After the highlights of Tokyo, jump on the bullet train to Kyoto for one night. We stayed in a traditional hotel and experienced the cultural heritage of Japan’s original capital city. We explored temples, the local market and the Geisha district. We also experienced a traditional buddhist zen meal.
Whilst visiting Kyoto for one night, we kept our hotel room in Tokyo so we could leave all our luggage there and travel light.
13:30 Arrive in Kyoto
In Tokyo, book your bullet train ticket a couple of days in advance. No need to pre-book when your in the UK. The fastest train is around 3hr 20 mins.
On arrival in Kyoto, jump in a taxi and head straight to the market for some food. After lunch, explore the market and the surrounding area.
15:30 Geisha District
Head across the river by foot and explore the Geisha District.
17:00 Hotel Check-In
We stayed at the Gion Maifuken hotel which continues a nice walk past the Yasaka Shrine. Check-in, freshen up and leave your bags at the hotel when you go out for dinner.
19:00 Dinner and Drinks
We were super tired at this point after snowboarding and a few heavy nights out in Tokyo, so we ended up at a random place near the market.
09:00 Golden Temple
We checked out at 9am and headed for the Golden Temple by bus. Our hotel pointed us in the right direction.
11:30 Zen Buddhist Meal
An early lunch, consisting of Shojin Ryori, the traditional vegan buddhist set meal. It’s a must do experience in Kyoto where you have you own room and sit on the floor to eat. We can’t remember where we ate, I had looked it up online beforehand, and the hotel booked us a space as they only spoke Japanese. It was a really authentic and new experience. We were lucky to get a space a short notice so try booking a few days in advance.
13:30 Bullet Train to Tokyo
Your 24 hours is now up on Kyoto. Head back to the impressive station for the fast journey back.
If you are lucky and have more time to spare, a few more things on our wish list:
- Views from the Kyoto Tower
- Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shine – That’s the famous red poles you can walk inbetween
- Sagano bamboo forests
- Meditation class – We liked the look of Shunkoin Temple but it was closed on our dates. Make sure you pre-book.