Kyoto – One Day in the Eastern Districts

Silver Pavilion

The main sites to visit in Kyoto’s eastern districts include the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and Eikando Zenrin-ji. The Philosopher’s Walk, is an easy path to stroll down, linking Ginkaku-ji to Eikando Zenren-ji and another temple Nanzen-ji. This makes spending one day in this area a nicely contained itinerary.

If I had to rank the top sites to visit in this area, they would be Shugakuin, Eikando temple, and Ginkaku-ji. So if you’re short on time, make...

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Kyoto: Soaking Up the Atmosphere of the Old City

Old Kyoto

If in your mind’s eye of Japan, you see old wooden structures lining narrow lanes and paper lanterns then Kyoto is probably the best place to find this. And specifically, the Kawaramachi and Gion areas in central Kyoto are great places to soak up the atmosphere of old Kyoto. I think the evenings are the best time to walk around and especially in the summer when the restaurants along Pontocho-dori expand out over the river.

My first trip to Kyoto, I stayed south of Gion so I started...

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One Day in Arashiyama – Kyoto’s Western District

Kyoto Bamboo Forest

Kyoto’s western district Arashiyama is worthy of its own destination visit. Nestled in the lush hills along the Oi river, it is best known for its towering bamboo forest and the Tenryu-ji temple, while the imperial residence Katsura Villa and “Moss Temple” Kokedera (Saiho-ji) are nearby. You could easily spend two days here without stepping foot into Kyoto city. But if you’re short on time, here is a one day condensed itinerary.

Morning: Katsura Imperial Villa or Moss...

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Two days in Kanazawa, Japan

Kenroku-en, one of Japan's great garden

This itinerary accompanies the narrative in the blog Kanazawa - Little Kyoto, Big Garden, Great Seafood. Read the blog for more detail.

Access: Kanazawa sits on the west coast of Central Honshu. The nearest airport is Komatsu - around 40 minutes drive from the town centre or one hour by airport bus. If you’ve flown into Tokyo, however, do try the bullet train to Kanazawa, which takes around two and a half hours. As with other cities in Japan, Kanazawa is well connected...

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