Three Sisters and Three Nights in Japan

Hoshinoya Kyoto / Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

General Tips

Almost everyone is friendly in Japan. A slight bow is nice upon greeting, and an arigatou gozaimasu (thank you) is much appreciated. Chefs love it when you say oishii which means delicious. And if you don’t know what to order you can say omakase or chef’s choice.

Hoshinoya is really close to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, so I would suggest walking over one morning right after sunrise. It will be almost empty before the throngs of tourists arrive. Early morning is also a good time to see the Golden Pavilion, but it will be crowded almost any time.

It is also worth noting that the Japanese convenience store, Lawson’s, is amazing! It makes for an easy breakfast or lunch in a pinch, and it’s worth going at least once to buy candy, hot tea, etc.

Here’s a list of my favorites and recommendations from Hoshinoya:

Friday, June 16, 2023 – Arrival in Kyoto

Arrival: Friday, June 16, 2023, 11:20am at Osaka KIX on KE-723

Car Transfer: Meet the driver at around 12:00 pm near the arrival gate.

Since the toll fee and car fee are not set in advance guests to pay the airport taxi fee by themselves to the driver. Credit cards are accepted. Approxinate Price for round trip is: ¥ 67,400 ($492). This includes ¥47,400 basic fare + ¥2,000 meet and greet at the gate + ¥2,000 parking + ¥10,000 tolls + ¥2,000-4,000 additional car type for Alphard.

Hotel: Hoshinoya Kyoto
¥290,907 ($2,166.65 – $722.22/nt)
Continental breakfast, in-room seasonal dinner, and upgrade when available included
Reservation number: 150585

Afternoon: Walk the river and explore the Ariyashima neighborhood. You can climb a small mountain with Japanese macaques and a view of the city or head downtown for dinner.

Dinner: Arashiyama Daizen is close and serves Kyoto-style sushi. Small family run restaurant that gets good reviews. Sushi Iso was also on the hotel list and is nearby. It gets good reviews, but it’s more of a local spot, so they wont speak much English or have English menus. “Omakase” means chef’s choice.

Evening: Sake Bar Yoramu – No longer accepts reservations, but if you call 15 min ahead they will save space. Owner speaks English. We were able to get a seat after our tempura dinner around 6:30, but you can call ahead. Ask for a flight of sake and let the bartender pick everything.

If it isn’t too late when you are done, walk through the Fushimi Inari shrine at night. I would take a cab there and back to expedite because it’s on the other side of town.

Saturday, June 17, 2023 – “Spa Day”

Morning: Daitoku-ji temple complex to explore the many Zen gardens.

Lunch: We really liked Stardust, which is close by and has a cute shop and cafe. Not a big lunch, but really good vegan bakery with homemade jam, etc.

Afternoon: Funaoka Onsen 3pm, a traditional historic bathhouse. Remember to bring a tattoo bandage.

Dinner: Complimentary In-room Seasonal Dinner at 6pm

Sunday, June 18, 2023 – “Shopping Day”

Morning/Afternoon Shopping:

  • The Central Nishiki Market is the place to start your shopping. Lots of food stalls to look at and a mix of shops. Aritsugu, the knife shop, is a must.
  • Kyo Tsuke-men Tsurukame has good ramen in Nishiki Market area for lunch.
  • We also loved D&Department, 45R Kyoto, Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu (they sell online now though). There is also a Hello Kitty Cafe and Studio Ghibli shop. Check the map for everything.
  • If you want to glimpse a geisha, Gion is the best place, though they aren’t everywhere.

Dinner: Ten-you(天邑) 6:30pm


The reservation is under the name Taylor Allday, and the beer allergy has been noted. The tempura kaiseki course is booked at a cost of ¥17,000/pp. Please attend in a mannerly dress code and refrain from using strong perfume to show respect to the restaurants. If you take a taxi from the hotel boat landing, it takes more than 30 minutes and costs around ¥3,000 to 4,000.

Monday, June 19, 2023 – Departure

Car Transfer: Taxi at 8:30am in the boat waiting room.

Usually it takes 2 hours to the airport and you want to be there 2 hours before the departure time.

Departure: Monday, June 19, 2023, 12:30pm at Osaka KIX on KE-724


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