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Refresh in Kibune, Kyoto

April 11th, 2011 by Jeff Aasgaard

Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, the richness of its past, traditional Japanese palaces, gardens…this picture of the city sounds idyllic. However if you plan to visit Kyoto and the Kansai area during summer you will quickly learn that it is incredibly hot during summer.

When you come from a dry summer country such as France, like me, your whole body will make you forget about temples, garden… and ask you to find a cooler place to rest.

Kibune River

Kibune River

This cooler place exists; of course you can stay in your air-conditioned hotel’s room, but more seriously if you wish to enjoy your trip around Kyoto, I deeply recommend a day or two between Kurama Onsen and Kibune.

Within less than one hour by train, you will arrive at the bottom of the Mount Kurama covered by centenary Japanese cedars. Two pretty rivers embrace the mountain, bringing a cool breeze. Enjoy this cool breeze with my feet in the river was such a relief… It is surprising to be surrounded by nature so close from Kyoto.

Hot Spring Bath in Kurama Onsen

Hot Spring Bath in Kurama Onsen

Coming from a busy and hot city, Kurama and Kibune are an excellent choice for relaxation, especially if you decide to take a bath in the hot spring bath of the Kurama Onsen.

The walk from Kurama to Kibune gives a chance to visit the Kurama-Dera Temple and discover the fantastic or mysterious Japanese cedar roots.

Unique Cedar Roots in Kurama

Unique Cedar Roots in Kurama

In Kibune, the attractions are the Kawadoko terraces; every restaurant in Kibune has its own Kawadoko terrace. This terrace of Japanese tatami mats is literally disposed above the Kibune River. The Kaiseki lunch might seem overpriced however the experience worth every penny. The river is running about 50 centimeters under the terrace refreshing while you enjoy your traditional Kaiseki meal. If you are lucky, you might see women wearing Kimono, giving the perfect harmony to this place.

Dining in Kibune

Dinning over a river in Kibune

Now all you have to do is take a deep breath before going back to Kyoto…

Path way in Kibune

Path way in Kibune

If you would like to stay in a traditional ryokan around Kibune or Kurama Onsen, I recommend the either Kibune Hiroya or Kurama Onsen

By Vincent Penez
Japanese Guest Houses

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