Kyoto… It is a city at the heart of Japanese culture and history. Before Tokyo, it was the capital of Japan. Today unlike other cities in Turkey, it is not full of skyscrapers, but still has relatively low buildings, temples, places in the UNESCO World Heritage List and geisha wandering around in colorful kimono. For me it is the most interesting and enjoyable place in Japan.
There are many things to do in the city and many temples to visit. My suggestion is to do some research on temples before you go to Kyoto and pick one or two that you will like the most. Do not forget to include Fushimi Inari, perhaps the most famous temple in Japan, on your list.
With a history dating back to 711 and more than 10,000 torii gates, it is one of the most magnificent temples in Japan. The walking route, which is completed by passing all of the Torii gates, takes 1.5-2 hours. All of these doors were made with donations. The size of the gates varies according to the donation amount. Donors visit this temple every year to wish them continued success.
Another temple I would recommend in Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera. It is quite a beautiful place with a wooden terrace overlooking the cherry trees. Another beautiful temple in the area where Kiyomizu-dera is located is Yasaka. Especially the tiered pagoda is quite nice. It is quite pleasant to walk between these two temples. In the shopping streets Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, you can find many souvenir shops that will make your head spin. While you are here, do not forget to eat the desserts made from matcha powder. Since these are products that must be consumed very fresh, you need to finish them in one day.
It is also one of the most famous neighborhoods of Kyoto in this area. Gion there is. This is a place full of restaurants and tea houses, where you can see real geishas walking around in their kimonos, where the geisha culture still continues. If you like the clothes of geishas, you can rent a kimono and tour the streets of Kyoto in this way, a method especially liked by Asian tourists.
My last two suggestions for downtown Kyoto Tower and Nishiki Market. Although the Kyoto Tower is not as high as the towers in other cities, it offers a very beautiful view, thanks to the fact that Kyoto is generally a low-built city. Nishiki Market, on the other hand, is an address where you can find many things about food. Especially the shops selling seafood are extremely interesting. Also, “In Japan, melon costs 100 usd.” You can see the grocers here, where you will realize that sentences like these are not superstitions.
My favorite place in Kyoto is the Arashiayima district, located outside the city. You can get here by bus or taxi, or you can rent a bike from Kyoto. The traffic and the roads you will pass are ideal for cycling. Moreover, if you are on a bicycle, you can escape from the tourist crowds and visit lush places. Arashiayima is like a place straight out of the movies. When you see people pulling wheeled seesaw-like vehicles, the environment will seem extremely surreal to you.
The reason why tourists flock to Arashiayima is not only because it is a cute place, but also because it has an enormous bamboo forest. The bamboo forest is so beautiful and orderly that it is an expression of Japanese perfectionism.
One of the most interesting temples in Japan for me is in Arashiayima. Although not a very popular temple, it is definitely worth a visit. The fate of the Nenbutsu-ji temple, which was destroyed by a flood and a typhoon, changed in 1955 thanks to a priest who came here. The priest asked those who visit the temple to make statues called “rakan”. Since each sculpture was made by a different person, fun and absurd sculptures emerged. The number of sculptures has reached 1200 until today.
Kyoto and its surroundings will make you fall in love with it in a short time with its places to visit and its warm atmosphere, and Japan is a place that will be the star of your trip.