Let me share my favorites around Ginkakuji Temple
There are always still new founds though I've been in Kyoto countless times. This time my friend visited from China, so we went to Kyoto where we can’t miss for Japan trip. Kyoto is an ancient capital of Japan, and there are many important cultural properties and national treasures. The destination of the day was Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion), one of world heritage sites and where there are fewer tourists than Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion). Let’s check my recommended spots around the area.
You can take a bus from Kyoto Station to Ginkakuji Temple. There is the bus stop in front of Kyoto Station. Many buses going to Ginkakuji Temple stop at “A” bus stop. Get a one-day bus card from the vending machine next to the bus stop. A one-day ticket that can be used for both the subway and the bus will be released in March. It should be even more convenient when you visit Kyoto.
Recommended spots along the approach to Ginkakuji Temple
After 40-minute ride, we instantly found a rickshaw when we got off the bus. There are many rickshaw drivers in sightseeing spots all over Japan, but this driver was especially pretty cool and cute among other drivers. We didn’t have enough time to try it, but I’ll introduce to you if we have a chance to get ride it next time.
Here is the sando (approach) of Ginkakuji Temple. The official name of Ginkakuji Temple is Higashiyama Jishō-ji Temple. The foundation was built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa of Japan. The approach to the gate of Ginkakuji Temple is about 300 meters. There are a lot of souvenir shops on both sides, and there are stores where you can buy and eat food on the street. These shops have long histories and are all famous. We came across a woman wearing kimono and I envied her. If I have a chance, I’d like to wear a kimono and walk along the approach. In addition, various shops offer complimentary tea service. If you are tired, it is good to sit down and take a rest.
We found a variety of distinctive souvenirs in shops of the approach. Let me introduce some of them to you. I thought this was green tea at first glance, but it was actually a face mask of green tea. I think that it seems very Kyoto because tea extract is in it.
I recommend these folding eco bags with Japanese patterns. They are practical, and the price is around 1,000 yen that is affordable to buy. By the way, major credit cards are accepted at most shops there.
Thinking of life at “Philosopher’s Path” ……
Philosopher’s Path (called Tetsugaku-no-michi) is about 1.5 km along a channel running at the foothill of Mt. Higashiyama. It is selected as one of the best 100 roads and streets of Japan. It is said that a philosopher Kitaro Nishida was lost in thought while walking here. Cherry blossoms on both sides were donated by a wife of Kansetsu Hashimoto, a painter. In spring, Kansetsu cherries bloom and look like a cherry tunnel. You can even enjoy the different atmosphere after cherry blossoms are scattered and petals covers the river.
Philosopher’s Path is a perfect place for walking in Kyoto. It is also known as a spot for autumn leaves. I thought I could have realized the secret of life while I’ve been walking and lost in thought. But only what to eat later came to my mind……
Discover the essence of gourmet near Ginkakuji Temple
We became a little hungry after walking on Philosopher’s Path. While thinking about something yummy not about philosophy, we found an udon noodle shop, and decided to try. This is “Omen,” originally started business in Gunma Prefecture, and now have several shops in Kyoto. We visited their main shop near the path. It’s a Kyoto-style building built in 1967, about 50 years ago. The owner brought Gunma-style udon to Kyoto. Once, many potters in neighborhood had come often.
Omen’s udon is made of only domestic wheat, not made of Australian wheat used for most noodles in Japan. You can find its difference when you bite. People sit down on tatami floor, and enjoy eating the noodle in the Japanese-style atmosphere.
We’ve noticed a lot of sake bottles displayed on the wall shelves. I just wondered and asked, and the answer was that many potters used to drink sake with their own works when they came to have the noodle. Was it a fashion at that time?
50 years later, these potters are now in their seventies or eighties, and became famous. So, some of works left here are very valuable. Please check them out when you come and eat the noodle here.
This is how Mr. Taniguchi, the manager, was arranging spice on a plate courteously. They choose ingredients in season. Of course, you can order tempura with a standard menu. English menu for foreigners is also available.
Put your favorite spices into the soup and you can taste flavors of udon and vegetables in each bite.
I introduced the recommended spots around Ginkakuji Temple this time, and I hope you found something you may like. Shopping, gourmet, distinctive spots, I've enjoyed everything at once. I will also tell you about new discoveries next time!
●South side of Ginkakuji Temple bus pool, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
● 11:00-21:00 (LO 20:30)
* Closed on Thursdays in February
※34 tatami seats, 8 counter seats on the 1st floor, and 40 table seats on the 2nd floor
※No smoking at all seats
*The Information above was last updated on February 14, 2018. For further details, please contact the facilities directly.
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