The East Side Bike Tour with Kyoto Fun
Thanks again for joining us on the East Side Bike Tour of Kyoto. I am sure that you will agree that Kyoto is an absolute delight to visit the sites by bicycle and with it being fairly flat, you may have found that your legs were not as tired after the tour as they would be if walking. The East Side tour also visits some of the true gems of the city. Here is a recap for you to look back on and recall them for years to come. Note that depending on the pace of your tour and the interests of the group you are with that day, there may have been slight variations but either way this can serve as a little memory for you of the day you had with Kyoto Fun Tours.
Places visited on the tour
After meeting up at our favourite bike rental shop it wasn't long before we hit the road and weaved through some local streets towards the Kamogawa river. We stopped briefly in the Gojo Rakuen neighbourhood which was a bit of a seedy past but is now a charming area with a growth in tourism too. After checking out some of the buildings of the area, including the bathhouse and the old Nintendo headquarters, we soon were crossing over to the East side of the city where we spent most of our day.
We went North along the riverside and along the way I pointed out some of the geographical features of the city including the famous bridges along the way, we passed Gojo (5th Ave) Shijo (4th Ave) Sanjo (3rd Ave) and Nijo (2nd Ave) before popping back up to street level and heading East towards the mountains. Before too long we were at the Ginkakuji temple and ready to explore the gardens.
And what beautiful gardens they were. With a mixture of dry landscape, moss, trees and ponds this is a real beautiful gem of a temple. We saw the light filtering through the trees and I told you how there is a specific word for it in Japanese (komorebi). After climbing to the top to see the view, we came down the stairs and got some great photos along the way. Then it was time to venture out to the next place. We grabbed ourselves something to eat and then we were back on the bikes and following the Path of Philosophy.
This nature filled path is one of the most beautiful bike rides in town. We enjoy a nice ride along here before heading downhill and on to the next stop, the Nanzen-ji zen temple. This is also one of the nicest temples in Kyoto and it has a special added feature. An aqueduct running through the grounds which was built in the 19th century. I hope you got some great photos here as it is a really special place.
After two temples, it was time to get our shinto shrine box checked, and the Heian Shirine is one that does not disappoint. This replica of the former Imperial Palace is huge, so it's hard to believe that it's actually a 4/5ths scale replica. I told you a bit about the fact that this was built as a way to revive the local economy after Kyoto lost it's role of capital city during the Meji Period, and we even saw an old streetcar in the garden showing the connection between the canals, streetcars and the shrine. We enjoyed wandering through the beautiful gardens and got some amazing pics of the ponds too. We may have even had time to feed some of the fish and turtles in the pond.
Back on the bikes, and we were rolling towards the Gion and Miyagawacho geisha quarters. This is really one of the nicest areas of Kyoto and definitely worth a visit at night too. Depending on pace, we may have even had time to chat about the geisha and their unique lives while visiting their neighbourhood. Then it was a quick ride back across town to the rental shop! We hope you had as nice a day as we did discovering Kyoto!
Thanks again for sharing some of your precious time in Kyoto with us. We really hope you enjoyed the day and please do remember to write us a review either on facebook or tripadvisor! It means a lot for a little company like ours. http://www.kyotofun.com/thanks-for-the-review.html
And if you got some great photos, please be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #kyotofunphoto to enter a chance to win a prize as we pick a winner every year for best photo. Hope to see you in Kyoto again soon!