For UK sports fans planning to visit the historical city of Kyoto during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, Kyoto Traveler’s Inn has shared four insider tips on how to live like a local.Located in the Kansai region on the Japanese island of Honshu, Kyoto offers visitors countless shrines and temples to explore and is just over two hours away from the Olympics Games host city of Tokyo via bullet train.
Intrepid travellers keen to explore Kyoto can experience traditional Japanese hospitality and more during a stay at Kyoto Traveler’s Inn, which is located in the Okazaki area of the Higashiyama district of the city. Along with boasting an on-site restaurant and traditional onsen-style public bath known as a daiyokujo, the English-friendly hotel offers guests the choice to stay in a Western or traditional Japanese room with futon bedding and tatami flooring. Furthermore, the hotel is well-suited for those who want to see the sites of Kyoto, since many are located within walking distance.
Top Insider Tips for Travellers Heading To Kyoto
- Learn the regional lingo: ōkini!
It’s always helpful to learn a few basic words before heading off on an international trip and although many will be familiar with the Japanese phrase of ‘arigatō’ for ‘thank you’, just a few may know that in the cities of Kyoto and Osaka only, the phrase ‘ōkini’ can be used. As part of the Kansai region’s local dialect, ōkini is an abbreviation of ‘ōki ni arigatō’ (meaning ‘thank you very much’) and is an easy way to quickly impress local residents with insider travel knowledge.
- Watch where you step
There are over 1,500 shrines and temples in Kyoto, including the epic 1,300-year-old Fushimi Inari Shrine consisting of 10,000 torii gates, and the five-story pagoda of Toji. Several of the temples and shrines have welcomed famous faces over the years. For example, the tranquil garden of the Zen Buddhist temple of Shodenji was a secret retreat for David Bowie. Before heading off for a day of shrine and temple sightseeing, travellers wearing open-toed shoes may choose to pack a pair of socks, since many buildings will ask that visitors remove their shoes before entering. Likewise, when entering a room with traditional tatami flooring, it is important to remove shoes and not step on the borders of the straw mats as this may cause the mat to lose its shape or become damaged.
- Don’t be scared to slurp – and ask for a fork if you need it
There are over 200 ramen shops in Kyoto and like many regional delicacies, every resident of Kyoto will have their own favourite noodle location so it’s worth asking around before settling on a restaurant. Once a bowl of ramen noodles has been ordered and toppings have been decided on, diners shouldn’t be scared to slurp their noodles, even though they may be wary of doing so in the UK in fear of seeming impolite. For those struggling to get to grips with chopsticks, it is also acceptable to ask for forks and knives when eating and the majority of restaurants will be able to provide these. Finally, when eating a bento box or traditional Japanese breakfast with various side dishes, travellers can relax in knowing that there is no particular order in which the items should be eaten.
- Navigate Kyoto’s public transport like a local
Public transport in Kyoto is easy to use and travellers are encouraged to purchase a travel card after first arriving to save money when moving around the city. Kyoto is served by multiple bus routes with most of the major sites easy to navigate and access via green and red buses. For those who want to travel on Kyoto’s subway system like a Japanese resident, the city’s inhabitants use the left side of the subway’s escalators as an express lane in a similar way to London’s underground. Alternatively, the flat and well-maintained roads and cycle paths of Kyoto means the city is particularly cycle-friendly. Travellers taking to two wheels should make note that cycling while drunk is prohibited, as is cycling at night without using a bicycle light.
Rates at Kyoto Traveler’s Inn start from approx. £31 (¥ 4,000) plus tax per
night, per person, for a Standard Japanese Room at double occupancy.
For further information about Kyoto Traveler’s Inn,
For bookings, media and press trip enquiries, please contact
Fiona and the team at GEC PR: KTI@gecpr.co.uk
Image 1: The Fushimi Inari Shrine consists of 10,000 torii gates.
Image 2: A traditional Japanese tatami room at Kyoto Traveler’s Inn.
Image 3: A bowl of ramen noodles. Image courtesy of Quang Anh Ha Nguyen photography via Pexels.
About Kyoto Traveler’s Inn
Kyoto Traveler’s Inn is located in the Okazaki area of the Higashiyama district in eastern Kyoto, Japan. The hotel offers guests a choice between a Western room or traditional Japanese accommodation with futon bedding and tatami flooring. The three-star hotel, which is a seven-minute walk away from Higashiyama Subway Station, is well-suited for those who want to see the sites of Kyoto since many of the city’s shrines and temples are located within walking distance from the hotel. These include the Shoren-in Temple, Ginkakuji, Heian Jingu Shrine and also the Yasaka Shrine, which is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto and accessible in just 15 minutes by foot. Those visiting the hotel during the months of March and April can view cherry blossom at the nearby Maruyama Park and those visiting during Momiji Season from November to early December can view Kyoto’s stunning autumn colours at Nanzenji, Eikando, garden of Heian Jingu and Murinan garden, all of which are all within walking distance from the hotel. Staff at Kyoto Traveler’s Inn speak English and facilities and services at the non-smoking hotel include free Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant that serves Japanese and Western dishes, a traditional onsen-style public bath known as a daiyokujo that offers massages for guests, and a bicycle rental service.