KYOTO 

 

Kyoto is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! One way that I would explain Kyoto is country-side greenery. It is a completely different vibe and experience than it is in the main cities of Tokyo and Osaka. It's almost as if everything slows down and is more relaxed and chill with just the most beautiful scenery to take in.

RENT THE BIKE AND GO FOR THE HIKE!  

We traveled to Kyoto as a day trip, which was about an hour outside of Osaka by train. There are two different options to get to the main area of Kyoto. Walk or bike. We took the bikes! One thing to know about EJ and I... if biking around a city is ever an option anywhere - 10 times out of 10 - we take the bikes. It was a beautiful way to explore Tokyo and a very easy bike ride as well. If you do choose the option of walking, honestly it would've also been an easy walk. The only thing about biking around Kyoto is that bike parking is pretty scarce (which they go over that with you when you rent the bike) but possible. With that said, we still do not regret renting the bikes. :) 

We were so bummed that we were in Kyoto only for the day, next time we will definitely plan it a little better and stay longer as there is just so much to do within Kyoto to even try to see and experience within one day. 

So in order to choose which places that we would go to visit, I made a list of things that are in Kyoto and separated them into groups of activities that are near each other. Within our group we chose which ones were a priority to see and we based our ventures off of that. With that said, our friend Kelsey and I had read all about the Iwatayama Monkey Park... this was definitely on top of our bucket list which was amazing because its location is near the famous Bamboo Forest, which we obviously had to check out! 

 

OUR KYOTO EXPERIENCE

Experience these activities for yourselves and click on the categories for more information!

IWATAYAMA MONKEY PARK

LOVED IT! Well, by the time that we had found the Monkey Park, we had already hiked up hill and got the most beautiful view of the city... with that said... the boys (EJ and our friend Julz) who are not normally hikers were not into the idea that you'd have to hike up the mountain to get to the Monkey Park. On the other hand - Kelsey and I were all about it.

This was an AMAZING experience. Yes - it was quite a trek up the hill to get to the park, but when you get to the top you not only have an even better view of the city but there are hundreds of Iwatayama Monkeys running around in the wild.

They do give you an option to feed the monkeys, in which YOU go into a cage, you purchase the peanuts, and the monkeys are hanging off from the outside onto the cage as you feed them (as shown in this picture).

ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST

The infamous bamboo forest! Everyone has seen the pictures so of course it was something that was at the top of our Kyoto bucket list! It is just so crazy how tall and mesmerizing these bamboo trees were and it really is a beautiful quaint forest to walk through.

My one and only complaint about this forest (granted we did go in the middle of the day) but it was just so busy with people. It was very hard (but not impossible) to get a picture without other fellow tourists photo-bombing.

I have seen that there are other bamboo forests in Japan that are a little less busy... But if you are in the middle of Kyoto, this is free and definitely a must-see!

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EXPLORE!!!

There is honestly so much to see in Kyoto - however when it comes to the big tourist attractions some are quite far from each other if you are only there for less than 24 hours.

However, we did have an amazing time exploring the shops and eating!

One thing that we did not do but considered, was that the little town does provide an option for people to dress up in kimonos and walk around the town.

Not gonna lie, I was a little jealous of all the people walking around in kimonos at the Bamboo forest... like their pictures were probably really cool, lol.

 

BUCKET-LIST THINGS WE MISSED...

As I stated above, I did have a list that I made with all the things that I wanted to see in Kyoto - yet we just did not have the time to see everything. That said, someday I'm sure that we will end up visiting once again... and I will be able to add these onto our personal experiences. 

For now, this is a list of things that maybe you can consider visiting when you go to Kyoto as well as something that I can look back at as a reference guide for when and if we ever do go back to Kyoto again... 

FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA SHRINES

NISHIKI-MARKET

*this is not a photo of the market - this is a photo that I took walking around Osaka

KINKAKU-JI CASTLE