Northern Higashiyama

Northeast Kyoto has an excellent variety of restaurants and caf s, both Japanese and international. For those on a tight budget, the Hyakumamben intersection near Kyoto University is crammed with cheap student eateries. Due to the number of foreign students and teachers at the university, most places here are totally unfazed when a 'gaijin' blunders in off the street. HY TEI Map pp68 9 Kaiseki 771-4116 Sakyo-ku, Nanzen-ji Kusagawa-cho 35 Sl1am-7.30pm meals from 4555 10min walk from Keage...

Top picks

A quick glance through the pages of this chapter might convince you that sightseeing in Kyoto is going to require taking out a second mortgage on your home. Luckily, there are plenty of free things you can do. Indeed, you could fill at least a week with activities that cost you absolutely nothing. Here are just a few Temples There is no charge to enter the grounds of many of Kyoto's temples, including Nanzen-ji (p66), Chion-in (p65), Honen-in (p71 and Tofuku-ji (p59). Shrines Almost all shrines...

Arashiyama Sagano

Separated from the rest of Kyoto by a vast expanse of fairly drab residential district, Arashiyama and Sagano feels like a world apart. Tucked up against a lovely range of mountains and bisected by a scenic river, this area rivals Northern Higashiyama as the most scenic of Kyoto's sightseeing districts. It is a region of bamboo forests, wooded groves and temples surrounded by nature. That is, once you get out of central Arashiyama, which is a bustling tourist area, particularly around the famed...

Northwest Kyoto

There are many good restaurants scattered across this largely residential area. As they are so spread out, plan ahead and find one located near sights that you want to see. Of course, if you don't feel like doing any special planning, you will find the usual standard-issue shokud near the main sights in the neighbourhood. SARACA NISHIJIN Map p74 Cafe 432-5075 Kita-ku,Murasakino Higashifujinomori-ch 11-1 S noon-10pm, closed Wed lunch from 900 *B. 7min walkfrom Daitoku-ji-mae bus stop, bus 206...

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Chris Rowthorn

Chris is an American who has lived in Kyoto since 1992. Soon after his arrival, he started studying Japanese language and culture. In 1995 he became a regional correspondent for the Japan Times, a national English-language newspaper published in Tokyo. Chris joined Lonely Planet in 1996 and has written books about Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Victoria (Australia) and, most recently, the island of Borneo. Despite all his work-related travel, he still takes every opportunity to explore the...

Downtown Kyoto

If you want easy access to an incredible variety of dining, entertainment and shopping options, staying in Downtown Kyoto is a good idea. Although there are relatively few ryokan and no guesthouses, there are plenty of hotels in this area. Kyoto's two subway lines converge here and plenty of buses run through, so it's convenient in terms of transport as well. You can get to the main sightseeing districts from Downtown Kyoto in less than half an hour. On the downside, it can be a little busy and...

ToFrom Other Parts of Japan

Kobe's Sannomiya Station is on the JR Tokaido Sanyo line as well as the Hankyu line, both of which connect it to Kyoto. The fastest way between Kobe and Kyoto Station is a JR shinkaisoku ( 1050, 55 minutes). The Hankyu line, which stops at Kawara-machi, Karasuma and Omiya Stations in Kyoto ( 590, one hour limited express), is cheaper but less convenient change at Osaka's Juso or Umeda Stations. JR Rail Pass holders should also note that Shin-Kobe Station is on the Tokaido Sanyo shinkansen line....

Emergence From Isolation

With the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the seat of Japanese national political power was restored to Kyoto, but the following year the capital was transferred to Edo along with the imperial court. Political power now resided in Edo and many great merchants and scholars of the era followed the emperor. After more than a millennium as capital, the sudden changes came as a major blow to Kyoto as the population dropped dramatically and the city entered a state of bitter depression. Kyoto quickly set...

Kyoto Ohara Sanzenin Blog

The quaint littie village of Ohara would be a charming spot to spend a quiet night or two outside Kyoto City. SERYO RYOKAN Map p84 Ryokan 744-2301 www.seryo.co.jp english.htm Sakyo-ku, Ohara Sanzen-in hotori r per person ind meals from 19,250 (0) 10min walkfrom Ohara bus stop, Kyoto bus 17 or 18 from Kyoto Station A stone's throw from Sanzen-in (p83), this would be a good spot to stay for those who really want to linger over the temples of Ohara. There is a lovely garden and a small, cosy...

Central Kyoto

Central Kyoto is really an extension of Downtown Kyoto and it contains many of Kyoto's best shops, with a heavy concentration of traditional craft shops. Teramachi-dori, between Oike-dori and Marutamachi-dori, is Kyoto's single best shopping strip for traditional crafts and tea. Other good shopping options can be found in the streets south of Shijo-dori. KOBO-SAN MARKET Map pp54-5 Flea Market 691-3325 Minami-ku, Kujo-cho 1 (To-ji) 3 dawn to dusk, 21 st of each month 10min walk from Kyoto...

Hills Temples Lanes In Southern Higashiyama

1 Tainai-meguri Just to the left of the ticket window of Kiyomizu-dera, this subterranean walk through the darkness easily qualifies as Kyoto's most unusual attraction. We won't say too much about Tainai-meguri (p63) - just try it. 2 Kiyomizu-dera At the top of Chawan-zaka, this grande dame of Kyoto temples commands an impressive view over the city. While you're visiting Kiyomizu-dera (p63), be sure to check out Jishu-jinga (p63), home of the famous 'Love Shrine', and take a sip of the holy...

Southwest Kyoto

The southwest area of Kyoto is a sprawling residential and commercial area that few foreign tourists ever visit. Despite the relatively drab surroundings, however, there are three very worthwhile sights here Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa the stunning Saiho-ji, Kyoto's famed Moss Temple and Jizo-in, a quaint litde temple with a tiny moss garden. For transport to and from this area, see the transport information for the following sights. 3 211-1215 Nishikyo-ku, Katsura misono admission free *B....

Night Walk Through The Floating World

Kyoto Floating World Night Walk

1 Yasaka-jinja Overlooking Gion, Yasaka-jinja (p64) is a popular shrine, where many in the neighbourhood pray for a successful evening. 2 Tatsumi-bashi bridge After crossingShijo-dori and the gaudy hostess club-studded region, you find yourself in an alley of traditional wooden buildings. From here you come out on Tatsumi-bashi bridge, perhaps the most scenic spot in all of Kyoto (at least at night). 3 Tatsumi shrine Just opposite the bridge, you'll find this quaint little shrine on a...

Neighbourhoods

Kyoto is one of the easiest cities on earth to explore. It's basically a rectangle with mountains on three sides east, west and north. This rectangle resembles a flat tray with three raised edges. In fact, this is exactiy how many Kyo-toites describe their city they call it a bon-chi or 'tray land'. Kyoto Station, where you'll first arrive in the city, is at the south end of the rectangle. There aren't many sights in the Kyoto Station area, but there are plenty of hotels, shops and restaurants....

Southern Higashiyama

Southeast Kyoto is second only to Downtown in terms of variety and number of restaurants. You'll find the largest concentration of eateries in Gion, with others scattered around the main sightseeing spots at the base of the Higashiyama Mountains. This area contains many of Kyoto's fanciest and most elite restaurants but there are, of course, more humble places to enjoy as well. 3 561-0328 Higashiyama-ku, Gion, Shimokawara S 11.30am-2.30pm & 5-8pm lunch 4500-10,000, dinner from 13,000 12min...

Rash I Yam A Sagan

The area to the far west of Kyoto is a hugely popular destination with both foreign and Japanese travellers and it's packed with eateries, many of which serve the speciality of the area yitdofit. Simpler meals can be had in the shokudo that line the street outside Arashiyama Station. HIRANOYA Map p80 Tea & Kaiseki 861-0359 Ukyo-ku, Saga Toriimoto Senno-cho 16 S 11.30am-9pm tea 840, dinner from 15,000 (5 5min walkfrom Otaginenbutsu-ji-mae bus stop, bus 72 from Kyoto Station Located next to...

North Northeast Kyoto

In the north of Kyoto lies Kamigamo-jinja, a fine Shinto shrine, and the imposing bulk of Hiei-zan with its mountain top temple complex of Enryaku-ji. Note that attractions further to the north in the Kitayama mountains are covered separately under Kitayama Area (p83). 781-0011 Kita-ku, Kamigamo, Motoyama 339 admission free S8am-5.30pm 5minwalk from Kamigamomisonobashi bus stop, bus 9 from Kyoto Station Kamigamo-jinja is one of Japan's oldest shrines and predates the founding of Kyoto....

Food Glossary

Rice topped with a fried pork cutlet rice topped with thin slices of cooked beef rice topped with tempura shrimp and vegetables agedashi-dofu deep-fried tofu in a dashi broth baked potatoes with butter niku-jaga beef and potato stew shio -yaki - zakana a whole fish grilled with salt poteto furai French fries chiizu-age deep-fried cheese hiya-yakko a cold block of tofu with soy sauce and spring onions tsuna sarada tuna salad over cabbage pieces of white meat alternating with leek sasami c...

Arashiyama Sagan

Nestled at the base of the western mountains, the Arashiyama and Sagano area is one of Kyoto's most important sightseeing areas. It's quite scenic, with lots of bamboo groves and temples. It's something of a hike to the HOTEL RAN-TEI Map p80 Hotel 371-1119 hotelrantei kyoto-centuryhotel .co.jp Ukyo-ku, Saga Tenryu-ji, Susukinobaba-cho 12 r per person 16,000-34,000 lOmin walk from Keifuku Arashiyama Station, Keifuku Arashiyama line Q The excellent Ran-tei has spacious gardens and both Japanese-...

Kurama Kibune

Map Kibune Kurama

Located just 30 minutes north of Kyoto, Kurama and Kibune are a pair of tranquil valleys that have been long favoured as places to escape the crowds and stresses of the city. Kurama's main attractions are its mountain temple and onsen mineral hot spring . Kibune, an impossibly charming little hamlet just over the ridge, is a cluster of ryokan overlooking a mountain river. Kibune is best in summer, when the ryokan serve dinner on platforms built over the rushing waters of Kibune-gawa, providing...

Kushiage Kushikatsu

This is the fried food to beat all fried foods. Kushiage and kushikatsu are deep-fried skewers of meat, seafood and vegetables eaten as an accompaniment to beer. Kushi means 'skewer' and if something edible can be impaled on one, it's probably on the menu. Cabbage is often eaten with the meal. You order kushiage and kushikabu by the skewer one skewer is ippon, but you can always use your fingers to indicate how many you want . Like yakitori, this food is popular with after-work salarymen and...

Braiding

Kyoto's most famous braidmaker, Adachi Kumihimo-kan Map pp54-5 432-4113 Demizu-dori-Karasuma nishi iru classes 2000-5000 S 9am-noon amp 1-4pm Mon-Fri amp 1st Sat of each month 5min walkfrom Marutamachi Station, Karasuma subway line has a gallery of fine items on display. Here you can weave your own braid on wooden hand looms. It takes about two hours, and the cost depends on the length of the class and what you make. Delicately woven kyo-kumihimo Kyoto-style braid work was developed in the...

EATING

Kobe is most famous for its Indian food and has many places to choose from. There are also lots of trendy caf -style spots, including a clutch of restaurants just north of Motomachi Station in the fashionable Tor Rd area. For Chinese food, the natural choice is Nankin-machi Chinatown , just south of Motomachi Station. Although Kobe is more famous for its international cuisine, there are, of course, plenty of good Japanese restaurants to be found. The restaurants in this section are open from 1...

Sleeping

There are a number of interesting places in which to stay in the Miyama-cho area. It's best if you can have a Japanese-speaking person call to make reservations at these places since few lodge-owners speak English. Some owners will pick up guests in Hirogawara, which is the most convenient access point to Miyama-cho. Matabe 77-0258 Kita-kuwada-gun, Kita Miyama-cho per person ind 2 meals 8000 This quaint minshuku Japanese-style B amp B in Kitamura is in a traditional thatched-roof house. Miyama...

F

Fans 98,98 ferry travel 184-5 festivals 15-18 Nara 164 Osaka 171 film 32-3, 143, see also Entertainment subindex fire services 194 flower arrangement 30-1 food 115-38, iff also Eating subindex iff also individual neighbourhoods best restaurants 119 bookings 121 costs 120-1 courses 120 kaiseki 117 kushiage 119 kushikatsu 119 ky -ry ri 117 Nishiki Market 50-1, 108,5 okonomiyaki 119 phrases amp menus 205-8 r men 118-19 sashimi 118 shabu-shabu 118 soba 119 sukiyaki m sushi 118 sweets 133 tempura...