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October 28, 2017

Autumn foliage in Kyoto-Higashiyama/Arashiyama Area


Every year during Autumn, Kyoto will be full of people.

How to avoid this situation and really enjoy Kyoto?!

tofukuji temple

There are many famous spot for these beautiful autumn scenery, but where can I go to avoid the crowds? This questions often bother travelers when they visit Kyoto and tried to look for a quiet spot to rest the feet.

Here we will introduce the spots that we like in Higashiyama Area (where Gojo is located) and also Arashiyama Area. 

NEAR Gojo Guest House/Annex

    Because it is near locate on the hill near Kyoto Station(of course also near Gojo Guest House),the leaves will turn red in early November. With a short hiking, you can enjoy the clam atmosphere in the temple. Especially, UnryuIn temple inside Sennyuji area would be open during the day and also put on illumination during the night. This area is very quite , and can be our first choice for autumn visit. 

   Koudaiji temple and Entokuin temple is about 15mins from Gojo Guest House and 10mins from Gojo Guest House Annex. We recommended to buy the set tickets includes these two temple and Sho museum.

There are illumination from 10/21 to 12/10. It would be a good choice to visit during the evening. 

   Shorenin temple which is about 20mins walk from Gojo Guest House Annex is the temple once owned by imperial family. So you will find similar architecture and quiet atmosphere inside this temple.

    Kenninji temple is right next to Gojo Guest House Annex. Though it is located inside Gion area, it is a very quite Zen temple and with beautiful Rock garden and Japanese garden. This place is also recommended to visit when the weather is not good in Kyoto. There are also free meditation course held on every second Sunday at 8am.(It is better to arrive at least 10min earlier so that you will have a seat.)

kenninji temple, autumn, kyoto

NEAR Arashiyama

Point: From Gojo Guest House or Gojo Annex,you can use take Keihan train to Tofukuji station (160yen)

and then transfer to JR train though Kyoto station to Saga-arashiyama Station (with your JR PASS for free)

    The garden inside Temryuji temple is very well collaborate with the mountain scenery behind Hozu river. Although there will be many other visitors, I still would like to recommend to you. 

tenryuji temple ,autumn , kyoto,gojoguesthouse

This temple is also in Arashiyama area, but need to talk about 15mins from the main area. There is a big lake next to the temple. And relatively quiet compare to the bamboo groove.

  • Arashiyama Park

    When we speak about Arashiyama, many people will think about visit Bamboo forest. But there are often too popular and crowded. If you detour a little bit from the main area, Arashiyama Park can be a good choice to view the Hozu river.

arashiyama park ,autumn,kyoto,gojoguesthouse

We also recommend you to take the Torokko train from Arashiyama station to Kameoka station. Along the way, you can enjoy the view of the cliffs. When you arrive Kameoka station, you can then transfer to JR Kameoka station. Or you can then take 1.5 hours boat-ride following the stream and enjoy the scenery along the river. It is a quite smooth river, and along the way, they will tell you the historical story about this area. When the weather is beautiful, the whole ride is very comfortable.

(When you are buying train tickets, it is recommended to reserve the taxi to arrive to the  harbor from Kameoka station. )


We hope this information can help you a bit when you are planning your trip.

Next, we will introduce other nice spot for autumn leaves in Sakyo area and outside Kyoto City.


Gojo Staff



September 12, 2017

14 Coffee Shops Recommendation in Kyoto

When I visit another country.
I always try to find a regular place for connecting myself to local.
A cafe or coffee shop could be the one.

However it’s bit awkward to say something about coffee..
Because now the coffee is big topics in our daily life.

If you need information quickly, please kindly skip this part.

I feel coffee have gotten more power in our society.
It moves people.
Now visiting nice coffee shop can be good reason for traveling.

Or Instagram? I feel there is a strong connection in between coffee and Instagram.
I always see a photo of handling cup of coffee in front of botanical when I open Instagram..

My friend told me Instagram improved people’s aesthetic and I agreed with it.
Taking nice photo is also can be good reason for traveling but I believe seeing real thing directly is more better than recorded picture.
That’s why we travel.

Okay I stop. Now I’m talking about coffee..
By the way, we also have Instagram account @gojoguesthouse_kyoto haha

Of course I have to mention about the taste.
There are many countries producing coffee beans and those beans have different character.
And the taste also change how they took care, how they roasted, how they made.
I feel we can discover about coffee forever.

Sometimes I cannot follow the conversation when my ballista friend is talking about coffee deeply.
I like coffee but standing instant coffee in the kitchen is also enough for me sometimes.

Maybe I’m enjoying to see their different style.
Those surrounding things around coffee shops like their interior or graphic design, appearance, performance.

There are many individual coffee shops in the world and they have each different character.
The people made it and I appreciate I can experience those things from their place.

This time, I asked to my colleague Keita san who had been working for some coffee shops before.
I used to ask recommendation from my colleagues in Gojo because they have each of favorite place.
So please feel free to ask for recommendation to us.

But for me, I’m not sure if you say “What is best thing in Kyoto?” or “What do I do in Kyoto?” because it’s your travel so I hope you think by yourself like at least what would you like to do or what would you like to see because it’s good opportunity to know yourself through those considering.
Then it will help us in the future when we think about what we are going to do in our life.

Okay then here is the main subject.

This article is from our conversation, thanks Keita san.
He is discovering coffee in Kyoto and always give me good recommendation for shops or movie or music too.
Those some photos took by Keita san too.

These thought are from our subjective so please don’t hit us if we say wrong and unexpected things for you..

First, we put 4 categories.

POUR OVER and ESPRESSO means the way brewing coffee beans by hand or machine.
PERSONAL and COMMON means good for visiting by one person or two more person.

kyoto coffee
By the way coffee is KO-HI- in Japanese. Please remember if you would like to order in Japanese haha.


・Ichikawaya Coffee (市川屋珈琲) *Cafe,Beans,Food and Drink

kyoto coffee 市川屋コーヒー
kyoto coffee
Elegant manners and performance by kindly owner in classic Japanese style renovated building. Excellent roasted beans has so much rich flavor. Food and Sandwiches are also tasty.

Info & Map:

・Dongree Coffee Stand Craft Market (ドングリー コーヒースタンドと暮らしの道具店) *Coffee shop,Product

kyoto coffee
kyoto coffee
Closest from our guesthouse. You can try 5 small cups of coffee beans from different roaster. You can try that only in here and it’s special. They also sell some products.

Info & Map:

・Coffee Nijoukoya (珈琲 二条小屋) *Coffee shop,Snack

kyoto coffee 二乗小屋内装
kyoto coffee
The technique he brews pour over looks like magic and taste deeply good. Koya means hut in Japanese so the place is small and lovely and cozy.You will be amazed.

Info &Map: Facebook:

・Factory Kafe Kousen (factory kafe 工船) *Coffee shop,Beans,Snack

kyoto coffee
The way they take care coffee is like craft man. They do Nel drip delicately.
The table manners is also unique. The place is like small hidden studio in old school.

Info & Map:

・Rokuyousha (六曜社 珈琲店) *Cafe,Snack

kyoto coffee
kyoto coffee
This place for any kind of people. It’s like they are always there and be there forever. Being here is so chill and cozy. Simple snacks are also nice. Recommend to sit in downstairs floor.

Info & Map:
Beacon Kyoto:

・Kamogawa Cafe (かもがわカフェ) *Cafe,Food and Drink

かもがわカフェ • Instagram写真と動画
They are one of most popular original individual cafe in Kyoto. Good for two more persons. They have nice foods and drinks for lunch or dinner. Feel lots of ideas by talented owner.

Info & Map:

・Tougenkyou (逃現郷) *Cafe,Food and Drink

kyoto coffee
They do Siphon coffee and it taste good. They are popular cafe for local people in the town. Especially their curry and rice. Coffee after curry is favorite style in Japanese so please try.

Info & Map: Facebook:

・Inoda Coffee (イノダコーヒ 三条支店) *Cafe,Food and Drink

kyoto coffee
kyoto coffee
It’s one of the branch of famous chain cafe in Kyoto. Especially this place has atmosphere as this is Kyoto classic. The staff and customer are gentleman and feel history in each of them.

Info & Map:


・% Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama (アラビカ 京都 東山) *Coffee shop,Beans

kyoto coffee
They are most popular coffee shop now here in Kyoto. Everything is high quality. The espresso machine is called slayer and it’s hard to find in Japan. Good for the people from all over the world.

Info & Map:

・Weekenders Coffee (ウイークエンダーズコーヒー 富小路) *Coffee shop,Beans

kyoto coffee
kyoto coffee
Here is their 2nd shop and it’s small beautiful Japanese tea house. Feel more Japanese aesthetic and their own style from their individual character. They roasted many kind of beans and those are so tasty and enjoyable.

Info & Map: Website:

・Wanderers Stand (Wanderers Stand) *Coffee shop,Snack

kyoto coffee
kyoto coffee
They opened recently and they have been popular. They bake simple square bread there. And they serve toasted bread with some toppings. Toasted bread and good coffee make your day.

Info & Map: Facebook:

・E-fish (エフィッシュ) *Cafe,Food and Drink

kyoto coffee
One of the most relaxing place as they located close by Kamo river. The view from the windows and their healthy and seasonable foods and drinks provide you good time. Good for vegetarian too.

Info & Map: Website:

・Ital Gabon (アイタルガボン) *Cafe,Food and Drink

kyoto coffee
Their espresso is so great somehow.And their panini is also so tasty. It’s like hidden place on small street. Maybe good for rainy day. For reading book or enojoy chatting with friend. Their pasta is also tasty.

Info & Map:

・Kiln (kiln) *Coffee shop,Restaurant

kyoto coffee
Located in down town area. Coffee and snacks are good. Sit close by small river and take rest for next discovering city. They have restaurant upstairs and it’s also popular.

Info & Map:

These place are where we had been to and we liked.
Hope you will get some nice coffee in these place.

There are so much more classic and new coffee shops in Kyoto and it’s inventing everyday.
I let it leave for next time.

Have a nice coffee and trip in Kyoto everyone.

Gojo staff

September 05, 2017

Looking for a new helper Staff / ヘルパースタッフさん募集

【We are looking for a new helper staff from middle of September】

Summer is almost over in Japan, so it is very comfortable to spend a day : )

Now, we are looking for a new helper staff from middle of September.
It’s preferable if you can speak Japanese just a little and like to meet new people from different countries.
Every helper staff seems to enjoy a lot by working for a few hours, then exploring Kyoto at the spare time, even to just be relaxing along the Kamo river : )
If you have any interests, please email us an easy resume with a photo.
Or please share to your friend who is interested to!
※A valid working holiday visa or a student visa is required during your stay.

夏も終わりに近づき、だいぶ過ごしやすくなりましたね : )

1日数時間働いた後、京都散策をしたり、鴨川でリラックスしたり、それぞれ好きな過ごし方で京都を満喫していただけると思います : )


August 07, 2017

Hanabi in Kansai Area 2017 花火大会関西地区*Quick share

Hello! Everyone!

Summer!! In Kyoto is HOT and HOT and HOT.

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

I hope everyone of you have enjoyed KYOTO GOJOZAKA POTTERY FESTIVAL held on Gojo Street in front of Gojo Guest House.
(Yes! the street right in front of Gojo cafe! No need bus transfer, no need to bike, just open the door, there you go!) For the Japanese pottery lovers who are not here yet, check out the homepage of this event to plan your Kyoto Trip NEXT year.

Okay, well, what I REALLY wanted to share is the information about Hanabi (Fireworks)in 2017 to all the friends to Gojo Guesthouse. As you know, summer is the time to bring a handfull of bear and sit down by the river or lake side and enjoy the firework show. Most people will wear 浴衣 Yukata (the simplest Kimono, the Japanese traditional dress in summer) and the wooden 下駄 Geta, and hold a 扇子 fan.

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

A guestfrom the hostel asking me about Hanabi information, I released that most of them are in Japanese. I would like to quickly share some of the selected Hanabi information with you with some useful link.

Shiga Prefecture
2017/8/8 19: 30-20: 30 2017 Lake Biwa Large Fireworks Festival
homepage of this event
Location:Shiga prefecture Otsu city / Shiga prefecture, the coast of near Hamaotsu train station.
google map of BiwalakeHanabi
This is 9min by JR from Kyoto station!!Super close.
Well, if you bike, it should take about 1 hour or more??!!

2017/8/9 20: 00 ~ The 66th Kameoka Peace Festival Hozukawa citizen fireworks festival
homepage of this event
(The fireworks originally take place on 8/7, but got postponed to 8/9 due to bad weather)
Location:Kameoka-shi, Kyoto Prefecture / Hozu bridge upstream right bank
Google map of Kameoka Hanabi

2017/8/19 19: 20 ~ 20: 20 The 69th Inagawa Fireworks Festival
Event information page
Location: Osaka Prefecture Ikeda City / Hyogo Prefecture Kawanishi City, Osaka Prefecture Ikeda City Inagawa River
Google map of Inagawa River Hanabi

Wakayama (near Kumanokodo)
207/8/11 20: 00 ~Nachikatsura Town fireworks display
information of this event
Location:Wakayama Prefecture Higashi Muro-gun Nachikatsura-cho / Nachiwa
google map of nachi hanabi

Actually, there are also a lot of other Hanabi event happening in Japan during summer.
I would suggest you to search from this website
Japan Hanabi Event calendar
And then simply use google webpage translation tool,
and look for the calendar or location to set up your travel plan!

*Note: Sometimes the event will be postponed due to bad weather condition,so make sure you double check again before you go.

Good Luck and have fun!
reported by Nari

Gojo Guesthouse ANNEX

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

Hanabi in Kawakuchigo by Gojo Guest House,Emily

July 29, 2017

你好!! …….by helper staff from Taiwan,Takashi

I am the helper staff from Taiwan.
My name is Takashi. In Japanese Kanji , it is written “貴”.

Have you all enjoyed the summer?

Here is what happened in Kyoto. The Gion Fesitval-祇園祭, one of the biggest festival in Japan.  
I am happy I had this chance to join this festival.

Gion Festival evening-Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka
Gion Festival evening-Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka


About me……

In order to experience different culture and language, also to recharge my battery during this year, I chose to visit Japan, and first stop is Kyoto.
Even if this would be my third time visiting Kyoto, I was super excited and meanwhile a bit worried, because this time I am here to stay for a whole year and to learn.

It is very different from to travel to some place to live there.
I prepared two giant luggage to cope with my new life in Kyoto.
I was very lucky to come to Gojo Guest House and become the helper staff of this hostel.

由於想要學習不同的文化與語言,利用一年的時間充電,因此選擇來到日本。帶著期待的心情但也有點擔憂,雖然來過京都兩次。但畢竟是要來日本生活與學習,很多地方是跟旅行有點不一樣。光是行李就準備兩大箱,非常的幸運來京都這間Gojo Guest House民宿 體驗不同文化工作。

It is a unique backpacker’s hostel. This guesthouse is a very traditional wooden Japanese building, but there is a café on the 1st floor.
This allows all the travelers from different countries can communicate with each other in this open space. Over the long table in the café , you can often see people talking and laughing as if it is a small meeting in UN.

At that moment, I wasn’t sure why this hostels always gives good vibes that attract people once you are here until I heard the story of Gojo Guesthouse and saw the old photos from the neighbors of hostel .
This hostel was traditional Ryotei Ryokan(the Japanese way of saying traditional accommodation + restaurant) , and now it transformed to a hostel & Café now.

Some efforts were made,such as  to add a long table in the café to shorten the distance between travelers, but also keep the Japanese traditional atmosphere in the hostel.
Not only the long table allows people to chill out, you can find a quiet spot you like, such as a small sofa space to read or write your travel notes or just go back to your tatami bed upstairs and relax the sore feet.
I guess it is why I would prefer to call Gojo Guesthouse,another home in Kyoto.

Gojo Guesthouse的感覺很特別,有著傳統的日式木造建築(町家),但是有西式的café廳。遠道而來的外國旅客可以在這邊盡情的交流,不時在長桌上就開起小型的聯合國交流,說不出為何可以那麼特別,後來無意間聽到看到以前gojo的照片與歷史,才恍然大悟,從傳統的日式旅館與餐廳,到現在的guest house 與咖啡廳,經過小小的改裝與巧思,長桌的出現讓來自不同國家的人齊聚一起,但還是保留了一些日式小區域,讓不同國家的旅客可以在這邊找到各自想要的空間。在這邊不僅僅可以體驗日式塌塌米房間,更可以在咖啡廳與各國的人交流或是找個安靜的地方沉澱,這大概就是Gojo Guesthouse的魅力-”家的感覺”。

It has been four months since I arrived Gojo Guesthouse. At the very beginning, I couldn’t understand neither Japanese nor English well, but now I can communicate with guests from other countries little by little. With the improvement of level of Japanese, I could learn more Japanese culture and to understand the difference.
Though there is a lot more to learn, but the staffs in the hostel are always very patient and supportive which help me a lot.

來到gojo也快4個月了,從剛開始英日文完全不流利,到現在慢慢也可以跟來自各國的朋友聊天交流,開始體會到使用不同的語言來打破文化的隔閡。隨著日文進步,也慢慢學習到更多的日本文化與特色。雖然還有許多需要學習的地方,但gojo的staff 們都非常有耐心與熱情,因此可以學習到更多的日本文化。

Below there are more photo to share with you. See you!!


Gion Festival by Gojo Guest House ,Taka

Gion Festival by Gojo Guest House ,Taka

Shishiji-Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka

Shishiji-Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka

Mitarashi festival - Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka

Mitarashi festival – Gojo Guest House Annex by Taka






May 30, 2017

Looking for a new helper Staff / ヘルパースタッフさん募集

【We are looking for a new helper staff from June】

Konnichiwa! : )
We have a lovely sunny day in Kyoto!
However I feel a little bit sad because our helper staff just left today : (

So! Now we are looking for a new helper staff from June.
It’s preferable if you can speak Japanese just a little and like to meet new people from different countries.

Every helper staff seems to enjoy a lot by working for a few hours, then exploring Kyoto at the spare time, even to just be relaxing along the Kamo river : )

If you have any interests, please email us an easy resume with a photo.
Or please share to your friend who is interested to!

※A valid working holiday visa or a student visa is required during your stay.







May 24, 2017

Most Beautiful Small Museum in Kyoto

This is totally my personal point of view!

Haha but it’s good to put this “most~” “best~” title to fish.. sorry.
There will be other titles about most beautiful blablabla as series maybe.. ?

To be honest, I feel it’s also fun to discover our own best things by ourselves.
But it’s also nice to get some recommendations from someone who knows your taste or friend or friend of your friend.
Especially when we are traveling abroad far away from home.

However, I try to do my best to introduce this place.
I would love to recommend here if you have interest about Japanese life, craft, interior, building.

Museum Kyoto Japan

Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto JapanIt’s Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Museum in Kyoto city. (not Kawaii..)

Kawai Kanjiro was pottery artist originally but he also did sculpture, calligraphy, poetry and furniture, interior, product design.

I can say he was very talented craft man as designer and artist at that period.
I feel like there is a distance in between craft and design and art but he was interactional each of those.

I think he is best Japanese potter ever.

It’s impressive how he could keep creating with joy and challenging.
It looks like he had never gotten bored with it.

He and his family worked and lived in this house and studio everyday.
He created tons of potteries in this place.
And this house supported his massive creation as space.
He also designed this place.

It’s used as his memorial museum after his passed away(in 1966, he was 76 years old).
At there, you can see his works and many crafts he collected, interior furniture, garden, huge kiln, books.

Especially those chairs, he collected many chairs from Africa, South America maybe Europe, in Japan as well.
I remember that I met one Spanish family at the museum and they were so excited.
They said there is a chair made by their grand father but they couldn’t tell that in Japanese to the staff.

I translated their exciting random Spanish and English by Japanese and told that to staff there.
The staff brought a old book and show the family then there was a photo of their grand father in the book..
They looked so happy like explosion!

Sometimes I think stuff is just stuff but it has more value or can be important when it has a story or memory.
Especially there are so much story in crafts and it’s interesting to discover the background.
I feel that was more pure and honest at that period when Kanjiro was living.(It’s not like branding business.. haha)

Everything is beautiful with gently atmosphere in traditional Japanese style building like great harmony.
We still can feel his daily living life from this place.

There are some books about him selling at the reception.
I really like the title of the book from his word.

It’s “We do not work alone”.

I bought it for myself but I gave it to someone and bought new one for myself but gave it again to someone and bought it again then maybe I will give it to someone again one day haha..

Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan Museum Kyoto Japan

I feel like I can describe forever about here.. maybe not here, about this great lovely person Kawai Kanjiro but I stop here.

Anyway, please come visit there and touch the feeling of him.
Then I would love to hear how you felt.

I like to know how we see the things in each different point of view.


[English information by]

[Official Japanese website]

I almost forgot to say but it’s about 10 min. walk from our main building!

Thanks for reading.

Have a beautiful day~

Gojo staff

May 03, 2017

International Photography Festival in Kyoto


2017.4.15 Sat – 5.14 Sun

It’s a International Photography Festival in Kyoto.

Now the 5th edition “LOVE” is holding in several places in this city.

Here is the epic.

“Those feelings and concepts we call LOVE vary according to our background, including our religion, our view of history, where we come from, and our living environment. Such differences, however, can at times cause indifference, or turn love to hate, giving rise to serious problems that plague modern society, such as violence toward the vulnerable. This may be why humans know love to be so precious, and why we instinctively seek it in many forms.

“To LOVE” essentially means recognizing the existence of and connecting with things outside ourselves. Through LOVE we connect with other people, with society, with nature, with art, and with ourselves. With LOVE the world can become a more peaceful place.
It is our continuing dream, in making this festival a reality, to share “LOVE” through photography.”

I thought it’s difficult to show love visually by photography.

Because usually we tell that with a story like movie or novel.

How can we express it just in a piece of photography.

But I agree that love means recognizing the existence with other people, with society, with nature, with art, and with ourselves.

Those buildings exhibitions holding are also beautiful places.

They use some special, historical, traditional buildings which we can not go inside usually.

It’s also nice to see how they put photography in each places.

Especially this one at Ryosokuin in Kenninji temple.

This place has amazingly beautiful garden like fantasy inside.

And this Japanese artist “Nobuyoshi Araki”.

His title is “A Desktop Love”.
There are just flowers and puppets on the desk in the photo.

It sounds very simple but those objects made us feel something like love somehow clearly or strongly.

Haha but of course we can put another title on it.
We can take it in by any kind of way whatever freely so it’s interesting to see art things.

I would like to recommend this nice event until 14th of May.

You can come back next year if you will miss it haha.

We also sell the ticket at the reception in Gojo guesthouse.

Thanks for reading!

Have a nice trip.

Gojo staff



April 28, 2017

One of The Finest Example of Japanese Architecture

Katsura Imperial Villa and Garden are completed in 1645 for the members of Japan’s imperial family.

This place has been giving inspirations of universal and timeless Japanese traditional/modern aesthetics to many architect in the world.

Why I said traditional/modern, because it always looks fresh and modern and beautiful even if it’s built few hundreds years ago.

I think it’s very special, we still can surprise with those old things across several generations.

Every single part of the design of them have reason and meaning.

Please visit there and have a look if you would like to know. It’s very interesting.

Architecture Kyoto Japan

Architecture Kyoto JapanArchitecture Kyoto JapanVisiting here requires joining a free guide walking tour.

It’s 1 hour in Japanese. They also prepare audio guides for several foreign languages.

The landscape of garden is also magnificent.

It’s like unexplored beautiful small village.

Architecture Kyoto JapanArchitecture Kyoto JapanArchitecture Kyoto JapanThe Good NEWS are they started to take application on the day!

Actually this is great!

Because before that, we need to apply at least before the day of visiting with our passport at the Imperial Household Agency’s office in Kyoto Imperial Park.

(However Katsura Imperial Villa is not located in Imperial Park.)

But it’s for small numbers so it often get booked out.

Usually we try to be the office around their opening time from 8:45 a.m. to get the reservation…but it’s not so crazy busy so please take it easy and take your time for enjoying your morning in Kyoto haha…one day we will post some recommendations for breakfast in Kyoto.

(Tours are held 6 times per day except on Monday)

I also recommend this way if you have time in advance.


From around 11 a.m. they will distribute a numbered ticket at the reception in front of “Katsura Imperial Villa”.

Katsura Imperial Villa is located in west part of Kyoto city.

(Please take your Passport, it’s important.)

We can apply for ①13: 30 ②14: 30 ③15: 30 those 3 time on the day.
It’s only for 20 people per time.

The official website says that the reception will be closed as soon as it is full.

But from my experience, you may be available to get the ticket for one of the time even if you go there around 13:00.

If you have to wait for a while until starting time, I recommend to visit the famous rice cake shop/cafe close by the bridge around there.

I met a random Japanese elderly woman around my grandmother’s age when I was in the cafe.

She was also waiting for the tour and we chatted.

I heard a lot of good story from her life and she looked still enjoying her life so much.

I thought I will not meet her again so I didn’t mention I’m working at Gojo guesthouse.

After few months, I got a call for making a reservation from new customer.

Then this person had exactly same voice and tone as the elderly woman who I met at the cafe.

I asked her that had she ever been to Katsura Imperial Villa in last few months.

She seemed wondered and said yes…

It’s nice to try if you are spontaneous person who likes traveling like freely haha.


The closest train station is Katsura station on Hankyu Kyoto Line.

Katsura Imperial Villa is 15 min. walk from the Katsura station.

You can take train from Kawaramachi station which is located in Shijo Kwaramachi downtown area.


[Official English information by Imperial Household Agency]

[English information by]
(Their website is necessary for traveling in Japan.)

Gojo staff

March 28, 2017

Where to go in Kyoto during cherry blossom in 2017(Sakura)?

Are you ready for going out on a picnic under cherry blossom?

Well, I am ready, but…..the cherry trees in Kyoto are not yet……

This year, according to the weather report, the first bloom will be on 1st of April, and then full bloom will be around one week later.

So during 4/1~4/15 should be the best time for Sakura hunting in Kyoto.


Someyoshino sakura in Kyoto


Amount more then 400 shrines and 1500 temples in Kyoto, you can easily find a nicely bloom cherry inside the Japanese Garden.

And there are mountains of mountains of nice photos that you can find on the internet.

So I decided to give you some keywords for nice free spots to search , and some tips


-Within walk distance from Gojo Guest house/ Annex

  1. takasegawa sakuraKamo river side between Gojo and Shijo streets (THE BEST place for picnic)
  2. Maruyama Park (a huge cherry tree and a cherry forest that you can picnic under the trees/there are lights-up/food stands, so you can go even in the night, but sometimes too busy….I usually go there around 11pm)
  3. Takasegawa river (a nice walk to downtown under 4KM long cherry blossom, isn’t is nice?!)





-Bus/Train ride within 30mins from Gojo Guest house/ Annex
  1. Yawata -Sewaritei ,Yodo river side (only 28mins train ride you can arrive to this amazing place. My other GOOD selection for going out for picnic under cherry blossom. And it is interesting to observe how Japanese family/friends enjoy their wonderful afternoon here)
  2. Nanzenji temple/Keage area (even though there are beautiful sen garden in the temple, but just walkin the area, there are many cherry trees outside that is for free. over here, there are alliteratively less people)
  3. Heian Shrine/Garden (I love the color combination in Heian shrine: white sand/red pillars /green roof/and pink cherry blossom!!!
  4. Path of Philosophy (among the river, there are full of cherry trees……walk along the tiny river, and think about eggs comes first or chicken?!)
  5. Kyoto Imperial palace Park (Tips for Imperial palace park, bring your sandwiches and a small bottle of sake……and just ENJOY)
  6. Kamo river near by Demachiyanagi station (this is where Takanogawa river and Kamogawa river join together, wide river bank to go for picnic)


(here is how Yawata -Sewaritei looks)


-Bus/Train ride more then  30mins from Gojo Guest house/ Annex
  1. Hirano jinjya Shrine(there are many different type of cherry that you can learn more about. (I saw one type with Green petal)
  2. Ryuanji temple ( the famous stone Garden with a weeping cherry from outside of the wall, very Zen!!!)
  3. Ninanji temple(The sakura is called Omurazakura,御室桜, if you arrive Kyoto around mid April,then you can come here to enjoy cherry blossom)
  4. Daikakuji (this temple is in Arashiyama area. If you are nearby and would like to avoid the crows, then here is a good choice!)

More photos

ninnaji temple-pagoda
(Ninnaji temple)

ninnaji temple-maiko(I met one Maiko at Ninnanji temple

(Picnic at Yawata -Sewaritei with Gojo staffs)





(Here is Kam river bank)




(This is Akashitarezakura cherry)









(The temple at Yawata)

Here are all the blablabla……about cherry blossom in Kyoto……can’t wait for another week~~

Sakura forecast link
Gojo staff