Two temples in Uji

Two temples in Uji

The city of Uji lies in the South of Kyoto and is famous for its green tea plantations. Over the weekend I visited visited two temples: Byōdō-in and Kōshō-ji.

Takamatsu: Noodles, islands and a sunset

Takamatsu: Noodles, islands and a sunset

On the last holiday of Golden week I traveled all the way to Shikoku, hopped on a ferry to see the islands of the Setouchi inland sea and watched the sunset from a beautiful viewpoint.

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki is a walkable and well-connected onsen town in the north of Kyoto prefecture. The appeal of Kinosaki is the possibility to enjoy many different baths in a day, even for day visitors. In most onsen towns I visited so far, the onsen are within the ryokan one stays at and there is maybe one public bath for day visitors.

Amanohashidate – stairway to heaven

Amanohashidate – stairway to heaven

On Greenery Day or midori no hi I went to the northern part of Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures to see the sea in Amanohashidate.

Okayama and Kurashiki

Okayama and Kurashiki

On May 3rd I visited Kurashiki and Okayama in the West of Kansai, halfway between Osaka and Hiroshima. I believe many have skipped these places during their Japan travels (so have I until now) but it is worth to come, even if it is just for half a day.

To-ji temple at night

To-ji temple at night

To-ji temple lies south of Kyoto station and is not only a well preserved temple from the 8th century, it also harbors the highest wooden pagoda of Japan.

A festival, hiking and Sake in Fushimi

A festival, hiking and Sake in Fushimi

Today, April 17th happened to be the day of the Inari festival (Shinko festival), a festival at the shrine, so I decided to visit Fushimi again after many years. But apart from that I also explored the sake brewing district and the area in general, so keep reading.

Apartment tour at Okazaki International House

Apartment tour at Okazaki International House

I am living at the Okazaki International Student House, a recently constructed four-story building with about 50 rooms for students and researchers. Once accepted at Kyoto University, it was easy to organize the stay, but one must first win a lottery if the demand is high. After two to three rounds I “won” a room.

Hanami along Higashiyama

Hanami along Higashiyama

On the first weekend I used the last chance to do some hanami, before most blossoms have fallen from the cherry trees.

In the first half of the day I visited the southern Higashiyama region, all the way from Kiyomizu-dera to Heian-jingu. In the afternoon I went shopping in Shijo-Kawaramachi.

A flowery welcome

A flowery welcome

Spending a minimal time in the flat, I just grabbed my camera and started exploring. The weather was perfect and the Sakura were in full bloom, probably only for a few more days.