5 Days In Kyoto For Under $100

With all it’s temples and it’s many hidden streets, Kyoto is full of surprises and mysteries yet to be discovered. Long considered the home of the geiko and maiko, Kyoto is a must visit location for anyone traveling to Japan and five days for less than 100$ gives you the perfect reason to come visit. This itinerary can also be found on my page via my trips. 
It should come to no surprise that day one starts at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine followed by a trip to Kyoto’s first underground mall Kyoto Porta. Right next door is Kyoto Tower which will cost you 770 yen for the view up top of Kyoto, but so worth it! The rest of the day is spent leisurely walking from temple to temple, starting at Higashi Hongan-ji Temple, then Sanjusangendo Temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and finally Myoho-in Temple. Really take your time walking from temple to temple because the neighborhoods surrounding the temples are just as interesting as the temple themselves. You never know what you might find or see on your travels. 

Photo Credits blog.gaijinpot.com
Day 2
Day two starts of with a walk along Kamogawa River, the view is quite nice and if you like take a seat along the river to enjoy some sunbathing. Once you’re done head to Kinkaku-ji Temple also known as the Golden Pavillion because the top floors are covered in gold leaves. Then it’s off to Hirano Jinja Shrine and some shopping at Nishiki Market which is great if you’re looking for kitchen or food items. After that you’ll be impressed with the opulence of the shopping mall Daimaru, a high end shopping mall. Definitely stop by their food floor for an out of this world food experience.
Image Credits travel.gaijinpot.com
Day 3
If you’ve always wanted to visit some bamboo forest, you’ll love day three! It starts off in Arashiyama where you’re likely to find some monkeys as well and stop buy Bamboo Alley specifically in Arashiyama. Near by is Togetsukyo Bridge which is worth a quick stop. Then head to Ryoan-ji Temple then Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and if you can manage to go on the 25th the shrine has a festival. The Kyoto Botanical Garden are next and only cost 200 yen in total! Which is incredibly low considering how beautiful the gardens are. The day ends at the Kyoto Imperial Palace and depending on when you go, make sure to check closing hours and plan ahead for this one! If you really don’t want to miss it, skip the temple or shrine (or both!) in favor of the Imperial Palace. 

Photo Credits kaseito.wordpress.com
Day 4
The silver Pavilion, or Ginkaku-ji Temple, is the starting point of day one. You’ll take what is known as the Philosopher's Path all the way down to Nanzen-ji Temple, it’s really convenient! After that it’s a quick trip to the Kyoto International Manga Museum which is only about 800 yen total. Now here comes the fun parts, take your time as you travel through Ponto-cho and the Gion districts as they are both known as geiko districts, Gion being the most famous one. Who knows you might catch a glimpse of a maiko! The day ends in Ninenzaka·Sannenzaka, which is quite a sight to behold and feels as if you’re walking in the streets of old.

Photo Credits wikimedia
Day 5
One of your most expensive trips will be to Kyoto Aquarium at 2050 yen, but it's worth it. Then it’s off to Umekoji Park before some shopping on Shijo-dori Street, both ends of the street have a temple, that I haven’t included, if you plan on walking up the whole street. You can’t miss a visit to The Museum of Kyoto of course which costs 500 yen. If you’re feeling for a little shopping, head to Takashimaya Kyoto and then Masugata Shopping Street for even more shopping! Your last day ends at Shokoku-ji Temple for some well deserved zen time.

Kyoto is truly beautiful and five days really doesn’t do it justice. If you can squeeze in a bit more time, your budget and this itinerary will most definitely allow you some extra time in this wonderful city.

Tanya Charron