As well as it’s history and architecture Kyoto (and Japan in general) is a great place to spot wildlife! During our time in Japan we’ve seen herons, cranes, turtles, frogs, lizards and lots and lots of koi carp!
As a break from the temples and shrines we decided to walk the Philosophers Path (Tetsugaku no michi) a 2km stone path along a tree lined canal named after Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan’s most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route.
The Philosophers Path is a beautiful, tranquil walk and the cherry blossom is stunning. Along the canal are houses, the odd souvenir shop and some lovely quaint tea houses and cafes and we found a place that did a great Ramen!
While at Guest House Kyoto (our 2nd hostel) we took advantage of no curfew and set out for a night on Kyoto’s gay scene! After some research we discovered that Kyoto doesn’t really have a gay scene as most people hop on the train to Osaka to party!
We did, however, manage to find a couple of bars so headed out for a few drinks! Finding bars in Japan can be tricky and confusing. Bars, restaurants and “adult only establishments” are hidden away in multi-storey buildings. Finding a specific bar, in a specific area, in a specific building, on a specific floor with only a tiny sign – which is usually in Japanese – can take some effort!
It’s a common misconception that Japan is a ridiculously expensive country and I’m please to say that’s generally not the case… perhaps with the one exception – drinking in bars!
Although you can buy beer from street vendors, eateries and even vending machines for as little as 300 YEN (£1.73) buying beer in a bar is a whole other story.
Before you even sit down there’s a 500-700 YEN surcharge and beer costs around 800-900 YEN for a half-pint or bottle! As you can imagine the bill at the end of a nights drinking can come as quite a shock!
Having spent 8 nights in Kyoto, visited numerous temples and shrines and partied on the gay scene it was time to move on!
I really enjoyed our time in Kyoto, it’s a great city and being based in two different locations was a great contrast and a chance to explore semi-rural and city centre locations!
A great 8 nights and a great city!