How to Enjoy Kyoto On Just 8300 Yen a Day

Tips from a local to get the max bang for your buck in Japan!

So, how much is 8,300 Yen?

About 5000 Indian Rupees. A little less, actually.

Approximately 60 US Dollars and about 55 Euros.

But that’s peanuts! Isn’t Japan one of the most expensive nations on the planet? Won’t 8300 Yen last just about until breakfast?

Worry not! Ted Grinewich-Yonashiro, our man from Japan tells you how to get the max bang for your Yen. Read on!

So, you are in Kyoto. It is the centre of Japanese culture and history, and a great place to shop. The streets are a unique mix of traditional and modern Japanese tastes. And the best news of all: your 8,300 yen will allow you to soak up the beautiful scenery and unique blend of culture.

When starting a day in Kyoto, I love meeting friends at the Kyoto Sanjo Oshashi Starbucks.  For 637 yen I often purchase a tall late and a small seasonal treat. This Starbucks has a deck with chairs and tables that overlooks Kyoto’s famous Kamo River. While talking with friends over coffee, I love listening to the musicians who sing or play their instruments while sitting along the river bank.

Time to Shop…

After coffee I often head over to Lisn at the Cocon shopping center just outside Kyoto Subway’s Shijo Station. At Lisn, you can find Japanese style incense made with traditional methods in over 150 aroma profiles. For 2100 yen, you could buy four different incense packs of ten sticks each. Lisn also sells a variety of incense burners. I recommend purchasing the ‘Delight’ incense burner, reasonably priced at 1000 yen, with a simple yet fashionable design.

…followed by a tea-break!

With a little over 5,500 yen left in the budget, a trip to the Kabuko Tearoom at Ippodo’s main store is a delight. For over three centuries Ippodo has been famous for producing high quality green tea in Japan. At the Kabuko tea room, customers are walked through the step by step process on how to perfectly steep a cup of green tea. In particular, I recommend ordering the smooth tasting Gyokuro Tenka-ichi tea for 1,887 yen which also includes a pie of wagashi (a traditional Japanese sweet meat).

Spend a Sublime Evening

As the sun sets, dinner at Kyoto’s Kyouen Complex seems like a fantastic way to finish an evening. The center of the Kyouen Complex holds a beautiful traditional Japanese zen garden. Moreover, the Kokusaikenbi Cafe there offers a wide variety of healthy and traditional Japanese food. I love relaxing on the pillow lined sofas and looking at the zen garden from the cafe windows. And, with the 3,670 yen left in the budget, a glass of organic red wine and a seasonal organic meal that comes with with a bowl brown rice and cup of soup can make for the perfect dinner.

Even with 8,300 yen fully spent on a culture filled day, the evening streets of Kyoto offer a scenic stroll for free. A walk along Fourth Avenue (Shijo-dori) in the Gion district might even promise seeing a famous Kabuki actor exiting the Minamiza theater, or women in Kimonos heading to dinner.

Note: This article is from our archives. Although prices may have changed a little, the ideas remain the same! 

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