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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 26, 2021
Headline for 05 Unforgettable Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan – The charms of an ancient city
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05 Unforgettable Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan – The charms of an ancient city

Kyoto has been Japan's Imperial Capital for more than 1000 years now and the best part about the city is that it maintains a perfect balance between modern and ancient! Expect to see white-faced Geishas scurrying away for an appointment, traditional teahouses and much more! Here are a few unforgettable things to do here.

1

Hike through Tori Gates

If you love hiking, that's great, because Kyoto offers an experience so unique, it'll be engraved in your memory forever! Fushimi Inari is one of the most iconic places to visit in Japan with thousands of Tori gates winding their way up a mountain towards a temple. On your way, you will be passing smaller shrines with little fox statues and miniature Tori gates as well. The fox is believed to be the messenger of the god Inari known to be the Shinto God of Rice. Try your best to avoid the crowd by starting your hike here by 6 am or after 8 am. For a completely different feel, hike through the pathway in the night! It certainly is a mystique experience.

2

Wander Around Gion and Southern Higashiyama

Southern Higashiyama is one of the most well-preserved areas in Kyoto with cobblestone streets, wooden tea houses and Geishas roaming the streets by evening. There are countless temples to visit in this area alone. Most foreigners like to rent traditional kimonos and explore these streets in full traditional Japanese style. Yasaka-Dori, Nene-no-mich, Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka and Ishibei-koji lane are a few places that you simply cannot miss out on.
Gion is the famous Geisha area where elegant looking visons clad in colourful kimonos and painted in white set out on their errands. The streets at night are lit up with lamps and the atmosphere is absolutely magical!

3

Enjoy the View from Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera is yet another unique attraction to visit and experience in Kyoto. If you want to avoid crowds, it's best to be here by about 6 am. The temple is open quite early, but you will have to pay an entrance fee to visit. The temple was built back in 778 AD and is one of a kind as the main wooden hall was built with no nails at all! This hall is home to the magnificent statue of god Kannon with eleven faces and a thousand arms. One of the weirdest things to do here in Kyoto would be to visit the Tainai meguri within the premises and step into the dark to make a wish!

4

Stroll the Philosopher's Path

If you happen to visit Japan in Spring, the Philosopher's Path is certainly a place that you cannot miss out on. This is a pedestrian walk by a canal that is lined with entrancing cherry blossom trees. It was believed to be the path used every day by the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro for his meditation. The path emits a different kind of vibe that will leave you refreshed at the end of your 2 km walk. It connects Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji temples. You can also hop into smaller temples on the way.

5

Spend a Day in Arashiyama

Nor far from many Kyoto accommodation options the likes of Park Hotel Kyoto; this is the famous bamboo groves of Japan. The crowds here make it very difficult to enjoy it for what it really is, still, that doesn't mean that you should miss out on the attraction. There are several temples to visit around here as well so set off for a day at Arashiyama.

  • 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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