Kyoto Nijo-jo Castle and Ninomaru Gardens.
Make no mistake, Japan is gastronomy. The Japanese enjoy eating, and of course, they know how to eat, but they also know how to cook. Its gastronomy goes beyond sushi, noodles and red tuna, etc. And this is where the markets come into play.
We have been to dozens of markets in Asia, always in Southeast Asia. The Nishiki market goes further than the rest. It is tidy, everything in its place, but the amount of food that there is, its colors and its appearance hook you from the first moment.
It is said that this market is the Kyoto pantry, that the izakayas are supplied here and that their products are the best. We loved it, and we couldn’t taste everything we wanted, because our stomachs aren’t that big.
Everything you want to know about this market, you will find it in Nishiki Market, the cuisine of Kyoto.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is located within huge gardens, a giant park, great dirt roads lead you to it.
We went, and when we arrived we saw that it was closed, which can only be accessed by managing a visit through the official website of the imperial agency.
If you want to know more about the Imperial Palace and how to manage the visit, you can see it at The Kyoto Imperial Palace, or how to plan a visit.
Accommodation in Kyoto
We spent three nights in Kyoto. The accommodation we chose was the Guest House Stella Gosho. The reasons that led us to choose this guest house were the price and the location.
This Guest House is located in a quiet street in the center of Kyoto, in front of the bus stop Kawaramachi Marutamachi (lines 4, 10, 17, 59, 93, 202, 204 and 205). The address is Kamigyo-ku Tawaraya-cho 484.
It is only 15 minutes from Nijo-jo Castle and about five minutes from Imperial Palace.
Nearby there is a supermarket Fresh. In this supermarket there is a great variety of exquisite Japanese products. And about five minutes away, there is a 7 Eleven It has an ATM, which also accepts foreign cards (not all ATMs in the city accept foreign credit cards).
The Guest House Stella Gosho it is run by a married couple. The woman’s name is Luna, she’s Taiwanese and he’s Japanese. They lived for almost ten years in the Dominican Republic. The Spanish they speak is somewhat limited, but they try to talk to you and are very friendly. They also speak english. Excellent hosts. Highly recommended place.
Japan travel insurance
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before going to Japan. Traveling does not exempt you from having an accident, and healthcare is really expensive in Japan.
We tell you how to choose the best travel insurance in Japan that best suits your trip.
If you take out travel insurance by clicking on the banner you will get a 5% discount in your insurance for being a reader of Passport to Travel.