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What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

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Los Angeles
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What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

We are thinking of doing a Sunrise Tour in Kyoto... pick-up and return at our hotel in Osaka... 7:20 am to 6:30 pm. For 24,000 yen (about $240US total) they will take us to see Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion, Kitano Tenmangu (instead of the Imperial Palace since it's closed on Sunday), Kyoto Handicraft Center, Helan Shrine, Sanju-Sangendo Hall, Kiyomizu Temple.

Do you think we can see most of those sights on our own by taking taxis to each venue... and perhaps see the Gion area and maybe even do some of the Philosopher's Walk? We have $240US to do it by ourselves... which is the price of the Sunrise Tour!

Or should we just take the Sunrise Tour...

Input would be most welcome.

Sandy

Nara, Japan
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1. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

Hi,

Taxi on hire will cost you just as much. And even if you combine bus / subway and cab, it'll cost you way over a decent dinner. I just wonder if there isn't a good way of transportation within a reasonable range of travelling expenses.

Did you ever see this?

World heritage map: …kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/…

If you are interested, visit this site:

http://www.jref.com/practical/kyoto.shtml

For locals, in my guess, doing the sights you mentioned of temples / shrines might be doable in one day. But for first-timers even with proper means of transportation, that is, bus and subway combined, that would be terribly tough (in case, of course, you have a good English route map and have confidence to use car rental, that won’t be the case, though). What you are going to do is to cover the places dotted in the north / central / east of Kyoto city. Looks to be a pretty tough course. But let us simulate here by starting to:

1)buy one-day pass for bus / subway at Kyoto Municipal Bus Info Center in front of JR Kyoto Station for Y1200.

2)Look for the bus stop on D1(100 line route) in the large rotary. It’s the nearest one from the info center. See how to ride on / off a bus in here:

city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html

3)From Kyoto Station, Sanjusangendo is the three stops away and from here Kiyomizu Temple is the third stop.

4)From Kiyomizu, Gion is one stop away, but let’s skip it. Instead, we are to head straight to Ginkakuji, which is 6 stops away from Gion.

5)From Ginkakuji, we are to head back to Gion to go to Kinkakuji.

6)Now, we walk along Shijo Street all the way from Gion to Shijo Karasuma to transfer at Shijo Karasuma bus stop(101 line). The whole area is sure a fun place at night. We are to walk across the biggest entertainment district in Kyoto. If we are lucky during daytime, we may encounter Maiko / Geisha walking along the alleyway when making some detour into Pontocho / Gion.

7)Kinkakuji Pavilion is 11 stops away. You should also visit Ryoanji Temple, which is ultra-famous for its Japanese-style garden.

8)After Golden Pavilion, let’s get on a bus at the stop in front of it, heading for Kita Oji bus terminal, where we can switch to subway(Karasuma Line). From the Kitaoji subway station, Karasuma Oike is 3 stops away, where we switch to another subway(Tozai Line) to get to Nijojomae(Nijo Castle), which is the next stop from Karasuma Oike .

9)Go back from Nijojomae to Karasuma Oike and transfer here on subway Karasuma Line. Kyoto Station is only 2 stops away.

I’m so sorry for causing you, perhaps, confusion and boredom. But I think you can make it if you have a voluntary goodwill guide accompany you. For contact:

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~kyotosgg/

Enjoy your trip.

Japan
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2. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

If you do your own planning with a guide book and map, and follow Shot's suggestions, you will come out much cheaper than the Sunrise Tour price. Plan to take the subway to closest stops, then either walk or take a short taxi ride. You can do it easily.

Now, if you want a fancy expensive dinner, that's another story. But if you eat in small delicious places that you just stumble upon along the way you will do fine and spend much less money.

Japan
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3. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

oopps...I meant to add:

If you only have one day and the bus sounds too complicated, then the subway/taxi suggestion is another option.

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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4. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

You didn't mention for what season you are planning this. If you attempt this on your own in the mid-summer heat, I can guarantee you will not only be covered in sweat by the third stop, but you will be dog-tired. The bus will at least have air-conditioning and you won't have to deal with jam-packed public buses or standing on the subway. I personally don't like tours and never go on them myself, but then again I would never plan such an ambitious itinerary for a single day in this heat. If you are pressed for time the bus may be a good option for you. Incidentally, it is 7:00am now and the temperature is 29 degrees with 88% humidity....

Los Angeles
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5. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

Thanks to all of you. We'll be in Kyoto mid-October so hopefully the weather won't be quite as hot. Although I thoroughly dislike tours, I'm convinced that a Sunrise Tour in Kyoto, will be the best option for us to see as much as we can in one day. Would have loved to stay longer and be able to see Kyoto leisurely... but we'll have just disembarked from a 28 day cruise in and around Asia and my husband said a 34 day trip was enough! I tend to agree with him.

Greer, South...
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6. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

Hi Sandy31:

My husband and I did the half-day tour in Kyoto with Sunrise. We usually hate organized tours with a passion, but it was a necessity for us this time.They did an excellent job and we saw what we needed to see in the amount of time that we had. It is much easier to take the tour bus rather than the city buses, in the summer at least, because as another poster said, it's just too darn hot and tiring. We also liked the fact that we got explanations of what we were seeing rather than just guessing b/c a lot of places all over Japan had no English explanations. Also, it rained a lot while we were there and it was just miserable with the rain and humidity...

The only thing on their tour that was a total cheese-out/lame thing was the handicraft center. Total waste of time!

One other thing: SKIP the Philosopher's walk. It was very boring and NOT picturesque. We got it on a recommended walk tour paper from the TIC... There was nothing memorable about the walk and it was a waste of our time when we were in Kyoto for four days. Spend your time in Gion around dusk doing Geisha-seeking instead.

Japan
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7. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

I could see how someone who wasn't into the whole history thing would not like the Philosopher's Walk. But even if you don't do history, you must try it if you are there during Sakura. Cherry blossoms drooping over the canal and the walkways, and if you're there at just the right time the blossoms come down like snow (well...that is another history-symbolic thing but still beautiful).

santa monica
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8. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

bonjonsc,

can you say why the handicraft center wasn't worth the time? one thing I'd like to see in kyoto are some traditional arts, and I'm wondering where to go and where not to go...

thanks,

anne

Denver
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9. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

I taking a cruise too and would like to spend a day in Kyoto. My thoughts I arrive in Kansai Airport at 4 pm on the 13rh. Rather than take a train to Osaka and spend the night I thought I would take the train to Kyoto and stay at the Hyatt; thereby getting an earlier start plus the train ride to Kyoto vs Osaka is much farther.

The next day I thought I would leave my luggage at the Kyoto train station an tour around the station since I understand there is alot to see in that area.

My challenge is after touring Kyoto I need to go back to the airport and be picked up by Princess (not sure on this) or see if I can find out where to take the train to and than take a cab to the dock. My cruise leaves on the 14th around 11 p.m.

If you have any information please let me know. Additionally, I would like to know if there are ATM's at the airport so I can get the yens I need for one day?

Denver
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10. Re: What sights can we see in Kyoto in a day?

Sorry the date is the 13th of October and the cruise is deparing on the 14th of October at 11 pm on Princess. If anyone has done this without Princess taking you to the dock and knows which dock to go to that would be helpful

Thanks