Hi all, trying to plan my trip to Kyoto for the end of July (28-30) and would appreicate some help. I've done some research on temples but given limited time I'm thinking I'll hit the standard tourist ones and leave the more remote areas to a future trip (wishful thinking!).
1. I was planning to leave Tokyo (Shinjuku station) at 8am 28 July (Tues) to get to Kyoto just after 11am. Am I crazy? Should I move to an earlier route (leaving at 6.38am to get to Kyoto before 10am) to miss the morning traffic? Also gives me more time in Kyoto but not sure whether 6.30am traffic will be just as bad (and by 'traffic' I mean loads of Japanese business men!)
I am doing a Meiko dress up on 28th in the afternoon and a kaiseki in the evening so probably wont have much time to visit any temples. I was thinking spending what time I have on the 28th looking around the Gion area where I am staying and doing the shopping thing (e.g. Nishiki market, Gion-Shinbashi district, Kyoto handicraft center).
2. Wed 29th: this is my (draft) plan - any comments much appreciated. i.e. should the order be changed to hit the most popular first, although I think they're all popular - I just tried to do it geographically the best I could. I also realise this may be too much so I've tried to order them in such a way that if I run out of time, I've done the more popular ones first.
- Ginkakuji temple
- walk down Path of Philosophy (is it worth it this time of year?)
- Nijo Castle
- Kiyomizu-dera temple
- Sannen-zaka district
- Kodaiji temple
- Yasaka Jinja Shrine
- Chion-in temple
3. Thurs 30th: I fly out of Narita Airport at 6.15pm. There are two shinkansens I can catch to get me there by 3pm/4pm, leaving at 11am/12 noon respectively. Would it be feasible to get up early Thursday morning and go out to Kinkakuji temple and Ryoanji temple and be back to the Gion area to get my bags and get to Kyoto train station by 11am/12 noon? Do these places have 'opening hours' as such? Or alternatively, should I do these places on Wed and instead move some of Wed's itinerary to first thing Thurs morning?
Thanks in advance for your help and feedback.