14 December 2016

5 THINGS YOU CAN'T MISS IN KYOTO

In love with Kyoto
Kyoto is a world away from what you find in Tokyo. I adored it, with its stunning Japanese gardens and beautifully built temples, it's a perfect place to zen out and escape the technological, modern city life. From bamboo groves to beautiful cherry blossoms...

See Kinkaku-ji Temple 
The Golden Pavillion is one of the most famous temples here in Kyoto and with stunning landscapes surrounding it, you'll have a relaxed day exploring the gardens. Prayer tokens can be found hanging, as well as a tea house and statues to throw coins at for well wishing. Kyoto is one of those perfect places for wandering around in total peacefulness and I love it for that.

Maruyama Park for Cherry Blossom Trees 
Kyoto is perfect for enjoying the Sakura Trees - wandering down the streets you'll be amazed the way they line the streets or head to Maruyama Park and enjoy the weeping cherry tree get lit up at night during cherry blossom season (March-April). Even if you don't get a chance to visit Maruyama Park, you can find them almost anywhere clouding the streets with their romantic pink hues. 


Stay in a Ryokan
A ryokan is a traditional room in what's best described as an inn. It is all about providing a glimpse into Japanese lifestyle and hospitality and usually feature communal baths and onsens. The rooms contain very little furniture and when we arrived, we only had a small table in the middle of the room for eating at. When we came back later in the evening, the staff had laid out 4 futon beds on the floor, accompanied by robes and slippers and you can choose to have a traditional Japanese meal spread too. It seems very basic and doesn't have all of the modern conveniences of a regular hotel but it is worth indulging on when in Japan, plus we all had one of the best sleeps on these futons!


Immerse yourself in the entertainment district of Gion
It was quite a surreal experience, walking through Gion and seeing the geisha's and meiko's scurrying the streets. I was so mesmerised by their makeup, the costume, it's nothing like you'll ever see and Gion is one of the most popular destinations for Geisha's. It almost feels like you've gone back in time, as you're surrounded by wooden buildings and teahouses lining the streets. 

  

Explore Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
It was amazing to walk through Bamboo Grove, where tall bamboo trees create a beautiful pathway to walk through - it feels like you're stepping into The House of Flying Daggers (props to anyone who has seen that film). It's magical and a completely surreal feeling that can't be missed on a trip to Kyoto. 


Travel Tips
Getting to Kyoto from Tokyo is very straightforward and you can choose to go by bullet train, which can be quite costly so try to get yourself a Japan Rail Pass before you go. These are strictly tourist rail passes and you can only buy them from outside of the country. They give you unlimited travel on bullet trains and Japan's rail system including the metro in Tokyo. Such good value for money since one bullet train journey can cost almost as much as the whole pass!
We forgot to buy ours before we left so another alternative is travelling by sleeper bus - which isn't as bad as it might sound. The seats recline almost all the way back and travelling overnight saves you a night in a hotel! Kyoto is a wonderful, cultural experience and a must do in Japan!



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1 comment

  1. Professional photos again!! I'm definitely going to make sure I see everything in Kyoto

    ReplyDelete

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