June 27, 2021 · 4 min read
Welcome to a 3-day itinerary called "Kobe and Kyoto Pursuits." In this itinerary, you will start your journey in Kobe, known for its port city and culturally preserved districts. With many tourist spots, you will see a lovely mixture of foreign and own cultures, just like western architecture in Kitano-cho and Asian influences in Chinatown. End your itinerary in Kyoto, where you will experience historic and ancient Japan. Besides cultural sites and temples, you will also enjoy excellent shops, restaurants, geisha entertainment, and nature views. With the "Kobe and Kyoto Pursuits," you will satisfy your travel appetite with a wealth of Japanese historical culture, temples, shrines, districts, shopping, and the most important, food.
Start your day in Kobe and end it in Osaka. For Kobe, you will immerse yourself in a mixture of Japanese culture, Western, and Asian as you will see in their architecture, market, community, and food.
Arriving in Kobe. Go to your hotel for check-in, then head to Kitano-cho. This city district has preserved former mansions called "Ijinkan" that you can visit for a fee. Go to Motomachi Shopping Street, for a little bit of shopping. Then head to Chinatown. Here you will see various shops, restaurants, and food stalls that serve Chinese dishes. Then head to Kobe Port Tower, the landmark tower of Kobe, where you can see gorgeous panoramic views of the city on their observation deck. Visit Arima Toy Museum and be fascinated with their display of historical and modern toy collections. Visit Ashiyu and get a free public foot bath. Go for a full hot spring bath in either Ginnoyu or Kinnoyu. Ginnoyu is a traditional hot spring, while Kinnoyu is a hot spring with reddish-brown golden color. Spend the evening in Osaka in a traditional Japanese restaurant for a hot bowl of ramen.
Today you will visit a famous geisha district and watch them entertain by applying various Japanese arts such as dance, tea ceremony, and music. You'll also visit temples and shrines before ending the day in lively Dotonbori.
Visit Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. This place is filled with shops, teahouses, and restaurants where geisha and geisha apprentices entertain. Visit the nearby Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park. While cherry trees are in full bloom, this park becomes Kyoto's most famous spot for cherry blossom viewing. Visit Kiyomizudera Temple, a spectacular temple best known for its wooden veranda 13 meters above a hillside with a great view of the maple and cherry trees and the city of Kyoto. Head to Heian Shrine, a partial replica of the original Imperial Palace during the Heian Period. Visit Nanzenji Temple, one of the most important Zen temples in the country. Visit Ginkakuji Temple, also known as "Silver Pavillion." Then go shopping in Sanjo, Shijo, or Nishiki. Finally, head to Dotonbori for dinner, a lively night stroll, and shopping.
Visit various Japanese temples and castles to deeply connect with the people, history, culture,
and surrounding nature. Then end the night in an authentic Japanese narrow alley for dinner or drinks.
Visit Kinkakuji Temple, a Zen temple whose top two floors are spectacularly covered in gold leaf. Stroll along the garden and visit Sekkatei Teahouse for a matcha tea. Visit Ryoanji Temple, another Zen temple that houses Japan's most famous rock garden. Then head to Ninnaji Temple, a World Heritage Site. Surrounded by a blooming garden, the highlight of this trip, Goten which is built like an Imperial Palace. Visit Nijo Castle, Kyoto's largest and best-preserved castle. Walk to Ninomaru Palace, the castle's main attraction, and appreciate well-preserved decorations, floors, and doors. This palace features its "Nightengale floors," which squeak when you walk that historically served as an alert against intruders. Finally, end the night at Pontocho, a charming narrow alley with an expansive dining option.