Kyoto to Tokyo - Japan (Day 9 Part 1) Shinkansen and Minato

December 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
I woke up early and decided to grab a cab. It was time to take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. As much as I loved the Hana Hotel in Kyoto it was time to head to the Park Prince Hotel in Tokyo. I learned my lesson and booked a reserved seat on the Shinkansen heading back to Tokyo. It was much more relaxing knowing that I had a seat and was able to...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 8 Part 4) Gion and Yasaka Shrine

November 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Gion is a very famous historic area of Kyoto well known for being home to Geisha (also known as Geiko) but the draw to Gion is so much more than that alone. Gion has a very unique feel to it that is really hard to describe it is mysterious, lively, fun, naughty but innocent. There is a mix of ancient and modern, tourists and locals crowding the maj...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 8 Part 3) Kyoto station and area

October 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Well after spending most of the morning and early afternoon at Temples and Shrines I felt it was time for a change of pace. Kyoto station is a great destination of its own. Not only is Kyoto station a major railway and transportation hub but it is home a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, and a department store. It is one of the largest buildi...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 8 Part 2) Tofuku-ji (東福寺)

September 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Tofuku-ji is one of the best places if not the best place in Kyoto to view Autumn leaves. I visited several years ago in Spring and had found it to be beautiful in that season as well with all the lush green Japanese maple trees (momiji). It was a very short ride from Fushimi Inari Station to Tofukuji station and not a long walk from the station to...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 8 Part 1) Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社)

September 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
If you asked me what my favorite shine is I would probably have to say Fushimi Inari Taisha. I love fox's and this shrine is full of them. Fox in Japanese is called Kitsune (狐). They are pretty common in Japanese folklore and often known to be wise and able to take human form but in this context related to the Shinto shrines they are seen as messen...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 7) Nishiki Market AKA Kyoto's Kitchen

September 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
It was a very long and busy day walking around Kyoto but visions of Nishiki market were dancing in my head. Nishiki market is one of those can't miss places if you are spending any notable amount of time in Kyoto. The sites, sounds and aromas of the place are beyond tantalizing even if you are not foodie. I am clearly not a foodie myself but I love...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 6) Kiyomizu-dera and Jishu-Jinja

September 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
When asking Kyoto locals about the best places to visit in Kyoto Kiyomizu-dera was always among the top of the recommendations and for good reason. I have visited 4 times myself because of the great location, view, atmosphere and history. It is always very busy and I don't know of many tours that it is not the main feature of in Kyoto. Kiyomizu-...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 5) Ninen-Zaka and Sannen-zaka

August 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
One of my favorite areas of Kyoto for people watching and exploring is the area of Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka. They are a pair of sloped lanes that are between Kodai-ji and Kiyomizu-dera. The streets are home to beautifully restored traditional shops and have a lively atmosphere. A couple more things that I love about this area is that Ninen-zak...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 4) - Kodaiji (高台寺)

August 23, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Kodai-ji is a very short distance from Chion-in and Maruyama Park and boasts a very interesting history. It was established in 1606 in memory of Hideyoshi Toyotomi one of the great unifiers of Japan. Nene Hideyoshi's first wife is also enshrined at Kodai-ji and also was a prominent figure in Japans History. Hideyoshi had the same nickname as me "Sa...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 3) - Maruyama Koen and Otani Sobyo

August 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Maruyama Koen (Maruyama Park) is right next to Chion-in and is really a big beautiful park. From here you can easily reach many of the city's most famous temples. Chion-in, Kodai-ji, Kiyomizudera and the Yasaka Shrine are all just minutes away on foot from Maruyama Park. I felt the atmosphere was mostly joyous. I saw many kids running and playin...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 2) - Chion-in (知恩院)

August 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Chion-in is one of those "WOW" places that goes way beyond your expectations when you see it in person. It is located right next to Maruyama Park. Sanmon Gate is Chionin's main entrance and it is simply amazing. It stands about 78 feet tall and about 164 feet wide and is all made out of wood. It was built in 1619 and is the largest surviving struct...
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Kyoto - Japan (Day 7 Part 1) - Early morning in Southern Higashiyama

August 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
With my normal early start (around 6:30 am) I decided I would check out more of Southern Higashiyama. My Hotel was on the devide of Northern Higashiyama and Southern Higshiyama. Both are important historic areas of Kyoto rich in temples and shrines. Southern Higashiyama is full of small tree lined canals which add a really beautiful charm to the...
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