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An evening walk in Kyoto’s Maruyama Park and Ninenzaka & Sannenzaka Steps #KyotoAkuDatang

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Our day 1 adventure continues with another short train ride. This time to Higashiyama Station in Eastern Kyoto. From the station, our initial plan was to walk all the way to Kiyomizudera Temple and stop at many of attractions along the way.

This is part 3 of my Kyoto/Osaka Trip stories. Click here to read the previous part or click here for the overall #KyotoAkuDAtang stories.

A bit about Higashiyama District from Japan-Guide’s website.

The Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto’s eastern mountains is one of the city’s best preserved historic districts. It is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops invoke a feeling of the old capital city. Recent renovations to remove telephone poles and repave the streets have further improved the traditional feel of the district.


Unfortunately by the time we reached the entrance of Shorenin Temple, it was already after its visiting hours (note to self: next time research la!), so we just continued walking.


The Sanmon Gate of Chionin Temple. Standing 24 meters tall and 50 meters wide, it is the largest wooden gate in Japan and dates back to the early 1600s.


We wanted to check out the gate’s balcony but it is off limit for general public. The main temple grounds are further inside but we decided to skip it as our legs starting to feel tired from the full day of walking.


Located right next to Chionin Temple is Maruyama Park, the perfect place to rest our legs.




We spent close to an hour just enjoying each other’s company while doing our favourite “people watching” activity!



“Jam rosak ke?”


It felt so nice to just chill at Maruyama Park to the extent that we decided to scrap the rest of our tight day 1 itinerary and just go with the flow.


Makan time!


Our first Takoyaki.


Delicious and way better that the one that we always eat in Malaysia (like….duh!).


“Pergi kerja naik beca ke kak?”


Nice traditional buildings left and right, definitely a place to be for those who love traditional architecture.


As the sun sets, we had a nice evening stroll along the preserved history streets towards Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka Steps.


I love the ambience here. Small shops along the way selling handicrafts and tourism stuff.


The main steps were full with people so taking a photo was quite a challenge.


Tips: try to go in to smaller lanes to take photos at your own sweet time and re-create those “oshin” scene.



One of the shops that caught my attention, dot dot Kyoto. Nice souvenirs but way beyond my budget.


By the time we finished covering the preserved history streets, it started to get dark and we were exhausted. Realising that the path towards Kiyomizudera Temple is a steep uphill walk, we decided to skip it (now I kind of regret it, but can’t win all lah!) and call it a day.


On the way to the train station, we made a quick tour of Gion area hoping to catch a glimpse of geiko, Kyoto’s version of Geisha.



Can’t fine any on the streets, saw one lady rushing into a taxi, thought it was a Geiko but I gues its just a lady-wearing-white-make-up-on-her-face.


A short train ride to our next uniquely Japan experience, staying in the First Cabin, an aviation themed accommodation. More about this on my next blog post.

Click here to continue to the next part.

Azuan Zahdi

Malaysia's first aviation blogger. AzuanZahdi.com started in 2006 and has been my little online space where I document my travel and aviation stories. Opinions on AzuanZahdi.com are my own and not the views of any organizations I am attached or affiliated to.

    1. you’re absolutely right. 🙂 Unfortunately I had only few days to spend in Japan so I had no choice but to limit my Kyoto days to only 2 days. There’s always next time, God willing.

  1. Hi! I was just wondering if you know what time the shops and restaurants close? Some people said they’re open until night and some are saying they close early. I’m quite confused. We’re planning to go this November and see the fall illumination of the nearby temples at night. So, it’s really more ideal for us to go in the late afternoon or at night. I hope you can help! Thanks in advance!

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