Since check-in is after 2 pm, we go to one of the important tourist sites in Kyoto called Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. 清水寺 “Kiyomizu” means “clear water” in Japanese, while “dera” means “temple”. So, the name Kiyomizu-dera means “Temple of Clear Water”. The temple was named after a nearby waterfall that provided the temple with its water supply. The waterfall is said to have had healing powers, which added to the temple’s significance as a place of spiritual significance.
Kiyomizu is a historic temple in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded in 798 and is one of the oldest temples in Japan. It is a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is known for its large wooden stage that juts out over a hillside, offering visitors stunning views of the city and its surroundings. The temple is unique as it extends outward and is supported on one end, offering visitors a view from a raised platform.
The temple also features several other historic buildings and gardens, as well as a waterfall believed to have spiritual healing powers. Visitors come to the temple to admire its beauty, learn about its history, and participate in traditional Japanese spiritual practices.
We had a western Japanese fusion restaurant, this is what we have. Prawn salad, beef with binjar and a meat platter. The restaurant is a great place for people who drink alcohol.
Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen Buddhist temple located in Kyoto. It is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Japan and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple was originally built in the 14th century as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, but it was later converted into a Zen temple after his death. The temple is named for its golden-plated top two floors, which are covered in gold leaf and shine brightly in the sun.
The temple’s main hall, the Hojo, is set in a beautiful pond and is surrounded by a well-manicured garden. Visitors can view the temple from a raised platform, which provides a stunning view of the temple and its surroundings.
In addition to its striking appearance, Kinkaku-ji Temple is also known for its rich history and cultural significance. It has survived many fires and other disasters throughout its history and has been restored several times, making it a testament to the resilience and perseverance of Japanese culture and history.
Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion)
When you have the golden pavilion, there is always another pavilion in silver. It is the Ginkaku-ji Temple, also a Zen Buddhist temple that was built in the 15th century as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. Unlike its name suggests, the temple is not covered in silver, but its simple and understated design, combined with its beautiful setting in a Zen garden, is what makes it so special.
Our dinner is again at the Kyoto station since our hotel is only nearby.
Dinner at Kyoto station – Korean Restaurant
We had Korean fried chicken, cold noodles and spicy hot pot oyster rice. It was a really yummy dinner. You can choose 2 types of flavor for your fried chicken. The cold noodles really cool down as it has a lot of ice and pear in it. The hot oyster rice is served super hot and be careful not to burn your tongue. There are 3 cold dishes served before our order came. The portion wasn’t big but good enough for us.
Convenient store breakfast review
Since we didn’t opt for breakfast for our hotel, we choose to have our breakfast in Japanese convenient store. Breakfast at a convenience store in Japan typically includes onigiri (rice balls), sandwiches, pastries, and drinks such as coffee and juice. Some stores also offer hot food options like bento boxes or bowls of noodles. The prices are affordable and the food is often packaged to-go, making it a popular choice for busy commuters. Convenient stores in Japan, such as 7-Eleven or Lawson, are open 24/7 and widely available, making them a convenient option for a quick breakfast. There will help you heat up the breakfast.
Seriously you should try out the bento set in the Japanese convenience store if you are traveling in Japan, you will be amazed at the quality of the food.
Before we leave for Kyoto the following morning, we dropped by to Nijo Castle. It was another historical building in Kyoto built in the 17th century as the residence of the Tokugawa shogun. During my visit in Dec 2023, some parts of the buildings are under renovation. Things you should look for in Nijo Castle are the Ninomaru Palace: The main hall of the castle, the Ninomaru Palace is a beautiful example of Momoyama-style architecture and is considered one of the finest examples of its kind.
The Ninomaru Palace is famous for its Nightingale Floors, which were designed to squeak like birds when walked on, serving as an early warning system against intruders.
The castle grounds include several smaller temples and gardens, which are beautiful and peaceful places to relax and explore.
Nijo Castle was the site of many important events in Japanese history, including the Meiji Restoration, which marked the end of the shogunate and the beginning of modern Japan.
There is a huge parking lot just right in front of the castle.
If you were to ask me how many days you should stay in Kyoto? Well, I have to say minimum of 2-3 days and ideally should be 4-5 days. In our case, we spend 2 days in Arashiyma, Uji, and 2 days in the Kyoto city area. So in total, is about 4 days in Kyoto. 6-7 days: With this amount of time, you can really immerse yourself in Kyoto’s culture and history, visiting many of the city’s lesser-known temples and shrines, and taking part in traditional activities such as tea ceremonies or flower arrangement classes. Renting a kimono and walking around in the city of Kyoto is another highlight you should not miss. There are many people doing the same thing so you won’t be the only one who is wearing a kimono. The places that are best to rent a kimono would be somewhere near Kiyomizu dera, Arashiyama, and Fushimi Inari. There are many shops open for the kimono renting business and best if you go early so that you can choose your favorite kimono.