I’ve lumped my Kyoto travel diary and eats together as I only stayed 4 days- nothing like Tokyo but still hefty.

I thought I’d just write out my whole itinery and if some of you liked, could use for your own trips as well !

The easiest way to get around Kyoto is probably the bus but I took the subway quite often (I do love my ICOCA card – so handy!) A day ticket on the bus costs 500 yen and generally covers a good portion of Kyoto (not Fushimi Inari though).

Day 1 – Fushimi Inari Taishia, Kiyomizudera, Gion

These were the biggest on my bucket list.

It was a little early when I arrived at 9am and shops and food markets were still opening but there were definitely not alot of people around which was fantastic. I’m an early riser and I love seeing shrines in soft light and when there’s not a million people running up and down taking photos.

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They love their foxes. Their ‘fox’ udon (no it’s not actually made from fox) is also a speciality.


It’s quite a walk up to the lookouts but there are a few gardens and ponds that you’ll pass which are quite pretty. There are better views of Kyoto though.

Kiyomizu dera

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The shops leading up to Kiyomizu dera are a must. I picked up a couple of pottery items from the little shops there for a bargain and they have such a variety!

It’s a big tourist destination and shopping area so beware of the ‘fake’ stuff you see around.

As you can see, they are still renovating Kiyomizu but it is a beautiful sight, definitely worth my 500 yen. The walk is gorgeous and you’ll get fantastic views of Kyoto.

Gion :

Known as the Geisha and Shopping district of Kyoto.
Achievement of the month: I SPOTTED 3 GEISHAS. I mean, I spotted 3 Geisha’s.



I stumbled upon Gion Sakai, a beautiful patisserie with stunning cakes (look at that!) I must suggest a few items you need to purchase. Firstly, the whiskey chocolate biscuits. They are heaven on earth. Chocolatey and good hit of whiskey at the end. It’s a perfect balance between the two but beware, it expires after 2 weeks. That goes for most of the food products in Japan, check the expiry date otherwise you’ll be crying your heart out.


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Day 2: Rock Garden, Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Yasakusa, Gion

Temple hopping is expensive, I spent a good $20 AUD just on the entry fee. Be sure to budget around and research which ones y0u are interested in.

Rock Garden ; I am indifferent to this Rock garden.

Kinkakuji- Beautiful golden temple. And that’s all there is.


Ginkakuji – THIS. THIS GEM. The temple itself was definitely not as gorgeous as Kinkakuji but the garden was out of a picture book.

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I also had the chance to partake in a tea ceremony at Gion – they were extremely knowledgeable and answered all our questions. They went through the use of the equipment and the manners needed when attending a tea ceremony. Everything was so interesting and I highly recommend attending a session just to hear the cultural movement involved with a tea ceremony!

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This is the infamous Uji tea store- their kit kats and all other green tea snacks all seem to use this brand. Prepare for a line – I only waited about 20 min so it wasn’t too bad.
I love the bitterness from the green tea at Uji, and I can no longer mochi from home now that I’ve had proper mochi. Where has it been all my life??

Day 3: Nishiki Markets, Arashiyama

Beware of the hours. I had a grand plan of having dinner at Nishiki markets but  of course when I got there at 6pm, everything was closed. ITS A LUNCH THING. Open from 10am – 6pm.


Nishiki Markets are incredible. There is everything you need – fresh, fried, dried, cooked….utensils, snacks, confectionary..everything. I also found my love for warabumochi. How can some powdered sugar and bracken sugar be so glorious??

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So after spending my morning and lunch time at Nishiki markets, I headed over to Arashiyama as the Hantouro was on!! (Winter lights)

It gets super cold at night so be sure to bring an extra layer or two! I couldn’t handle the cold and left at 7:30pm.

The main town is about a 10 minute walk from the station but the walk there is an absolute delight and The Togetsu bridge is as stunning as ever.

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Of course, Arashiyama is known for their bamboo forest grove and its serenity and sheer peacefulness is a sight to behold.


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Oh, get yourself a soybean/tofu ice cream. It’s bloody delicious.


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