The West Side Bike Tour with Kyoto Fun
Thanks again for joining us on the West 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 West 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
We started by getting suited up on the bikes and heading for the first major stop Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Along the way we enjoyed seeing the side streets and residential neighbourhoods of Kyoto. We may even have stopped at the market of Sanjo street where we could see people going about their morning shopping.
It was a little bit off a long ride till we arrived at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Here we could chat about Shinto beliefs in general and tell you the story of the exiled Sugawara no Michizane who was believed to become an angry spirit in death and had many natural disasters credited to him. His spirit rests peacefully now and all the young people come here to improve their studies by praying to him as he is now deified as the god of learning. We enjoyed a stroll in this beautiful area before getting back on the bikes to discover the Kamishichiken geisha district en route to the Golden Temple.
Then we arrived at to the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji. This being one of the busiest places in Kyoto we had to contend with some crowds. But once we entered the gates and were immediately impressed by the site. Here you could learn more about the story of how it was destroyed and rebuilt in the early 1950's making it once of the most recently rebuilt sites in Kyoto. Replica or not, this is truly a stunning site. Here we had the chance to talk a bit more about zen and the garden technique of "borrowed scenery". We also got to talk about tea ceremony and it's importance to Japanese and saw a beautiful old tea house.
After visiting this most famous site we headed for the Ryoan-ji temple. This had a bit more of a zen feel to it than the Golden Pavilion with it's more rustic and peaceful setting. We tried to see all 15 stones at once (a tasked deemed impossible by the zen monks) and then saw the beautiful moss and stone wash basin along and behind this the most famous rock garden in all Japan. We then strolled through the gardens and enjoyed the nature surrounding the pond.
It was then time to cruise back to the city centre. We made our way back to the bike shop whizzing through the side streets and calling it a day. We really hope you enjoyed your day. Next time you come, or if you still are in town, check out our East Side Tour and we have tons of other tours that you are more than welcome to join.
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!