3 Days of Autumn Bliss, A Carefully Selected Travel Planner.

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Three Days of Autumn Bliss in Kyoto!

Three Days of Autumn Bliss in Kyoto!

Three Days of Autumn Bliss in Kyoto!

A few days ago, I posted my first travel guide book to Kindle and iBooks. I have carefully selected some of Kyoto’s most scenic autumn spots. This guide book will take you on a three day trip through the ancients streets of Kyoto. On day 1, we’ll walk along the Higashiyama range and downtown Kyoto. On day 2, to Northern Kyoto and the Philosopher’s Path. And finally to the famous Arashiyama and Sagano areas of Kyoto. A sublime and most rewarding experience guaranteed. Here are some exerts and a few pictures to wet your appetite. At the bottom page, you’ll find a link to sample the book at Amazon and Apple’s iBooks. Enjoy. On my Flickr site, I have created a special album, featuring all the autumn hot spots, described here. I hope it wets your appetite. Here’s the link: Autumn Hot Spots in Kyoto

Musings About the Autumn Season in Japan:

One of Japan’s most coveted seasons is autumn, with its many magnificent colors. Here in Kyoto, it lasts for about 3 weeks from mid-November till early December. This is the period when Kyoto is overwhelmed with tourists from all over the world. Many of these famous momiji spots have night time illumination—a feast for the eyes. The end of this season comes when all the leaves have fallen to the ground. This is also of great significance and beauty to the Japanese people.

How to Use This Guide Book:

I have mapped out a three-day itinerary to take advantage of Kyoto’s efficient transportation system. I’ve been to all these places countless times and I can help make your journey easier. In the second part of this guide book, I’ll explain a little more about the history of these spots, pointing out what to look for and so on.

Kiyomizu Temple During the Autumn Season in Kyoto!

Kiyomizu Temple During the Autumn Season in Kyoto!

Understanding Shinto:

When I first came to Japan, it was difficult for me to figure out the difference between shrines and temples. I’ve heard some other tourist having the same problem. In fact, differentiating the two is quite simple. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan. Shinto believers worship in shrines, or jingu – for example, the Yasaka shrine in downtown Kyoto. Buddhist places of worship are called temples, and have “ji” or “dera” at the end. For example, the famous Kiyomizu-dera or Kennin-ji in Kyoto. Another way to determine whether it’s a shrine or temple, is to see if it has a “torii”. Shrines have a “tori”, a gateway marking the entrance to a sacred area. In contrast, a Buddhist temple has a belfry.

Understanding Buddhism:

Buddhism was brought to Japan from China and Korea in the sixth century during the Asuka Period (538 to 710). Prince Shōtoku (February 7, 574 – April 8, 622), was a legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was instrumental in propagating Buddhist teachings and establishing various temples. At the time, Japan did not have skilled carpenters to construct the temples, so Prince Shōtoku commissioned Korean carpenters from the neighboring peninsula.

Autumn Bliss in Kyoto: Itinerary for Day 1:

On the first day of our adventures in Kyoto, we’ll travel along the Higashiyama Mountains. Don’t worry, no conquering mountains today, just some hills. It’s a good idea to have an early start on this journey. Approximate distance of today’s trip: 3.8 km or 2.4 miles, this does not include walking inside the compounds. We’ll start at Kyoto station and take the JR Nara line towards Nara for one stop, arriving at Tōfuku-ji station. This will take three minutes and costs ¥140.

Autumn Bliss in Kyoto: Itinerary for Day 2:

This is a view of the Garyōrō (臥龍廊), or "Lying Dragon Corridor" that connects Kaisan-do Hall (開山堂) and Otamaya (霊屋) of the Kōdai-ji Temple (高台寺) in Kyoto. The pond is called “Garyō-chi  ()” and reflects the autumn leaves on a beautiful autumn day!

This is a view of the Garyōrō (臥龍廊), or “Lying Dragon Corridor” that connects Kaisan-do Hall (開山堂) and Otamaya (霊屋) of the Kōdai-ji Temple (高台寺) in Kyoto. The pond is called “Garyō-chi ()” and reflects the autumn leaves on a beautiful autumn day!

We start our day at the Kyoto Ekimae bus stop. Take the Kyoto City Bus 206 for nine stops, or about 20 minutes, to “Yasui Higashiyama” bus stop. From there it’s a 4-minute walk (400 meters) to Kennin-ji Temple. If you prefer a taxi, the fare would be about ¥1.300 from Kyoto Station. Depending at which hotel you are staying, you could ask the front desk for the most convenient way to get to Kennin-ji Temple.

Autumn Bliss in Kyoto: Itinerary for Day 3:

Approximate distance of today’s trip: 4.73 km (2.94 mi), not including walking inside the compounds. On day three of our autumn blitz in Kyoto, we head for the aristocratic sector of the ancient capital, Arashiyama, which literally translates to “Storm Mountain”. In previous eras, Arashiyama was the playground for the aristocracy. Personally, it is one of my favorite places to enjoy the sublimity of Kyoto. The banks of the Katsura River and the “Moon Crossing Bridge (Togetsu-kyo)” are famous landmarks, featured heavily in tourism posters and booklets. There are numerous temples and gardens, not to mention the famous bamboo grove. Let’s dive in and get started.

Thank you, dear reader, I hope you had fun walking around the old city of Kyoto. I’d love to hear from you and wish you well.

Here is the link for Kindle and here’s the link for iBooks.

Some of the more than 8.000 Buddhist stone figures at the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (化野念仏寺) in Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Some of the more than 8.000 Buddhist stone figures at the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (化野念仏寺) in Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Overview of day 1

Overview of day 1

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