Kyoto, Japan – Day 5(b)

I didn’t do much research for this Kyoto trip so I got to know this place when I messaged my frequent traveller friend, Abraxis, on where to eat. *Thank god for data messaging* Here is what he recommended and since I was only a 15 minutes walk away. I decided to check it out this more than 300 year old soba shop where soba is still made by hand. I felt transported to the past when I walked into the quaint little shop. Seatings were a mix of chairs and Japanese style floor seats, they ushered me to a table/chair when the lady boss muttered “Foreigner” to the waitress. 😛

Since Misoka-an Kawamichiya (晦庵 河道屋) is recommended on both Frommers and lonely planet so I wasn’t surprised that they had a English menu. Items were the same on both English and Japanese menu (pricing was the same too! Just in case for those who worry that some shops may put a different pricing on the foreign language menu)

However, seasonal specials were still written in Japanaese and hence I got the seasonal special of tororo cold soba set for 1400JPY, nice to chill from the summer heat. I was so stuffed from the soba that I barely finished the bowl of rice too. There was a long line when I left at 130pm so I guess this is a to go place for Kyoto visits?



Kinkakuji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion) is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion).

Japan Guide


Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, and is the only building left of Yoshimitsu’s former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.

Japan Guide

Reason for going to this temple was that this was in the North side of Kyoto and accessible by a 30 minutes bus ride (depending on traffic) from Kyoto Station. I did not go this temple when I was in Kyoto in 2008 and since I have about 3 hours of spare time before my train ride so decided to head here.

trying gold flakes green tea at the shop before exiting the shrine.

This fascinated me when I was in Kyoto in 2008 as this is the tracker of the buses at the bus stop to indicate the progress of the bus. Forward to 2012, Singapore has our own version of the bus arrival indicators by means of the electronic boards at major bus stops and different apps on our smartphones…but I am still fascinated by the progress of the bus pictures on the Kyoto boards.

public bath
By the time I ended my Kyoto itinerary, it was already 5pm and I was all sweaty and sticky from the heat and humidity. Thankfully a search on the internet showed that was a public bath house at Basement 3 of the Kyoto Tower. The bath was kinda hidden away from the slightly run down Kyoto tower stairway and it cost me about 750JPY for entrance into the bath and another 100JPY for a bath tower. However, it was a worthy price to pay as I came out fresh and clean and it was interesting that the bath house was actually packed with people of all ages. ( I think, Japanese just do like their baths too much :P)

Finally, we have come to an end of my short adventure in Japan again……Itinerary was a little packed but nevertheless, I have see, ate and looked at new places and that is what is important for me.


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  1. Trackback: Kyoto, Japan – Day 5(a) « Xuan's Howdy Days

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