Oideyasu, “Welcome” Greetings in Kansai Dialect Originally Comes from Kyoto
Kyoto is a perfect place to immerse yourself in Japan’s old traditional vibes. Filled with beautiful shrines, well-maintained old houses, and spectacular views at each corner of the city, Kyoto has been chosen as a destination for international tourists, including Muslim tourists.
No need to say that Kyoto is also a prosperous Muslim-friendly city!
Today we will take you to the eastern part of Kyoto station which is famous for the amazing Kiyomizu temple and the city of Geisha!
What To See
Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka
Those are stone-paved slopes that approach Kiyomizu temple. The slopes are filled with souvenir shops in old buildings that enhance the dreamy traditional vibes. The best time to visit is during noon because you will need time to explore all shops with amazing goods and reach Kiyomizu temple.
You may want to visit the first Starbucks shop with tatami! Starbucks Ninenzaka shop completely blends with other traditional houses, it really does not like other Starbucks shops you ever see! The dine-in space comes in tatami, as you can enjoy the traditional atmosphere there. The shop is highly crowded with tourists who want to enjoy that rare vibe, so if you are lucky, you can enjoy a sip of coffee on the tatami.
If you are coming near sunset time, you can get yourself lost in a spectacular sunset and city view at Kiyomizu temple. Please note that most shops will close down when the day turns dark.
20 min walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo station (on Google Maps).
Gion – Hanamikoji Street
Gion district is famous for its big festival, Gion Matsuri. The main road is filled with shops and cafes, you may find a beautiful Japanese traditional souvenir here!
A block beside the main road, there is Hanamikoji Street, a street with traditional wooden houses, tea shops, and the appearance of a Geisha or Maiko. This road is particularly crowded with international tourists and less traffic.
However, there are cases where private houses and shops stuff damaged by irresponsible tourists. That’s why you can find a signboard that warns people not to take pictures or enter private areas.
5 min walk from Gion-Shijo station (on Google Maps).
Yasaka Pagoda Street
It is a street where you can see the 5 stages of Yasaka pagoda from a narrow uphill road with traditional houses on both your left and right. It towers over old houses and the view is recognized as one of the most picturesque views in Kyoto.
Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Goshou)
This is the residence of Japan’s Emperor and family before the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The palace is in Kyoto Imperial Park (Kyoto Gyouen) with buildings and gardens. Visitors only be able to see the buildings from outside. There is no admission fee to enter the park and open the whole year round, but your belongings will be checked in some spots.
If you want to enjoy sightseeing with plenty of information about the history, culture, and more, you can join a free tour guided by the palace professional, available in Japanese, English, and Chinese. Besides being free of admission, there is no need to do a prior application. You just need to go to the Seisho gate (清所門) to get a ticket to join. Tour in Japanese is available 4 times a day (9:30, 10:30, 13:30, 14:30), while English and Chinese are 2 times a day (10:00, 14:00). The tour is not available on Monday, New Year, and the day when a ceremony is held.
10 min walk from Jingu-Marutamachi station (on Google Maps).
What to Eat
Halal ramen shop Ayam-Ya Karasuma is the nearest halal restaurant in eastern Kyoto, easy to access from Gion or Kyoto Imperial Palace, a very popular halal restaurant in the city.
Purchase a ramen ticket from the ticket machine near the entrance, give the ticket to the staff, and wait until your order come. Note that you can only use a 1000 yen bill and coins to use the machine (if you don’t have one, consult the staff to change money). Water is served for free, you can order other drinks from the ticket machine.
Their spicy shoyu or salt ramen is the most popular option, especially among Muslim customers.
For the time being, the restaurant opens for lunch only from 11:30 to 14:30 (the last order 14:00).
At a 3 min walk from Karasuma station or a 5 min walk from Shijo station (on Google Maps).
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Where to Pray
Did you know that there is Kyoto Masjid close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace?
Kyoto Masjid (Kyoto Islamic Culture Center) is an important place for Muslims in and visiting Kyoto. The 1st floor is a halal shop and the B1 floor is the spacious yet well-organized prayer hall.
At a 10 min walk from Jingu-Marutamachi station (on Google Maps).