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NIPPONIA No.30 September 15, 2004

Special Feature*
How to Get There and Enjoy Your Stay
The best way to appreciate Kyoto is to visit the city yourself. View ancient cultural treasures, meet the traditions of another age, savor Kyoto cuisine…each season offers a unique experience of the natural environment and atmosphere of the ancient capital.

Getting there:
From Narita International Airport (Tokyo): Go first to Tokyo Station (by limousine bus or JR Narita Express train; about 80 min). Then take a Nozomi Shinkansen train (about 150 min) or an express bus (about 8 hours). The Dream Kyoto and Dream Nara buses depart 3 or 4 times a day.
Narita International Airport website (English):
English-language website for information on Dream Kyoto bus:

From Kansai International Airport (Osaka): First take the JR Kansai Kuko Line from the airport to Hineno Station (approx. 10 min). Then change to the JR Hanwa Line and get off at Osaka Station. From there, change to the JR Tokaido Main Line and get off at Kyoto Station (approx. 30 min).
Kansai International Airport website (English):

Getting around the city
Kyoto has an excellent bus and subway transit system. To make the most of it, visit this English-language website:

The Kyoto Tourist Information office can give you the names of companies offering taxi tours, bus tours and car rentals.

Bicycling: This English-language website has information on renting bicycles, routes and guided cycling tours:

Rickshaw: Some tourists like being pulled in a rickshaw through certain parts of the city. A great way to sit back and enjoy the sights.

For tips on things to do and see:
Kyoto Tourist Information office
Information in English on where to stay, what to see, getting about,and more.
Tel: 075-344-3300 (if calling from outside Japan, +81-75-344-3300)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month)
Address: 9th floor, Kyoto Station Building, Shiokoji Kudaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Tourist info from the web:
Digital City Kyoto website (English and Chinese):

Kyoto Prefecture website (English):

For information on where to stay:
English-language website of Lodging Guide in Japan (where to stay throughout Japan):

Hands-on fun with Kyoto's traditional culture
Make Kyoto-style confectionaries and drink matcha (powdered green tea):
Oimatsu (reserve at least 10 days in advance)
Tel: 075-463-3050 (if calling from outside Japan, +81-75-463-3050)
Fax: 075-463-3051 (+81-75-463-3051)

Make traditional Kyoto handicrafts (Kyo Yuzen-zome dyeing, Japanese paper, kumi-himo braided cords, folding fans):
Kyoto Kimono Center (reserve beforehand)
Fax: 075-213-0651 (if calling from outside Japan, +81-75-213-0651)

Participate in a tea ceremony, dressed in a kimono:
Tondaya (reserve at least one day in advance). English website:

Major festivals in Kyoto
Numbers in the "Location" column correspond to numbers on the map.

Date Name of Festival Location
January 1 Hatsu-mode Yasaka Shrine (7),
other shrines, temples
January 15 Toshi-ya Sanjusangendo (3)
January 21 Hatsu Kobo (Kobo market) To-ji Temple (15)
January 25 Hatsu Tenjin (Tenjin market) Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (25)
February 3 Setsubun-sai Yoshida Shrine (12)
and elsewhere
March 1 −April 3 Spring exhibition of dolls Hokyo-ji Temple (27)
April 1 −30 Miyako Odori Gion Kobu Kabu Renjo (20)
May 15 Aoi Matsuri Kamigamo Shrine (28) & Shimogamo Shrine (29)
June 20 Takekiri Eshiki Kurama-ji Temple (Kurama)
July 1 −29 Gion Matsuri Yasaka Shrine (7)
August 16 Gozan Okuri-bi (mountainside
flames make the shape of the
character dai ("great")
Gozan (see map legend)
August 23 & 24 Sento Kuyo Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (39)
Day of full moon in September Kangetsu no Yube Daikaku-ji Temple (38)
October 22 Jidai Matsuri Heian Shrine (9)
October 22 Kurama no Hi-matsuri Yuki Shrine (Kurama)
2nd Sunday in November Arashiyama Momiji Matsuri Arashiyama
December 7 & 8 Daikon Daki Senbon Shaka-do (26)
December 31 Joya no Kane Chion-in Temple (8)
and other temples

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