529. Day 15 | Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto
So far, Kyoto is not really off to a good start. I am not complaining because I am still enjoying it...but there's a few things I'm kind of annoyed with. First of all we have had horrible luck with the weather on this trip. Half the time we were here has been rain (the first half of Shanghai was fine as well as the days in Hong Kong). But today it was pouring rain here in Kyoto for most of the day. Also I guess this is something I already knew before..but joining tours to travel are not worth it. This one in Kyoto has been the most rushed so far. We (or just I) can't fully enjoy the places we visit since we barely get any time..I always feel like we're rushing through trying to see as much as we can in the 1 hour window we get at each place, when I could have easily spent at least 3 hours. When I travel I actually prefer to go on my own and plan everything out, but when I go with family we always join a tour. Also Asian countries like China and Japan are difficult to go on your own because of the language barrier. I think next time I come I would like to get a private guide or something so we can have a more personalized itinerary and go at a more leisurely pace.

Today we went to Kiyomizu-dera Temple first. We were literally rushing through this place and didn't see everything around there unfortunately. Then we had a buffet lunch at a restaurant in Kyoto Tower (but it wasn't good at all...), then 2 hours to shop around (which I did enjoy because I love the clothes in Japan, but I would have preferred to do sightseeing instead), then a kimono fashion show (which I would have preferred to skip), then finally we went to Arashiyama. This was the place I wanted to visit the most because I wanted to see the bamboo grove..but we ended up not even going there!! We didn't even walk across the bridge to get to the actual area. By the time we arrived, it was pouring rain and all we did was walk around in a store there and eat some of the street food. We only had 1 hour at the whole place so by the time we were done at the food place, we had to leave. It was really pointless and to be honest I had a better time at the highway service stop last night lol (which was the same type of store). I don't know why we bother going to these places when we just spend the entire time in a store..& I don't consider us having even visited Arashiyama, since the closest we got was look at the bridge over from across the street. They wrote this as one of the stops in our itinerary too so it's kind of a rip off.

Anyways, I don't want to sound too negative as this is kind of expected from these tours, but I actually enjoy the ones to China despite the guides always being unorganized, the bad toilet situation, horrible WIFI, and lower quality of hygiene..but it's a LOT more worth it because of the places we visit. The negatives cancel out the positives there. For travelling, I enjoy China more because I feel the nature and attractions are a lot better..for example from my past few trips there I really loved visiting the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Huangshan, rice terraces, lakes etc.... But in Japan nothing really stands out except the shopping, stores..and I like their culture as well. The people are also really nice. Japan is obviously a lot more relaxing and "luxurious" than China too. I like both countries in different ways. I want to come back to Japan on my own someday (meaning not with a tour)...though it'll be really tough to get around with the language barrier, but I'll figure something out.

I know this was only our first day here. I had wanted to wait until the end to express how I felt but I couldn't resist lol. Hopefully the next few days will be better.

Kiyomizu Temple
black sesame ice cream
Kyoto kimono
We are staying at another hot springs hotel tonight. We can wear these kimonos to walk around the hotel, and we're only allowed to wear these into the hot springs area. I wore mine to dinner then to check out the hot springs but I didn't go. Maybe I will try it if one of our next hotels has it. Here is our kaiseki dinner again for tonight. Last night's was better though...

kaiseki dinner



  1. Just enjoy even if not everything is matching your expectations! The kimono looks great <3

  2. You should definitely come back to Japan without joining a tour. I managed to do it with my bf and we don't speak Japanese. People are so nice. Kyoto is a great place and it's hard to fit everything in your schedule but if you pick a couple of places and send a few hours on each one then you will enjoy it more.

    1. I definitely will be returning to Japan someday without a tour! I know it would be a lot more fun that way


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