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Sachiko’s Little Kyoto Brings Japan to Cebu

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Experience a Japan-like attraction at Cebu’s very own Little Kyoto!

Are you a fan of Japanese culture? 

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Japan one day?

If you answered yes to both questions, it’s time for you to check out Cebu’s very own Little Kyoto!

This one-of-a-kind destination is perfect for both tourists and locals who are interested in experiencing the culture and lifestyle of Japan.

Ever since it opened, it has become a sought-after attraction where you can dress up in a kimono, try out a variety of Japanese street food, and take lots of Instagram-worthy photos.

Like other tourist spots accessible through Busay, such as the Sirao Flower Garden and the Temple of Leah, Little Kyoto offers an overlooking view of Cebu’s lush mountains. The atmosphere alone can make you feel like you’re in another country.

For only Php100, you can explore the many fascinating aspects of Japanese culture in one place!

WHAT TO EXPECT AT SACHIKO’S LITTLE KYOTO 

The place takes its name from Kyoto, the center of Buddhism in Japan and the birthplace of several industries like silk textiles and other products.

It served as the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years and remains an important part of Japanese culture, with millions of tourists visiting annually. 

There are several attractions in Kyoto that not only highlight the city’s importance in the country’s tourism and economy, but also give tourists a taste of everything Japanese – from the food, culture, shrines, lifestyles, and more.

This is what Little Kyoto in Cebu aims to offer its visitors as well.

That being said, here are the different attractions to see at Sachiko’s Little Kyoto.

  • Kimono House

This would be your first stop, where you can rent traditional Japanese clothing, like kimonos and yukatas, to wear as you explore all the attractions on the site.

These attires are an elegant combination of a robe and a dress, symbolizing longevity and good fortune. Some versions of the attire also serve as summer clothing for warmer days. 

The staff will assist you in putting on your kimono, even helping guests pick out which one suits them best. There are different colors and variations to choose from for both men and women.

Renting a kimono costs around Php150 per hour, and there may be additional charges if returned with damages. You can add an extra Php50 for a parasol.

  • Temizuya

Right beside the Kimono House is the Temizuya, a small well where visitors perform the Shinto Cleansing Ritual, which is commonly done before entering sacred places. 

Using a wooden dipper, a guest takes water from the well to wash their hands and rinse their mouth. 

The water left after washing is then poured onto the handle to clean it for the next user. 

  • Torii Gates

After passing by the Little Kyoto sign, you can enter the torii gate walkway. The area is perfect for taking photos, with the red arches creating an impressive background for portraits and selfies. 

In Japanese history, torii gates symbolize a transition to sacred ground. While it is placed directly at the entrance to shrines, those who wish to enter must pass through outside. 

It is believed that humans are not allowed to enter through the gate, as only the temple god passes through it. 

At Little Kyoto, however, guests can walk through the gates to use as a backdrop for pictures and selfies.

  • Hachiko Statue

You have probably heard of the story of Hachiko, the loyal Akita Inu who waited for its owner at the Shibuya train station for nine years, not knowing that he had already passed away. 

This has become an iconic tale that was featured in many movies and other media. The Japanese even created a statue of Hachiko at Shibuya station to pay homage to his loyalty. 

At Little Kyoto, you can also find a plexi-glass statue of Hachiko right next to the torii gates.

  • Maneki-Neko and Daruma Dolls

You will definitely find the life-size replicas of maneki-neko cats an adorable feature at Little Kyoto. Thousands of these figurines are sold all over the world. 

These are usually displayed inside Japanese-run establishments. They are known to play an important part in the economy and business sector of Japan.

The cats are believed to bring good fortune to business owners. This is why many Japanese-owned restaurants and retail outlets display neko cats behind their cash registers.  

Daruma dolls are also believed to be good luck charms according to Buddhism, but many mistook these egg-shaped dolls as an item that will grant wishes. It is simply a reminder of focus and discipline. 

Before putting them on display, owners of darumas would make a wish, then paint one of the eyes to mark it. Once the wish is fulfilled, owners then paint the other eye, completing the doll. 

The limbless structure is inspired by Bodhidarma, the creator of Zen Buddhism, who meditated for nine straight years until his limbs eventually dropped off. 

  • Anime Characters and Statues

There are life-size statues of famous anime characters as well. You can pose with or take pictures of them as you pass by. These structures stand on one of the highest peaks at Little Kyoto, offering a bird’s-eye-view of the entire attraction. 

Anime characters include Luffy, Nami, and Zoro from One Piece, Ichigo from Bleach, and Zetsu from Naruto. A platform in front allows guests to sit and pose with them standing in the background. 

Right above the area are statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse as well.

  • Moiwa and Sakura

The observatory and viewing deck, inspired by Mount Moiwa in Sapporo, are located on the highest peak of Little Kyoto. 

Aside from giving you an overlooking view of the garden, it also offers a panoramic view of the horizon. 

Mount Moiwa has a ski lodge where visitors can rent ski equipment, and a ropeway station with a cable car system.

Little Kyoto also has the Sakura Deck, which takes inspiration from the cherry blossom trees endemic to the country. The cherry blossom is famous for its pink petals, referred to as the unofficial national flower of Japan. 

The Sakura Deck is right below Moiwa. It’s fashioned with wallpapers of the sakura forest, Japanese lanterns, and bonsai trees. 

This is also where the restrooms are located. 

  • Reclining Buddha Statue

The Reclining Buddha depicts the deity (although Buddhists consider Buddha as an extraordinary being, not a god) in his last few days on earth while waiting for Nirvana

While it is a difficult concept to understand for many (even Buddhists find it hard to explain), it is believed to be the ultimate goal for followers of the religion. 

Visitors can pose for photos above the Reclining Buddha. You can also offer prayers and light candles in front of the statue.  

  • Geisha Wall  

The Geisha wall pays homage to the female Japanese performance artists. Geishas–famous for their white faces and colorful clothing–are hired to entertain guests at social events and functions, and they are romantic symbols of elegance and strength. 

They are known for their iconic makeup and kimonos, and they are completely dedicated to performing that they are not allowed to get married. They are expected to be “married to their work,” and a husband may possibly distract them. 

Geishas are trained in many traditional performance art styles, from singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. 

They are also known to be proficient conversationalists for interacting with their audience. 

  • Pagoda

The garden has a depiction of a pagoda, which is a multi-tiered tower commonly used for religious functions. This is an iconic image not only in Japan, but also in other Asian countries like China and Korea. 

Additionally, a replica of a golden Buddha sits within the building. 

You can light candles and offer prayers from inside. 

ITADAKIMASU!

After exploring all the attractions at Little Kyoto, end your trip with a cup of coffee at Cafe Nara. 

They have a selection of Japanese dishes, courtesy of local Japanese restaurant Sachi.

You can order ramen, sushi, tempura, and more. They even have various flavors of milk tea and fresh juices to cleanse your palate. 

Popular food offerings include Beef Teriyaki and Beef Gyudon, which are served with a large portion of rice. Their takoyaki is also a standout, with its specialty sauce offering an irresistible flavor. 

Their Mixed Tempura is unique as it’s more than just deep-fried prawns, they also add in slices of squash and eggplant. 

The dishes from Cafe Nara are cooked at individual stalls within Kyoto Treats. 

You can enjoy watching your orders being cooked and prepared.

Finally, make the most of your visit by checking out the place during and after sunset. 

The displays at Little Kyoto shine bright, looking ten times better and creating a completely different ambiance at night.

If you’re looking for someplace new to explore, Little Kyoto is one tourist attraction you don’t want to miss. Aside from the scenery, the impressive viewing decks and displays, and the serene ambiance, you can also experience the best of Japanese culture all in one place!

RATES

Entrance Fee:

Php100

HOW TO GET THERE

Exact Location:

Sitio Lamacan, Babag Uno, Cebu City

Sachiko’s Little Kyoto Opening Hours:

8:00 AM – 8:00 PM 

Closed on Mondays

Your best option to commute to Little Kyoto is by motorcycle at JY Square Mall. You can pass by two routes, either through the road going to the Temple of Leah or the road right next to the Bumble V Gasoline Station in Babag. 

The road from the Temple of Leah is paved and may be more comfortable to drive on, but the drive is much longer. The alternate route near the gasoline station may be further down the highway but is much quicker. 

Additionally, the alternate route is not well paved, and there are no lights along the road. So choose wisely as to which route you wish to take. You can also use Waze to navigate the area properly. 

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