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Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

By traveller Tanja

If you're planning a trip to Japan, this is your travel guide to Kyoto, a city you cannot miss on your trip!

Kyoto home of the Geisha culture:

I left my hotel at 5am in Osaka to hopefully reach the ancient town of Kyoto before it got too crowded with tourists. 

As I got off the train at Arashiyama station I felt the peacefulness of the place surround me. Cherry blossom trees, green mountains with a beautiful clear river flowing through. 

I’ve never breathed air that clean before. 

train station japan

water view in kyoto

First on the list was the magical bamboo forest. The highly popular tourist spot that’s usually packed with people was perfectly quiet with only four other tourists when I arrived. 

I got to take it all in on my own time. 

The high walls of bamboo, surrounded only by nature's scent and beauty. It was like something out of a movie. 

bamboo forest with girl

bus turning into road

girl eating ice cream

Next stop was the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. 

The shrine was built to honour Inari the god of rice. It doesn't get more ancient Japanese than this. 

Walking all the way to the top will take you about 3 hours as you have to climb 12,000 steps to reach the peak of the mountain. I would definitely recommend taking an energy drink with you.

You can however turn back whenever you want and explore the ancient temples that follow down the entire trail. 

I have to be honest, jetlag got the best of me and with minimal sleep I made it to the halfway mark before walking back down. But don’t laugh until you actually attempt that steep climb. Go mentally prepared. 

orange temple

Back in the city of Osaka on day 2 I took a taxi to Chu- Ku, the financial district which is also the place to be for shopping and entertainment. 

I got off at Shi-Sennichimae, the central shopping area filled with small bars, music venues, noodle shops and the biggest casino that to me looked like a children’s amusement park from the outside with big neon signs. 

busy area in kyoto

streets of kyoto

I walked these streets for hours. Went for a proper Korean BBQ where I had to try the popular Kobe beef and later had a delicious bowl of Ramen (now my favorite food) with the popular, local Asaki beer.

bowl of ramen

I tried to briefly sum up my experience in Japan but it’s only once you’ve indulged yourself in a place like that and see for yourself how Japanese culture is unlike any other culture. 

They are so neat and tidy, so precise and respectful. 

I’ve been to 46 countries but none of them touched me in this way. I fell in love with the culture and traditions of this remarkable country.


At the airport I had to grab a box of Royce chocolates that was recommended to me over and over. And OMG! My mind was blown away with the absolute melt in your mouth deliciousness.

But of course I would not expect anything less. It is Japan after all. ♡



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