Japan Travel Diary: Kyoto and Nara

Every year, Fonzi and I make it a point to travel to some place we haven’t been to together. For 2017, we booked a trip to Japan. It was our delayed “honeymoon” trip and my birthday celebration rolled into one.ย While planning this trip, a day trip to Kyoto and Nara was one of the non-negotiables. Looking at pictures from travel blogs and articles online had sparked my interest in seeing the tourist spots for myself.

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Our starting point was Osaka Prefecture where we rode a train to Kyoto Station, and from there made our way to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The sun’s rays peeked through the tall bamboo groves lining the path where we walked. There were many tourists walking along with us, and were it not for the summer heat, it would have been a more beautiful trek.

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From Arashiyama, we made our way via taxi to the Temple of the Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji. Its official name is Rokuon-ji or literally Deer Garden Temple. This is a Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto and another popular tourist destination. Reading more on the building, I learned that the structure was actually rebuilt in 1955 following being burned down in 1950. There was a long line of visitors that day and once inside, you will only get a chance to see the building by following a route. After some photos and a quick walk around the compound, we treated ourselves to a scoop of Matcha Ice Cream which was perfect for the day’s heat.

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From Kinkaku-ji, we took another taxi headed to Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto Shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. The thousands of torii gates lead to the wooded forest of Mount Inari. On any other day, we would have loved to reach the top, but in the interest of time, we only made it about half-way and started to head back to the main grounds to catch the next train headed to Nara.

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The trip to Nara was about an hour or so. Once we arrived in the train station, we made our way to a bus which would take us to Nara Deer Park. It was around 4 pm when we arrived and the all the deer seemed to be resting by that time. It was an opportunity for a lot of photos with them in it. There were so many, and they were all so cute! It was really the perfect way to end the day.

Click the video below for more:

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