For the longest time I have wanted to bicycle around Kyoto and this year the plan is set. Bicycling in Kyoto is one of the easiest ways to see the sights in the city and do it in such a way that you can be at street level everywhere. Traveling by bicycle, in any city, is a way to actually see more and experience more than by walking or bus. Here’s my reasoning; on a bicycle you can cover more ground than by walking AND since you are traveling a a reasonable speed, you have the chance to see what you are passing. By bus, the city flies by from street to street and it’s hard to be a part of knowing the city well.
In Kyoto, our plan is to ride to each of the sights on the plan by bike. Our first ride will be from the bike rental shop on the Kamo-gawa River to Gingakuji Temple. The park around the temple is wonderful and this trip gets our first step into traditional Japanese culture.
Our second excursion will take us around the city proper and to a series of locations including Nijo Castle, the home of the Shoguns, then on to the Hirano Shrine and along the road to the famous Kinkakuji Temple. From Kinkaku-ji we head to the wonderful Ryoanji temple and rock garden. These sites are among the most visited in the city and are worth the time spent. Along the way we will stop for snacks and make a leisurely day of being in this remarkable city,.
Of course, to participate in this adventure, you will need to be comfortable on a bicycle, be familiar with riding near traffic, and be careful to watch each other as we ride through the city. Keep in mind that modest dress is required for the visiting some of these sites. (More on that later)