Walk Along Higashiyama Area

Higashiyama area is one of tourist's favorite place in Kyoto. The first time I visited this place, I was with Wina and Rika after practicing for Indonesian Night performance. On this post I will combine my experiences in Higashiyama area not only from one day I spent with my two girls but also from the other good days when I strolled around this area. What and how to explore? Read the story below!

Getting here
- Kyoto City Bus No. 203, 201, 206, 207, 46, 65 (get off at Gion or Kiyomizu-dera)
- Nearest station: Gion-shijo Station

Places


Yasaka Pagoda
We took off at Gion bus stop and then walk to a small alley which lead us to a five stories Pagoda. Along the way, we saw lots of tourist wearing yukata and some of them riding a rickshaw. We decided to stop by and take pictures before continue our walk to Kiyomizu-dera. 


Details
Yasaka Pagoda
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Fee: 400 yen for climbing up the pagoda

Ghibli Store
On our way to Kiyomizu-dera, we saw ghibli souvenir shop sign! Who can resist to enter this cute shop? I bought some postcards, and was actually very tempted to buy other souvenirs. The shop itself was really cute and they played ghibli soundtrack inside.


Kiyomizu-dera
A temple with a magnificent structure. With a high foundation on a side of a hill, the view from Kiyomizu was beautiful. From my friends' experience, it is best to be enjoyed during light-up, which usually held in summer and autumn (the last one is the best! but also the most crowded). Since I went there on May, there were lots of hydrangea around - blue flowers welcoming June. There was also a small waterfall where people take a sip of water to pray.


Details
Kiyomizu-dera
Opening Hours: 06:00-18:00
Fee: 400yen

Yasaka Shrine
The center of events in Gion. On Gion Matsuri, the shrine is where the food stall is. On a normal day without event, Yasaka is still enjoyable, with lots of lampions in the center of it. The shrine is free to be explored, with no admission fee.

The first time I went here I was alone. I took a walk from the entrance to the side of the shrine, then walked a few meters just to find a famous cake shop that I intended to try. If you're at Yasaka Shrine and interested to try the cake shop, its name is Jouvenelle. But be patient as the cake shop is always have people lining to seat.

Details
Yasaka Shrine
Opening Hours: All day
Fee: Free

Gion
The heart of Kyoto where geisha district is located. Other than the shopping street, there are two famous area named Hanamikoji-dori and Shirakawa-dori which has tea houses along the road. Tea house is where geisha is. At that time I, Wina and Rika was really want to meet the real geisha (it is difficult to meet them as they walk very fast, usually do not like to be captured with camera, and there are lots of 'tourist geisha' out there).

Unfortunately, on my first visit we did not see any geisha around. Probably because it was weekend with sea of people, so geisha decided to hide. But I was lucky on my second and third visit. I did not take any picture, but I was very happy to meet them directly. Do take a walk along these two roads, other than geisha, you will also feel the old capital ambience.
Shirakawa-dori
A corner near to Shirakawa-dori
Hanamikoji-dori
Bonus: A Cute Chocolate Shop!
Near to Shirakawa-minami dori, there is a cute chocolate shop that worth to be visited if you are a chocolate lover! Its name is Cocoa Market. It has lots of variety of chocolate, from chocolate praline, chocolate biscuits, chocolate cakes, chocolate drinks... you name it! They also provide samples for those who curious to taste before decide to buy (or for those opportunists like me Wina and Rika who want to taste but do not want to buy :p). Spending late afternoon here after take a walk around Gion will be a perfect idea :)


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