Discover Kyoto: Kyoto Tower & Ryoanji Temple

Day 2


December 29, 2012

Kyoto (DIY Tour)

For our Japan trip, I was in charge of the itinerary. A few days before we left, I was cramming as usual. It was a good thing I found a very helpful Japanese website written in English and finished the itinerary in no time.

 Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is included in our itinerary. Sadly, when we decided to enter the observation deck that night, it was closed due to the renovation of its elevators until April 2013.

It is the first thing you see when you get out of Kyoto Station. For visitor's who wish to save on Kyoto Tower's viewing deck admission, you can print out an online coupon here. Instead of paying JPY770 (PhP385), you pay only JPY 700 (PHP 350) with the coupon.

Hours of Operation:

9:00 to 21:00 (last entry 20:40)

Places we visited right after the break...

Ham, Cheese and Lettuce Sandwich JPY 320 (PhP 160), Open Sandwich with Bacon and Cheese JPY 300 (PhP150), Cafe Latte Tall JPY 370 (PhP 185) and Chocolatte Short JPY 340 (PhP 170)

Before visiting Kyoto, we had breakfast in Tully's which was located right across Remm Shin-Osaka Hotel. I had Open Sandwich with Bacon and Cheese and a short Chocolatte while DH had Ham, Cheese and Lettuce Sandwich and a tall Cafe Latte. After breakfast, we were on our way to Kyoto.

Cafe Latte is available in Short  JPY 340 (PhP 170), Grande JPY 410 (PhP 205) and Enorme JPY 460 (PhP 230).
Chocolatte is also available in Tall JPY 390 (PhP 195) , Grande JPY 440 (PhP 220) and Enorme JPY 490 (PhP 245).

You can view Tully's menu here

 JR Kyoto Line

With our Kansai Wide Area Passes, we have unlimited access to JR-West Lines (Non-Reserved seats in Ordinary Cars) for four days. DH calculated that our passes will be valid until January 1 but when we bought our tickets at around 9 in the evening, the ticket indicated that we could use the pass until the 31st of December only. The day we bought our ticket (December 28) counted as Day 1 ; (

 Kyoto Station

 Kyoto City Bus One-day Pass JPY 500 (PhP 250)

The Kyoto City Bus One-day Pass was the ticket that I told you I lost in my previous entry. Since the Information told us that we could not use our Kansai Wide Area Passes, we bought 2 One-day passes to get around the city. Each bus ride costs JPY 220 (PhP 110) for adults and JPY 110 (PhP 55). The Unlimited One-day pass is definitely worth it.

 Nijo Castle

I didn't include Nijo Castle in the itinerary. I knew it will be close. Since we have a One-day pass, DH thought it will be okay to passed by the area and take some photos.

Nijo Palace reopened last January 2, 2013. It was closed from December 26, 2012 to January 1, 2013. 

 2 admission tickets to Ryoanji Temple JPY 500 (PhP 250) per pax

Ryoanji Temple

Originally a country house of the Tokudaiji Clan, it was acquired in 1450 by Hosokawa Katsumoto for use as a zen training temple.
It was destroyed by fire during the Onin War and was rebuilt in 1499. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1994.

 great for photo shoot


 The Rock Garden

Measure 25 meter by 10 meters, this rectangular Zen Garden is completely different from the gorgeous gardens of the of court nobles constructed in the Middle Ages. No trees are to be seen; only fifteen rocks and white gravel are used in the garden.

The walls are made of clay boiled in oil. As time went by, the peculiar design was made of itself  by
the oil that seeped out. 

This internationally famous rock garden was said to be created at the end of Murimachi Period (around 1500) by a highly respected monk, Tokuho Zenketsu.


This stone wash-basin for the tea room has a unique inscription, "I learn only to be contented."
The Tsukabai is said to have been contributed by Mitsukuni Mito (1628-1700), a feudal lord and the compiler of the great History of Japan known as "dai-nippon-shi".   

 The Pagoda

It was built in August 1970 as the cenotaph account of the proposition of Joei Matsukura, the 58th chief priest of Ryoanji Temple, who fought at the field automobile operations in the Burma Campaign of World War II. The Pagoda was built in memory of comrades who died in combat.

 Kuri, main building of the temple

 ringing the bell for good luck

 path to Yudofuya Restaurant

 entrance to Yudofuya 

 looks like money tree to me

 our table for two in Yudofuya 

 DH is hungry

 everyone was seated on tatami mats

 vegetarian dishes goes with our Yu-dofu order 

Vegetarian Dishes are as follows:

 Yu-dofu (Boiled Soy Bean Curd with Vegetables) with Vegetarian Dishes JPY 3,300 (PhP 1,650)

One order is good for two to three persons. Diners in other tables were ordering one set each. If you are sharing an order, there is a JPY 200 (PhP100) charge for chopsticks used per person. For those who wish to order drinks only, there is a table charge of JPY 300 (PhP 150).

Yu-dofu (Boiled Soy Bean Curd with Vegetables) without Vegetarian Dishes only costs JPY 1,500 (PhP 750). 

Extra Charge:

Rice JPY 200 (PhP 100)
Beer/Sake JPY 500 (PhP 250)
Coke JPY 200 (PhP 100)

 Yu-dofu is served hot with soy sauce and spice

 Yu-dofu is bland

I don't think I will ever eat here again. The price is too steep for a tofu dish. For first-timers, you can give it a try for the experience. Other than that, you can go some place else to have your lunch. 

 free tea refill from the thermos in the middle of the room

 Yudofuya as seen from the outside

I found these cute bamboo contraption outside the restaurant

We left the vicinity right after lunch at around one in the afternoon. I will post about the other half of our Kyoto trip tomorrow!

You can view the other half of our Kyoto adventure here. To view where we stayed during our 8-day stint in Japan, visit here. Interested where we dine on our first night in Osaka? Then read here. Intrigued about the ultimate camera I bought from Canon? View from this link

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