Kyoto… Where do I start? It is such a beautiful and culturally rich destination with grand temples, colourful shrines and sublime gardens that I did not want to leave. It was always on my travel list so I am very happy that I spent there a couple of days admiring some of Japan’s best-known sights, hiking in the mountains slightly outside of the city and sampling more Japanese dishes.
I arrived at Kyoto Station very early in a morning after taking an overnight bus from Kawaguchiko. I did not get the JR pass as its hefty price would kill my budget so I looked for alternatives and I believe me traveling by bus in Japan takes more time but it is fine and fairly comfortable. I got a blanket, funny-looking slippers with brand new disposable sheets to put inside them and I was able to recline my chair – what a bliss! I was even able to get at least 5 hours of sleep out of 7 hours ride. If you are looking for a cheaper option to get around Japan I think it is worth considering it.
Kyoto felt big and small at the same time to me and I finally had more time and energy to appreciate small cafes and shops or the style and beauty of people around me in parallel to sightseeing and visiting the temples and shrines, which were spectacular! Although the Fushimi Inari shrine with its orange and black torii gates and the Golden Pavilion were certainly my highlights despite high number of tourists.
I stayed in a heart of Kyoto in a hostel called Khaosan Kyoto Theater. I do not remember why I specifically decided to go for this place but except perfect location and unusual name they had a capsule dorm available and it was a really cool to spend few nights sleeping there. It was quite different than your standard or bunk bed but I really enjoyed it. Hidden in a capsule with my earplugs in I slept extremely well, which was not case in Tokyo when I shared a room with two ladies, who were snoring their heads off!
I took so many photographs in Kyoto that it took a while to edit and pick the best on top of travelling but I promise that there will be a more detailed post about the places I explored during my stay with some recommendations.