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Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/20 13:44
Hi guys, I will be flying to Japan next month. It's more of a rest and relax trip, I have decided to set my base in Kyoto. Will be making day trips to Osaka and Kobe.

Is it a good idea to stay all 14 nights in Kyoto? Or should I stay a few nights in Osaka and Kobe? These cities are rather near to Kyoto but I don't know the travel time (to & fro) and train expenses are worth it? I will be staying in Gion area, 10 minutes walking distance away from the train station. It's my first time visiting Kyoto so I don't really know staying so much time there is ideal?

Would love to hear your opinions and advice.
by Saul Goodman  

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/20 18:52
10 minutes walking distance away from the train station.
That is hardly 10 minutes to the transport network - you need to get to Kyoto Train station - from Gion that is a lot longer (and two subway trains).

14 days - well, yes, you can spend that long and longer in Kyoto and not exhaust the options, but there is a LOT more in Japan you could experience.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/20 19:11
Gion is pretty in some parts and pretty seedy in others, especially at night. I suppose that it historically has been an entertainment district, so it figures that there would be streetwalkers and touts about even though they left us alone and focused on the locals. They might be a bit cold that time of year which could keep them off the streets, but it is a hard part of Kyoto and it doesnt display the friendliness and politeness you get elsewhere.

Personally I wouldnt stay there more than 5 nights, we stayed in a machiya in shinmonzen dori for a week several years ago and it was probably a low point in our Japanese love affair, redeemed by some fun on the last day which encouraged us to come back (and back and back). Other parts of Gion (eg around Gion corner) are nicer, but really it is not a great example of the prettiness of Kyoto, I'd spend a few nights in Nara, and one in Hikone, I'd also look to get a bit further afield.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/20 19:54
I've been to Japan 3 times and I will go many times more, in Kyoto it was the city where I stayed the most, I love Kyoto and I can stay there not only for 15 days but 15 months / years.
as Lazy Pious said, Gion is handsome, attractive, but not my love.
but I would not fail to visit the city of Nara, the castle of Himeji and Uji (tea), perhaps with a JR KANSAI PASS you visit and it is not very expensive, the pass has from 1 to 4 days ...
do not forget to rent a bike, much more interesting
by pirataurbano rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/20 22:07
I've done what you are planning to do a couple of years ago and it is very doable depending on what you like and want to do.

The comment mentioned above about being a 10 minute walk from Gion Station is an important one as it can take up 20-30 minutes to transfer from Gion to your train at Kyoto station depending on where you want to do.

Kyoto really is the jewel of Japan but there are also lots of other places to visit in the local vicinity. For example Nara, Hikone and other locations are much more visiting. Some of the outer Kyoto areas like Uji and Mt Hei are also nice days out.

I do not know your interests, but I will say that temple fatigue can quickly set in within a week and I highly suggest taking non-temple days as a breather. Some of my favorites include places like the train museum and visits to castle towns to break up the temples. Note that visiting temples can also quickly add up in costs compared to most cities in Japan.

Hiring or driving a car can also be busy and slow along with parking being a hastle. Just giving you the heads up. Osaka and Kobe are not too far away - but I have not spent much time in Kobe so I can't make too many comments on this city. If interested, I've got a plethora of user reports on my profile. I think I stayed in Kyoto in 2013/14 in summer and there should be 10 or so posts from this time.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/21 02:25
Travel times, assuming non-Shinkansen JR express trains, are about 30 minutes and 1 hour to Osaka and Kobe, respectively. About half those times if you take Shinkansen. There is another train company, Hankyu, you can take from Kawaramachi station (a lot closer to Gion district) to Hankyu Umeda station (right next to JR Osaka station, people regard them as one), which takes about 45 minutes by express. I don't want to overwhelm you with too much info, but there is even a third train company, Keihan, with a station at Gion Shijo, that will take you to Osaka with transfer(s).

Whether to stay elsewhere depends on where and how many times you visit there. As others have written, you won't run out of things to see and do in Kyoto with 2wk stay. I personally have stayed 2 weeks in Kyoto one trip, and returned 3 more times and still cannot get enough of it.

Lots of people commute between Kyoto and Osaka daily, so the trains get packed during busy hours.
by miyako (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/21 03:09
I find that there are way too many tourists in Kyoto and the big cities and I would like to recommend more remote areas instead, like Aomori, Iwate and the Sea of Japan area. I cherish those areas myself and wonder why so many people chose to follow the beaten track like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kobe.
The locals are hostile and fed up with too many tourists hopping between temples (especially Kyoto); the areas I mentioned as way nicer and give you a much better Japan experience, IMO.
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/21 04:51
The nice thing about staying for a longer period in Kyoto is that it makes it easier to approach it in a casual, relaxed manner and not feel compelled to cram a bunch of famous places into a short period of time. I strongly recommend that you avoid the most famous places altogether, actually. There is absolutely no need for you to go to them unless you enjoy big crowds and have considerable tolerance for inconsiderate behavior. If you want to get some sense of what Kyoto was like before the dramatic increase in tourism, then go to some of the centuries-old temples and shrines that for one reason or other are not on any of the "must see" lists. They aren't secret, and all it takes to find ones that will appeal to you personally is a little research. Ditch the major guide books, as they all seem intent on sending you to Fushimi Inari Jinja, Kiyomizudera, Kinkakuji, and the Arashiyama "bamboo forest." Those places were arguably all worth visiting 10 or 20 years ago, but you can't turn back the clock.

I keep hearing people say that Kyoto has essentially been ruined by (foreign) tourism and that it's ridiculously crowded these days, but I keep showing up and finding just the opposite. I've lost count of the times I've been in a really fabulous temple or garden (or temple garden) and had the place all to myself. Kyoto is stuffed to the gills with great sites, all of them special in their own way and very well worth visiting, but a small number of ultra-famous ones suck up nearly all of the tourists. To be sure, other parts of Japan are great to visit, but their historic and scenic places tend to be a lot more spread out. If you are staying in central Kyoto, there are a large number of wonderful places you can get to, door to door from your lodging, in under an hour (or often much less). And not very many of them will be crowded, outside of New Year's, cherry blossom season, and fall foliage season. I would love to spend 14 nights there myself, including some day trips to other areas.

Although Gion might not be the best location for day trips outside the city, it isn't too bad. Depending on where your lodging is, look at the Keihan train system. It runs frequently, is usually not crowded, and has express trains that are good for getting into central Osaka. There are also some very good sites along its lines (for example, in Uji, foregoing Byodoin). It also connects nicely with the Eidan line. There are some really good discount passes for foreign tourists offered by Keihan, some of them in conjunction with other transit companies. You can plan some very economical and enormously satisfying days of Kyoto tourism around these passes.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/21 14:37
I find that there are way too many tourists in Kyoto and the big cities and I would like to recommend more remote areas instead, like Aomori, Iwate and the Sea of Japan area. I cherish those areas myself and wonder why so many people chose to follow the beaten track like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kobe.
The locals are hostile and fed up with too many tourists hopping between temples (especially Kyoto); the areas I mentioned as way nicer and give you a much better Japan experience, IMO.
http://www.allicdata.com
by kuqizz rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/22 11:12
Nobody can really answer your question until you have more definite plans. As said, you could easily fill up every day seeing new things in Kyoto - and you still wouldn't see it all after a whole month. On the one hand, changing hotels is kind of a pain - if you are going to stick to one hotel, you can relax a lot more. On the other hand though, going back and forth from some nearby city every day is not very productive either. And if you concentrate only on Kyoto, you're probably going to end up getting "templed out".
You can take a rapid train between Osaka and Kyoto in about 30 minutes, but when I was going back to my hotel in Kyoto, the first half of the run was like an express train, and then afterwards it was stopping at every single station - not really enjoyable when you've seen your fill but your body is dead tired.
You should decide where you are going, then decide how many nights to stay somewhere, if at all. As suggested above, skipping Nara would be a tragedy.
http://bit.ly/1Rhxg0E
There is also Uji, Himeji, Hikone, maybe Koyasan if you're up to it. Even farther with a Kansai-Hiroshima pass to visit the city and Miyajima.
https://goo.gl/fAz4ax

Make the most of your trip.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/22 11:36
I highly suggest visiting Himeji on a day trip on your stay in Kyoto, Himeji is ranked 1st castle in the castles of Japan list. You could also visit Lake Biwa.
by traveller (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/22 15:49
Hey guys, thank you all for the feedback and suggestions. Appreciate it. As I mentioned, it's more of a rest and relax trip. I am not interested in crowds and those must see tourist spots. Seems like the real issue is my hotel location, it's like 10 minutes walk away from Gion Shijo Station and like 12-15 minutes walk away from Kawaramachi Station. I heard most people are either staying in Kyoto Station area or Kawaramachi area. Is it necessary to switch to a hotel much nearer to Kawaramachi Station if I want to do day trips to Osaka or Kobe? Or is it fine sticking back to my current hotel?

Thanks again.
by Saul Goodman rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/22 16:26
For me, the best compromise is to stay near the corner of Shijo St and Karasuma St. Because the subway Shijo station and Hankyu Karasuma station intersect there, and also lots of buses stop at that corner. Subway takes me straight (w/o transfers) to JR Kyoto station, and Shijo Street is where lot of stores/restaurants are. Kawaramachi area may be more lively and convenient, except there is no straight way (by train) to go to JR Kyoto station, unless you take a bus.

by miyako (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/23 08:24
I do not think Kyoto is a typical destination for rest and relaxation, but you can take the train and visit Kinosaki for a few days. It is a tourist destination known for its hot springs, and people would take a bath all day long and wander around the town with their Yukata on. Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe are the three largest cities in the area, so consider visiting if you get tired of the hustles and bustles.
by Yu (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/23 09:43
From memory the ugliest part of town with the most street walkers and touts was essentially between Sanjo station and Shijo Station, extending a couple of streets in running parallel to the river. During the day it is nice but at night it is pretty awful. Staying there for 14 days would be depressing.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/24 05:33
I've stayed near Gion-Shijo Station and I don't remember seeing any prostitutes or touts. Now maybe I am just blind or ignorant, or maybe my hotel was in a location where they are not, but I was very happy staying there. We were at the Hana Touro Gion in June 2017. I actually loved the location. It was on a quiet street, but a block or so down were a bunch of more traditional looking streets with lots of shops and tourists. We went early in the morning to those streets before the shops opened for pictures with a more traditional facade. It was a short 10 minute walk to the Pokemon Center in the Takashimaya and I took the Keihan line multiple times to Osaka.

Though I love the Hana Touro, I don't know if I would want to spend 14 night there. I definitely would probably look to see if there was anywhere nice to stay near Nara or Himeji or Hikone. I personally am meh on Osaka and Kobe.

I guess if you have no dietary restrictions you could do a few days away in Kinosaki.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/24 06:24
If you are on a rest/relax trip, Ohara is another option for a couple of nights.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3932.html

Perhaps a few days in Kyoto (as your base) before Ohara, then back to Kyoto to explore other places.
Ohara can be reached by bus on a day trip if not staying overnight, just needs a bit of research & planning.
Next month is just round the corner, can you amend your hotel reservations?
by grobea rate this post as useful

Re: Staying 14 nights in Kyoto? 2018/12/24 17:49
If you want to stay at a traditional japanese style ryokan near downtown, how about Matsui Honkan at Shijyo Kawaramachi?
http://www.matsui-inn.com/en/
have a wonderful trip here.
by nateliv rate this post as useful

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