I had my trip to Kyoto more than a month ago, but I couldn’t cope and just start writing this blog. I was wondering why it was so hard for me and it’s probably because during this trip I was so mad with other travel bloggers and do they write. I read so much misleading information online and when I realized that it was not true I got disappointed even though the city is totally worth visiting and exploring. The things are that most bloggers firstly don’t learn about Japanese culture, but just write about what they think is true.
Today I will share with you places which I believe is worth visiting and my advice on what to expect here. Also if you are interested in Temples and Shrines in Kyoto you can read about it here.
Kinkaku-ji, Golden pavilion, 金閣寺
Firstly, we went to Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) which is a temple in northern Kyoto whose two floors are completely covered in gold (well… golden paint). The villa became a temple after Ashikaga Yoshimitsu death in 1408. This place has also a nice park around where is nice to take a walk.
Address: Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine, 1000 Torii gates
It’s probably the most Instagramable place in Kyoto! And there is a reason for that. Fushimi Inari Shrine is 1,300 years old for the God of bountiful crops and prosperous business, this shrine has the tunnel consisting of more than 1,000 torii gates! If that’s not something worth seeing then I don’t know what is.
Also, did you know that it was believed that red colour of the torii gates has power against supernatural powers.
By the way, a funny thing that usually this place is super crowdy, but one corridor is left for taking pictures so everybody could have their perfect shots.
Yasaka Pagoda (八坂の塔) is in Higashiyama District in eastern Kyoto City. It’s the famous landmark of the district and also one of the most photographed places in the whole of Kyoto. By the way, you can actually enter inside the pagoda.
Kiyomizu-dera temple, 清水寺
This was one of my favourite temple which I visited in Japan. And trust me I visited a lot of temples. Among Kyoto’s temples, Kiyomizu-dera has a long history and is registered as a World Heritage site. Also, the shrine is on a hill so you can see the whole city’s panorama.
This is a nice forest to visit for sure. It can be crowded during the day and quite hard to take a nice photo, so better go there early in the morning. I want to stress this please be respectful and don’t destroy the nature around you. Recently, I read on Bored Panda that tourists are leaving their initials on bamboos, please don’t do that. Also, in more touristic place there were more trash, please take it with you.
The Kimono Forest is located in beautiful Randen Arashiyama station, which is just off the main street of Arashiyama near the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cylinder-shaped pillars in a variety of colours and patterns stand in rows like a bamboo forest. The pillars are made with fabric dyed using the traditional Kyo-Yuzen method. Around 600 pillars make up a “Kimono Forest”.
I recommend to visit it during the evening because the Kimono Forest is illuminated at night from sunset to 9 pm. Lights installed in each of the kimono pillars light up the beautiful Kimono Forest from creating an unforgettable forest.
Kawadoko is nice to experience for everybody, tourists and locals. It is catching noodles going through the bamboo pipe. Although, it is not easy to get to this place and it is normal to wait at least an hour to enter the place and then an additional hour to actually get the spot. The whole experience last like 5-10 minutes. But its totally worth it, I love that I had an opportunity to do that.
Check my video, how catching noodles looks:
Food markets really reflect the culture of the food of the city. That’s why I usually like to go to markets and taste local foods. Although Nashiki market didn’t really impress me, that’s probably my problem. Well, yes most of the sellers sold quite the same type of foods. The truth is I didn’t really know what to taste and many things looked too strange for me. Although, I found one video which explains what is worth tasting:
Gion (祇園) is a district, which used to serve as the entertainment district and best known as home to Geisha. Its worth wandering around this district but…
Actually this was the part where I was disappointed because many blogs wrote that you can see real geishas walking in this street. Well….no! These girls are just Japanese tourists who are wearing traditional summer kimono – yukata. It’s quite famous in Japan to wear traditional clothing when it is a celebration or you visit an important place. ( Facepalm )
Arashiyama is a touristic area outside of the Kyoto city, and it is popular for important monuments and nature. Togetsukyo Bridge (渡月橋) is a symbol of the Arashiyama area. I recommend to have a picnic in this area or just to enjoy the city. By the way if you want to interact with monkeys you can do it next to the bridge, just climb the hill where is a monkey park.