I’ve dreamed of visiting Kyoto since childhood. Drawn by its history and culture, Kyoto has always been a top destination on my must visit list. It is a city surrounded by nature and a blend of modern and traditional architectures – everything I love in one location. Kyoto is the cultural and historical heart of Japan where you can experience the old ways.
I enjoyed three days in Kyoto during my short trip in Japan. The days passed by in a blink of an eye as my inner child came to explore.
Here are seven of my favorite places in Kyoto:
1. Kamogawa River
The Kamo river runs through Kyoto prefecture and divides the city in two. There are constant activities around the river – walking, biking, picnics, and couples on dates. It’s the perfect location for peace and quiet.
Known as Japan’s “geisha district”, it features traditional architectures and a plethora of shopping and dining. The best part about Gion is wandering aimlessly and stumbling upon shrines and intimate side streets.
3. Yasaka Shrine
Centrally located in Gion, you cannot miss Yasaka Shrine. It is easy to spot with its imposing vermilion gate. It is home to Gion Matusri, one of Japan’s largest festival. Click to read more on Yasaka Shrine!
4. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Arashiyama is one of the most iconic sites in Kyoto. It is home to thousands of tall bamboo stalks that gently sway back and forth. It is a peaceful experience to watch and listen to the bamboos rustle as soft light filters through the thick stalks.
5. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
One of the most visited temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is located at the base of the eastern Higashiyama mountains. It was under restoration when we visited but still a sight to see.
6. Sannen-zaka and Ninnen-zaka
Located at the base of Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka and Ninnen-zaka are preserved pedestrian streets that offer a window into Japan’s past. Marvel at the sight of traditional buildings as you watch kimono clad women and men walking through the winding streets.
7. Fushimi Inari Taisha
You cannot visit Japan without visiting Fushimi Inari. It is famous for its seemingly unending thousands of vermilion torri gates that wind through the hills behind the shrine. A truly majestic place. Click to read more on Fushimi Inari!