Autumn in Kyoto

A little over a week for a vacation in Japan in late November, 2006, my friend Barbara and I arrived late on a Monday night to stay in a delighful ryokan in Narita City, a quick train ride from Narita Airport. Off the next day for a little place near Fujiyoshida for a day around Fujiyama (or Fuji-san or Mount Fuji). Then it was on to Uji, a wonderful town just outside of Kyoto for a couple days (including Thanksgiving). Moved to a business hotel in Kyoto for the next few days, where I got to enjoy playing tourist while Barbara had a conference to attend. One last night in a ryokan and then (2 subways, 2 trains, 3 planes, and 2 cars later) home. Hotels cost us about 100,000 Y ($862) each for 9 nites - a little pricey, but most places included fabulous breakfasts and dinners.

We made all our hotel reservations online before the trip, which was a good idea especially since Kyoto in late Fall is at the height of its tourist season and rooms a little difficult to find. In Narita, we stayed at Ryokan Ohgiya, in Oshino the Oshino Kogen Hotel, in Uji the Koryuen-Seizansoh, and in Kyoto the Hotel Alpha Kyoto and the Ryokan Yachiyo. All but the Alpha were classic Japanese inns, which I highly recommend despite lacking any familiarity with the Japanese language, although it's worthwhile to read up on expected behavior regarding shoes, bathing, etc. We waited until arriving to arrange all of our train tickets at the JapanRail office at Narita Airport. The staff there were incredibly friendly and efficient and got us fixed up quickly. Train tickets cost about 36,000 Y ($312) each including two Nozomi bullet trains. (Because we didn't take that many trains or that long a distance, our cost was about the same as a JapanRailPass at 28,300 Y for 7 days or 45,100 Y for 14 days, which would be a great idea for anyone with more extensive travel ideas.)

I've been wanting to visit Kyoto ever since my that one day in November 2002 in Nara returning from a trip to China, so when Barbara said she was going to that conference, I immediately signed on. And, once again, the trip went way over any expectations I'd had.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to open a new window with a larger view of any of the pictures.

Room at Ohgiya Ryokan

Golden Dragons

Temple Landscaping

Forest Memorials

Narita Temple

Wood Carving

Oshino Dawn

Ryokan Breakfast

Playful Bench

Autumn Leaves




Fuji View

Late Afternoon

Bears and Hornets!

Nozomi Train

Uji Bridge



Byodoin (Uji)


Egret fishing



Stone Lanterns


First Course

Octopus Cafe

Fall Color

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