Have you ever visited Japan? If so, have you ever been in Kyoto? Let me share with you 7 places to visit in Kyoto.
1. NISHIKI MARKET https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishiki_Market
You can find many kinds of Japanese Street food, all that you can think of. From Fresh -ice cold- cucumbers to Tako Tamago. Nishiki Market is registered as a Trademark attraction, and to enjoy a very Japanese meal, it’s a must when in Kyoto.
Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist structure with a red wooden gate at the entrance. It has multiples temples and a waterfall named Otowa, along with many other interesting things. Some people go to this place to dedicate their love and to seek matchmaking in a very religious way.
You can find more information here http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/en/:
You can find many areas like this one below
You will find statues wearing red hats and a bib, depending on the deity these represent. The Ojizo-sama statues for example, are the guardians of children (who passed before their parents). Grieving parents place the child’s bib on the statue to ensure this deity will protect their kid in the next world.
In Japan, the red color is associated to Japanese folklore. They believe that red is the color for expelling demons and illness.
In this experience I learned that Japanese believe that all living and non-living things have a soul.
Kiyomizudera means “Pure Water Temple”. This is the Otowa Waterfall (picture above), you are supposed to drink from the stream’s water. It is said that this water possesses the power to extend life, and grant success at school and in love.
3. SANJUSANGEN-DO https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjūsangen-dō
It’s famous for their golden Buddha figures and 28 guardian statues.
4. FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fushimi_Inari-taisha
The Fushimi Inari Taisha is dedicated to Inari: the god of rice, fertility, agriculture, industry and success.
The story goes like this: “An old rich man was practicing archery, using as a target a rice cake. Suddenly, the rice cake transformed into a white bird, and flew away. The white bird landed on a rice field and the man knew it was a message from god. Therefore, he dedicated a shrine to Inari, god of agriculture”.
You can find more information here http://inari.jp/en/
The god Inari is also the Japanese Kami (god) of foxes, fertility, rice, tea and sake.
The temple has thousands of red gates (Torii).
The complete path takes around 3 hours. You can always exit and return at any place if you feel tired – all the path is connected to the exits.
Torii, is a gateway that marks the entrance to the sacred Shinto shrine in Japan.
Kitsune (foxes) in Japan, are messengers of the gods, that is why you will find them as statues in Inari shrines. They carry a key in their mouths to Inari’s rice granary. Many item in the shape of foxes can be found as souvenirs.
In the return exit you can also find food and souvenir stands.
Kinkaku-ji is a beautiful Zen Buddhist temple. The top of the pavilion is covered with pure gold, and it’s a World Heritage Place. Once belonging to a powerful statesman, it was then converted into a zen temple. Kinkakuji is open from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is 400 yen for adults, and 300 yen for children.
You can check all the information here https://www.shokoku-ji.jp/en/kinkakuji/
The views are breathtaking. As any sightseeing spot, taking good pictures with the affluence of people makes it very hard. Do not waste any opportunity to take them anyway.
The powdered green tea is served in small amounts, and it is consumed in small sips. It is usually accompanied with traditional sweets.
The view is so peaceful that you will truly enjoy yourself, even if you are just sitting in the Tatami while drinking your Matcha. However, due to the high demand of the place, time is limited to couple minutes only – so enjoy it while you can!
You can not skip this place, although it is very crowded, it is a must.
6. NARA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nara,_Nara
The city of Nara is famous for its free roaming deer. The city has a rich history and culture.
You can find all the information here https://www.visitnara.jp/
The following picture is just an example of how everything in the Kyoto station is well labeled, and you can easily find the way to get to Nara – even tho it is another prefecture.
In Nara, you will find deer everywhere. They will bow towards you when you feed them. Be aware that sometimes they will follow you and chew on your clothes.
Please do not feed them with food. Really cheap (around $2) cookies are available for purchase if you want to feed the deer.
Nowadays, even the cookie’s packing material is made safe for them to eat – since in the past, many have died from eating plastic bags. Last year, one deer was found with more than 4kg of rubbish in its stomach.
Please keep your garbage in your purse or backpack until you find a trash/waste basket.
You can also visit Todaiji Temple https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tōdai-ji
Todaiji Temple – It’s a Buddhist temple. Historically, it stood to the east of the imperial palace, hence its name means the “Great Eastern Temple”. It’s considered an UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
Nandaimon Gate (Great South Gate)- is known for its giant guardian gods (wooden statues) protecting the temple from evil.
You can also enjoy buying some snacks-souvenirs that are very cute and thematic.
7. THE KYOTO CITY STREETS https://kyoto.travel/en/street/index.html
Wherever you look, you will find beauty. Kyoto is a rich cultural city.
You can roam around and you will always find attractive stores…
…or delicious street food,
and their unconditional love for Anime and their stores.
You can check out this store here: https://benelic.com/donguri/
It doesn’t really matter if you are coming with an itinerary, or you are just taking a risk choosing different places to visit – Kyoto is always a good choice.