We recommend a morning stroll here. Since there are not many people in Ishibekoji Alley in the morning, you are able to hear the faint whisking of brooms as the locals greet one another.
Within the temple precincts you can experience a traditional tea ceremony and Zen (reservations required).
Kodaiji Temple 6-minute walk
Ishibekoji Alley 0-minute walk
Kiyomizudera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perched on a hillside overlooking the city and is one of Kyoto’s most popular sightseeing spots.
It is usually crowded during the afternoon, so if you plan to visit, the morning is the best time to go.
The temple’s surroundings are very serene and you can occasionally see locals coming to retrieve the pure mountain water for which Kyoto is famous.
Here you can get a sense for everyday Kyoto and spend an invigorating time.
Hanamikoji-dori Street is the center of Gion Kobu, one of Kyoto’s five hanamachi, or geisha districts, and is a splendid location for a late night walk.
This street is quiet late at night, making the daytime noises seem like a distant memory, and occasionally you will see maiko (geisha in training) passing by.
Shirakawa-dori, north of the hotel, is one of the city’s most beautifully preserved streets and is also a splendid experience.
There you can listen to the comforting murmur of the river as you watch the reflections of the willow trees dance across the surface.
Steps from Sowaka is the Yasaka shrine, one of Kyoto’s most important temples.
It is the center of the famous Gion Festival, held every July, which features a grand procession of floats through the streets of the city.
Besides the Gion Festival, there are other festivals held here each month, including Hatsuzakura Noh (Noh for the first cherry blossoms of the year), the Tanabata Star Festival and the Moon Viewing Festival, all of which are popular among the local people of Kyoto.
Popularly known as “Kennen-san,” this Zen temple and its grounds are open 24 hours a day, allowing local people to pass through at any time.
Meditating on a summer morning is particularly refreshing, both physically and mentally, and is an excellent way to recharge after a night out in Gion.
Take a visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha, the main shrine to Inari, the Shinto god of rice.
The temple is legendary for its thousands of vermillion torii gates, which line its hillside paths. It is an exceptional place to capture breathtaking pictures.
The word for vermillion in Japanese, ake, can mean both “red” and “light” – that is to say,
the color symbolizes bright hope, and also represents the power of life, earth, and birth, which are all presided over by Inari.
25-minutes by taxi