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Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 00:23
We are a couple in our 30s and have got 5 day trip to Kyoto next month. We want to see this beautiful city but our style of travel is not rushed. We want to enjoy temples and nature, but also have time to relax, people watch in coffee shops, enjoy great food etc. After some research on forums this is what I have come up with.....

Thursday - Arrive to Kyoto and check in to hotel by Karasuma at 3pm. Walk around and explore local area....is there anything nearby of interest that might be open? Nijo Castle shuts at 5pm and Imperial Palace last entry at 3.30pm.

Friday - Nishiki Market, Nijo Castle, Higashiyama ward - Philospher's path, Kiyomizu-dera, Ginkakuji, Gion.

Saturday - Day trip to Osaka

Sunday - Fushimi Inari very early (about 7am), Nara in the afternoon, dinner in Pontocho.

Monday - Arashiyama, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji,Tenryuji , Golden Pavilion.

Tuesday - catch train to Tokyo.

Do you think I have missed anything really important from this itinerary? I love history and nature and architecture, but at the same time don't want to be "temple weary" . I'd rather see a handful of amazing ones, than try to fit in everything.

Thank you in advance!
by Robina Penton (guest)  

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 12:38
Most are pretty full days. Not really slow or relaxed.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 14:32
I was looking the same, for me, it doesn't look very relaxed.
For example on Friday you have so many things that if you truly want to enjoy those things as you said, you will need to cut a bit the route.

I would personally make a list of must sees and start with those. And then see if you have time for something else. Your plan doesn't leave much time for sitting and peoplewatching. Altough you can do that in the evenings when the sights are closed already.

You can walk to Gion on your first evening, you would even have time to see Kiyomizu-dera then.

by * (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 16:23
If you are relaxed, spend a couple of days in Nara. It is much greener than Kyoto and usually not as busy.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 17:13
yeah, I agree. For me, it seems your trip schedule is tight up. Maybe change a bit your itinerary or extend more time in Friday because you have so many places to visit. If you are not in a rush, maybe enjoy the scenery in one place before you hop on to the other destination.
by Erlinda Morris rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 17:31
Thank you for all your answers, this has been super helpful

Based on your feedback I will switch Kiyomizu-dera to Thursday afternoon, then a relaxed stroll around Gion once the temple is closed. I think this will be a nice way to arrive to Kyoto.

I am going to dedicate Friday solely to Eastern Kyoto, taking out Nikishi and Nijo Castle. We will pick out some "must see" places in Higashiyama ward as suggested but not try to go to everything.

Thinking of taking Osaka out of the itinerary all together, or perhaps only spend an afternoon / evening there to accommodate Nijo or Nikishi in the morning.

Do you think that excluding the Golden Pavillion from Monday is a mistake? I don't want to overdo it on this day, as it is our last.
by Robina (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 17:47
Is it a must for you? If it is, then you go :)
Be there at 9:00 and then head for Arashiyama. You can take at taxi to the train station.

This way you don't have to hurry in Arashiyama and you can relax there, walking etc.

by * (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 20:14
For some reason I had got it in to my head to go to Arashiyama first, but your suggestion of Golden Pavillion early in the morning seems sensible. Thank you!
by Robina (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/7 20:20
For some reason I had got it in to my head to go to Arashiyama first, but your suggestion of Golden Pavillion early in the morning seems sensible. Thank you!
by Robina (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/8 17:13
I personally would do the bamboo grove first. Kinkajuki while it does get busy in the middle of the day. The queues and direction of walking pathway travel all flow in the one direction as staff and signage controls it.

In the bamboo grove, it is just public walkway. People walk where they want, ride bicycles to fast, walk in front of your photo etc. Getting these at 8am negates most of these little annoyances.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/8 18:07
Hi Robina,

I think your plan is pretty sound, but concur with the above suggestions to visit Kiyomizu & Gion on the first evening.

For the rest, Nishiki is missable imo, and yes you could visit Nino in the morning before heading to Osaka.

For people watching, Philosopher's Path has some nice little cafes (but will be quiet then I'd imagine), as does Arashiyama. The Dotonbori area in Osaka is prime people watching territory, especially the footbridge in front of the famous Glico 'running man' sign
by Simon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/11 18:07
That's actually a very good suggestion re Osaka, we were mainly going for the food and to walk around Dotonburi and Amerika-mura. I actually think this will be a relaxed afternoon where we can people watch.
by Robina (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 5 days in Kyoto for relaxed travellers 2017/4/11 19:29
We visited Arashiyama in the morning with the intention to visit Nijo castle after.
I wish we would have done it the other way around and visited Nijo castle in the morning and then go to Arashiyama and stay there with no rush what so ever to leave. If you like just to relax and sit in a cafe etc. I would recommend to do it this way. The other way around you will have to leave at a certain time to make it to Golden Pavillion on time.
We made it to Nijo castle but we really had to rush through it and felt a bit same in Arashiyama and we really don't like to rush anywhere.

I read many times on this page to plan the route so that you are at some place at a certain time to "avoid the crowd". You will have the Golden Pavillion with out crowds in the morning so you will see it faster.
by Ss (guest) rate this post as useful

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