How to Travel Japan on a $40 Budget - Day 15 Kyoto 6/6

Can you travel Japan on just $40 a day? We have 1 month in Japan to figure that out. Follow our Facebook page to see new updates on how we travel Japan on a tight budget.

Where are we today?

Kyoto, Japan.

This is our last night here in Kyotokko, the hostel we're staying at. Seeing the swarm of people come and go over our longest hostel stay has given us a case of the feels.

You learn about many people only to see them leave. Maybe Japan heightens our experience, but this transient nature just like cherry blossoms becomes many moments of great value and memories. We know it will pass, and it does, but that's what fuels the power of this moment. To seize the day, each and every day, is where mindfulness plays its role.

Tomorrow starts our WWOOF experience so we're eating all our supermarket food and closing the loops on last minute things like laundry...

Where to stay in Kyoto?

Kyotokko has grown on us. While a bit odd for its showers, kitchen and lounge area together, we've gotten used to the closeness and actually prefer it. This makes it easy for us to transition between stages throughout the day.

If you're looking to grab the cheapest hostel in Kyoto, look no further than Kyotokko.

What did we explore on our last full day in Kyoto?

We had a spontaneous gander at the Hachi Shrine

Hachi Shrine up the hill

Hachi Shrine up the hill

It was on the way to the hiking trail for Daimonji, so it was a win/win. It's definitely worth checking out for the convenience and mix of elements that Japan does so well. 

We hiked Daimonji mountain to see a panoramic view of Kyoto

Summit of Daimonji Mountain

Summit of Daimonji Mountain

By far the best view of the city we've had the opportunity to see thus far. It only took us 30-40 minutes to summit and same on the way down.  If you’re looking to hike in Kyoto, climb Mt. Daimonji first!

It got humid in the trees and rather damp without any rain, so dress lightly, but not too lightly to avoid the bugs! 

best-hikes-in-kyoto-for-scenic-view-daimonji-mountain-polywander

We could imagine the trail would become muddy if it rained, but otherwise there was plenty of roots and gravel to maintain traction. We did it with sneakers and dry-fit clothing no problem, but had to switch out from our cotton clothes as they absorbed all the moisture.

We visited the Daikaku Temple and aesthetic garden

Daikakuji Temple from the pathway

Daikakuji Temple from the pathway

The temple grounds and gardens were well maintained, but definitely touristy. The pathways were cramped and annoying to navigate, only to be filled with more souvenir shops with inflated prices at the end.

If you’re questioning the ¥500 cost, we’d say it wasn’t worth it. There are many other options available free of charge, so we'd suggest investing your money elsewhere.

We contemplated buying Yatsuhashi on the Philosopher's Path

Philosopher’s Path is a natural beauty

Philosopher’s Path is a natural beauty

The Philosopher's Path follows a river around some small shops with Japanese foods, gifts, etc. It also leads to temples and shrines in the area, so it was a pleasant stroll. Not something to go out of your way to see, though.

Even if you don’t want to spend money on Yatsuhashi, be sure to try the samples! We can’t get enough of this delicious treat, and its only available in Kyoto. Be sure to snack on some while here!

We saw the wonders and the magnificent size of the Heian Shrine

best-shrines-to-see-in-kyoto-heian-shrine-polywander

We visited the Torii for the Jidai Festival the other day  but we wanted to go back and see the whole thing. So, today we walked from the Mt. Daimonji trail down to the Heian Shrine and then back towards our hostel afterwards to save some cash.

How much did we spend?

Food: ¥1098 / $9.73

We only took one bus ride to get out into the hike. We walked back through the Heian shrine, and followed the main road until reaching the supermarket for some grub before getting back to work (creating more posts) at the hostel.

Transport: ¥230 / $2.03

Lodging: ¥2000 / $17.76

Sightseeing: ¥500 / $4.43

Other: $0

Total: ¥3820 / $33.95

Bonus: Free jam left by travelers for our toast this morning!

Did we make our budget of $40 today?

With more to spare, yes! But even if we’re under budget, it’s been tricky to cut down from our expenses in Hakone (Day 4). That alone makes our budget even smaller now than ever.

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Until then, safe travels!