One of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, Kyoto is magic. Every traveler will be able to discover something new about this destination. Kyoto has a rich history and their people take religion very seriously. There are a number of shrines as well as fun activities to indulge in. Here are a few sights you should not miss out on when in Kyoto:
Kiyomizu dera – The most famous Buddhist temple in Japan, Kiyomizu dera is seated on a mountain and is surrounded by trees that turn pink in the spring. The temple offers a spectacular view of the valley at all times. It is one of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites and was associated with the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism. The Otowa waterfall is located at the base of the main hall and its water is divided into three separate streams.
Nishiki Market – Nishiki market is an ideal choice for local food on a smaller budget. The food market has more than a hundred stalls that sell products ranging from snacks to filling meals. You can stroll across the market with all the delicious options available and have an authentic taste of local Kyoto. There are only a few seats available at the most so it is ideal to grab a bite on the go.
Fushimi Inari Shrine – The Fushimi Inari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Kyoto which is famous for the thousands of vermilion tori gates. The shrine buildings are very attractive and it is a unique experience to walk through the thousands of tori gates. They are built from the donations received from individuals and companies and the name of the donor is inscribed on the gate. To reach the summit of the mountain trail, it may take about two to three hours. However, visitors are free to walk as far as they want to.
Nijo Castle – Located in central Kyoto, Nijo Castle was built by the order of Japan’s last feudal military government. The castle has gone through physical changes of expansions over the years and consists of several building, moats, gardens and walls today. You can walk barefoot on the tatami mats that line the flour and let history come alive. The castle is a world heritage site which is divided into three areas- the main circle of defense, secondary circle of defense and the gardens that surround both the areas.
Gion – An iconic tourist attraction in Kyoto, Gion is the only place where you can see Geishas. The area is preserved in the style of the Edo period and this is where you can see Geishas hopping for their appointments. It is a beautiful place to explore the history and culture of Japan. You can explore the historical streets which defines traditional Japanese architecture.
Kyoto Station – The Kyoto station is a contrast to traditional Japan. The building has a futuristic design and a grid like layout. The station is not like a typical transportation hub, there are a number of shopping malls and restaurants in addition to a skyway. Tourists can spend an entire day at the station.
Kyoto is a mix of traditional Japanese religion and history and futuristic buildings. While modern architecture is clearly visible in Kyoto, it is dominated by the temples and ancient landmarks.