|Best of Kyoto, Japan
When people think of Japan, they often think Tokyo. This tends to happen for a lot of countries where the capital city, or at least one of the biggest cities in the country, is the most popular for tourists. Kyoto is a city that must be added to your must see cities if you are ever traveling to Japan. Although I didn’t get to go to Tokyo while I was in Japan, I did get to spend 3 days in Kyoto. To start, 3 days in Kyoto is not enough time to see the city. In comparison to Tokyo, Kyoto looks like a much smaller city, however, it is filled with cultural monuments that are spread across the city that you just don’t want to miss. If you are there for a short period of time like I was, here are my top recommendations of things to see.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
If you can only make it to one place while you are in Kyoto, make that be the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. I absolutely loved it here! I had never seen anything like this in my life so it was a very unique experience.
|Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto, Japan
The area surrounding the bamboo trees is also stunning to see. There are many cute houses in the area. Also, be sure to stop and try a green tea ice cream.
|Houses surrounding the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
On the main strip of Arashiyama, you can also find many shops and restaurants to shop and enjoy.
|Shops in Arashiyama
But for me personally, the best part was walking through the Bamboo Grove. If you want to enjoy it and not have to deal with a swarm of tourists, I suggest going as early in the morning as possible.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
|Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
You have probably seen many pictures from the Fushimin Inari Shrine if you have Googled Japan. More specifically, you have probably seen pictures of the torii gates pictured below.
|The famous Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari Shrin in Kyoto, Japan
This place was also a really cool place to visit. It is situated on a hill so be sure you are in good condition if you want to make it to the top (it is 233m high). Radojko and I only made it half way when we saw lightning off in the distance and decided to turn around and head back to the city (turns out it was nothing as the sky cleared up by the time we got to the bottom). But keep in mind that the further up you go, the less crowded it gets.
|View over Kyoto, Japan
Along the trail you will see hundreds of the torii gates, surrounded by beautiful Japanese nature. You might also spot this guy posing for a photo for you.
|Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
This was the last temple that Radojko and I went to visit on our trip, and unfortunately we did not have enough money left to get inside (credit cards were not accepted). I was disappointed that we didn’t get to go inside, but I was told by my parents (who visited the temple a month later) that it was absolutely beautiful and worth a visit. I also forgot my camera so I have had to borrow these pictures from my dad to share with you.
|Photo Credit: My dad. I forgot my camera in the hotel when we went to Kiyomizu-dera.
|Photo Credit: My dad. Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, Japan
The area around the temple is well worth the visit. There are lots of shops and restaurants leading up to the Kiyomizu-dera. If you stop in any of them, be sure to stop in the ones that sell banana flavoured mini rice cakes. They are absolutely delicious!
If you have come to Japan to see a Geisha, Gion is the place you want to go. There are a number of restaurants and cafes where you can see Geisha’s serving guests, but they come at a price. If this is the Japanese experience you are looking to have, then bring some extra cash and do your research for the best places to go. We unfortunately did not see any Geisha’s while we were in Gion, but that didn’t matter to us because the streets were absolutely beautiful. This is a very romantic area to walk around in the evening.
|Radojko walking through the streets of Gion, Kyoto, Japan
|Entrance to the Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
We visited the Yasaka Shrine at nighttime, and it was probably the best time to visit. It was not crowded, and the shrine was beautifully lit up, making the experience even more special. Yasaka Shrine is also known as the Gion shrine, so if you are in the area for an evening stroll, be sure to stop by here. You will not regret it.
There are many, many, MANY, beautiful temples, shrines, and areas to visit in Kyoto that I have not listed here. We were not able to make it to all of them, but out of the places that we did visit, these were my favourite.