Kyoto was the location of the Japanese imperial court starting in 784 and it remained the capital of Japan until 1868, when the emperor was transferred to Tokyo (who’s name changed from Edo to Tokyo along with the transfer of power). Not surprisingly, in the almost 1100 years it amassed an incredible amount of cultural and historical importance. It is no wonder that this city made Conde Nast’s number three top large city in the world in 2017 (Tokyo was #1…see our Tokyo pages Here).

We had originally wanted to explore the city during the fall of 2017, however by the time I got around to booking something and formulating some plans, all of the reasonably priced places had been snatched up (This was my first my first real experience with booking in Japan. The Japanese are “planners,” so thinking ahead was going to be paramount from here on out. Noted.). We debated about still going, but then stumbled across a killer deal to fly to Hong Kong for ONE DOLLAR making an international trip much less expensive than a domestic road trip!

We ended up booking a place a year out (fall 2018) to still experience the city during what many consider to be it’s “best” season. However, in the interim we visited during the month of February (2018), so I could run the Kyoto Marathon. Our “Trip 1” itinerary below does not include all of the highlights and there are still many more places we would encourage you to explore (ie. “Golden Temple,” etc.). Thus while you’re here we would also encourage you to read about our second trip to Kyoto which was part of a bigger Western Japan trip and includes many of those highlites we missed during our first visit.


Trip 1

[ D A Y • 1 ] Zushi → Kyoto: Marathon Expo, Menbakaichidai Fire Ramen

In the short time around the marathon we did our best to start experiencing some of the city of Kyoto, but with such a high concentration of amazing things to see (like over 1,600 temples/shrines + numerous UNESCO world heritage sites) we already knew one long weekend wouldn’t do it justice. Plus the sheer size of many of these sites is a bit mindblowing! Kyoto, we will be back for round #2 in fall 2018!

We left Zushi mid-morning to make the ~5hour drive to Kyoto. Depending on what day and time you choose to travel, tolls for the trip range between $73 – 101usd/each way from our home in Zushi. Yup, tolls are real pricey in Japan! Despite the hefty price tag, however, we chose to drive as 1.) it was a bit less expensive than taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) and 2.) gave us the convenience of having a car during our time in city.

Once we arrived in the city we headed straight for the marathon expo where we zipped through packet pick-up, grabbed my race number (marathon #24 tomorrow!), and then it was on to Fire Ramen for exactly what it sounds like – ramen on fire! Like most ramen restaurants, Menbakaichidai, doesn’t take reservations, so we crossed our fingers that the wait wouldn’t be too terribly long. We parked in a paid lot and then walked up to the small store front pulling a number from an automated machine right outside the restaurant. Fortunately, we were going to be able to grab dinner here (yay!), but unfortunately there was a bit of a wait and no place to keep warm inside the tiny tiny establishment. There was a small tent next door with a portable heater setup to wait, but it was already a bit cozy inside with other customers waiting for their numbers to be called.

Since waiting outside in the cold really wasn’t the greatest option with the kids we walked to a nearby Japanese convenience store to ride out our time. We took the opportunity to pick up some snacks for the kids and breakfast for the next morning before heading back to Menbakaichidai. When it was our turn we headed inside and took a seat right at the counter (the kids sat behind us further from the flame in the provided child seats). Good meal, fun crowd and holy flame! We headed back to our Airbnb after to plan how to tackle the next day and gear up for the race.


Menbakaichidai Fire Ramen:

  • Hours: 1130 – 2330
  •  Admission:
    • Menu:
      • 1350yen/Bowl of Fire Ramen
      • 1590yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (set A)
      • 1800yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (small), Gyoza (5pcs) (set B)
      • 2260yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (small), Gyoza (5pcs), Fried Chicken (3pcs) (special set)
      • 330yen/Gyoza (5pcs)
      • Fried Chicken: 590yen/(5pcs), 470yen/(3pcs)
      • Add: 100yen/Egg, 200yen/Chasiu
      • 620yen/Draft Beer
      • 510/Sake (hot or cold)
      • 200yen/Coke, Tea, Orange Juice

Menbakaichidai Fire Ramen Tip: We didn’t realize it this visit, but on our second visit to Kyoto we enjoyed another meal at this restaurant. It was this trip that we noticed that there is actually a free parking lot that you can use with a limited number of spaces. During the winter, those spaces are taken up by the outdoor tent waiting area (hence why we didn’t see them this first visit). So, if you visit outside the winter season plan on parking to the right of the restaurant in the reserved lot and save a few bucks!

[ D A Y • 2 ] Kyoto: Kyoto Marathon, Kyoto City Zoo, Nijo Castle, Nishiki Market

Marathons in Japan usually start a bit later than those in the U.S., so we got to sleep in until 0650! We slid out the door 40 minutes later and walked to the train station (Shijo Omiya) to shuttle to the start. Lots of people, long restroom lines, but the sun was out – it was going to be great…I could feel it! I said “goodbye” to Dom and the kids right before they shut the access off to the corrals and headed down to the track to line up for the start. It’s always a bit of a rush as I really dislike standing and waiting in corrals for prolonged periods, so it never fails that I tend to push the timing a bit.

  • While I was out running through the city (which is undeniably gorgeous!) Dom took the kids to Kyoto Zoo. The kids loved it and enjoyed it way more than just sitting in the cold waiting for me to pass by. We all met up at the finish line a few hours later and trained back for me to shower and clean-up.


Our Airbnb was in a great location and fairly close to Nijo Castle, which was built in 1601 for the first shogun of the Edo Period, so we decided to use this proximity to make that our first stop of the afternoon. Although the main tower burned down several centuries ago, Nijo is a very worthwhile stop as many of the other elements of the castle grounds have been retained.


Nijo is also pretty close to Nishiki Market (aka “Kyoto’s Kitchen”), so we swung by after to try some street eats and make all of our foodie dreams come true! This little spot dates back to the 1300s when it was originally a fish market and the cold underground waters were used to keep the fish fresh! Since then it has transformed into the “shotengai” (shopping street) that it is today with some shops having been around for hundreds of years and others fairly new to the stretch. Most places in the arcade close ~1800, so make sure you get here on the earlier side, bring your appetite, and of course, curiosity!

If your morning isn’t taken up with a marathon, you could head over first thing and start your day here as most shops open ~0900. Be aware, however, that some places are closed on Wednesdays. Lots of high quality food options and a great variety! On our way back to Nijo Station we grabbed a coffee to warm up and then caught the train back to our Airbnb. Long day all-round, but my legs definitely thanked me for the extra walking time. With three marathons within the span of 22days – recovery was key!



Kyoto City Zoo:

  • Hours: Closed Mondays, March – November 0900 – 1700, December – February 0900 – 1630
  • Admission: 600yen/Adult; Free/Children under 15yo


Nijo Castle:

  • Hours: Closed Tuesdays in January, July, August and December, 0845 – 1700 (admission until 16:00);
  • Admission: 600yen/Adult
  • Location

Nishiki Market:

  • Hours: Typically 0900 – 1800 (varies by store)
  • Admission: Free
  • Location

[ D A Y • 3 ] Fushimi Inari, Sake District, Kiyomizudera Temple, Gion, Yasaka Shrine

If there is one thing that I have taken away from our travels this far it’s – get out the door early. Tour buses generally show up to locations mid-morning, and you want to beat the mad rush. This is especially important in a place as popular as Kyoto. One of the famous photos you’ll see anytime you Google “Kyoto” is the ~10,000 vermillion Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Being iconic, however, also translates many times into being popular which means lots of other tourists!

Fushimi Inari is an incredible place dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of Rice, and although the initial shrine grounds are breathtaking we would highly suggest completing the 4km hike here (located at the back of the grounds) which spans part of the Kyoto Trail. As you make your way towards the back of the grounds, you’ll find the beginning of the hiking trail. You’ll know you’re there because there will be two dense sets of Torii Gates (“Senbon Torii”) – it doesn’t matter which set you choose to go through as they both pop you out at the same spot.

Initially when we arrived we were a bit disappointed that there were so many people already there despite the early hour (I should also note, however, that by the time we left it was ridiculously busy). Fear not though, the crowds will thin out once you begin the hike and start climbing. The higher you climb, the thinner they get. Talk about good motivation to keep those legs movin’!

If you can’t make this stop first thing we would recommend waiting until the evening to explore, as the tour bus crowds tend to lessen towards the end of the day. Just don’t forget your headlamp or flashlight just in case it gets dark on you!

As you follow the mountain path through the woods, you’ll slowly make your way up Mt. Inari (233m) and get to enjoy the fresh air, amazing views, and thinner crowds. We think the combination of getting to this site early and hiking up will no doubt help maximize your experience.

So what are these Torii Gates exactly? Why are there so many of them, and why are they important? Essentially a Torii gate represents the separation between physical and spiritual spaces, so it’s a division of sorts. As you hike up the mountain you will pass through thousands of them, some dating back to 711 AD. Insane, right??! Each gate has been donated by a company or an individual and nope, they aren’t cheap starting at ~$4,000usd for a small one and they just move upwards in price from there!

While you hike, make sure to turn around every now and again to look at the opposite side of the gates. You’ll find writing on the back of each one which includes the name of the donor as well as the owner’s wish.  While you are at it, keep an eye out for all of the foxes, Inari’s messengers! Our kids loved pointing them out!

After hiking, we hopped on the train to the Fushimi Sake District and visited Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum. Gekkeikan is one of the oldest family-owned companies in the world, dating its roots back to the early 1600s. The museum (opened in 1982) is full of explanations (most of which are also in English!) and gives you a small look into the tools and labor that is required for making sake. The plum wine was also really good at this stop, so if you have the opportunity, give that a go as well!

After sake tasting, we took a train from the sake district to Kiyomizudera Temple,  located halfway up Mt. Otowa in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Mountains. The Temple, which was founded in 778 has been destroyed many times and has been rebuilt with many of the current structures dating back to 1633. It was going through renovation while we were there, but if open, make sure to explore Kiyomizu Stage, the area over the Main Hall, which allows for breathtaking views of the city. After walking the grounds it is obvious why this site was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1944.


On our way out, we strolled through Gion, the city’s entertainment district; rounding out our day under the beautifully illuminated Yasaka Shrine (“Yasaka-jinja”) which was founded in 656 and is for Susanoo-no-mikoto, the god of Japanese mythology. After, we headed back to Nijo Station to get back to our Airbnb, making a stop at Kyoto Co-op, a grocery store, for an in-room dinner. After a long-ish day of exploring sometimes it’s nice to give the kiddos some space and freedom to move about, instead of hoping they stay quiet in a restaurant. As a bonus, Japanese grocery and convenience stores are amazing! No doubt that we are going to sleep well tonight!


Fushimi Inari Shrine:


Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum:

  • Hours: Closed New Year and Obon Holidays, 0930 – 1615 (entry until 1600)
  • Admission: 300yen (however they give you a small gift that sells for 300yen in the gift shop, so essentially you are buying a small sake souvenir


Kiyomizudera Temple (Nailess Mountain Temple):

  • Hours: No closing dates, 0600 – 1800 (until 1830 on weekends and holidays from mid-April – July and every day in August & September)
  • Admission: 400yen/Adult
  • Location


Yasaka Shrine (for night illumination):

  • Hours: 24/7; no closing dates
  • Admission: Free

[ D A Y • 4 ] Kyoto: Heian Shrine, Nanzenji, Shorenin Temple, Chinoin Temple, Kodaiji Temple, Ryozen Kannon → Zushi

We checked out of our Airbnb and drove to Miyako Messe where we found a place to park ($15/day). We wanted to be closer to the section of the city we would be spending the majority of our time in, so that we could hit the road more quickly when it was time to call it a day. We had some lofty goals with regards to what we wanted to see, and there is no doubt in my mind that the kids where completely “Shrined + Templed out” by days end. If we had thought about it sooner, we would have rented a electric mamachari (mama + chariot) bike to cruise around town for the day instead of walking from place to place. We might not have seen more this way, but we would have been able to move faster and get on the road sooner – all good things. Plus riding an electric bike with one kiddo on the front and the other munchkin tucked into the seat on the back is just really flippin’ fun! There is a place located in Tsutaya Bookstore that rents these types of bikes with child seats and an electrical assist (it’s next to a Starbucks and a Family Mart and close to Heian Shrine). As always, details below if you think this might be a good option for your family.

To start off, we visited Heian Shrine which was built in 1895 to commemorate 1100th anniversary of the founding of the capital in Kyoto (the capital moved from Nara in 794AD). The shrine was dedicated to the spirits of the first and last Emperors who ruled from Kyoto. It’s a very centrally located temple, and its entrance is marked by a huge Torii gate spanning the road.


Next, we walked to Nanzenji temple, a site which was originally the retirement villa of Emperor Kameyama in the 1200s. Later it was converted to a temple, and one of the things that stood out the most to us was the aqueduct system adjacent to the temple. Additionally, there is a large (paid) garden behind the temple which is particularly popular during cherry blossom season (every April). It has several late blooming varieties of sakura which are still going strong after most of the other blossoms have already fallen, so make sure to check it out if you are visiting on the later side of the season.

We visited Shoren-in Temple next, which lays in stark contrast to some of the huge structures found elsewhere in Kyoto. It was originally built as a residence, so it looks more like a home than a temple. What it lacks in grandeur, however, it makes up for with its fantastic Japanese garden. The temple is less visited than many of the larger ones, making the garden a welcomed and calming break from the crowds.

Chinoin Temple is adjacent to Shoren-in, making it a convenient next stop. It is sometimes referred to as “The Vatican of Pure Land Buddhism” and is also known for being featured in the 2003 film, The Last Samurai, staring Tom Cruise. We’ve been to a lot of shrines and temples during our time in Japan, but what struck us the most about this one was its sheer size! Pictures just don’t do it justice, as the huge wooden gate sets the stage for the striking main hall (*adds wide-angle lens to wish list!*).

Then it was onto Kodaiji Temple, which was absolutely beautiful, but honestly the kids were about to kill us at this point… yup, should have rented that mama bike in hindsight. Kodaiji stands out for its dedication to Zen Buddhism. The contrast of its ornate buildings with meticulously manicured zen gardens is exactly what we aways thought a typical Japanese garden would be like.

The last stop of the day was Ryozen Kannon, a war memorial dedicated to honor those who lost their lives in WWII on both sides. Although it didn’t make as many of the “Kyoto Must See” lists, it is right next to Kodaiji and without the crowds it was another welcomed repose to the otherwise crowded area. Feeling accomplished, we walked back to the car and headed back home. I’ll admit it was a *bit* of a lofty itinerary (Miles walked 12miles this particular day), but it was totally worth it. See you in the fall, Kyoto!

Tsutaya Books Bicycle Rental System:

  • Hours: 0800 – 2000 (rental time)
  • Admission: 3 hours: 1,500yen, 6 hours: 2,000yen, 1 day: 2,500yen, 2 days: 4,000yen, Extra 30min: 100yen (prices do not include tax)

Tsutaya Books Bicycle Rental Tips:

  • Make a web reservation at or ask the staff at the counter.
  • After you fill out the application, you’ll need to show a driver’s license  or passport for identity verification.
  • Free helmets for children available.
  • The rental place will also hold your bags for an additional charge.


Heian Shrine:

  • Hours: No closing dates, 0830 – 1700 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)
  • Admission: 600yen/Adult


  • Hours: 0840 – 1700 (until 1630 from December – February), Admission ends 20 minutes before closing
  • Admission: Grounds are free of charge, 500yen/Adult for garden

Shorenin Temple:

  • Hours: No closing dates, 0900 – 1700 (1800 – 2200 during spring and autumn evening illuminations); entry ends 30 minutes before closing
  • Admission: 500yen/Adult (800yen for seasonal evening illuminations)

Chinoin Temple:

  • Hours: 0900 – 1630, last entry @1600
  • Admission: Grounds: Free, Inner buildings and gardens: 300yen/Adult

Kodaiji Temple:

  • Hours: No closing dates, 0900 – 1730 (entry until 1700)
  • Admission: 600yen/Adult (Kodaiji and Sho Museum), 900yen/Adult (Kodaiji, Sho Museum and Entokuin)

Ryozen Kannon:

  • Hours: 0840 – 1620
  • Admission: 300yen/Adult

***Scroll down past the Gallery below to read about our 2nd Kyoto Trip***

Despite living in Japan for 15months, this was our first week long Japanese road trip. We had visited Kyoto back in February and had decided that a long weekend just wasn’t enough (read about our first trip to Kyoto here). With 4 distinct cities fairly close together and accessible by train it seemed like an obvious choice for our Thanksgiving travel plan. We booked an Airbnb a year out in Kyoto as the affordable ones tend to fill up fairly fast, but when Japan changed its laws regarding Airbnb we ended up switching to Osaka as our home base. Each of the cities: Kobe, Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka all offered something different and we feel will leave you with a good idea of what Western Japan is like.

For ease of website navigation, we have divided the trip by city, click through to the other sections at the bottom of this page, or head to our Japan page to see the individual pages. Kyoto, was the third city we visited, so make sure to click back to see how we filled our first 3 days in Kobe and how we spent our 4th day in Nara!


[ D A Y • 5 ] Osaka → Kyoto: Ginkakuji, Philosopher’s Path, Diago Temple, Kyoto Railway Museum, Fire Ramen

We headed back to Kyoto this fall for a second taste of “traditional Japan.” The long weekend we had spent in the city of 1.5million during the month of February just wasn’t enough as the city is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites! Our first stop of the day was Ginkakuji (“The Silver Pavilion”) which is a bit confusing as unlike the Golden Pavilion covered in gold leaf it is not currently (never was) covered in silver. It is however still an absolutely breathtaking place to stroll around as the circular path winds through gardens, ponds, bridges, and other important temple structures.


Kyoto is a stunning place to be during the fall and if you’re short on time we would most certainly suggest paying a visit to Ginkakuji as it’s an incredibly peaceful spot to enjoy the season. After exiting Ginkakuji we exited and headed to Philospoher’s Path, a path named after a philosopher who practiced his daily meditation while strolling along the canal on his way to Kyoto University. This was wonderful during the fall, but if your visit coincides with cherry blossom season (usually early April) it becomes a “must” as the canal is lined with a multitude of sakura (cherry blossoms).


The stone path begins around Ginkakuji and two kilometers later it ends at Nanzenji (if your curious about the details of this temple in Trip 1 as we visited last February). Seeing as we had already experienced Nanzenji, we walked for a bit (not completing the entire path) and then headed to Diago Temple to see Kyoto’s oldest building, a five-storied pagoda built in 951.




Since the temples are gigantic and it takes a good bit to get from place to place, we decided to give the kids a break at the Kyoto Train Museum. Just mention the word, “train” around our kids and they flip instantly (especially Miles). The museum (albeit pricey) gives a glimpse into the modernization of the country through its railway system.

All of us were ready for dinner after the museum, and although we would have loved to indulge in Kyo-Kaiseki which is traditional Japanese haute (fancy) cuisine and is usually made up of 8 – 10 courses, there is no way the kids would have lasted through that. So we headed back to fire ramen (scroll up to Trip 1 for details on this). Happy we were able to enjoy as much as we were today!


  • Hours: 0830 – 1700 (0900 – 1630 from December – February)
  • Admission: 500¥/Adult, 300¥/Child (7 – 15yo) ; Children 6yo and under are free


Philosopher’s Path:

  • Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
  • Admission: Free



Diago Temple:

  • Hours: 0900 – 1700 (until 16:00 from early December – February), admission ends 30 minutes before closing
  • Admission: 1500¥/Adult; 1000¥/Child (13 – 18yo); children 12yo and under are free

Kyoto Railway Museum:

  • Hours: 1000 – 1730 p.m. (No admission after 1700)
  • Admission: 1,200yen/Adult (12yo and over), 1,000yen (University & High School Children), 500yen/Jr. High & Elementary Children, 300yen/Children 3yo and over, children under 3yo are free

Fire Ramen (see above, Trip 1):

  • Hours: 1130 – 2330
  •  Admission:
    • Menu:
      • 1350yen/Bowl of Fire Ramen
      • 1590yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (set A)
      • 1800yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (small), Gyoza (5pcs) (set B)
      • 2260yen/Fire Ramen, Fried Rice (small), Gyoza (5pcs), Fried Chicken (3pcs) (special set)
      • 330yen/Gyoza (5pcs)
      • Fried Chicken: 590yen/(5pcs), 470yen/(3pcs)
      • Add: 100yen/Egg, 200yen/Chasiu
      • 620yen/Draft Beer
      • 510/Sake (hot or cold)
      • 200yen/Coke, Tea, Orange Juice
  • Parking: Free lot to the right of the restaurant for Fire Ramen customers (might be blocked during the winter season with a blue tent, but available in the fall season!)

[ D A Y • 5 ] Osaka → Kyoto: Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Kimono Forest, Monkey Park, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Tenryuji

Our second day we headed to Kinkakuji (“The Golden Pavilion”) which was initially built as a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358 – 1408). Today however although still gorgeous, it is a Zen temple. It’s a stunning spot, as the top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

From here it was a quick jaunt to Ryoanji to see the rock garden. I’m not going to lie…I don’t really “get” rock gardens, however this one attracts loads of tourists every day so we figured it was worth a peak. There isn’t an outright explantation as to what the garden is supposed to represent and perhaps it’s up to each individual to decide that. Regardless this stop was much less crowded in Kinkakuji and gave a much needed break from the much heavier trafficked and claustrophobic spots. If tight on time though we might skip it as we aren’t really “rock people.”


From Ryoanji we made our way to the outskirts of Kyoto to picturesque Arashiyama. This area was previously a vacation spot for emperors. We strolled through the small town, passing various shops, restaurants, and a Kimono Forest. Yes!! A Kimono Forest! The sight (although not as well-known as the bamboo forest down the street) is a fantastic collection of pillars right around Randen Station. Inside each of the cylindrical pillars a kimono is artfully displayed (even illuminated at night!). Kyo-yuzen textile is used for each of the ~600 pillars in this exhibition and was created by Kamedatomi, a textile factory whose history dates back to Taisho era (1912 – 1926). We had a lot of fun letting the kids wind their way through them on our way to Togetsukyo Bridge (“Moon Crossing Bridge”), a wooden bridge crossing the Katsura River.


Once across the bridge we headed to the Iwatayama Monkey Park. This was a great addition to the day as although we have gotten our fill of monkeys throughout the past year (Monkey Forest in Bali, Batu Caves in Malaysia, Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, etc.) a stop like this is always a hit with the kids (plus it was super convenient as the entrance to the park is very close to the bridge). I’ll admit I didn’t do much research before this stop. Normally I try to read about every stop before planning our day, but with Kyoto being our third stop of the trip some of the details slipped through the cracks (oops!). I saw “monkeys” and just went with it!


There is a good bit of walking before you see the monkeys (nothing too terribly difficult, but don’t expect the monkeys to be right there when you enter the park. You definitely don’t need hiking shoes, but a but something besides flip flops would be best as there is some steep climbing (I wore some leather sandals with backs). For timing sake plan on 20 – 30 minutes of walking uphill before topping out at ~160m and landing at the monkey park (going down is a bit quicker, so pencil in ~15 – 20 minutes for that). Your efforts will be rewarded with a pretty spectacular view of Kyoto as well, so even if monkeys aren’t really your thing we think it’s a worthwhile stop.   The park staff feeds the monkeys three times a day and you can also feed them by the hand in a small building.

We made our way down the mountain and headed to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. We had been looking forward to strolling through the huge bamboo grove, and truth be told we were a little disappointed that it was so busy the day we came, particularly because there is only one real path through the grove. You can enter the grove directly from the north gate of Tenryu-ji Temple so they are best paired together. Next up, Osaka (the last leg of our Western Japan adventure)!




  • Hours: 0900 – 1700
  • Admission: 400 yen/Adult, 300 yen/Child (7 – 15yo), children 6yo and under are free


  • Hours: 0800 – 1700 (March – November), 0830 – 1630 (December to February)
  • Admission: 500yen
  • Parking: Free. You will get a green slip of paper when you go to park. Then when you purchase entrance tickets for the Temple you’ll get the paper stamped. Turn in the stamped paper into the parking attendant when you leave.

Kimono Forest:

  • Hours:  Open 24 hours, but most impressive once the sun goes down
  • Admission: Free

Monkey Park:

  • Hours: 0900 – 1700
  • Admission: 550yen/Adult (15yo and over), 250yen/Children 4 – 15yo

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest:

  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Admission: Free


  • Hours: Open daily, 0830 – 1730
  • Admission: Garden only: 500yen/High school and older, 300yen/Elementary to Middle School Children. Preschool children: free. Garden and buildings: add 300yen to the above.


That concludes the Kyoto section of our trip, check out our other stops: KobeNara, and Osaka.

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