Kyoto: What to see

Kyoto is one of those cities, at least in my opinion, that when you visit it for the first time you really have to go by the book. The city has some of the most famous shrines and temples in Japan and for a good reason: they are just breathtakingly beautiful. The city has, in general, a calm and relaxing aura to it, even in its busiest places, and overall it left a big impact on my memories of Japan.

Kinkakuji

Also known as Golden Pavilion, it’s a temple overlooking a pond in which the two upper levels are covered in gold.

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Arashiyama and Sagano

After crossing the Bamboo forest I suggest a walk on the bank of Hozu river, the view is amazing.

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Fushimi Inari Shrine

Most famous for its thousand torii gates, the complete walk up the mountain and back down takes about 2 hours, most visitors don’t go all the way up.

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Higashiyama and Kiyomizudera Temple

Higashiyama is one of Kyoto’s best preserved historic districts, a few steps away there’s Kiyomizudera Temple, with a stunning view of the city.

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Gion

Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. If you go there at certain hours you may catch a glimpse of one or two quickly moving from one house to another, but be sure to respect them because they’re on the job.

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Hanami-koji Street
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Shijo Avenue
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Shirakawa Canal Area

 

Pontocho

Picturesque alley filled with restaurants, most of those on the east side of the street offer open air dinning facing Kamogawa River during the Spring and Summer months.

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Nishiki Market

A long and narrow street filled with shops and restaurants.

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Sen no Kaze (千の風)

A small restaurant near Nishiki market, foreigner friendly with english menu, I recommend it for some delicious and inexpensive ramen.

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