Friday, November 3, 2017

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto gave us the best dose of Autumn we could have imagined. We didn't realise how much we had been missing the seasons since living in Saudi Arabia. We were also looking forward to visiting some temples after relocating to Asia. Our time in Kyoto was busy and we loved every second of it!
Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji temple

Fast Five Favourites:

  • Staying in the Gion district. We enjoyed wandering the streets and looking at the buildings, shops, and traditional wooden houses.
  • The temples and their beautiful surroundings. It was in the gardens of the temples that we experienced the best of the autumn colours. The Golden Pavilion was our favourite temple, so beautiful and grand!
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. We were so excited to visit and it did not disappoint. Very surreal feeling being amongst the tall beauty.
  • Iwatayama Monkey Park-the monkeys outnumber the visitors and the view across Kyoto is breathtaking. 
  • The food! We loved the communal eating style, especially the cute little tea houses. Our favourites included ramen, okonomiyaki, gyoza and much more.


  • We know people say it all the time but it really does pay to go early to most of the main sites. We were early to Arashiyama and it was so worth it. We walked back through for a second time (around 10am) and it was packed. The experience just wasn't the same. 
  • The monkeys get fed at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30. We were there at 12:30 and it was cool to see and do. The hike is about 20-30mins but Lilah walked most of it so it is not a difficult one.
  • The surroundings of Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji temple was our favourite spot to experience the beautiful autumn colours. This temple is also not as popular as the others so there were not many people around.
  • We booked an Air BnB apartment as we found it to be much cheaper than hotels. We had heard that the Japan apartments were small and it definitely was! This didn't bother us as we only really slept there and we felt that it added to our experience.
  • Gion is a good area to stay in. There was a lot to see and it is also where most of the temples are. The public transport is easy to use.
  • Visits to Nijo Castle and Nara were nice changes to the temples. Very unique style in comparison to castles we have visited in Europe. We loved feeding the deer in Nara Park and the way they bow to you before feeding is something special indeed.

Baby on Board:

  • We found Kyoto to be a great place with a baby. You can take the stroller most places easily. Lilah really enjoyed visiting the temples. We had our baby Bjorn carrier when it was raining as we forgot our stroller cover but we found this to be useful to have. You can also hire bikes that have baby attachments. The locals were very accommodating too, some cafes had toys and all of the places we went to had a high chair.
  • We wish we stayed 7 nights instead of 5. There is so much to see and our days were packed.
  • We found that snacks for Lilah were not easy to find out and about. The bakeries were our best hope so we went to the supermarket and brought fruit and zip lock bags to be prepared for each day. A hungry toddler is not fun when you are trying to look for a place for lunch.

Sogenchi Pond of Tenryuji temple garden
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Kiyomizu Temple
Ginkakuji Temple
Nara Park
Beautiful streets of Gion

1 comment

  1. I absolutely loved Kiyomizu Temple. I’d say while traveling to Japan Kyoto was my favorite place to stay. It’s filled with tradition yet modern at the same time. Tokyo was also a blast!

    I’d love to take my family here as when I traveled to Japan I was still single. Now, I know my family would love the country.


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