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Kyoto: Keifuku Randen Tram

Located in Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Keifuku Randen Tram is a historic tram line that is considered as the last tram line in the prefecture.

Originally owned and operated by Arashiyama Electric Tram Railway, the single track 7.2 kilometer Randen Tram line opened on 1910. This tram line connected Kyoto City center (Shijo-Omiya Station) to Arashiyama area. The tram line was then acquired by the Kyoto Electric Light Company in 1918. the company then improved the line by double tracking its track in 1925 until 1928 completing what is currently known as the Arashiyama Line. 

In 1925, Kyoto Electric Light Company opened the Kitano Line. The line runs from Kitano Hakubaicho Station until Katabiranotsuji Station. However, the company was hit by economic depression and sold both line to Keifuku in 1942. At present, both lines are still owned, operated and maintained by Keifuku. 

Presently, the Arashiyama Line has 13 stations which are the following:

No. Station Japanese A1 Shijō-Ōmiya 四条大宮

Kyoto: Kyoto Umekoji Monuments Street

Located around Umekoji Park and Kyoto Station, Kyoto-Umekoji Monument Street is a project that promotes walking around the park and the Kyoto Station areas.

The Kyoto-Umekoji Monuments Street is a part of the Kyoto-Umekoji Minnaga Tsunagaru Project which started in February 2015 under the initiative of the Council for  Area Development and Management of Kyoto-Umekoji. Its main purpose is to create a vibrant atmosphere and improve the convenience of strolling around Kyoto-Umekoji Area. As its name implies, Kyoto-Umekoji Monument Street is series of mini-monuments scattered around the walking route from Kyoto Station then through and around Umekoji Park and then back to Kyoto Station again.

Here are the monuments that we saw on our visit:

During our visit last May 2018, there were a total of 41 monuments around "Monuments Street". 23 of these are found in the walking route while 18 are at Umekoji Park. The various monuments feature railways, aquatic life, and Kyoto City character…

Kyoto: Umekoji Park

Located in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, in Kyoto Prefecture, Umekoji Park is a large park in the heart of Japan's historic city. 

Opened in 1995, Umekoji Park provides locals and tourists with a place to relax and explore for free. Well, unless they would buy from the nearby stores and vendo machines or go inside the museum or aquarium inside the park. 

You read that right, there is a museum and an aquarium in Umekoji Park...These are the Kyoto Railway Museum, located at the southwestern end of the park and the Kyoto Aquarium on the northeastern end of the park. I would love to tell you more about these places but I'd probably reserve it in a different article. 

Now going back to Umekoji Park, nature lovers would surely enjoy viewing the seasonal flower blooms here. Children on the other hand can use up their energy by running around the wide field or by playing in the park's playground. You'd usually see the locals here having their picnic, walking their dog, jogging and eve…

Kyoto: Toji (Temple)

Located in 1 Kujo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, To-ji or Toji (Temple) (東寺) is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kyoto City. 

Toji (Temple) was founded in 796, two years after the  capital was moved from Nara to Heian-kyo (old name of Kyoto). The temple was one of the two guardian temples that was built on the main entrances of the Imperial Capital. To-ji, which  means "East Temple" , was the guardian temple of the East while its  sister temple Sai-ji , which means "West Temple" was the guardian temple of the West. These temple stood alongside the Rashomon which is the gate to the Heian capital. Sadly, Sai-ji burnt down in 990, rebuilt, and was ravaged by fire again in 1233. It was never rebuilt after. 

Toji was formerly known as Kyo-o-gokaku-jior The Temple for the Defense of the Nation by Means of the King of Doctrines. It means that the temple provided protection for the nation. 

In 823, Emperor Saga honored the monk Kukai and gave the …

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