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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 29, 2021
Headline for Top 05 Reasons to Visit Kyoto, Japan – A City That Offers Much to Discover
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 Reasons to Visit Kyoto, Japan – A City That Offers Much to Discover

The former capital of Japan, the city of Kyoto and its surrounding areas offer intrepid travellers plenty to experience. From visiting sites steeped in history and set amidst stunning beauty to sampling evocative cuisine, these are some of the key reasons why you should plan a visit here.


Historic Shrines & Temples

Showcasing the nation's rich religious heritage, Kyoto is home to countless shrines in and around the city. Amongst the main shrines to visit is the Fushimi Inari Shrine on the slopes of Mount Inari; dedicated to the Shinto god of rice, Inari, this area features numerous vermilion torii or shrine gates that you have to walk through which add to the site's charm. Also of note are Kyoto's many Buddhist temples some of which date back over a millennium. A great place to visit such sacred sites is Higashiyama home to ancient temples including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.


Nijo Castle

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the captivating Nijo Castle is a fine example of feudal-era, castle palace architecture in Japan. Due to its central location in the city, it's just walking distance away from properties such as Park Hotel Kyoto. The castle was initially established in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Edo Period's first shogun. Surrounded by moats and stone walls and featuring picturesque gardens, the site's main attraction is Ninomaru Palace. Here, you will find everything from intricate wall paintings and palace rooms to unique nightingale floors that make noise whenever stepped on; it was quite a novel security system!


Natural Wonders

Nature lovers have much to look forward to on their visit to Kyoto; hotel deals can be found at city properties within easy reach of subway or bus stations that provide convenient travel options to some of these scenic spots. This includes the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove home to thousands of bamboo plants that form an amazing forest that you can walk through; near this site is another fascinating attraction, the Arashiyama Monkey Park where you will also find adorable wild monkeys! Other sites known for their natural beauty include Mount Daimonji-yama which offers mesmerising views from the summit and the Uji River, a perfect place for a boat cruise.


Stroll and Zen Gardens

More of nature's serenity can be experienced at the various stroll or zen gardens in Kyoto, many of which can be found in temple grounds or shrines. One of the most famed stroll gardens is located at Arashiyama's Tenryu-ji Temple; designed by Muso Soseki, a well-known garden designer, this ancient garden is home to wonderful landscaped areas with a central pond set amidst pine trees and rocks. Equally impressive is the zen garden at the Ryoan-ji Temple; this is one of the nation's most famous rock gardens and features 15 rocks that have been positioned in small groups.


Delectable Cuisine

Kyoto has a rich culinary tradition and no trip would be complete without savouring some of its distinct dishes. It is a great place to try Japanese haute cuisine or Kaiseki, while it is also well known for tofu and Buddhist vegetarian cuisine or Shojin Ryori. For dessert, not to be missed are sweets known as Kyo-wagashi. On your foodie adventures, you can also sample ramen, tempura, sushi, unagi and more. Other highlights include traditional sake as well as matcha flavoured treats ranging from cakes to ice cream.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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