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To Tokyo, the City That I Adore

Updated on April 10, 2018
yahya belcaid profile image

young moroccan, 26 years old, holds a master's degree in accounting, finance and audit in the university of mancheste.

I love Tokyo

Kyoto, the ancient imperial city of Japan, its aesthetic jewel and the cradle of its most refined culture. Believe me I'm not exaggerating when I confess to having a strange blockage about this particular city. I can speak perfectly about Tokyo, Osaka and all the others, but Kyoto is not a city, it's an experience and I hope with all my heart that you will live it as I was lucky enough to do.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SAYURI:

Kyoto was my first trip to the heart of the sun country, I was excited to discover it, that two weeks before my departure I was already starting to draw my program. Yet you know me, I'm a big fan of improvisation at the last minute. In fact I had a promise about this trip and it was to live like Sayuri or the little Chiyo Sakamoto of "Memories of a Geisha"

This article is intended to be a comprehensive travel guide, inspired by my experience in Kyoto. Very long indeed, but I hope, can help you guide your choices if you ever decide to go. However to avoid a new block, I prefer not to describe the places or even my emotions, I leave it to the photos to take care of it :)

PREPARATION :

Sport shoes, jeans, t-shirt, camera and backpack. In this kind of trip we must forget his closet and bring back only the essential. Certainly, when we are blogger "fashion", we would be tempted by a shoot, especially that we expect beautiful landscapes: D but for a first visit it's even better when you're behind the goal ^ ^

LOGISTICS (Nagoya - Kyoto) :

There are several means of transport, nothing impressive is still Japan! But when we are faced with several options we do not know which to choose. especially since there is a distinction between offers and benefits between students and tourists.

There is of course the famous JR tokaido shinkansen which has the merit of being very very fast (less than 45min or 3 times less than a normal train) but in this case the blow is also multiplied (700dh) because as said "adage" time is money ". However if one arrives as much as tourist, armed with a JR PASS the blow of the transport in general is largely reduced. I, being a student with a residence card, so I was not entitled to this privilege, but I could still benefit from a small 10% discount that had to be requested from the host school beforehand . In general for all my travels I do not take the shinkansen when I'm really short of time (3months / 5months), in the normal case I take either the local JR train (200dh) or the Meitetsu Bus (125dh) both share moreover, several points in common such as the duration of the trip (2h30) and the reduction in case of a round trip. However as I went twice, so I tried both options and I have a preference for the bus which, unlike the local train, has the advantage of being more comfortable and more convenient because there is no change of line and in this case we can sleep quietly to destination. In addition it is possible to charge your phone on the spot, so you can use it without fear of loss of autonomy and believe me it's a great advantage and no one will tell you: confession of a guru of Snapchat & Co: D.

If you want to go around the city or you rent a bicycle, for a correct price of 45dh / d, and in this case think to put the little stars on google map to locate you even offline, or you take the one day pass by bus to the same price. However do not think it's an easy game, the bus card is always very complicated, you will have trouble the first two days, but you will adapt afterwards. In any case, for lovers or people who do not fit on a bicycle, know that even choosing this option you will walk enormously so prepare your fitness if you want to see everything: D

PS 1: there is also the taxi but it is almost 10 times more expensive than here in Morocco so take the right to try these famous cars where the doors open automatically: D

PS 2: there is of course the metro which offers a "one day pass" also but it is not the best option because there are only two perpendicular lines and they do not necessarily pass by all the monuments . On the other hand easier is faster than the bus, so if you do not have the time and want to see everything in two days, the ideal would be to take the combined pass (at 65dh if I remember correctly) and so you can go from one extreme to the other in record time.

HOUSING :

In the Kansai region, Kyoto remains the most expensive, the minimum price for a person in a small hotel not very well located is around 350dh (which is still 3 times the minimum price in Osaka) but for this price in general it's either a 2-star business hotel or a mid-range hotel cabin. Fortunately for small budgets there are also Hostels and Guesthouses, which for a price much more interesting, entitles you to a service and quality better. But in my opinion, the main advantage of these inns is the cultural wealth that you can draw. You find yourself in the same room with a cocktail of travelers from around the world, everyone shares their experience and their discoveries, and at the same time you feel proud to be Moroccan, to have such an exotic culture that attracts all covetousness as soon as you speak to them. there are plenty of people who return to their country completely destroyed to leave such a great civilization, personally I did not have this problem, I'm certainly still facinated by Japan, and I still want to visit it, but I came back with a fresher look at my country and these exchanges are partly responsible.

In practice, the best places to stay are in the vicinity of Kyoto station and Higashiyama all ready for Gion the district of gaishas. This is where I was from elsewhere. I recommend Trip Sound (5min walk from Gion) and Piece hostel Kyoto (3min walk from the station kyoto station) not only for their strategic location but especially for the service and kindness of young managers. (say ohayo to TOMOAKI from me if you go to trip sound ^^)

It is also necessary to plan a night in a traditional house or a Ryokan to sleep on a tatami, wear a yukata, swim in a traditional offuro and have breakfast nipon as usual (^ - ^) /. It is an exceptional experience that I shared with two friends (the beautiful Colombian Wendy and Rabiya from Kazakhstan you will see them in the photos below) and we chose the wakamiya ryokan (3min from Kyoto station) for 1500dh the night. This is not the lowest price of course, but it is the best value for money. We highly recommend it.

ACTIVITIES :

Inscribed on the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Kyoto does not repudiate its prestigious past, it combines it deliciously with the present and the future and that is what makes all its charm.

If I had to make a top of the list of activities to live absolutely the classification would be the following:

1- Adopt the geisha look (or samurai for men) for me it was at studio shiki

2- Climb the fushimi inari and run under its 10,000 toriis (for the anecdote we see the place in memories of a geisha and so like the little chiyo I was entitled to the same passage you saw above ^ ^)

3- Flaner at night in the Gion neighborhood to meet a real geisha: for my part it was the first night in kyoto, I went to 23h at the temple of Gion and that's where I saw for the first time a real Geiko ^^ it was a great moment of emotion! I saw then 3 or 4 but it was stealthy passages, they were either in a taxi or far enough for me to take a picture, but we easily recognize them "geisha is a moving art of work"

4- Visit the splendid Kinkakuji or the golden pavilion magnified by Mishima Yukio

5- Walk along the path of the philosophers known as arashiyama

6- Buy a kimono or a yukata and walk with Gion (I had done the day before the aid al fitr and it coincided with the period of Gion Matsuri the largest festival of kyoto)

7- Visit the kiyuomizu dera, millenary temple overlooking the city: kyoto is known for its pure water, hence the name of the temple (mizu for water). towards the end of the visit you will find the famous waterfalls of otawa: three nets of water reputed to have therapeutic virtues and good fortune, one would report the academic success, the other the longevity and the success in love for the last one. I am abstance enough cartesinne in my ideas, I criticize besides this kind of superstitions and I confess that in Morocco one does not mask: D but in this case it is not question to believe there or no, it's just a simple interest in the culture of the other. In addition it is water we do not lose anything to try it, we will question the reason later;)

8- Get out of the city to discover the seaside side of Kyoto "Amanohashidate" .To spend a lazy morning or afternoon and cross its fabulous arm of land cutting miyazu bay to the sea of ​​Japan.

9- Shop at faience shops and buy local culinary specialties such as yatsuhashi cakes. For the anecdote Wendy and I loved these little treats, I also brought with me to Morocco, but everyone seemed to hate them, as what tastes and colors are not discussed: D

10- Visit a random place :), this is also what I did during my last visit, it was a whim and I do not regret it. I played the game I took a card, I closed my eyes and I pointed to a region at random! finally it was around SAKURAnocho, it was not far from shopping street so I took the opportunity to visit nishiki market and all the markets around, and that's where I found my Zoris, the room that was missing from my kimono hihi (by the way SAKURA means "Cherry" Tree ^^ if it's not a nice coincidence)

Here I think I have said everything, I hope it made you dream. I know that many of you are interested in Japan but having received the label of "too expensive" "too far" they dare not realize it. I have also explicitly exposed the lowest prices to break this idea and prove to you that there are always in parallel better options more affordable. So make your dream come true and plan it!

GOOD enough to talk like that, it's time to embark with me on a pictorial journey in the heart of the most beautiful city of Japan "wecome to kyoto ".

© 2018 yahya belcaid

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