We asked the boys to come up with their top 5 things to do in Kyoto and area, and to write a little bit about each one. Here are the results:
Peter’s Top 5 in Kyoto
1. Shinkyogoku Shopping Street
We went to Shinkyogoku Shopping street near Sanjo Station. It has a lot of little shops for souvenirs. The first thing we did was go to the movies and watched Ninjago. It turned out to be terrible, but it was still worth finding the neighbourhood. After a day or two, we went back for karaoke. We made the music very loud and sang to it. They had free soda. Now we can’t stop going there!
Parent aside: This covered shopping area is great for exploring, rain or shine. We stumbled upon it when searching for a movie theater in Kyoto with English movies (MOVIX Kyoto). We were led here again when we sought a bookstore with an English section (the enormous Maruzen bookstore). We searched for a bowling alley in Kyoto – and found ourselves near Shinkyogoku Street once again! In addition to the multitude of shops and the nearby Nishiki food market, it seems like everything we seek is in this area!
2. Our Neighbourhood: Hieidaira
Hieidaira is an interesting neighbourhood because it rests on top of a mountain. It rains almost every day and we go out on the sunny days. It has a lot of wildlife there on the mountain including: snakes, river crabs, praying mantises, deer, and a lot more! I recommend ages 5 and up because 4 and under might get creeped out by praying mantises and snakes, even though there harmless MOSTLY. Do not disturb wild animals. Hope you enjoy going here!
3. Arashiyama’s Monkey Park
In Japan, Arashiyama has a famous monkey park. It holds more than a dozen monkeys there. It’s on top of a ginormous mountain far away from a Hieidaira Mountain. On top, there is a little room where you go to feed them. DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN FOOD! Have fun!!! Don’t stare them in the eye or squat down or take close up pictures unless you’re INSIDE!
Nara is far from Hiedaira, but worth to go to. It has a giant Buddhist temple [Todai-ji] with a big statue of him. Very big. You need 6 grown men to reach his stomach! Nara is very famous for the DEER. There are so many deer there, and there are also people selling food for the deer. WARNING: do not tease the deer. If you show them the food, give it to them, or they will attack! Recommended age: 6 up. Except for kids who don’t like walking for a long time.
5. Conveyor Belt Sushi
Near Sanjo Station there is a conveyor belt sushi place [Musashi Sushi] good for all ages! The food there has common sushi like salmon and shrimp, to less common ones like roast beef and egg nigiri. Everyone will enjoy having a fun time in the sushi place. IN FACT if you don’t like or find anything you want, just order it from a waiter close by. We enjoy going to these places with sushi. HOPE YOU LIKE IT TOO!!!
Sam’s Top 5 in Kyoto
1. Osaka Aquarium
I liked the aquarium because there is a whale shark. It is giant. There is also a hammer-head shark. There was a bunch of giant crabs. The giant crab was the size of half my door.
Parent aside: The Osaka Aquarium is not in Kyoto – it’s in Osaka. However, it’s easily accessible by train, and is larger than the Kyoto Aquarium, which is why we chose to make a day-trip out of it. There is also a giant Ferris wheel nearby, as well as LEGO land, but we didn’t make it to those attractions because we spent hours exploring the aquarium (the kids just couldn’t get enough of that whale shark!)
I like karaoke because I like to sing. There is a giant screen and a microphone.
3. Owl and Cat Café
I like the owl and cat café because I saw real owls. I like owls a lot. I also like cats.
4. The Dark Tunnel (aka Zuigudo Hall in Kiyomizu-dera)
I like the tunnel because it is pitch black. I couldn’t see where I was going.
5. Mountain Hike
I like the mountain hike because there was a lot of temples. I also liked the mountain because I like trees.
[This post has more about our hike and our time in Hieidaira].