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

Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 02:38
Hello all!

My husband and I will be visiting Japan in late early April and would like some input on our time in Kyoto. We have compiled a list of things we would like to do/see while in Kyoto but I am not sure the best way to structure our stay. With what I have now, it seems as if our day in Eastern Kyoto may be jam-packed while I am not sure how to structure the rest of our stay.

Please let me know if you think our Day 2 is doable, or if I have scheduled too much. Also, when we should do the rest of our hopeful itinerary. Thank you!

Day 1 Thursday (arrive in Kyoto around 12pm)
-looking at our extras below let me know what you think should be done!

Day 2 Friday
• Ginkakuji Temple (can scratch if needed)
• Philosopherfs Path
• Nanzenji Temple
• Keage Incline
• Maruyama Park
• Yasaka Shrine (Free)
• Kodaiji Temple (built for Toyotomi Hideyoshi)
• Higashiyama Streets
o Ninnen-zaka (stop in Machiya Starbucks for quick coffee)
o Sannen-zaka
• Kiyomizu-Dera Temple (under construction right now)
• Dinner on Pontocho

Day 3 Saturday
-again what should be done this day?

What we would like to do while in Kyoto but are not sure when to schedule:
-Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
-Sanjo Ohashi Bridge (have heard there are good views)
-Gion neighborhood; Shinbashi dori (I realize this is a very similar area to Day 2 but thought that might make the day even more packed)
-Fushimi-Inari Shrine
-Daigo-ji Temple
-Nishiki Market

Please let me know if you think we are missing anything that should be added to our itinerary. Thanks!
by KSayne (guest)  

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 10:44
Hi,
looking at your program below, I think you are trying to visit too many places. Kyoto is quite wide and you might want to take some time for each place you visit. If you plan to visit that many places (18 is quite a bit for 2 days), you won't spend enough time enjoying each one. I would focus on diversity of places

- 1/2 temple (Kyomizu-dera, Kodaji)
- 1/2 gardens (Ginkakuji, kinkakuji)
- Market
- Gion / Ninnen-zaka
- Bamboo Forest
- Fushimi-Inari

Keep in mind that it takes time to move around in Kyoto, so putting too many activities will just make you feel like in a rush. I would prioritize a few places and make sure I enjoy them to the fullest. There are so many places to see in Kyoto that trying to see them all would take you more than a week.

I hope that was useful, if you need more info about Japan, checkout easylifejapan.com

by Easy Life Japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 11:41
I agree with the above.

I would skip the philosophers path and depending on the state of reconstruction also Kyomizu dera.

You could visit fishing inari before or after temple opening times if you really want to cram it to the max. I wouldn't rush this one though, especially up the hill it gets less crowded.

Download a tourist bus map and already prepare the best clustering of sights for each day to travel most efficiently. This does help you seeing more on a single daym
by WJ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 12:38
Too much to see/do in too little time.

You can do Ginkakuji and Philosopher's Path (if sakura is in bloom, otherwise I personally don't see the point of walking this path) on Day 1 afternoon.

Then on Day 2 you may be able to do everything on your wish list, except Starbucks in Ninenzaka - only if you have (a) very strong legs, (b) infinite stamina, and (c) start at dawn. There will be nothing "quick" about Starbucks in Ninenzaka - the line is very very long, and there is only one restroom shared by all (men and women).
by miyako (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 12:51
@EasyLifeJapan- your blog post on a Tokyo itinerary has been helpful, thanks!

I realize Kyoto is vast so I thought I had planned out Day 2 in a logical manner of sites that are close to one another/can be done walking from the beginning to end. I guess Ifll need to go back to the drawing board!

Day 3 Ifm thinking we go to Fushimi-Inari first thing in the morning then make our way back downtown to go to the Market.
by KSayne (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 13:21
Hi!

There is no right answer to this question, but it's a very important question. Are you the sort of person who is happy seeing a temple or shrine for 30 minutes to 1 hour or are you the sort who spends 2-3 hours there. Some people are just fast tourers. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to think about in terms of what you want to see and what you can accomplish in 1 day.

I would somewhat pick sights based on where you are staying. Depending on where your accommodations are, it makes sense to visit certain sights.

I'm sorry I can't help more.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 14:37
@KSayne no problem! I will post something about Kyoto in the coming days so subscribed if you donft want to miss it :)

Happy to help!
by Easy Life Japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 18:23
Keage Incline, Nanzenji (& Suirokaku), Philosophers Path and Ginkakuji can be done all together in one pleasant stroll if you start at Keage (or you can start at Ginkakuji and finish at Keage). It should take around 2-3 hours. I did this walk last autumn and really enjoyed it.

Problem is with Kinkakuji, it is quite far from everything on your list. Perhaps you could go there first in the morning, then take some bus to Ginkakuji and walk to Keage. Or you can even try going to Fushimi Inari very early in the morning and then take bus from Kyoto station to Kinkakuji and then do the Ginkakuji - Keage walk.

Kiyomizudera is being renovated but I think its still worth the visit. I would rather skip the Yasaka shrine visit.
by haens (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/18 19:13
Also I think good time to visit Nishiki market is around noon so perhaps you could go there straight after your arrival. From Nishiki market its quite close to Yasaka shrine and Maruyama park so you could go there after that. And depending on time you could even try to visit Kodaiji and maybe even Kiyomizudera.

If you want to go to Fushimi Inari then I would recommend to visit also Tofukuji since its a very nice place and its on the way back from Fushimi Inari to Kyoto station. So on friday you could start early in the morning (7:30am) with Fushimi Inari, then go to Tofukuji, then go to Kyoto station and from there take a bus to Kinkakuji, then take a bus to Ginkakuji and walk to Keage and from Keage you can take subway back to Gion/Pontocho. I think its pretty doable in one day.
by haens (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/19 05:15
I would definitely skip Kiyomizudera, it's really not worth going there while it's under construction. I went there last month and it was really underwhelming because of the construction work going on. Such a disappointment.
by noelluuhh rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/19 06:00
I see no problem doing all that in 2.5 days.

Kinkajuki is the only one not on the Eastern side of Kyoto. All the others are close to each other.

And many like Gion, Nishi Sanyo bridge, Pontocho etc are all within 5-10 minutes walk of each other.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/20 04:17
Thank you all so much for your replies!

We do tend to be fast tourers so it's good to know we could possibly fit it all in with some changes. Tofukiji looks amazing so I think we will be adding that in. And possibly taking out Kiyomizudera if the renovations are too distracting.

I do have one other question that is unrelated: Do we need to book our train tickets ahead of time? We are NOT getting the JR pass.

I have seen multiple posts about whether or not to book a train ticket and most say it is okay just to show up and buy, unless it is a holiday. However, I realize the first week of April will be very crowded and want to make sure we won't be without transportation to our next location. Thanks!
by KSayne (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/20 07:14
As mentioned by rkold, a lot depends on your travel pace. How much you want to immerse yourself in any given spot. Some don't need much time either - you really don't need to kill Yasaka Shrine; you'll likely be finished with it in 10 minutes. Maruyama Park is nice during the cherry blossom season, but unless you want to get some food from the stalls and take a break, there are only so many pictures you can take at the place.
https://goo.gl/knQtMg

Likewise, Kinkakuji should take you less than 30 minutes without rushing at all.
https://youtu.be/RaMZMwECv-0

As for your Day 3, you ask what to see and then you list a lot of places you could see. But if you can spare half a day to go to Nara, it would be well worth it. The Nara Park area has some of Japan's very best sights.
https://goo.gl/LfvWnL

For train seat reservations, from where to where are you talking about?
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/20 08:43
Thank you for including links - very helpful!

We will be traveling:
Tokyo to Hakone
Hakone to Kyoto
Kyoto to Tokyo
by KSayne (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 2.5 Day Kyoto Itinerary 2019/2/20 15:23
I think Kiyomizudera is worth the visit despite the renovations. The whole area is great place for walking. This video will give you general idea how it looks there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAeN7TdGq4o Its from 11/2017 but it looked pretty much the same on 11/2018. I recommend taking the same route through that cemetary (link to google maps is in the video description).
by haens rate this post as useful

reply to this thread