Autumn is an excellent time to explore Kyoto. The mountains and city parks are alive with fall color. The crisp, mild weather makes for pleasant cycling. Traveling by bike is the best way to experience this historic Japanese city. Both Kyoto and Osaka have vibrant cycling cultures. Kyoto is a city that gets around on bicycles. Riding here reminds me a lot of Amsterdam. Young and old are commuting on their bikes.
Experiencing the Autumn Color
Even at the end of the season, the fall colors have been nothing less than stunning. Crowds of tourists still abound to catch the final days of autumn, which isn’t a big problem if you arrive early and move quickly before the buses arrive.
Many Japanese (and non-Japanese) girls wander forest paths in brightly colored kimonos to be photographed among the autumn leaves. They can also be seen strolling among the narrow streets at night.
Halfway through our short 10-day cycling adventure to Kyoto, we were pressed to make use of every moment to take in as much of the city’s historic wooden Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines as possible.
Hostels Instead of Camping
Forgoing our initial plan to camp, we been staying a local hostels. The lower prices at the end of the fall high season and convenience have been too good to pass up.
Both in Osaka and Kyoto, we found locations in the city center that were clean and well-maintained. All the hostels we’ve stayed in have been bicycle friendly, and provided us with secure places to store our bicycle at night. The central locations put us close to all the sights we’d planned to visit.
Excellent Cusine Abounds
The Japanese cuisine never disappoints. Small, discrete restaurants serving Kobe beef, all sorts of ramen, or sushi can be found along most of Kyoto’s narrow streets. Prices run the gambit from budget friendly snacks found in local convenince stores all the way upto exhorbidant all you can eat Kobe beef joints, and everything in between. The choice is yours.
The Journey Continues
We still have a few days left and the weather is holding out, so the adventure continues. There are still many temples, shrines, and autumn leaves I have yet to see through the lens of my camera. Ride on and explore we must. Cheers.