Japan is a country of the rising sun that you never bored to visit. I always exciting to discover this country. Last October, I was very happy for having an opportunity to visit this country again. In that time, I decided to visit Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
Different from Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto is the city to experience historic and ancient Japan. It has a lot of cultural sites and buildings like Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and stunning Japanese gardens. Visiting this atmospheric city will makes you feel like you were in a different time in Japan and its slower pace gives you a chance to immerse yourself in this traditional atmosphere .
Chillin’ at Kamo River
Kamo River is one of most popular hang out spot in Kyoto. Once I arrived in Kyoto, it was very nice to have a scenic walk and chilled along the riverbank. This is the best spot to enjoy the sound of the river flowing, breath of fresh air and relaxing away from the crowd.
The best time to visit this river is during dusk, or just when the sun is about to set. Afterwards, you can have some meals in a lively alley, Pontocho, with restaurants lining each side or walk through Gion where the alley is beautifully lit up by the street lights and traditional lamps.
Spotting Geisha at Gion
Near the Kamogawa River, you’ll find a traditional alley called Gion. Some parts of Gion are picturesque, but the real attraction of this area is the possibility of spotting a geisha or a maiko (a geisha in training). In between traditional attractions are hundreds of cafes, food stalls, and perfectly placed benches.
Kiyomizu-dera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of famous temples in Kyoto. It’s known as a temple for making wishes and features a large wooden stage built on the site of the sacred Otowa Waterfall. It has three separate streams of water that visitors are free to drink from. It’s believed that drinking from these streams grant people’s wishes
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha is a Shinto shrine and one of Kyoto’s most iconic landmarks. This shrine is made up of thousands of traditional torii gates. It was first built as early as the 8th century by the Hata family to worship the gods of rice and sake. Visitors can easily spend a day wandering through the trails surrounding the network of ornate shrines. Along the pathway, you will also see plenty of stone foxes which is believed as the messenger of Inari (the god of rice and business).
The Sagano Romantic Train
If you want to go to Arashiyama, it’lll be great experience if you jump on this train. The Sagano Romantic Train is a sightseeing train that runs along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka. It features vintage trains with wooden benches that wind their way slowly through western Kyoto, offering tourists a spectacular view of the river and mountain scenery.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Arashiyama is farther away from central Kyoto but it’s such a lovely area where you’ll find those iconic bamboo groves, a famous place to visit in Kyoto. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a place where you can see towering stalks of bamboo. Apart from these bamboo groves, the entire Arashiyama area is dotted with picturesque temples, gardens, quaint shops, and restaurants.
Kinkaku-ji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the city’s most memorable attractions. It’s a Zen temple amidst a placid lake and wrapped in gold leaf, with the top floor gilded both inside and out. It was originally built as a retirement home for a famous shogun, who sanctioned the building to become a temple after his death.
International Manga Museum
The Kyoto International Manga Museum has over 300 000 Japanese comic books or manga. Manga is created for adults and children alike, and is commonly seen all throughout Japanese pop culture. At this museum, you can browse through popular manga, learn about this Japanese art form as a part of Japanse culture and see how the art of manga has changed over the years. Though the majority of manga is in Japanese, there are quite a section of manga translated into English.
Nishiki Market is a long and narrow shopping street with over a hundred food shops and restaurants, the ultimate place to eat all the tasty Japanese street foods. You can just walk down the main hall and have only half an idea of what foods stand before you. Foodies will love the fresh seafood section and sampling the local meals like dumplings, pickles, freshly roasted tea, fish cakes, and yakitori from the food stalls. This is a great stop to satisfy your belly.