Kyoto, is one of the provinces in Kansai region known for its authentic Japanese culture. They are also one of the pioneer cities that promotes Muslim Friendly Tourism in Japan. So don't be surprised if you can find a wide variety of Halal restaurants and mosques in this city! Now, if you only have 1 day in Kyoto and wants to make the most of your trip, you can follow the itinerary that I used to travel Kyoto just in one day!
8.30 : Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Morning, time to explore Kyoto! The first thing my friend and I did was riding the train to Arashiyama station. Don't think twice to visit the temple and the most beautiful bamboo garden in Kyoto. You can already feel the antique and traditional atmosphere in Arashiyama station with its wooden and vintage design. Coming too early and the temple is still closed? This is the exactly why I choose to visit Arashiyama in the morning, besides the temple, you can explore its beautiful river surrounding the area and enjoy the breeze weather in Arashiyama bamboo forest.
Arashiyama via Peertours
Not only its nature and beautiful temple, there is a lot of merchandise store around you can visit to get unique local souvenirs like this one. Postcards made of cloth with Arashiyama motif!
9.30 – 11.00 : Visit shrines around Arashiyama
Once you finish taking pictures around Arashiyama, there are several other interesting shrines such as Tenryu-ji, Ninna-ji, and Kinkaku-ji to check. You can walk to the temples from Arashiyama, it's only about a 15-20 minute walk away (except Kinkaku-ji). Or you can just take the bus from Arashiyama to the Kinkaku-ji Temple, which is one of the landmarks in Kyoto.
Kinkaku-ji Temple via Time
11.00 – 12.30 : Cycling to Kiyomizudera and Surrounding!
After exploring the eastern part of Kyoto, let's go to the western part by cycling a bike! You can rent a bike starting from 900 yen for the whole day (usually you need to return it at 18:00). The bikes rental also provide maps for 'Kyoto Cycling'.
Once you get a bike, cycle straight away to Kiyomizudera and pay the bike parking that costs 200 yen for several places at once. Yep, save this parking ticket for to park your bike in other temples later. Don't forget to pay the entrance fee to get into the famous and legendary shrine.
Kiyomizudera via Michał Konkołowicz on Flickr
After visiting Kiyomizu-dera, you can visit Myojun-ji, then enjoy the beautiful scenery in Yasaka while heading to Yasaka Pagoda. If you like to ride further, you can go to the famous Ginkaku-ji!
Ginkakuji via deucenoryokou
12.30 – 14.00 : Pray in Kyoto Mosque and Lunch at Kyoto Rose Cafe
It's time for prayer! Let's find a Masjid while cycling to Nijo castle direction and going through the beautiful Kamogawa river.
Kamogawa river via lensonjapan on flickr
Don't expect to see the typical mosque building here, Kyoto Mosque looks like an office building but it's comfortable enough to pray here. It's actually not a Masjid though but an Islamic Centre. After finish praying in Masjid Kyoto you can have lunch in Salman & Sohel Halal Kitchen (Halal restaurant) as recommended by Halal Navi.
The appearance of Salman & Sohel Halal Kitchen
If you worry about finding the location, find the restaurant in Halal Navi apps, you can navigate yourself to the place and I guarantee you will arrive at the restaurant safely!
14.00 – 15.00 : Stop by at Nijo Castle
Not too far from Kyoto Masjid you can find Nijo Castle and Inari Shrine. You just need to cross its major intersection roads and you can find Nijo Castle. One of the castle in Kyoto that has a huge yard in front of it.
Nijo castle via jtbusa
You can also visit the Inari Shrine that is still associated with the famous Fushimi Inari. Although it doesn't have the famous 1000 gates like Fushimi Inari, this mini temple with its small lake and beautiful bridge is worth a visit. During non-peak season, the castle and the shrine won't be too crowded. So you can relax by sitting on the bench or simply lying in the spacious garden and rest for a moment.
15.00 – 18.00 : Get some souvenirs and hunt for Geisha!
Ready to paddle your bike again? Let's get some souvenirs in Gojo Street, Kawaramachi and taste the old town of Kyoto in Gion. By evening you should immediately return the bike, but before that you can get a glimpse through Gojo street where you can find some old buildings and stop by at the shopping centre.
One of the old building in Gojo street
Get some souvenirs in shopping centre at Gojo street
You can also find a variety of Kyoto knick knacks here. Not only that, if you fancy riding a little more, you will arrive at the shopping district of Gion and feel the atmosphere of antiquity there! You can find Gion geisha while riding your bike in this area because Gion is the home of Geisha performance. If you're lucky, you can take a picture with the Geisha on the street!
Geisha in Gion via japanesewanderer
Oops, it's prayer time again? No problem, there is OIOI in Kawaramachi not too far from Gion where you can find a prayer space in Laox on its 5th floor.
18.00 : Oyasumi
Dinner time! Before anything don't forget to return the bike before they close the store. The last thing to do to complete your journey in Kyoto is having dinner in Torisoba Ayam-ya. This restaurant is located not too far from Kyoto station. You can also find the restaurant in Halal Navi apps !
For dinner time, the restaurant is open from 6 pm to 10 pm. Don't forget to check their day off before coming, it's normally closed on Sundays and national holidays. Not only ramen, you can find some rice menus here. They also has prayer room so you can dine in at peace without rushing to find a place for prayer.
This one day trip is strenuous enough! So be prepared with your physic and bring along some drinks and snacks in your bag. You can take down several temples from your list if you find the itinerary too compact.
So, there's nothing impossible in a day, right? Let's go for a new adventure! Do not forget to save the mosques and halal restaurants above by bookmarking them in Halal Navi so later you can just reopen it once you arrive in Kyoto!
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