Think you’ve seen all the historical shrines and famous buildings there are to be seen in Kyoto? Then maybe it’s time to try a Kyoto day trip!

Besides the main places of interest that most tourists usually charge towards, Kyoto is also chock full of lesser-known attractions that offer equally exciting experiences, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Although usually a little distance away from Kyoto’s town center, these are nevertheless great places to visit, especially for a Kyoto day trip! What’s more, these places can be conveniently accessed via public transport options such as trains and buses. See if you can fit one of them into your schedule!

1. Kifune Shrine: Spiritual sanctuary tucked away in the recesses of Kyoto (Kurama / Kifune area)

The majestic-looking main hall framed by leaves

About an hour away by subway and bus from Kyoto Station on the JR Lines is the Kurama / Kifune area, the back parlor of Kyoto. The area is dotted with buildings and facilities known as spiritual healing spots, and Kifune Shrine is the foremost of them all.

Approach to the shrine, made up of a stone stairwell that seems to purify with every step taken

Visitors to this shrine often pray for romantic success, business prosperity, and their wishes to be fulfilled. The sprawling premises includes a stone approach that is decorated with tastefully designed garden lanterns as it leads visitors towards the majestic main hall.

Head over to the Kessha building to pray for success in romantic relationships!

Other buildings in the area are the shrine’s back hall, surrounded by lush greenery, and the famous Kessha, which is where people go to pray for smooth-sailing romantic relationships.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, all workers at talisman distribution facilities are required to wear masks. Alcohol-based sanitizers have also been set up at a few locations around the shrine for all to use.

If you’re in the area, do also check out the other places of interest nearby as well, such as Kurama Highway, a road that has deep-ties with an ancient Japanese tradition about a mythical creature called the Tengu (long-nosed goblin)!

Kifune-jinja Shrine
180, Kuramakibunecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Kifune Shrine at Mt. Kurama: Breathtaking Views From Kyoto’s Magical Mountains

2. Amanohashidate: One of Japan’s top three views when seen from an elevated observatory deck

Amanohashidate is about 170 meters (557 feet) long and 20 meters (65 feet) wide

Amanohashidate is accessible by direct highway bus from Kyoto Station, and the trip should take around two hours. You can also take the Hashidate, a special express train, to reach in about two hours and 10 minutes.

The well-maintained nature trail is lined with beautiful pine trees

Along with Miyagi Prefecture’s Matsushima and Hiroshima Prefecture’s Miyajima, Amanohashidate is considered one of the three most astounding views you can see in Japan.

This is a long and thin sandbank with some 5,000 pine trees growing on it – an unusual geological formation. The place was named Amanohashidate, which translates to “bridge of heaven”, because the shape of its s…

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