Kyoto in summer: A special trip to Kifune shrine recharges the soul

New ticket includes a sightseeing train, shrine tour, and a meal to remember!

This summer, Central Japan Railway is inviting people to visit Kyoto with a special “Souda Kyoto Ikou” (“That’s right, Let’s go to Kyoto!”) campaign. The campaign includes a number of special “Kyo no Ryo Sagashi” (“Search for Cool in the Capital”) programs created in conjunction with local shrines and temples, which provide visitors with new ways to stay cool while sightseeing in the notoriously hot city, while also offering never-before-seen gifts and benefits.

One shrine taking part is the beautiful Kifune, which remains a top destination for travellers, and those who book a Kifune Souda Kyoto Ikou ticket will be treated like royalty, with all sorts of perks included. Our reporter Egawa Tasuku was able to try the experience for himself, and he says it made for one of his most memorable travel experiences he’s ever had, so let’s follow along and see what makes this daytrip to Kifune so special.

▼ The day starts at Demachiyanagi Station, where ticket-holders board a train north to Kifune on the Eizan Electric Railway line.

Egawa felt the sweat trickle down his neck as he waited for the train, as it had been hot and humid since the early hours of the morning. Just as he began to wonder if sightseeing in Kyoto during the heat of summer would be worth it, he became distracted by an approaching train, which looked unlike any other he’d ever seen before.

This was the Hiei train, the newest train on the line, which runs from Demachiyanagi to Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. Japan loves a good pun, and Hiei sounds similar to “hie”, which means “coldness” or …continue reading