Many people's initial thought of going to Japan, immediately means spending time in the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Tokyo is a great city to visit no doubt with its high skyscrapers, numerous electronic billboards and displays, thoroughly oppose its religious temples yet Japan offers far more than just its great city.
To get things started, the city of Kyoto has an abundant history and cultural significance like no other. The fine blend of a sprawling metropolis with traditional and social treasures. In fact, Kyoto was the location where Japanese royalty resided since 794 through 1868 once the Emperor made a decision to move to Tokyo. Fortunately, Kyoto is among the handful of leading Japanese cities that was spared of bombs during the second world war, and that makes it a worthwhile place for a vacation in Japan.
What you should see and do in this fantastic city boils down to your sightseeing preferences are like. The leading attractions are predominately cultural places like the Buddhist temples and Zen gardens besides the normal shopping and boutique stores in the city. Fortunately, going on a walk in the city city makes the transition from place to place quite easy and give visitors a nice contrast. Here are 7 places to visit in Kyoto without any preference if which to see first.
Within Japan, this specific Shinto shrine is popular for housing the largest torii. The shrine was made in 1895 to pay tribute to Kyoto's eleven centuries, and is devoted entirely to Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei. A good time to go is in October, the 22nd to be exact, as this gives you the opportunity to view the "Festival of Ages" which commemorates the day when Kyoto came to be the capital of Japan. A highlight of the show stretches for a few kilometers are the large group of people, roughly 2,000.
The well-known geisha houses are situated in the Gion district of Kyoto. So, If you want to catch a glimpse of a geisha and maiko up close, Gion is the city to do just that. They dress this way everyday all year as it considered normal attire. Gion was constructed in the medieval times, yet various structures today still look similar to how they were originally built in the middle ages as they've been designated into a natural historical preservation district.
TIP: A common myth is that travelers perceive geishas as prostitutes, when in truth, that is very false and can put you into an embarrassing situation, possibly even against the law if soliciting.
The gold leaf which completely blankets the top two levels of the pavilion is its most stunning feature of Kinkakuji (officially known as Rokuon-ji). It is no doubt a spectacular place and well-known landmark in Kyoto. Situated alongside a pond, the temple provides a shining reflection of the structure to everyone who visits. This establishes a strong spiritual connection. That is just the outside. Inside of its walls are artifacts of the Buddha.
Kyoto Gosho, also called Kyoto's Imperial Palace, was formerly where Japan's Imperial family ruled until 1868 when it was moved to Tokyo. The building is made up of a number of gardens, halls, and gates.
Kiyomizudera (or "Pure Water Temple") is among Japan's most well-known temples for both foreign sightseers and residents. The temple is among the most ancient Japanese Buddhism sects (the Hosso). It was established in 780 and a UNESCO world heritage site.
The temple is based in the arboraceous hills in eastern Kyoto, and features an extraordinary view of the city from the terrace. Underneath the terrace is a spring that many claim has curing attributes and that is how the temple derived its name.
The Shinto god of rice is Inari, and foxes are meant to convey the message. As a result, you will notice the numerous fox statues around the Fushimi Inari shrine. The countless tori gates make this a place that remains etched in your memory forever, although one should visit the shrine during the evening – the calming sounds of the wildlife and dim lights create an enchanting and calming walk within the shrine's tori gates.
Regarded as the most significant Zen Temple in Kyoto, Tenryuji Temple translated as "heavenly dragon temple". Initially the structure the building served as the personal residence of Emperor Go Daigo, and following his death was converted to a temple to commemorate his legacy. There is a tale that's been told for centuries about a Buddhist priest who had a dream that a dragon came out of the river, which led him to conclude that the spirit of Go Daigo's was restless and that a temple needs to be built to pacify him.