A little away from Tokyo this time: Kyoto.
Like Tokyo, it is one of the most visited places by foreigners in the world.
You never get bored visiting the place, really!
It is full of historic buildings and entertainment.
It is some of the places where you feel, “Ah, I’m in Japan now!”
I remember going to Kyoto with my brother when I came back from the States.
That moment was like a re-discovery of Japan to me.
When I was in my country, everything I saw in Japan was so natural to me that I didn’t really pay attention or notice the uniqueness of our culture…!
I’m sure you will be amazed to see things there.
Here are 3 things I recommend that you try in Kyoto.
1.Visit Amazing Temples and Shrines
It is the best way to learn about history and culture of Japan.
You can enjoy Sakura in Spring, Green leaves in Summer, Autumn Leaves in Fall, and Snows (if you are lucky!) in Winter.
Every season is beautiful and Temples and Shrines give different impressions.
There are hundreds of historic buildings(more than 1,600), so you cannot see the whole things within a few days but if you have enough time, you should definitely try to visit as many as possible.
Here are some of the major places.
Kinkakuji Temple (A zen temple covered in gold leaf)
Ginkakuji Temple (A zen temple with sand and moss garden)
Kiyomizu Temple (A temple with wooden stage)
Fushimi Inari Shrine (A shrine with thousands of torie/holy gates)
Shimogamo Shrine (One of the oldest shrines)
Yasaka Shrine(A temple between Gion and Higashiyama district)
And I recommend that you visit these places if you have more time!
Tetsugaku no Michi/Philosopher’s path
(Stone path along a canal. There are a lot of Sakura trees)
(One of the most important Zen temples in Japan)
(A temple where thousands of Kannon Statues)
(A temple with beautiful gardens)
(The head temple of Jodo sect of Buddhism)
2.Try traditional Japanese food and Drinks
You can try some refined and delicate taste of traditional Japanese food in Kyoto. They are carefully made and decorated beautifully.
Along with food, Japanese green tea is also very popular there.
Here are some of the popular kinds of food that you should try.
(I personally recommend this restaurant named Nanzenji junsei. They have amazing Tofu set!)
(Traditional Japanese multi-course dinner)Shojin ryori (Japanese Buddhist vegetarian dish)
(Japanese green tea)
3.Join Experience programs
Kyoto is a perfect place to learn about Japanese culture.
Joining some culture experience programs will surely make your visit memorable!
Here are some of the experiences that I recommend that you try.
Kimono wearing (You should care more about the quality than the price!Some of the cheap Kimono wearing experiences fake Kimono with wrong way of dressing that looks very embarrassing)
Tea ceremony (If you are not used to sitting on the floor for a long time, your legs will go to sleep so be prepared!)
Zen meditation program(Just like tea ceremony, it really improves your focus and help you get rid of stress. You must be quiet during the session so if you can’t stay still for a while, you should refrain from trying…!)
More about Zen, check this link: https://hidanotaka.com/zen/
Take Nozomi Shinkansen(the fastest bullet train)
(Time:2 hours and 15 min Price:14,110yen for one way, unreserved seat.
*The price is for the peak season.)
Take Nozomi Shinkansen
(Time:35 min Price:5,070yen for one way, unreserved seat)
Take JR Kyoto line
(Time:About 28 min Price:560yen for one way)
See you next time!
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