Back in 2010, Mr. Selfish and I went on the Johnnie Hillwalker tour of Kyoto. It’s a five hour walking tour taking you through the back streets of Kyoto. The tour starts at Kyoto station and ends in Higashiyama near Kiyomizu Temple. It was a fun walk and only cost about 2,000 yen per person. I highly recommend it.
This time around, we decided to primarily visit the same sights on our own. Our apartment was in Higashiyama so we did the tour backwards and ended at Kyoto Station. First, we went to Toyokuni Shrine, which was built in 1599. This Shinto shrine is dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was a famous warrior and general and was best known as being responsible for the restriction that only the samurai class could bear arms.
Next, after walking through some of the back streets in Kyoto, we came across the original Nintendo office. Starting in 1889, Nintendo began as a playing card manufacturer. The office is no longer there but the plaque is still there on a very unassuming building. Of course, Mr. Selfish was very thrilled to find it.
Then, we stopped by Higashi-Honganji, which is a huge Buddhist temple. Unfortunately, vast areas of it were under construction so we didn’t get to see it as we did in 2010.
We then visited the other major Buddhist temple in the area – Nishi Honganji. This temple practices Pure Land Buddhism and has two very large worship halls.
Finally, we ended at Kyoto Station, which is the main railway hub in Kyoto. The station is quite large, and you can go all the way to the top for a view of the city.
Aside from the view, another reason to visit Kyoto Station is that the 10th floor contains tons of ramen shops. Mr. Selfish and I enjoyed some ramen at a little shop, which was pretty good but not great. The pork on rice was actually tastier than the ramen.
And that is a brief overview of some of the sights you would visit on the Johnnie Hillwalker tour. If you haven’t been to Kyoto before, I would definitely recommend that you take the actual walking tour. Mr. Hillwalker is a great tour guide and gives you much more background information than this post provided.