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Despite its reputation, Northwest Kyoto has a lot more to offer than tours of temples and gardens. There is a wide range of sights and attractions, as well as culinary offerings from a variety of restaurants. The best way to enjoy this region is to plan to see the most famous sights, but leave time for other, less well-known attractions as well.
Start the day in Northwest Kyoto exploring the Nijo castle complex. The grounds of this flatland castle include various buildings and gardens, as well as the ruins of the Honmaru Palace. Much of the complex was destroyed in the Onin war, but the two original concentric rings of fortifications still remain.
The traditional textile centre in Kyoto is Nishijin. Many of the kimono fabrics and obi that are worn in Kyoto are crafted here. This area is famous for its own local style of weaving fabric, known in Japanese as Nishijin-ori. This district is great for sightseeing, as it is full of machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses), and there are many unique architectural sights in the district.
No visitor to the Uzumasa area should miss visiting the Tōei Uzumasa Movie Village, where one can explore street scenes designed to reflect different historical periods. An interesting part of the park is a section fashioned in the style of the Edo-period (1603-1868). Visiting these recreations offers tourists a glimpse into what Kyoto looked like before modernization. According to the park’s advertising, real movies are shot on the grounds. You are more likely to encounter other tourists, however, than you are to catch a glimpse of a favorite film star.
What better way to relax after a long day of sightseeing than to visit a bathhouse. Consider checking out Funaoka Onsen, one of Kyoto’s best baths. It offers a tub made from Cyprus wood, an outdoor and herbal bath, and several other saunas and tubs. With its serene ambiance and great facilities, Funaoka Onsen is a great place to unwind after hours of walking and touring.
Part of every day in Kyoto should be spent enjoying some of the culinary delights that make the city famous as a foodie destination. For Japanese food, Janbo is a local hotspot, with lines out of the door for its legendary okonomiyaki, a kind of savory pancake. The okonomiyaki at Janbo are made unusually large, hence the name Janbo, and the prices are very moderate. For soba or noodle connoisseurs, Kanei is a local spot known for this specialty. The noodles here are handmade and fresh. For western food, TAC Kitchen serves Italian cuisine with influences of both Japanese and French in a casual fine dining atmosphere. The menu is comprised of mostly pastas and pizza, prepared fresh and very popular with locals and visitors.
Whatever you decide to do, Northwest Kyoto is an interesting destination for a day trip and offers something for almost everyone to enjoy.
Janbo: Tojiinminamimachi, Kitaku, Kyoto 603-8344, Kyoto Prefecture
TAC Kitchen: 534-18 Ebisu-cho,,Nakagyo-ward,,Kyoto
Kanei: 11-1 Murasakino Higashifujinomori-chō Kita-ku
Saraca Nishijin: 11-1 Murasakino Higashifujinomori-chō Kita-ku
from JR YAMASHINA make the 5-minute trip on any train to KYOTO station, then take the direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for about 40 minutes and for 230 yen.
TEMMA and OGIMACHI(OSAKA)
The JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service line from TEMMA is the best starting point, then transfer at OSAKA to the JR Kyoto Line Local to SHIN-OSAKA. Transfer again to the SHINKANSEN HIKARI 470 for the journey to KYOTO. It will take about 35 minutes with 2 transfers at a cost of approximately ¥2,970. From KYOTO take the direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for about 40 minutes and for 230 y
NARA and KINTETSUNARA
Take the Kintetsu Ltd. Exp. train (for extra cost for a reserved seat) to KYOTO. It will take about 41 minutes at a cost of approximately ¥1,130. From KYOTO take the direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for about 40 minutes and for 230 yen.
Walk 19 minutes to KINTETSUNARA station, then take the Kintetsu Ltd. Exp. train (for extra cost for a reserved seat) to KYOTO. It will take about 41 minutes at a cost of approximately ¥1,130. From KYOTO take the direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for about 40 minutes and for 230 yen.
Take the Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line to UMEDA. Walk 5 minutes from UMEDA to the OSAKA station, and JR Special Rapid Service to KYOTO. The train journey takes 52 minutes with 1 transfer at a cost of ¥840. From KYOTO take the direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for about 40 minutes and for 230 yen.
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