Before my visit to Japan I envisioned busy streets, bright lights and a ton of sushi. Of course that is only what I know about Tokyo and Osaka. More subtle and relaxing, Kyoto is a place for travelers to escape the busy city and immerse themselves in the Japanese culture.
Kyoto is full of character and charm where you will find beautiful temples, parks, food and traditional geishas wandering the streets. Kyoto is Japan’s 7th largest city with a population close to 1.5 million people and one of the top tourist destinations in the country.
Here you will find the 6 most iconic sights you will only see in Kyoto.
- Name: Christine – Tour de Lust
- Age Group: 26-30
- Hometown: San Francisco
- Home Country: United States
- Country: Japan
- City: Kyoto
- Travel Duration: 1-2 days
- Travel Type: Regular
1. Kinkaku-ji Temple (The Golden Pavilion)
Kinkaku-Ji is a Zen Buddhist temple that I could not keep my eyes off of. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf. It was so peaceful and beautiful to look at, the gold building reflecting off the water is a worthy photo you will always remember.
2. Fushimi Inari-taisha
No visit is complete without a visit to the famous red torii gates. Fushimi Inari sits on a base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain which can take up to 2 hours where you are greeted with a gorgeous panoramic view of Kyoto.
3. Arashiyama (Bamboo Groves)
This beautiful bamboo forest is simply a must visit in Kyoto. You will be greeted by an utterly breathtaking vista of tall bamboos and find yourself in awe by it’s beauty.
4. Iwatayama Monkey Park
A place on top of a hill that overlooks Arashiyama with dozens of monkeys wandering the park. It’s a 20 minute hike up the hill to get to this oasis but well worth the trek! The monkeys are so cute and tourists are able to purchase bananas or peanuts to feed them.
5. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site. With beautiful views and cherry blossom trees surrounding the site this is a place I truly enjoyed visiting.
6. Philosopher’s Walk
Philosopher’s Walk is a pedestrian path that is planted with cherry blossom trees along the canal. The canal passes a number of temples and shrines such as Hōnen-in, Ōtoyo Shrine, and Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji. A must visit especially during sakura season!
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