As Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto is easily accessible by train from Osaka. Despite its unofficial status, the city remains a center for culture, history, and cuisine in the country. In a hillside valley filled with cherry trees, the Kiyomizu-Dera Buddha temple is centuries old. The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shinto shrine provides a meditative atmosphere with its long rows of red torii gates. Embark on a cruise to Osaka and explore Ryan-Ji temple's raked gravel gardens, or wander through Arashiyama's bamboo forest, known as the Philosopher's Path for its tranquility and reflection. Explore Kyoto's bustling Higashiyama District, where narrow streets intertwine with restaurants and shops that line Mount Otowa's slopes.
For many people, visiting Kyoto is a good idea because of the colorful shrines, maiko culture, and kaisekiryorimeals. Nevertheless, if you're still undecided, let us give you plenty more reasons to make Japan your next travel destination.
A Kyoto cruise will allow you to enjoy the city's diverse food scene, including all of your favorite Japanese staples (sushi, soba, and ramen) and local specialties. Enjoy a smoky barbecue bite at a yakitori stand or book a table for an elaborate multicourse kaiseki meal. There are many ways to prepare tofu, from boiling to freezing. After dinner, drink some sake while sipping a hot matcha tea. Over 400 years ago, the Nishiki Market was opened, allowing visitors to sample the city's local flavors and ingredients.
Until the Meiji Restoration relocated the imperial court to Tokyo in 1868, Kyoto served as the capital and residence of the Japanese imperial family for over 1,000 years. Most of the city was destroyed during the Onin War of the 15th century. It underwent major reconstruction during the Edo period due to its importance as an economic and cultural center. After honeymooning in the city and understanding its cultural significance, Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War during World War II, advocated sparing the town from atomic bombings. Located in Japan's cultural capital and Buddhist center, Kyoto is a center for arts and culture.
A number of the oldest festivals in the world are held in Kyoto. An important Shinto shrine holds the AoiMatsuri every May. There are massive parade floats at the GionMatsuri, a month-long festival held in July. In October, a century-old festival called JidaiMatsuri ("Festival of the Ages") features historical reenactments.
Located between Teramachi and Shinmachi, Kyoto's Nishiki Market is the city's largest food market and dates back 400 years. You can buy traditional city food staples here on the shotengai (shopping streets). Among the items available for purchase are delicious Japanese sweets, such as wagashi, tea, fresh fish, yakitori, and sashimi. Various locally-produced handcrafted items are available during your visit, including beautiful wooden chopsticks, which make great souvenirs.
Kyoto boasts over 1600 temples, many with beautiful Zen gardens. Additionally, there are more than 400 shrines dedicated to Shinto. There are millions of tourists visiting Kyoto every year because of this reason. While Kyoto, Japan, is famous for temples and shrines, there are many other things to do besides experiencing the natural wonders the area still offers.
In Kyoto, more than 1,600 temples and shrines are dedicated to Zen, Shinto, and Buddhism. The temples in Higashiyama are among the most impressive. Nothing is better than visiting KiyomizuDera Temple, which is crowded but always worth it. Fushimi Inari-Taisha and Kinkakuji should not be missed. One of Kyoto's most photographed shrines is located at the top of a hill. To capture your experiences, make sure you bring a good camera.
This area is probably the first thing foreign tourists think of when they think of Kyoto. A popular tourist attraction in Kyoto is the Fushimi Inari Shrine, located in the city's south. In addition to the thousands of red torii gates known as Senbon Torii, the long line makes it so popular. Red torii gates are probably familiar to you from online or guidebook images. From Kyoto station, you can easily access this must-see spot by train.
Temples and landmarks can be found in Arashiyama, a district on the city's west side. Bamboo forests are undoubtedly one of the district's most popular attractions. Standing next to thousands or millions of green bamboo stalks growing upwards is an incredible, almost surreal experience. In addition, monkeys live in the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The latter is friendly and will greet you as you stroll along its paths.
Takase River runs parallel to Kamo River, a much larger river near Kiyamachi-Dori. A rice and sake transportation system was built in 1611 and used for over 300 years. The starting point near Nijo-Dori has a replica of the flat-bottomed boats used. The cherry trees bloom in spring, and there are many cafes and restaurants along the way, making it a great place to stroll by day and night. When sakura season hits, this section of Sanjo-Dori can be crowded, but it's usually quieter south of here. There was always a sense of peace and tranquility walking along the canal south of Gojo-Dori and past Kyoto Beer Lab.
European Gothic stone palaces come to mind when most people think of castles. On the other hand, the Nijo Castle in Kyoto is constructed from wood. Two concentric rings are connected by a circular courtyard, making for a highly unusual design. A feudal lord from Western Japan was required to contribute money to Nijo Castle's construction in the 17th century. In the palace decoration, cypress wood is decorated with a large amount of gold leaf. When admiring the castle, look up, as some ceilings are decorated with gold mosaics.
A visit to Kyoto is best made during the fall and spring months of October/November. Kyoto is a great place to visit throughout the year because of its temperate climate. Kyoto is hot and humid during summer (June, July, and August). There is a cold climate in Kyoto during winter (December/January/February).