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1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/4 15:26
I am planning to do a 1 day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and need to return to Tokyo by night. I am willing to leave early morning. I am planning to buy a JR pass too. Below is my itinerary , kindly suggest/comment if this is doable :

Reach kyoto using the Hikari.
Visit the Inari shrine first using JR, then walk to Tofukuji temple, then take a taxi to Ginkakuji, then walk along the Philosophers path, visit nanzen ji temple, maruyama park, kodaiji temple, kiyomizu-dera temple all on foot.
After this stroll around the gion district, Ninen-zaka & Sannen-zaka, Higashiyama.
Then take a hikari to tokyo atleast by 8pm.

Kindly advise if i need to make any changes to this trip. Thanks in advance.
by SunilMK  

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/4 18:01
Have a look at these train packages on Japanican (trusted Japanese site - Ifve used them a lot).

Are you not able to stay overnight? Your itinerary is very hectic.
by grobea rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/4 20:34
It is doable. If you take 6:26 Hikari you will arrive Kyoto at 9:14 (and Inari at 9:42). If you take 19:58 Hikari you will arrive Tokyo at 22:40. So you will have more than 10 hours in Kyoto. The bright side would be: You will avoid rush hour in Tokyo, both in the morning and evening. You can take a nap in the comfortable reserved seat in both ways. There are wash rooms in Hikari train so you don't need to worry about that.

After 18:00, the shops around Kiyomizudera will be closed, but there still be street lights in the Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka. It will be beautiful after the crowds are gone.

But if you will go during the autumn foliage season, it will be very crowded, especially in Tofukuji, Kiyomizudera, Nanzenji and Eikando.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 00:39
Personally, unless you have other JR travel you are planning on doing (outside taking local JR trains in Tokyo or even to Yokohama or Kamakura) making the pass worthwhile I'd go with the Japanican discounted tickets for the Nozomi. There are a lot more Nozomi than Hikari and the extra 20-30 minutes of travel is 20-30 minutes less for your day trip.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 05:42
Very very very rushed. Not a lot of time allowed for each location. And you are zigzagging around on a map, which chews up the clock also.

I would consider doing just - Fushimi Inari, Tofukuji, Kiyomizudera, Higashiyama and finishing at Gion.

As earlier responders have pointed out. You have about 10 hours max. And the above need about an hour each minimum. Longer for some if doing all features or stopping for meals. So I would add more.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 05:48
Meant to say I wouldN'T add any more (locations).
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 06:57
It's doable, but you're not going to have much time to see hardly anything leisurely. You also didn't mention when you are traveling. If around now or winter, you're going to have even less daylight time. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are sure you're never going to return to Japan again, at the very least in the near to medium term future.
As others said, the japanican ticket is the way to go - you would not make a JR Pass pay off. You can take a Nozomi train and get there about 30 minutes sooner.
You could spend half a day at Fushimi Inari, so don't go too slowly.

If you want to save some money to Ginkakuji, instead of taking a taxi from Tofukuji, take the Keihan train from Tofukuji Stn up to Demachiyanagi and take a taxi from there.

And if you find yourself short of time, you can skip Maruyama Park from your list first. Cherry blossom season is nice, but you're likely not going in the season. Nanzenji is very nice though - and the Abbot's garden is especially nice. If by chance you do find yourself with enough time, don't miss Murin-an (between Nanzenji and Heian Shrine) - it's the secret jewel of the city and one of the most beautiful gardens you'll ever see there.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 19:19
Thanks a lot everyone for your guidance and suggestions. Really appreciate you taking time to answer my queries.

I feel JRP is required for me. My plans include round trips to Odawara, Narita Airport <-> Tokyo, trips to Osaka/Nara. Besides i may need it for local travel in Tokyo/Kyoto. So i feel the additional journey time is something i need to sacrifice for the cost savings.

Sorry for not mentioning the date. I shall visit Kyoto on dec 5th this year along with my parents. I wish i could stay in Kyoto in night but unable to due so as rooms have already been booked,

@Ken : Yes, I am really not sure if i will be visitng Japan again in the near future, so its a yearning to visit all possible places when we can.

Is Philosophers path a good choice during the Dec 1st week, considering winter would have arrived by that time.
by SunilMK rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/5 22:47
Wait so are you doing a day trip to Osaka and Nara as well?

Your itinerary seems a bit odd. It would make much more sense to go to Kyoto from Osaka than from Tokyo if you are staying overnight in Osaka.

If you are planning to day trip to Osaka and Nara as well, perhaps you can find accommodations in either Nagoya or in Osaka or Nara, if it is hard to find accommodations in Kyoto, since all 3 are much closer to Kyoto.

So you could do: Tokyo to Hakone to Nagoya or Osaka or Nara (whichever you prefer) and then from that location go to Kyoto and Osaka and Nara. Once you finish in Kansai (assuming you are flying back from Tokyo) then head back to Tokyo.

Nagoya is only 30-45 minutes from Kyoto. Nara tends to have more availability than Kyoto and is a lovely place to stay and makes a right angle between Kyoto and Osaka.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/6 04:03
Hi rkold.
I will be coming back to kyoto after 1 day and will be staying for another 2 days in Kyoto, during which i shall cover Arashiyama, Nara, Osaka. I messed up with the hotel bookings, Initially i had planned to go to Nikko and gave only 1 day for Kyoto, but later cancelled Nikko as i found Kyoto to be better.
My plan is to cover most places in South/East kyoto in a single day and have a relaxed 2nd day for Arashiyama/ shopping in Higashiyama.
by SunilMK rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/6 05:05
I am not sure I understand your itinerary, but it sounds like you are going twice to Kyoto. Did you consider to replace your Kyoto 1 day trip by a day in Kamakura instead? It is also a lovely town full of old temples and has the added benefit of the ocean closeby, potentially a glimps of Mt Fuji from Enoshima and you can do it as an easy day trip from Tokyo, no need to rebook any hotels.

by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/6 06:23
Interesting you say you don't wanna rush Arashiyama and Higashiyama shopping, but you original itinerary had you in the Higashiyama area. So you'd be wasting time visit certain areas twice, but bypassing certain sights for other days.

And I'm thinking Arashiyama actually would take less time to see than your original itinerary.

60 mins bamboo grove
60 mins temple
15 mins bridge
90 mins monkey park

Arashiyama also has direct access from Kyoto station (40-45 mins), making the transport options quicker and faster than your original itinerary day which included taxis and private railways and multiple transfers.

Still would allow you so have 2 full days to do all the eastern sights you wanna see etc. With no rushing Higashiyama and Fushimi Inari then.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/6 09:25
Wait, so I am confused...

Are you doing:
Night Tokyo ---> day trip to Kyoto --->Night Tokyo
and then
travel back to Kyoto -->2 nights in Kyoto --> travel to your next destination?

Because if that is the case I would still look into spending the night before you travel onwards to Kyoto for 2 nights somewhere in Kansai. Heck, you could do:

Travel to Nara from Tokyo (see Nara) Night Nara
Next morning travel to Kyoto (Kyoto (night Kyoto)

Or don't go all the way back to Tokyo and stay in Nagoya. I find it hard to believe Nagoya is a lot more per night than Tokyo, or stay in Osaka. It just seems weird to go all the way back to Tokyo, when you can stay somewhere closer to Kyoto for the night before your Kyoto reservation starts. I get Kyoto might be harder to book or more expensive, but there are other options like Osaka, Nara or Nagoya. Why increase your trip back a minimum of 2 hours?
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo 2018/11/7 04:26
Thanks again. i very well know my itinerary is cumbersome and messed up, but I might have to do with this for now.
likebike : will kamakura have autumn color in dec 1st week? I felt kyoto would be better option during that time.
rkold : Thanks for the suggestions, these could save me major travel hours but need to check if its possible to redo the hotel bookings, which i was trying to avoid. considering the cancellation charges.
hakata14 : right, i will consider visiting Inari and tofukuji on 2nd day. It could probably give me more time to spend in the eastern kyoto places.
by SunilMK rate this post as useful

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