Family Travel Japan Kyoto Travel

Kyoto with Kids – Travel Babbo

Kyoto with kids - I love the retro futuristic Shinkansen ads!

Kyoto Household Travel

My eight-yr-previous daughter loves Japan, and two years in row has chosen Tokyo for her annual one-on-one journeys with me. This yr I steered including on Kyoto as properly and she or he agreed – each as a result of she had already learn all about Kyoto, and since she needed to experience the bullet practice.

Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto

Our first day in Tokyo we walked over to the JR ticket workplace at Shinjuku Station and bought Shinkansen (bullet practice) tickets from Tokyo to Kyoto departing 5 days later. There are frequent trains between the 2 cities and we had no challenge discovering obtainable seats on the actual time we needed.

I really like the retro futuristic Shinkansen advertisements! This was in Kyoto.

We selected to depart from Shinagawa Station because it was nearer to our lodge (the Park Hyatt Tokyo) than Tokyo Station, the opposite choice. Once we checked out we have been planning on taking a taxi to Shinagawa Station (simpler than strolling to Shinjuku Station with baggage and taking the practice). However the Park Hyatt provided us a lodge automotive as an alternative, which we fortunately accepted. The drive took roughly 50 minutes with visitors – far longer than the 26 minutes Google Maps had estimated – however we nonetheless arrived in loads of time, because it takes not more than 5 minutes to get from the drop-off to the practice platform, together with shopping for snacks for the practice. I’d advocate leaving early so that you simply don’t get caught in visitors, however actually there’s no cause to be there greater than 10 minutes earlier than your practice departure.

Kyoto with kids - Our Tokyo to Kyoto Shinkansen arriving

Our Tokyo to Kyoto Shinkansen arriving

The bullet practice left proper on time (in fact), and two hours and twenty minutes later we arrived in Kyoto. We took a taxi from the station to our Gion lodge, perhaps ten minutes away. I’d extremely advocate having the identify, handle and telephone variety of your lodge out there (in Japanese) handy to the driving force. English just isn’t extensively spoken or understood.

Kyoto Inn Gion

I selected the Kyoto Inn Gion based mostly on location. Gion is Kyoto’s charming, older neighborhood, and the inn obtained good critiques on TripAdvisor. We have been completely happy with the selection. The situation is true in the midst of all the things we needed – temples, the Higashiyama District, the Kyoto Subway, the Osaka airport bus pickup, and the streets and alleys of Gion. We had a small room with two twin beds and a toilet/bathe. The employees spoke good English and gave us wonderful itinerary suggestions. Given how a lot we love the Park Hyatt Tokyo I’ll doubtless attempt the Park Hyatt Kyoto, which opens in 2019, subsequent time. In any other case I’d be completely pleased to return to Kyoto Inn Gion.

Kyoto with kids - The Kyoto Inn Gion

The Kyoto Inn Gion

Kyoto with kids - Our room at the Kyoto Inn Gion

Our room on the Kyoto Inn Gion

What We Did in Kyoto

We arrived early on a Friday afternoon and left on Sunday afternoon, so we had two full days to discover. We managed to slot in so much, and we acquired an excellent really feel for the town. Clearly longer is best, however even when you solely have two days, you’ll be able to see the highlights.

We traveled in early November. There have been some pink and orange leaves all through the town, and a few timber had already misplaced their leaves, however we have been perhaps two weeks early for the height fall colours.

Kyoto with kids - Some changing colors at Chionin Temple's Yuzen Garden

Some altering colours at Yuzen Backyard

Chionin Temple

We began by merely turning overlooked of our lodge, crossing the road, and strolling as much as Chionin Temple. It was raining flippantly and we had the temple virtually to ourselves. We explored the complicated for roughly twenty minutes earlier than shifting on to the Temple’s Yuzen Backyard (which required a small charge) for an additional ten minutes.

Kyoto with kids - My daughter washing her hands at a Chionin Temple purification fountain

My daughter washing her palms at a Chionin Temple purification fountain

Kyoto with kids - Exploring Chionin Temple

Exploring Chionin Temple

Kyoto with kids - At Chionin Temple's Yuzen Garden - well worth the entrance fee

At Chionin Temple’s Yuzen Backyard – properly well worth the entrance payment

Higashiyama District

There are pedestrian(ish) paths all the best way from Chionin Temple to Kiyomizudera Temple. We LOVED this historic district. In fact everybody loves this space, and it was very crowded, however nonetheless enjoyable – lined with Japanese specialty shops, memento shops (all classier than in most different elements of the world), meals stands, and cartoon character outlets (so enjoyable), and particularly on weekends lots of people are wearing conventional kimonos – rentable quite a few locations for round $30/day.

Kyoto with kids - Higashiyama District

Higashiyama District

Kyoto with kids - Perusing Totoros in Higashiyama District

Perusing Totoros in Higashiyama District

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

On the prime of Kiyomizu-Zaka Road is Kiyomizu-dera Temple. That is Kyoto’s hottest temple, and may get crowded, however the climb is value it, with nice views over Kyoto.

Kyoto with kids - At Kiyomizu-dera Temple

At Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kyoto with kids - Overlooking Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Overlooking Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Temple


We had bought tickets prematurely for a efficiency of GEAR at Gear Theater. This was plenty of enjoyable – I loved it and my daughter beloved it. The essential premise is that a doll involves life in an deserted doll manufacturing unit and brings the manufacturing unit’s remaining Roboroids (robotic androids) to life, all with distinctive skills – dance, mime, magic, and juggling. It’s utterly non-verbal, so there’s no want to know Japanese. Pictures aren’t allowed, however you will get a really feel for it on YouTube. Tickets can be found right here.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

I really like Fushimi Inari Shrine, with its 10,000 torii gates that snake up a mountain. It’s open 24 hours a day, however greatest seen when it’s daylight and uncrowded, which suggests early within the morning. We left our lodge at 7:15am, walked 10 minutes to the Gion-Shijo subway/practice station, and took the practice to Fushimi-inari. Or relatively, we tried to. I didn’t understand that there have been categorical and native trains and that the categorical trains don’t cease at Fushimi-inari. However watching our journey in actual time on Google Maps, I noticed that we sped previous the shrine. We received off on the subsequent cease and hopped on a (native) practice coming again in the direction of Kyoto. Study from us: be sure to get on an area practice!

The shrine is a couple of minutes’ stroll from the practice station. We arrived simply earlier than 8am and began mountaineering up. It’s potential to make an enormous loop via the trail of gates, which takes roughly two hours, however we merely walked up for perhaps half an hour after which rotated and retraced our steps. There have been only a few others on the best way up, however it was beginning to get crowded on the best way down. And mid-day is way worse.

Kyoto with kids - Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari

Kyoto with kids - Fushimi Inari - coming back down

Fushimi Inari – coming again down

One in every of my favourite issues about Fushimi Inari is that there are wonderful road meals stands between the shrine and the practice station. I all the time get the candy potato wedges, and my daughter stated that the dumplings have been her favourite meals in all of Japan. It was solely 9am once we have been coming again by way of, or we might have had lunch there.

Kongoji Temple

After Fushimi Inari we returned to our inn for down time after which retraced our steps from the day earlier than, beginning at Chionin Temple and strolling to to Kiyomizudera Temple. We acquired lunch alongside the best way at a number of road meals stalls.

We weren’t anticipating to see something totally different this journey, however once we observed lots of people getting into and exiting the gate of the Kongoji Temple, we went inside. This turned out to be a spotlight! It’s a Buddhist shrine with a really unattractive Buddha (am I allowed to say that?), however it’s distinctive due to the kukurizaru – material balls that folks write their needs on after which connect to the temple. Simply probably the most colourful temple I’ve ever been to, made even higher by all the kimono-sporting guests. This a should cease for us on future journeys. And Saturday afternoon was an excellent time to go. The extra crowded, the higher (and sure, that’s the one time I’ve written that about any vacation spot).

Kyoto with kids - The Buddha of the Kongoji Temple

The Buddha of the Kongoji Temple, surrounded by kukurizaru

Kyoto with kids - At Kongoji Temple

At Kongoji Temple


Arashiyama and its bamboo forest have been the one different should-see vacation spot on our record. On Sunday morning we headed out at 7:15 as soon as once more and, taking the subway and practice, arrived on the bamboo forest roughly an hour later. There have been already individuals there however I managed to get a couple of pictures with simply my daughter in them.

Kyoto with kids - Arriving at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arriving at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Kyoto with kids - Arashiyama - looking up

Arashiyama – wanting up

The bamboo forest is definitely pretty small – it doesn’t take greater than 10 minutes to stroll via it. So we explored much more of the world. We walked each instructions from the bamboo grove. We headed right down to the  Katsura River and watched boats and other people with toy boats. We crossed the river, obtained ice cream and headed to the small Ichitani-Munakata-Jinga Shrine. Then we crossed again over, shopped somewhat and obtained road meals.

Kyoto with kids - Stumbled upon this bamboo path a few minutes away from the bamboo forest

Stumbled upon this bamboo path a couple of minutes away from the bamboo forest

Kyoto with kids - Walking towards the river in Arashiyama

Strolling in the direction of the river in Arashiyama

There are a number of worthwhile temples/gardens close by that I had explored on earlier visits, together with Tenryuji and Hogonin, however my daughter had had sufficient temples. So she opted as an alternative for…

The Kyoto Bengal Cat Forest

We noticed an indication for a Bengal cat cafe and headed in. It’s not likely a restaurant – you select the included scorching or chilly drink from a merchandising machine – however my daughter beloved enjoying with the cats for half an hour.

Kyoto with kids - At the Bengal Cat Forest

On the Bengal Cat Forest

Kyoto with kids - Up close in the Kyoto Bengal Cat Forest

Up shut

Kyoto to Osaka Airport

From the Bengal Cat Forest we headed throughout the road to Arashiyama Station, took the practice and subway again to Gion, and picked up our baggage at our lodge. We then walked perhaps 10 minutes to the Shijo Airport Limousine Bus Cease. We took the 1pm bus to Osaka Airport, arriving slightly after 3pm. The opposite choice to KIX Airport is the practice, however we might have needed to get to Kyoto Station, so the bus appeared like an easier – albeit longer – choice.

Kyoto with kids - A colorful path at Arashiyama Station

A colourful path at Arashiyama Station

Kyoto with kids - Walking from the Kyoto Inn Gion to the airport bus stop

Strolling from the Kyoto Inn Gion to the airport bus cease

What We Didn’t Do

There’s a LOT we didn’t do in Kyoto. As all the time, I recommend actions and websites to my youngsters, however they make the ultimate selections. My favourite websites from previous journeys to Kyoto that didn’t make my daughter’s ultimate itinerary have been the Saihoji Temple (Saihō-Ji) Moss Backyard, Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Temple), and extremely-peaceable Ryoanji Temple. All extremely-advisable in case your youngsters are good with them!

Places to see in Japan - The Saihoji Temple (Saihō-Ji) Moss Garden

The Saihoji Temple (Saihō-Ji) Moss Backyard

The place We Ate

Breakfast was included on the Kyoto Inn Gion, so we did that each mornings. We had road meals random locations for snacks and lunch.

For dinner our first night time we walked down the road perhaps three minutes from our inn and located Gion Tanto. It’s small, however we timed it properly and have been seated instantly. The fried noodle dishes with numerous meats have been wonderful – ready within the kitchen, however then served instantly onto a scorching grill in entrance of us.

Kyoto with kids - At Gion Tanto (bad iPhone photo)

At Gion Tanto

Our second night time we hadn’t made plans, and because it was Saturday, in all places we handed that seemed good had lengthy strains. So we stored strolling till we stumbled upon this gap-in-the-wall, the place we ordered udon bowls and ate standing on the counter. I do not know the place this even is strictly! And I don’t know the identify. However it’s potential to be adventurous and head right into a random spot the place there’s no English-language communication and be simply high-quality!

Kyoto with kids - Dining on udon bowls

Eating on udon bowls


Our Shinkansen tickets value $184.44. The Kyoto Inn Gion was $494.51 for 2 nights, however I booked by means of with my Capital One Enterprise card to get roughly 20% again. GEAR tickets have been $62.52. The Kyoto-Osaka Airport bus tickets have been $25. Meals weren’t costly – between $5 and $12 per individual. Subway/practice tickets have been only a couple dollars every journey.

Kyoto with kids - Walking down from Chionin Temple

Strolling down from Chionin Temple

Have you ever been to Kyoto with youngsters? What do you/they advocate?



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