Kyoto at Night

After seeing temples and shrines all day around Kyoto, I checked out Gion, which is Kyoto’s most famous Geisha district. I didn’t actually go to any restaurants or teahouses with geisha (or geiko in the local dialect) though.
The downtown areas of Kyoto aren’t busy like Shibuya or Shinjuku, with Kyoto being the sixth most populated city in Japan. Still, there are people everywhere even during a weeknight.
Wonder Tower in Kyoto

Kyoto Marui Building

Kyoto shop at night

Udon Noodles in Kyoto

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Photos Around Kyoto

It’s hard to say which day of my Japan trip was the busiest, but the full day I spent in Kyoto is definitely up there. After seeing Fushimi Inari the night before, and Kiyomizudera that day already, I had already seen two of Kyoto’s most famous landmarks. But there was still plenty more I managed to pack into the day. This post will go through a few of the temples and shrines I saw as well as some general wandering the streets while going from place to place.

Kyoto shop

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Best Ramen in Kyoto

While I stayed in Kyoto, my hostel had some recommendations for what to do, where to eat, and other recommendations for things in Kyoto. Their number 1 restaurant in Kyoto was a place called Daiichiasahi Ramen. The ramen was delicious and they have English menus available, and the place is so tiny you might even strike up a conversation with a local if you know some Japanese or they know English.

K's House Hostel Recommends

Here are the rest of the recommendations from K’s House Hostel in Kyoto.

Kiyomizudera Temple

On my second day in Kyoto, my agenda was very ambitious, with 6 temples and shrines to see. The first one I visited was Kiyomizudera, one of the most famous temples in Japan. The name of the temple means “Pure Water Temple”. The temple contains a fountain which is said to give visitors luck in different areas depending on which stream they drink from.

Kiyomizudera Temple

field trip at Kiyomizudera

Temples are a popular place for school field trips and I saw several groups at this temple that morning.

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Fushimi Inari Shrine

After spending a day in Shibuya, I was leaving Tokyo for a few days and heading to Kyoto. I didn’t have my schedule planned out in advance at all, so I had to decide what to do on my first day there. I had seen photos of Fushimi Inari shrine and the famous Torii gate-lined trails, but didn’t know anything about it beyond that. Once I arrived in Kyoto, I began to research what the different temples and shrines were that I wanted to visit, and where each was located. Fushimi Inari was one of the top shrines I wanted to see, but it wasn’t close to any of the others on my list. Since it was already late afternoon by this point, I decided that is where I’d go that day, since I didn’t have time for anything else anyway. And since Fushimi Inari doesn’t have a closing time like other shrines do, it is a perfect one to visit in the evening.

Fushimi Inari has two main features. It has beautiful architecture at the front of the shrine which is well worth looking around in. But the real draw for me was the mountain path behind the main shrine. This path is lined with the Torii gates it is famous for.

Torii gate in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

on the way to Fushimi Inari-taisha

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Shibuya at Night

I have gone through quite a bit about one of the most popular districts in Tokyo, Shibuya. From wandering Center Gai to the Shibuya shopping experience and Yoyogi Park, you can easily spend a full day there and feel like you have a lot more to see and do still. But one of the most spectacular sights you can see while in Tokyo is Shibuya at night. Tokyo is famous for its neon glow in the evening and Shibuya is one of the areas where this is most impressive.

Shibuya Crossing in evening

This is one of my favorite views in Shibuya. The 109 building is very iconic.

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Shibuya’s Yoyogi Park

Not a far walk from Shibuya’s shopping district is Yoyogi park. It is one of the largest parks in Tokyo and is also near Meiji Shrine and Harajuku Station.

Fans outside of a concert hall in Tokyo

While making my way to the park, I came across a large group of people gathered outside the NHK Hall for a concert. I’m not sure who the singer was but I know it was a J-pop idol. The thing I found funny was that nearly all of the fans were wearing the concert T-shirt. That is not really something you see in America on a level like this.

Fans in costume for a concert in Shibuya

There were several fans dressed up in cosplay outfits for the concert even, both guys and girls.

After people watching for a little bit, I continued on to check out the park.

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Shibuya Shopping

In my previous post, I gave you a photo tour of the Center Gai area of Shibuya. In this post I’ll be going through all the other shopping and stores I saw in Shibuya.

Many American and European brands are popular in Tokyo. It is not uncommon to see many people with Louis Vuitton handbags or other designer clothing. Other brands like Apple and Disney have prominent locations in Shibuya.

Apple Store in Shibuya, Tokyo
While no one was lined up outside on that particular day, this is the most popular Apple store in Tokyo.
The Disney Store had quite impressive architecture and looked just like one would in America.

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Shibuya Photo Tour

One of the areas of Tokyo I was most excited to visit during my trip was Shibuya. Shibuya is known as the fashion and shopping district of Tokyo, and is also a popular nightlife spot. The area around Shibuya station is often what people think of when they think of Tokyo, with its scramble crossing and large TV screens and numerous other advertisements. It has even been likened to Times Square in New York City.

Advertisements on Shibuya Skyscrapers

Advertisements on Shibuya Skyscrapers

Both of these ads were all over Tokyo. I probably saw more pictures of Tommy Lee Jones than I have the rest of my life.
Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station
This statue is of a dog called Hachiko. The story behind it says that the dog waited loyally outside this entrance of Shibuya Station every day for his master, and for years after his masters death. Today it is a very popular meeting place, and the station entrance nearby has been named after Hachiko.

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