I wouldn’t call Luke and myself expert travelers but I think we hit the nail on the head with today’s activities in Kyoto. From temples to a tea ceremony, everything we did today was a blast! If you’re headed to Kyoto, or just want to read about our adventures, here’s a list of the things we discovered today.
My travel aficionado coworker as well as another friend recommended this destination and I’m so glad we went. Famous for its thousands of torii gates, this place was pretty spectacular. Give yourself at least two hours to walk the trails behind its main structure and be prepared for gobs of people. The walk from the bus stop to the shrine is peppered with food vendors and places to buy trinkets. Luke and I enjoyed a delicious yakisoba dish and I bought chopstick holders.
In the Gion area we attended a tea ceremony which included a demonstration, sweet treat and an chance to make our own matcha tea. The cost was ¥4000 ($38) for two and well worth it!
Before and after our tea ceremony we had some time to wander. We visited the Chionin Temple and Yasaka-jinja Shrine. I was so impressed with the sheer magnitude of some of the structures. Most of the temples are also free to visit.
If you venture off the main streets of the Gion area it feels as if you are transported into a whole other place. Tiny shops line the cobblestone streets leading the way to the Kiyomizudera Temple overlooking the city. Wandering these roads also led us to %ARABICA, a very popular coffee shop where my husband raved about his Americano. He says it’s a must-go for fellow coffee-lovers. Be prepared for a 15-20 minute wait for your caffeine fix, however. We also stumbled across Maruyama Park and a few other temples. You pretty much have to spend time in Gion if you’re visiting Kyoto.
Regardless of what you end up doing, my one piece of advice would be to get a bus pass. For just ¥500 (less than $5) you can take virtually any bus all day!
As we explored Kyoto and its various shrines and temples my heart began to yearn for the people of Japan. They are so very kind and spiritual but many do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I found myself praying throughout the day that the people of this beautiful country would come to have a personal relationship with Christ and know His love and mercy.