KYOTO Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels

Related Post: OSAKA Travel: Lessons from our DIY Family Food & Pokemon Trip in Osaka with #KaraksaHotels

360 Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto

Went on a honeymoon with my wife to Kyoto in 2004 and after 12 years, we were finally able to go back–for a familymoon this time with all our four boys! 

With Karaksa Hotel Kyoto as our home base, we navigated the trains to reach Kyoto and created our own itinerary to explore this cultural city of Japan.

Here are our learnings on our best discoveries during the trip, and travel tips when traveling to Kyoto from Osaka with your family…

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The travel time from Osaka to Kyoto is around 60-90 minutes via the Hankyu-Kyoto Line.

We decided to take our time shopping around Osaka and left the city at around 8.20 pm and arrived in Kyoto around 10.00pm.



There are 7 lines that go through the Hankyu-Kyoto Line. We started in Awaji Station going in the direction of Kawaramachi (last station) but going down Hankyu Omiya Station.

If you look at the map, you want to be able to catch:

• The Limited Express trains (orange line) from Awaji to Katsura (4 stops) and changing to the local express (black line) from Katsura to Omija (3 stops), or

• The Rapid Express trains (yellow line) from Awaji to Hankyu Omiya Station (6 stops)

If you get lost, you can really just catch any of the trains that pass through the Omiya station. Your travel time will be dictated by the number of stops of the train.


Karaksa Hotel Kyoto

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Karaksa Hotel Kyoto is 3 minutes walking distance from Entrance 5 of the Hankyu Omiya Station. The Kyoto branch is smaller with only 36 rooms and 7 floors. 

Karaksa Hotel Kyoto
12-13 Mibubojocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 604-8804, Japan
Telephone:  +81 75 823 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website:


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The leisure space is integrated into the breakfast place on the ground floor.


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We stayed in two adjacent Hollywood twin rooms (room #703) with a side by side configuration.


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The toilet is smaller and integrated with the shower, bathtub area.



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Good thing there’s Gyoza-no-osyo, a gyoza & noodles place around the corner of Hankyu Omiya Station that is open late at night!


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We ordered gyoza, Asahi, chahan (Japanese fried rice), and noodles for ¥4,313 or ~Php 2,062. Very satisfying for a midnight snack in Kyoto.


Karaksa Breakfast

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The room has a nice window view from the 7th floor and the natural sunlight wakes you up.


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The breakfast is kid friendly and an eat-all-you-can buffer.


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My favorites are the Japanese-style hotdogs, salmon, egg, and salad with miso soup, coffee, and calipco.


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The hotel is near the Hankyu Omiya Station and the Shijo Omiya Stations.



It is centrally located from all the destinations and we decided to go west first to Arashiyama, then north to Kinkaku-ji and then south to Fushimi Inari Taisha.


Arashiyama Park 

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You can lazily stroll around the park and cross the “Moon Crossing Bridge” Togetsukyō, famous for the views of cherry blossoms, autumn colors, and the raging river of Arashiyama.


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You get transported into a gentrified old Japan town with shops, traditional food, and other souvenir places.


Tenryu-ji Temple

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Tenryu-ji Temple is known for its beautiful zen garden specially during the cherry blossom and autumn season.

Tenryu-ji Temple
68 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 616-8385 Japan
Opening Hours: Summer: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Winter (Oct. 21-Mar. 20): 8:30am – 5:00pm
Telephone:+81 75-881-1235

Admission Fee:
Garden + Temple: Adults (¥600 or ~Php 288) and Child (¥400 or ~Php 191) 7-15 years old
Garden Only: Adults (¥500 or ~Php 239) and Child (¥300 or ~Php 143) 7-15 years old


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We decided to just visit the garden since you can see the temple from the outside. You can exit by the North gate to enter into the Bamboo grove.


Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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It’s one thing to see the bamboo in photos, and another to be walking under the bamboo canopy. There’s a lot of people so it’s difficult to take a clean shot.


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You can wear kimono and dress up like a geisha to complete your photoshoot around Arashiyama Park.

Related Blog Post: Notes of Nomad5 Things to do in Arashiyama


CURRY HOUSE CoCo Ichibanya Kyoto

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We had lunch in Coco Ichibanya because we were craving curry dishes, but also because they accept credit cards. You can also charge your gadgets while you eat.

CURRY HOUSE CoCo Ichibanya
Menu: CoCo Ichibanya


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Our total bill was (¥5,005 or ~Php 2,394) ordering one curry dish each. Our favorites were the Cheese-filled Hamburger Curry (¥750 or ~Php 359) and the Pork Cutlet Curry (¥732 or ~Php 350). 


Kinkaku-ji Temple

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Kinkaku-ji is a famous Buddhist temple that is a World Heritage site and part of the Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

Kinkaku-ji Temple
1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 603-8361, Xapón
Operating Hours: Open daily 9.00am – 5.00pm
Telephone:+81 75-461-0013

Admission Fee: Adults (¥400 or ~Php 191) and Elementary and junior high students (¥300 or ~Php 143) 7-15 years old


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It is also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion and one of the famous landmarks of Kyoto.


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Some people go to pray and observe traditions of the Buddhist temple. For our kids, I guess they are too young to appreciate its beauty.


Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine

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Fushimi-Inari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine famous for its vermilion torri gates forming a trail throughout the slopes of Mount Inari.

Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0882, Japan
Telephone:+81 75-641-7331


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It’s one of the most Instagrammable temples in Kyoto. Most people would visit to hike to the Yotsutsuji intersection, half-way through the mountain.


360 Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto

It’s a perfect spot for this 360 shot with the family.



We went straight back to the Kansai International Airport from Kyoto to catch our 8.40 pm flight back to Manila.

An Abra greeted us “sayonara” before we boarded our Cebu Pacific plane to end our 4-day/3-night Osaka-Kyoto Japan Adventure with Karaksa Hotels.


Karaksa Hotel Kyoto
12-13 Mibubojocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 604-8804, Japan
Telephone:  +81 75 823 6602

Book through the Go Hotels Website:


Live an Awesome Life,



Disclosure: We paid for our meals, transportation, and admission fees. Our hotel and airfare were courtesy of Karaksa Hotels. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights

P.S. Make sure to pack your wifi router using the mailing package and drop it in a mailbox at the airport.

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3 thoughts on “KYOTO Travel Guide: Lessons from our DIY Familymoon Trip to Kyoto with #KaraksaHotels

  1. I was thinking maybe we’ll just go to Osaka and that’s it but after seeing this, maybe we can do Kyoto for a day,too. ‘hope you can list your 4 day itinerary, so we can follow your route and not get lost ??.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. This is one of the things we will do in the future to publish our itineraries on how we go about our trip to Osaka and Kyoto. Best to go overnight in Kyoto.

      1. Hi! An itinerary would be of great help! 🙂 I will be going to Japan on September and doing research so i can make a DIY osaka-Kyoto-Nara for my kids.

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