Kyoto always seems like my go-to spot to visit whenever I do day trips from Nagoya. It’s about an hour away by bullet train and there’s enough places I enjoy visiting that I just alternate between locations whenever I go. This time I took Taku-san’s recommendation and visited Kitano-Tenmangu to see the plum blossoms and I also went to Njio Castle for the first time.
After arriving at Kyoto Station I took the JR Sagano line over to Enmachi Station, then walked about 25 minutes to Kitano-Tenmangu. Enmachi isn’t the closest station, but because it’s on the JR line I could use it with my rail pass. Plus it was a nice day for walking, so I didn’t mind taking my time to get there. (I was still recuperating from my earlier throwing-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-incident, but I guess this was my version of taking it easy lol.)
Once I got to Kitano-Tenmangu I could already see the plum blossom trees out in the front. It wasn’t quite at full bloom yet, so I didn’t feel the need to pay extra to visit the gardens. I just took my time inside to thoroughly enjoy the grounds.
After my visit, I made my way back to Enmachi Station where I took the train over to Saga Arashiyama Station. (Essentially I only took one line the entire time I was in Kyoto, so it’s super convenient to get around.) Once I arrived at the station, I walked over to the main streets and had a late lunch at a restaurant which overlooked the river. Since my appetite wasn’t quite back to normal, having a meal of yudofu was just what I needed!
For my last stop, I took the train over to Njio Station where I visited Nijo Castle. Aside from the gates and the gardens, the main attractions are the Ninomaru Palace with its famed nightingale floors and the ruins of the Honmaru Palace. Since I arrived late in the afternoon I didn’t quite have the recommended two hours to enjoy the castle, but I definitely made use of the time I had inside.
Overall Kyoto is still one of my favourite spots to visit in Japan. No matter how many times I’ve been there’s always so many more hidden gems to discover!