Friday, May 7

Another Beautiful Day in Kyoto Japan

Another day in Kyoto Japan. Japan’s Kyoto cherry blossoms peak on earliest date in 1,200 years, a sign of climate change. Amid an exceptionally warm March in Japan, the cherry blossoms in Kyoto peaked Friday, the earliest in more than 1,200 years of record.

Arashiyama, Kyoto Japan

Kyoto Japan lets you back into the world of old Japan, of its religion and royalty and commerce and nightlife. Gion’s streets beckon welcomingly after a day of gazing in awe at the time and positive energy funnelled into the construction and upkeep of Kyoto’s thousands of temples and shrines, proving there is still a lot of life in this beautiful old girl yet.

Once a place of geisha silks, parks carefully laid out to reflect the seasons, narrow cobbled streets and wooden dwellings, and classically beautiful art and writing, these things remain but are kept aside like museum pieces rather than part of the regular cycle of life.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Kyoto are ideally placed for exploring this fascinating city, with the majority being centrally located and easily accessible to Kyoto’s highlights.

There are still about 2 hours from the departure of the Sagano Romantic Train, I first went to Togetsu Bridge. From Sagaarashiyama station I have to walk about 900 meters.

It doesn’t feel far, because all around I was treated to Japanese houses, people’s lives and rows of souvenir shops, suddenly I just arrived at Togetsu Bridge.

Arriving at Togetsu Bridge, you can see the Arashiyama River and only an ordinary wooden bridge. But its history is indeed on the bridge which is the icon of Arashiyama, which has been built since 400 years ago.

Tour the Arashiyama Forest on the Sagano Romantic Train

Downtown Kyoto is convenient for the city’s restaurants and boutiques, for the train station and the subway station and you’re within walking distance of both Southern and Northern Higashiyama, which is where you’ll find many of the most beautiful and famous temples and sights. Southern Higashiyama is also a good choice, especially if you want to be close to Gion, and if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more traditional and atmospheric to stay. Greener and more residential, Northern Higashiyama has fewer choices when it comes to hotels, but there are a few ryokan and guesthouses.

There’s a lot of accommodation around Kyoto Station, which is great for when you arrive, and for travelling outside of Kyoto, but it’s not quite as good for local sightseeing. And if you don’t fancy staying within the city then Arashiyama, with its wonderful green gardens and river, and mountain, views, might be perfect. This is also where you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Kyoto.

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