We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Topic
3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Hi all,

I am visiting a friend in Tokyo in April and decided to venture to Kyoto for about 3 days, by myself. I've never been to Japan, but read a lot of nice things about Kyoto. I'd like to spend a bit of time in Nara as well. I have a 7 day JR train pass.

1. any decent accommodations in Kyoto? (I have been looking at the Toyoko Inns, which are no-frills and cheap) I'd rather spend my money on sightseeing and restaurants, but if there are some great places to stay, off-the-beaten-path (buddhist temple? b&b) that you might recommend...

2. should I spend a night in Nara or just do a day trip there from Kyoto?

3. Obviously lots to see in and around Kyoto. If I'm there for 3-4 days, should I venture out anywhere else but Nara?

Thanks to all of you for your ideas and suggestions. Best regards.

Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,211 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

1. Hotel Kintetsu at Kyoto Station (allegedly 30 seconds from the Shinkansen gate) is brand new and nicely priced. Myoshinji offers an authentic shukubo temple stay experience.

miyakohotels.ne.jp/kyoto-station/…

tripadvisor.jp/Hotel_Review-g298564-d1593157…

2. You can do a day trip there from Kyoto, but staying at Nara might be nice if you like small historic cities instead of large ones. By staying in Nara, you can visit other places outside the city, like Horyuji in Ikaruga-cho.

3. An evening shopping and dinner around Dotonbori in Osaka is fun. You might do a triangular trip of Kyoto-Nara (morning to late afternoon)- Osaka Namba and Dotonbori (early evening shopping and dining, bar time until 23:00). Perhaps you might have considered going to Ohara Sanzen-in in the north or Takao in the west if you had more time. Both are renowned temple complexes in the mountains.

Edited: 14 March 2012, 20:01
Singapore
Level Contributor
89 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Hi! I just came back from my Japan trip last week. Am excited to share about my 2 nights experience in kyoto.

I stayed at a twin room in capsule ryokan Kyoto. If you don't mind staying in capsule, you will probably spend lesser as compared to single occupancy in a twin room. It's less than 10 min walk from Kyoto station which I feel is rather convenient. The place although small, is clean n comfortable. English speaking staff.

Kyoto is full of temples and shrines and many reviewers had talked about how nice n unique each is. But my boyfriend n I don't fancy visiting too many temples, hence we only went to Kiyomizudera and Fushimi Inari shrine. There's a shopping street leading up to kiyomozudera and there's also another temple and pagoda in the area. Fushimi Inari shrine is nice for looking at tori gates and photos.

We also went to toei kyoto studio park. It was a nice experience where u get to see historical Japanese buildings, immerse in ninja and samurai feel, look at evolution of animation in Japan... Unfortunately the haunted house attraction was under renovation when i went and the lady at ticket counter failed to mention this to us. Quite unprofessional in my opinion as it would have cost us less if we purchased entrance and special attraction tickets separately. Can totally skip the 3d shows. Surprised that with the current advancement of 3d technology, their payable attraction is of a very backward standard. I was on the verge of vomitting a few times and had to close my eyes to refrain from doing so. I think it's a place that you've got I visit at least once (and probably just once is enough)

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Thank you Yobekool.

The Myoshinji sounds inviting, I will inquire about it. The Kintetsu is a good fall-back, and conveniently located at the train station. I plan on arriving mid-day tueday on the train from Tokyo, and doing some sightseeing on my own. On wednesday, I plan to join a guided walking tour at 10am for 5 hours. I'll leave thursday morning and head to Nara.

About Nara, I am drawn to the "small historic city" aspect (after spending days in Tokyo with my friend, a bit of relative peace and quiet would be nice). I am trying to book a night in a small ryokan there. My plan is to arrive in Nara in the early afternoon, do some sightseeing. I will also have the day on friday to visit places, and then return to Tokyo in late afternoon or early evening.

I'll read up about the other things you suggested (Osaka, Takao). I find the numerous options overwhelming, so much to see and do. Maybe I should leave Tokyo on the monday and give myself another day to explore that area.

Best regards.

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Thank you ahLi. Glad you enjoyed your stay in Kyoto.

The capsule ryokan looked interesting, but unfortunately it appears to be booked up on the dates I will be there. I am starting to think that I may have waited too long before reserving accommodations (I was waiting for my friend in Tokyo to suggest something, but he has been too busy).

I am older (55) so am interested in the temples and shrines, although there is a chance I may get my fill of historic buildings and gardens after a while, time will tell...

Best regards.

Singapore
Level Contributor
89 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

How about trying Ryokan Shimuzu? My friend recommended this but i ended up trying the Capsule Ryokan. It looks cosy

http://kyoto-shimizu.net/

facebook.com/pages/…216001381752333

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Thanks ahLi, I'm contacting Shimuzu as we speak, hope there's some room...

Bellingham...
Level Contributor
654 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

I'm also older and I'm booked at K's House in Kyoto for first week in April. Don't know if they have any more openings but prices for private rooms are reasonable and they are 10-15 minute walk from station.

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Thanks comcox. Just checked K's House site and sadly no rooms are available on my dates (Apr 10-12).

The place I was trying to book in Nara is also unavailable, so I'm thinking of spending 3 nights in Kyoto, and just doing an extended day trip into Nara.

Lesson learned: book early, even in "off-season" :-(

New York, NY
Level Contributor
1,086 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

have you looked into kibune or arashiyama? both short trips out of kyoto center with "hiking" and beautiful scenery.

Gatineau, Canada
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: 3-4 days in Kyoto area in April - ideas?

Thank you for the recommendations, trippyNYC. Indeed, a nice hike in the countryside may be a welcome change from temples, shrines and the city. I'll look into these as day trips from Kyoto (may make me extend my stay in Kyoto from 3 to 4 days...). Or maybe as an alternative to visiting Nara?...

Cheers.