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19

Japan is listed as a country that requires an IDP (International Drivers Permit) in addition to your domestic driving licence. Source For kart rental, when I looked into it all required an IDP in addition to a valid foreign driving licence although it does look like not all European countries issue IDPs in the format required. Belgium, France, Germany, ...


13

The sane way to travel from Kansai Airport to Kyoto is the direct JR Haruka service, which would usually cost ¥2,980, but as you've figured out is covered by the ¥2060/day Kansai Area Pass. Now you could buy two one-day passes... but there's an even better option! Available at Kansai Airport only, and only for non-resident foreigners with a return air ...


10

If you go to Toho Uzumasa Eigamura in Kyoto, you can dress like a ninja along with other samurai, royalty, and townsperson variations. There are even European royalty (as imagined by shojo manga) variations. http://www.toei-eigamura.com/event/detail/53 After you get dressed up, they take your photo in the shop and then you can walk around the theme park, ...


10

Disclaimer: This isnt specifically in Kyoto. It's about 1h by train/car from Kyoto Station. The Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum could be what you're looking for. It's located in Kobe, near Osaka. (source: dougukan.jp) The museum features LOTS of information and displays on how woodworking and carpentry evolved from prehistoric Japan all the way to modern ...


9

The Tomei expressway (main route between Tokyo and Osaka) will be very crowded at both ends of Golden week in the appropriate direction. Far less at nighttime, and about average mid-week. I assume you have made all your reservations already? GW (this year) has basically begun already, which has the side effect of spreading out the travel. Of course, one ...


7

Using the Wikipedia weather history of Kyoto and the current weather forecast (as of mid-november 2013), one can figure that between mid-November and mid-December one could expect temperature between 5 and 20°C (low and high of each day), with possible extremes of 0 to 25°C. This is pretty imprecise since it could vary every year, but in 2013 this seems ...


7

You're looking for a pretty obscure bit of kit, most Zen temples I've been to in Japan frown on frippery like comfortable cushions for meditation. But you should be able to find these in a well-stocked Buddhist goods store, and here are a couple with an online presence that claim to have them in stock: Butsudanya Takita Shoten (仏壇屋 滝田商店), Kotobuki 2-8-11, ...


6

I strongly recommend MK Skygate Shuttle Service. They will take you door to door between the airport and your hotel, and that is just so much easier than taking a train. Cheaper too (3,500 yen round trip). You have to reserve ahead of time, but it if your hotels and flights are already decided, I cannot recommend this service enough for anyone visiting ...


5

A simple Google search for "京都 駐輪場" (Kyoto bike parking lots) brought me to this page, which contains all city government-approved bike parking lots. Most of them are cheap (150-300 yen per day), and many of them offer 3 hour free parking. But unfortunately, this page is in Japanese, and the English language version of this website doesn't contain a lot of ...


4

There are no special "celebrations" of the Culture Day for regular people to enjoy. But as in case of most regular holidays in Japan, some events are scheduled for this day. Some events that deal with "culture" : in Jōnangu Shrine in Kyoto a staging of traditional poetry reading and leisure in Heian-period attires called Kyokusui-no Utage is staged. in ...


4

It seems that many of the kimono rental shops that cater to women also carry men's kimono. For example: Okamoto Kimono offers large selection of kimono including formal, long-sleeved or hakama for rental. Kyoto Kimono Rental and Yumeyakata also offer similar plans. There are other shops that may fit your needs better, I encourage you to search online. ...


4

Matsumotoya in Kyoto sells zafu, though the selection is quite limited. I can't really tell if this is a physical storefront or solely an online presence, even after looking at Street View, though it should be easy enough to contact them and find out. In the latter case, it shouldn't be difficult to arrange for delivery.


4

The fastest way is by Shinkansen - anything else is much slower. No, flying will be just a tiny bit slower, but also cheaper. This is especially true if one arrives at NRT and wants to go to Kyoto immediately. Then just hop on a Peach or Jetstar flight to KIX, and take the Haruka to Kyoto (with the massive discount offered by the Icoca & Haruka package)....


4

It's here! Right next the train station exit. You can find it on google maps by focusing into the area of the train station (search for Higashiyama Station, Kyoto) and then entering the name of the restaurant into the search field. On top of that, there is the (Japanese) website tabelog, where you can enter the name of the restaraurant into the right search ...


4

The cheapest way to travel between Kansai Airport and Kyoto area is Kyoto Access Ticket for KIX->Kyoto (sold at Nankai ticket counter) and Kanku Access Ticket for Kyoto->KIX (sold at major station on Hankyu railway), both cost 1230 yen. You can go to Arashiyama, Kawaramachi, which is a short distance from Gion, or Karasuma, which connects with Kyoto subway. ...


4

Japan-Guide is my first go-to site for anything Japan. (I'm not associated with them at all, but have used them personally for visits to Japan and found them very useful) December is a good month for traveling thanks to generally dry weather conditions. Domestic travel activity remains low during the first half of December until the beginning of ...


3

Being a Nikonist myself, I can't recommend any shops for Fuji in particular, but for camera gear of any kind the place to go is Nipponbashi (日本橋) aka Den-Den Town ("Electric Town"), Osaka's equivalent to Tokyo's Akihabara, near Namba station. Tokiwa (トキワ) is the big name here, but there's a bunch of others as well. Naniwa (ナニワ) near Shinsaibashi is also ...


3

Ask hotel A to arrange for delivery to hotel B. The delivery industry here puts FedEX to shame, it will cost about $15 per bag and if not the same day will definitely be overnight. So take what you need for one day and let someone else haul your bags around. This is a daily request for any hotel in Japan, they won't have any problems doing it for you.


2

In addition to coin lockers, Kyoto station has a manned luggage counter. The day I arrived in Kyoto, I'd used the coin lockers in Nara earlier in the day, and so was sort of aware of them being around. Can confirm that a quick search online shows that they're at the bottom of the escalator from the normal (not Shinkansen) JR train central exit. (Source on ...


2

It’s worth mentioning that Kyoto is not the smallest of cities and not everybody wants to walk through it with their luggage on the way to their hotel. Furthermore, Kyoto is serviced by three private railway lines in addition to JR and the municipal subway provides access from Kyoto station to the central area (Karasuma street) that is not covered by any ...


2

Butsudanya Takita Shoten is under construction at the moment. Near Tawaramachi station there is a line of Budsudanya shops, I found the zazen zabuton in one of them, but there is need to ask, I didn't see any at the shop window. Here is the streetview image of the shops.


2

See Wikipedia for average weather stats:


2

You can do this in Tokyo as well at at Studio Mon Katsura, they also require a reservation like the ones you mentioned above, but reserving for July you should have no problems. The kimono are authentic. Though this studio caters heavily to international tourists, they have Japanese guests as well (as stated above). I would say this experience is popular ...


2

The location appears correct since it matches the official map, where it's #8 大鐘楼. (Note that you need to rotate the 3D-ish official map clockwise around 45 degrees to get it line up.) Per the temple website, the Miei-do hall is under major construction and won't fully reopen until 2019. However, there is no mention of any work involving the bell tower.


2

As far as I can tell, the answer is no. I rocked up to the ticket gate wearing a yukata, obi and geta, asked in Japanese if there was a wafuku (Japanese clothing) discount, while accompanied by a native speaker of Japanese, and I was told there wasn't. Also, there was no mention of such a discount on the English-language edition of the mobile friendly ...


2

You can find the detailed routes and schedules on the official Kyoto Transport site, which makes it clear that these services are two-way. For example, here's Bus 100: http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/kotsu/busdia/keitou/kto/100.htm Note how each stop (except the termini) has schedule links for 清水寺・銀閣寺行き (Towards Kiyomizu/Kinkaku Temples) and 京都駅行き (Towards ...


1

I'm pretty sure Globalwheels has a shop in Kyoto now. Globalwheels Kyoto > One of my friends picked up from the Kyoto shop and then returned at the other shop in Osaka. I'm thinking of trying the ride myself.


1

Another option is Revolut. From Using Revolut in Japan: The main problem in Japan is that most of the cash machines don’t accept any western cards, and a lot of shops/hotels/businesses like to deal in cash. The ATMs in 7/11 shops or post offices are usually pretty reliable, but get out plenty of cash when you find one. Revolut has no transaction ...


1

Just want to expand on @Garry's answer, which is absolutely correct. If you have a low/no fee credit card, that's my preferred option since you don't risk being saddled with unused currency which you have to convert back (incurring exchange fees again!) when you return home (plus my card gives me rewards.) But while Japan is increasingly friendly to credit ...


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