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Danny’s Guidebook for Jam Jar Lounge & Inn

Danny

Danny’s Guidebook for Jam Jar Lounge & Inn

Danny's Local Sites & Experiences
Local sites and experiences you can walk to from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn.
FUNUOKA ONSEN .........One of Kyoto's last remaining "Sento's" (although they call it an onsen). Definately worth a visit. The building is made out of wood and dates to 1923. The authorities registered it as a Tangible Cultural Property. The interior has ornately covered panels out of wood which depict mythological stories. Foreigners most welcome. Tattoo's permitted. Make sure you know the bathing rules before going, although they are in English. Have a soak before or after checking out the cafe/bar across the street, also worth a look.
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Funaoka Onsen
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FUNUOKA ONSEN .........One of Kyoto's last remaining "Sento's" (although they call it an onsen). Definately worth a visit. The building is made out of wood and dates to 1923. The authorities registered it as a Tangible Cultural Property. The interior has ornately covered panels out of wood which depict mythological stories. Foreigners most welcome. Tattoo's permitted. Make sure you know the bathing rules before going, although they are in English. Have a soak before or after checking out the cafe/bar across the street, also worth a look.
Our local shrine just a 2 minute walk from Jam Jar. Well worth a visit. The shrine was first built in 947 to appease the angry spirit of bureaucrat, scholar and poet Sugawara no Michizane, who had been exiled as a result of political maneuvers of his enemies in the Fujiwara clan. Famous for being the original shrine for knowledge and calligraphy. Hosts an amazing flea market on the 25th of every month. Also has over 1,000 plum trees which bloom in March. Closes around 6:00pm. Free to enter.
Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine Ichi-no-Torii Gate
Our local shrine just a 2 minute walk from Jam Jar. Well worth a visit. The shrine was first built in 947 to appease the angry spirit of bureaucrat, scholar and poet Sugawara no Michizane, who had been exiled as a result of political maneuvers of his enemies in the Fujiwara clan. Famous for being the original shrine for knowledge and calligraphy. Hosts an amazing flea market on the 25th of every month. Also has over 1,000 plum trees which bloom in March. Closes around 6:00pm. Free to enter.
Also known as Senbon Skakado. This is the oldest surviving wodden structure in Kyoto. Not as big and flashy as most shrines it is not without it's charm and is worth a visit. Only a 5 minute walk from Jam Jar behind our local 7-11 store. The Main Hall (Honden) of the shrine has survived intact since 1227 despite wars and fires though the ages that have destroyed other buildings in the area over the years.
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Daihōonji Temple
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Also known as Senbon Skakado. This is the oldest surviving wodden structure in Kyoto. Not as big and flashy as most shrines it is not without it's charm and is worth a visit. Only a 5 minute walk from Jam Jar behind our local 7-11 store. The Main Hall (Honden) of the shrine has survived intact since 1227 despite wars and fires though the ages that have destroyed other buildings in the area over the years.
An absolute must-see for lovers of kimono and woven textiles. Only a 20-25 minute walk from Jam Jar. Weaving demonstrations available. Nice little museum and a great kimono fashion show on the 3rd floor every hour on the hour. All free. Very close to the Imperial Palace.
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Nishijin Textile Center
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An absolute must-see for lovers of kimono and woven textiles. Only a 20-25 minute walk from Jam Jar. Weaving demonstrations available. Nice little museum and a great kimono fashion show on the 3rd floor every hour on the hour. All free. Very close to the Imperial Palace.
Whilst you cant walk there, the small electric train station which services Arashiyama is only a 10 minute walk from Jam Jar. Well worth spending a morning or afternoon in Arashiyama. My tip is to arrive before 8:00am to avoid the crowds (9:00 am is too late).
Arashiyama Bamboo Groove
Whilst you cant walk there, the small electric train station which services Arashiyama is only a 10 minute walk from Jam Jar. Well worth spending a morning or afternoon in Arashiyama. My tip is to arrive before 8:00am to avoid the crowds (9:00 am is too late).
If you are going to Arashiyama to visit the famous bamboo forest, than this temple is also a must-see. Tenryū-ji is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Construction was completed in 1345. In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto".
天龍寺 方丈
If you are going to Arashiyama to visit the famous bamboo forest, than this temple is also a must-see. Tenryū-ji is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Construction was completed in 1345. In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto".
Only a short 20 minute walk from Jam Jar, this temple is also known as "The Golden Pavillion". This site is the 2nd most visited site in Kyoto so be prepared. My tip is to get there at 9:00am and que to be the first in ..... or....... visit at 4:25pm. The temple closes at 5:00pm but you will be allowed in at 4:25pm. Most tour buses have left for the day. And besides that, the sun reflects beautifully off the gold at that time of the afternoon. Open every day. Admission is 400yen.
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Kinkaku-ji
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Only a short 20 minute walk from Jam Jar, this temple is also known as "The Golden Pavillion". This site is the 2nd most visited site in Kyoto so be prepared. My tip is to get there at 9:00am and que to be the first in ..... or....... visit at 4:25pm. The temple closes at 5:00pm but you will be allowed in at 4:25pm. Most tour buses have left for the day. And besides that, the sun reflects beautifully off the gold at that time of the afternoon. Open every day. Admission is 400yen.
RYOANJI TEMPLE......... Just short 20 minute walk down the road from the Golden Pavillion (or Bus 59). This temple is very famous for it's raked pebble garden. Well worth a visit. It's also nice to wander through the temple gardens. Moderately busy. Admission is 500yen. Open every day of the year.
Ryoanji Temple Kori
RYOANJI TEMPLE......... Just short 20 minute walk down the road from the Golden Pavillion (or Bus 59). This temple is very famous for it's raked pebble garden. Well worth a visit. It's also nice to wander through the temple gardens. Moderately busy. Admission is 500yen. Open every day of the year.
By far my favourite place to visit if you need a fix of Buddhist temples and exquisite gardens without the crowds. Largely undiscovered by most tourists to Kyoto. You won't be disappointed. Only a 10 minute bus ride from Jam Jar, the complex consists of nearly two dozen subtemples and is one of the best places in Japan to see a wide variety of Zen gardens and to experience Zen culture and architecture. Only 4 of the sub-temples are accessible, with the best one being Daisen-ji. Stunning in Autumn/Fall or cherry blossom season.
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Daitoku-ji
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By far my favourite place to visit if you need a fix of Buddhist temples and exquisite gardens without the crowds. Largely undiscovered by most tourists to Kyoto. You won't be disappointed. Only a 10 minute bus ride from Jam Jar, the complex consists of nearly two dozen subtemples and is one of the best places in Japan to see a wide variety of Zen gardens and to experience Zen culture and architecture. Only 4 of the sub-temples are accessible, with the best one being Daisen-ji. Stunning in Autumn/Fall or cherry blossom season.
KAMISHICHIKEN GEISHA DISTRICT A short 5 x minute walk from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn, Kamishichiken is one of Kyoto's five licensed geisha districts. It is the oldest of the five, and in my opinion one of the most beautiful. You can spot Geisha if you walk through betwen 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Hosts a great beer garden in the summer months hosted by real Maiko & Geiko who work in the area.
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Kamishichiken Kabukai
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KAMISHICHIKEN GEISHA DISTRICT A short 5 x minute walk from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn, Kamishichiken is one of Kyoto's five licensed geisha districts. It is the oldest of the five, and in my opinion one of the most beautiful. You can spot Geisha if you walk through betwen 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Hosts a great beer garden in the summer months hosted by real Maiko & Geiko who work in the area.
Hands down the most beautiful Japanese Garden in Japan. Formerly the estate of the famed film actor Okochi Denjiro (1898-1962), this sublime villa and surrounding gardens are now open to the public. Most tourists won't pay the 1000 yen entry fee, so as a result it has kept it's peaceful zen ambience. The main house here is one of the finest examples of traditional Japanese residential architecture anywhere and the teahouse is a wabi-sabi gem. But it’s the gardens here that really boggle the mind. Your ticket includes a cup of matcha tea. Unmissable!
Okochi Sanso Garden
Hands down the most beautiful Japanese Garden in Japan. Formerly the estate of the famed film actor Okochi Denjiro (1898-1962), this sublime villa and surrounding gardens are now open to the public. Most tourists won't pay the 1000 yen entry fee, so as a result it has kept it's peaceful zen ambience. The main house here is one of the finest examples of traditional Japanese residential architecture anywhere and the teahouse is a wabi-sabi gem. But it’s the gardens here that really boggle the mind. Your ticket includes a cup of matcha tea. Unmissable!
Danny's Favourite Kyoto Eating/Drinking Spots - Further Away
Eating anywhere in Kyoto is a great experience, but these are our tried and true eating & drinking spots located in the city centre. Just a 30 minute bus ride, or 15 minutes by cab.
Although the cover shot doesn't show it, this Italian has the best wood fired pizza in Kyoto. Great wine list. But the reason I go there is to sit outside by the Takase Canal and soak in the atmosphere of central Kyoto. You can often spot a Maiko-san (apprentice Geisha), on her way to appointments. Not cheap but well worth it if you need a break from Japanese food, or if it's a special occassion. It's super popular with foreigners and therefore super busy, so a reservation is usually required if you want to sit outside. Opens of lunch and dinner 7 x days a week. Good wine list.
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PIZZA SALVATORE CUOMO & GRILL Kyoto
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Although the cover shot doesn't show it, this Italian has the best wood fired pizza in Kyoto. Great wine list. But the reason I go there is to sit outside by the Takase Canal and soak in the atmosphere of central Kyoto. You can often spot a Maiko-san (apprentice Geisha), on her way to appointments. Not cheap but well worth it if you need a break from Japanese food, or if it's a special occassion. It's super popular with foreigners and therefore super busy, so a reservation is usually required if you want to sit outside. Opens of lunch and dinner 7 x days a week. Good wine list.
OMOYA ...... is one of our go to restaurants for a special occassion meal. Japanese/French influenced food, it's usually a set menu for a very reasonable 5000yen per person (7 courses). More of a degustation meal. Located in the city behind Diamary department store. Reservation definately required. Housed in a beautiful old machiya.
o・mo・ya
OMOYA ...... is one of our go to restaurants for a special occassion meal. Japanese/French influenced food, it's usually a set menu for a very reasonable 5000yen per person (7 courses). More of a degustation meal. Located in the city behind Diamary department store. Reservation definately required. Housed in a beautiful old machiya.
Before you start your night, it's worth visiting "In The Moon". This is the view from the rooftop bar right in the centre of Gion. It only happens in the hotter months between May - September. Beer/Wine approx 800yen per glass. Great place to start the evening if you can time it around sunset.
in the Moon
Before you start your night, it's worth visiting "In The Moon". This is the view from the rooftop bar right in the centre of Gion. It only happens in the hotter months between May - September. Beer/Wine approx 800yen per glass. Great place to start the evening if you can time it around sunset.
I don't go to Bar Orange to eat, rather to sit on the balcony overlooking the Kamo River with a bottle of red wine. This little bar is in the middle of Ponto-cho. A little hard to find because it's on the 5th floor, but it is well sign posted if you are looking for it. Tourists don't go here so you can usually get a seat outside all year round. Wine is about 3000yen per bottle. It's very dimly lit, quite romantic. Great view. Closes at 1:00am.
Bar orange
I don't go to Bar Orange to eat, rather to sit on the balcony overlooking the Kamo River with a bottle of red wine. This little bar is in the middle of Ponto-cho. A little hard to find because it's on the 5th floor, but it is well sign posted if you are looking for it. Tourists don't go here so you can usually get a seat outside all year round. Wine is about 3000yen per bottle. It's very dimly lit, quite romantic. Great view. Closes at 1:00am.
This is Kyoto's number one cocktail bar, down the street from the Onze Brasserie (see listing in this guide book). I often take visitors here for the wow factor. It's housed upstairs in a traditional machiya in Kiyamachi-dori (city centre). Very theatrical, a little Harry Potter, very popular with visitors to Kyoto. Drinks are not cheap but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. Good for one or two cocktails after or before dinner. Gets very crowded on Fri and Sat nights. Closed Mondays.
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L'Escamoteur
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This is Kyoto's number one cocktail bar, down the street from the Onze Brasserie (see listing in this guide book). I often take visitors here for the wow factor. It's housed upstairs in a traditional machiya in Kiyamachi-dori (city centre). Very theatrical, a little Harry Potter, very popular with visitors to Kyoto. Drinks are not cheap but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. Good for one or two cocktails after or before dinner. Gets very crowded on Fri and Sat nights. Closed Mondays.
ONZE (KIYAMACHI) .......... There are two of these in Kyoto but the Kiyamachi one is best. This little French Bistro is my go to for sardines, reasonably priced bottles of wine (2800yen), and real imported absinthe if you're brave enough. Located in the centre of town in Kiyamachi-dori, it has a great vibe, but make sure you sit upstairs at the bar or one of the 2 tables located there. Downstairs doesn't cut it. Good honest French bistro food. Staff speak English, and it's location is pretty with the Takase Canal across the street.
Brasserie Café ONZE
ONZE (KIYAMACHI) .......... There are two of these in Kyoto but the Kiyamachi one is best. This little French Bistro is my go to for sardines, reasonably priced bottles of wine (2800yen), and real imported absinthe if you're brave enough. Located in the centre of town in Kiyamachi-dori, it has a great vibe, but make sure you sit upstairs at the bar or one of the 2 tables located there. Downstairs doesn't cut it. Good honest French bistro food. Staff speak English, and it's location is pretty with the Takase Canal across the street.
Kyotos "eat-street". A must-see sight. Pontocho Alley, runs parallel to the west bank of the Kamo-gawa River between Sanjo and Shijo and is considered by many to be the most beautiful street in the city. It’s lined with traditional shops and restaurants, and no cars, modern buildings or gaudy signs are allowed. By day, it’s not much to look at. But in the evening, Pontocho becomes a magical place – the sort of street you might have imagined before arriving in Asia. Many places welcome foreigners and have English-language menus and English-speaking staff. If you spend some time waiting at the southern end of the lane around dusk on a Friday or Saturday evening, you’ve got a good chance of spotting a maiko (apprentice geisha) or geiko (fully-fledged geisha) scurrying to an appointment at one of Pontocho’s elite clubs.
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Pontocho Alley
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Kyotos "eat-street". A must-see sight. Pontocho Alley, runs parallel to the west bank of the Kamo-gawa River between Sanjo and Shijo and is considered by many to be the most beautiful street in the city. It’s lined with traditional shops and restaurants, and no cars, modern buildings or gaudy signs are allowed. By day, it’s not much to look at. But in the evening, Pontocho becomes a magical place – the sort of street you might have imagined before arriving in Asia. Many places welcome foreigners and have English-language menus and English-speaking staff. If you spend some time waiting at the southern end of the lane around dusk on a Friday or Saturday evening, you’ve got a good chance of spotting a maiko (apprentice geisha) or geiko (fully-fledged geisha) scurrying to an appointment at one of Pontocho’s elite clubs.
Another rooftop bar during the summer months. All you can drink for 2500 yen p/p (includes a small plate of delicious canapes). For the rest of the year it operates a great brasserie style restaurant on the ground floor. Offers a great afternoon tea with lovely pastries and cakes. Small bar inside the front door does authentic 1920's style cocktails. Very friendly and professional staff. Housed in a 1920's style art deco building, it's definately worth a look if you are into architecture.
FORTUNE GARDEN KYOTO
Another rooftop bar during the summer months. All you can drink for 2500 yen p/p (includes a small plate of delicious canapes). For the rest of the year it operates a great brasserie style restaurant on the ground floor. Offers a great afternoon tea with lovely pastries and cakes. Small bar inside the front door does authentic 1920's style cocktails. Very friendly and professional staff. Housed in a 1920's style art deco building, it's definately worth a look if you are into architecture.
Essentials
Need some fresh fruit? Or a midnight snack? Maybe a cheeky sake in your room before bed. Then check out this list of places close enough to walk to.
SUPERMARKET .......... This is our local supermarket. Everything you need is in here from fresh sushi, daily baked goods, bento boxes, mild, bread etc. The biggest supermarket in our area. Opens daily 10:00am - 8:00pm. Danny's tip - go there at 7:00pm and all fish including sushi, sashimi and bento boxes are half price.
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Izumiya Hakubaicho
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SUPERMARKET .......... This is our local supermarket. Everything you need is in here from fresh sushi, daily baked goods, bento boxes, mild, bread etc. The biggest supermarket in our area. Opens daily 10:00am - 8:00pm. Danny's tip - go there at 7:00pm and all fish including sushi, sashimi and bento boxes are half price.
LAWSONS CONVIENIENCE STORE ....... Located at the end of our laneway, just a 1 minute walk from Jam Jar. You can find everything you need in here 24/7. Don't dismiss the food ...... it's fresh and delicious.
Lawson Senbon-Kitaoji
LAWSONS CONVIENIENCE STORE ....... Located at the end of our laneway, just a 1 minute walk from Jam Jar. You can find everything you need in here 24/7. Don't dismiss the food ...... it's fresh and delicious.
Gay & Lesbian Hangouts in Kyoto
Very few options in Kyoto (in fact only 2), which are not the most welcoming places for gay travellers. If you need some nightlife or bar options, Osaka is a much better option.
LESBIAN BAR (strictly a womens only bar except on Monday & Tuesday's when they allow a mixed crowd). My reports are that it is a welcoming environment for ladies who have all reported having a great time there. Food available. Open from 7:00pm - 2:00am. Located in Kiyamachi, ( the centre of Kyoto's drinking culture near Ponto-cho)
BAR LOOK ME 京都
LESBIAN BAR (strictly a womens only bar except on Monday & Tuesday's when they allow a mixed crowd). My reports are that it is a welcoming environment for ladies who have all reported having a great time there. Food available. Open from 7:00pm - 2:00am. Located in Kiyamachi, ( the centre of Kyoto's drinking culture near Ponto-cho)
GAY BAR - Long-running gay bar in Kyoto, located on Kiyamachi Street – the city’s main bar and nightlife area. AZURE is a men-only bar. The owner and his staff speak limited English. There’s a table charge, and light snacks are served. Located on the 3rd floor of a building, so look out for the sign. Open till late.
Azure
GAY BAR - Long-running gay bar in Kyoto, located on Kiyamachi Street – the city’s main bar and nightlife area. AZURE is a men-only bar. The owner and his staff speak limited English. There’s a table charge, and light snacks are served. Located on the 3rd floor of a building, so look out for the sign. Open till late.
MEDICAL SERVICES
In the event that you become ill while traveling in Kyoto, medical supplies may be purchased at one of the many local pharmacies. There are many hospitals in Kyoto, ranging from small clinics to large institutions. Credit cards are rarely accepted at Japanese hospitals and pharmacies, so you will have to pay in cash after treatment then claim on your travel insurance when you return home.
SAKABE CLINIC ......... General clinic and a good place to start if you are not feeling well. Located near Nijo Castle, approximately a 15 minute taxi ride from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. Staff (including doctors) speak English. Closed on Sunday's. This clinic has a morning session and an afternoon session. Check their website for details.
Sakabe Clinic
SAKABE CLINIC ......... General clinic and a good place to start if you are not feeling well. Located near Nijo Castle, approximately a 15 minute taxi ride from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. Staff (including doctors) speak English. Closed on Sunday's. This clinic has a morning session and an afternoon session. Check their website for details.
DENTAL CLINIC ........ Approximately 15 minute taxi ride from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. English available 9:00~13:00 15:00~17:30. Closed on Monday's & Wednesdays.
yoshiko歯科クリニック
DENTAL CLINIC ........ Approximately 15 minute taxi ride from Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. English available 9:00~13:00 15:00~17:30. Closed on Monday's & Wednesdays.
CONVIENIENCE STORES, POST OFFICE, ATM'S & OTHERS
Other services which may be required during your stay at Jam Jar.
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 7:00pm Saturday & Sunday 8:00am - 12:00pm (4 x hours only) Staff speak limited English but it is possible to send excess baggage back home.
Nishijin Post Office
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 7:00pm Saturday & Sunday 8:00am - 12:00pm (4 x hours only) Staff speak limited English but it is possible to send excess baggage back home.
ATM CASH WITHDRAWL - Our local 7-Eleven is called "Kamishichiken" and is located diagonally opposite Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. Ideal for withdrawing cash with most international cards. Open 24 hours.
7-Eleven Kyoto-Karasuma-Marutamachinishi
ATM CASH WITHDRAWL - Our local 7-Eleven is called "Kamishichiken" and is located diagonally opposite Jam Jar Lounge & Inn. Ideal for withdrawing cash with most international cards. Open 24 hours.
Our coin laundry is less than a minutes walk away. Walk to the end of our laneway and it is located directly opposite the main road. Typical small load wash cost 400yen. A 30 x minute dry cost 300yen. Open 24/7. Coin changer available inside laundry. Danny's Tip - no need to put your own washing powder in with clothes, it will come automatically when the wash cycle starts.
Laundry
Our coin laundry is less than a minutes walk away. Walk to the end of our laneway and it is located directly opposite the main road. Typical small load wash cost 400yen. A 30 x minute dry cost 300yen. Open 24/7. Coin changer available inside laundry. Danny's Tip - no need to put your own washing powder in with clothes, it will come automatically when the wash cycle starts.
Lawsons Convienient Store is less than a minutes walk from Jam Jar. Located at the end of our laneway, ideal for anything you need in a hurry including food & alcohol.
Lawson Marutamachi Ogawa
Lawsons Convienient Store is less than a minutes walk from Jam Jar. Located at the end of our laneway, ideal for anything you need in a hurry including food & alcohol.
FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE ........ You can change your currency on the 7th floor of the Diamaru Department Store located in the city centre in Shijo-dori
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Daimaru Kyoto
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FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE ........ You can change your currency on the 7th floor of the Diamaru Department Store located in the city centre in Shijo-dori
LUGGAGE FORWARD SERVICE ....... Our local 7-Eleven offers a luggage forward service in conjunction with "Kuroneko Yamato". Alternatively the main pick up for Kuroneko Yamato is located directly accross from the Nishijin Post Office.
Baggage service
LUGGAGE FORWARD SERVICE ....... Our local 7-Eleven offers a luggage forward service in conjunction with "Kuroneko Yamato". Alternatively the main pick up for Kuroneko Yamato is located directly accross from the Nishijin Post Office.
If you leave anything on a JR Train in Japan, chances are you will get it back. Just visit your nearest JR Lost & Found office with details of your journey including route & times.
JR Kyoto lost and found
If you leave anything on a JR Train in Japan, chances are you will get it back. Just visit your nearest JR Lost & Found office with details of your journey including route & times.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS (Japan)
FIRE & AMBULANCE - 119/ POLICE - 110
FIRE & AMBULANCE - 119
Kyōto City Fire Department Kita Fire Station
FIRE & AMBULANCE - 119
POLICE - 110
Kyōto Prefectural Police Nakagyō Police Station
POLICE - 110