A small district on the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is where you want to go to explore the famous bamboo grove, see wild macaques, and enjoy gorgeous cultural gardens. After a short 20-minute transit trip from central Kyoto, Arashiyama can be completely explored on foot. All of the main attractions, shops, and restaurants are within a short walk of each other. This DIY walking tour can be done at a slower pace to fill up a whole day or can easily be a half-day excursion.
Japan is notorious for being on the pricey side, especially for a popular time like Cherry Blossom season. While accommodations and food are definitely more expensive than most tourist destinations – we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to keep the total cost of the trip down without sacrificing experiences. To put it in perspective, we spent the same amount on our 13 day trip to Japan as our 9 day trip to Peru. Japan is relatively inexpensive when it comes to occupying your time and even internal transport. Most gardens and shrines are free to visit and cheap convenience stores and vending machines are aplenty. There is still the initial shock of hotel prices and the cost of a rail pass, but Japan doesn’t have to be the ultra-expensive travel destination it is made out to be.