Whew! Ok, Kyoto, I knew you were going to be a beast, but as I’ve been going back through pictures I really realized how much there is to cover. I thought this was going to be a 2-Part guide, and I suppose if you’re an overachiever or just pressed for time, you can cram all of these sites in to two days. If you want to not push yourself and spare your feet a brutal beating, however, I’d split it up in to 3. Definitely take advantage of your hotel’s onsen* (hot spring bath) if they have one!
So here we go – part 2 of my Kyoto Travel Guide!
For your second day of exploring, you’re going to head up to the North Eastern part of the city. I start this route from Keage Station, which is accessible on the Tozai Line. When you exit the station, head down hill and then look for a grassy park area. Follow the crowds – in this case they’ll lead you in the right direction.
Nanzen-ji ˚ Eikan-do ˚ Philosopher’s Walk ˚ Ginkaku-ji
Keep following the path North out of the wooded area and you’ll run in to another temple, Eikan-do. Eikan-do is known for its fall colors, so if you happen to be there during late October/November, be sure to stop in to see the beautiful changing leaves.
Head North so more and you’ll end up in a residential area. There should be signage pointing you in the direction of your next destination – the Philosopher’s Path. Hang a right and walk East on the street towards Kumanonyakuoji Shrine. Once you reach the shrine, take a left and follow the creek. You’re at the beginning of the Philospher’s Path!
If you really want to dress up, there are multiple kimono (winter/cold weather wear) and yukata (summer/warm weather wear) rental places. Your hotel should have plenty of recommendations for rental companies if they don’t offer them.
Keep following the path and you’ll hit a dead end. Take a right and you’ll head straight in to Ginkaku-ji – the Silver Temple!
The road leading to Ginkaku-ji has lots of really cute little shops, as well as cafes selling a huge variety of matcha (green tea) flavored snacks. Matcha flavor isn’t for everything, but if you like it you absolutely have to get some matcha soft serve ice cream. It’s one of soft spots (ehhhh…get it?).
I’ve only stopped in a small handful of the temples and shrines located along this route. If you’re a temple die-hard, though, you can easily add a few hours to this day by covering everything possible.
If you get hungry along your route, it’s hard to go wrong just about anywhere you’d stop for lunch. If the street vendors are out I’d suggest grabbing a bite from them!