Recently I spent two months living in Fushimi, Kyoto. It was a challenging but rewarding experience, and in this article I will provide some advice, tips, and information on how to go about living in Kyoto for a longer duration of time. If you are planning to spend quite a bit of time in Kyoto, there are some things that you would be better off knowing before arriving in Kyoto! Even if you are planning a short stay in Kyoto, you may be able to save some money and a lot of time by reading some of the tips below.
1. Know your transport
Make sure you are using the most direct and affordable mode of transportation.
2. Plan your travel days beforehand
Kyoto is a busy city filled with businessmen and businesswomen and an exponentially increasing number of tourists, so prior planning will help you avoid some of the crowds, and ultimately will give you a better experience. Kyoto is especially and unbearably hot and humid in the summer, so less time spent outside waiting for buses or waiting for admission to temples means a better day.
3. Don’t buy water
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Japan. Especially in Kyoto, as areas like Fushimi, are known for Sake Brewing. Some even say that the water has a tinge of sake flavor in it! The Gokusui Water Spout and Tap in Fushimi is one of the “sake-tasting” water collection spots. Every day at almost every given hour, one can see a line of locals lined up by the tap, waiting to collect the great-tasting water.
4. Eat at local restaurants
You know, the small ones that don’t have fancy menus outside. Of course, those are great too. But Kyoto is a historic city, which means that many of the great restaurants are ones that have been around for a while. Try to find a hidden gem that tourists don’t know about yet, for an authentic experience. The satisfaction of having great food that is usually enjoyed by locals, will make the food taste extra tasty.
5. Talk to locals
Strike up some conversation with a store owner, restaurant staff member, or even someone sitting next to you on the train or bus. People in Kyoto, and in Japan, are usually shy to initiate conversation, but are all very friendly and excited to converse once approached.
Follow Part 2 of this article.