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Traditional Japan

Kyoto Travel Blog

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Geisha at Kinkaku-ji temple
Kyoto has the biggest concentration of temples I have seen since Angkor! There are so many beautiful shrines and in all honesty, every one of them is worth seeing. On our first night we visit Yasaka Shrine, which will remain my favourite temple throughout my visit in Tokyo and Nara. Situated at the base of a hill on the east side of Gion, it blends beautiful architecture with nature. Impressive wooden shrines leading to a beautiful park, a great place to relax. And if you ever get thirsty don't worry, there are plenty of vending machines around! The temple is open 24 hours and is best visited at night when it's quiet.
Kinkaku-ji Temple


We head back to Gion, one of the most popular areas of Tokyo and home of the famous Geisha who can always be seen walking down the narrow streets in their beautiful attire, usually entairtaining a group of local businessmen.

The next day we visit the Golden Kinkaku-ji Temple. I can only imagine the satisfaction the architect must have felt upon completing the temple.  Coated in gold, it peacefully sits in the middle of a lake, surrounded by trees. The Imperial city doesn't get more imperial than this.. We then make our way to Ryoan-ji Temple, famous for its gravel garden. I notice that each temple is Kyoto is very unique, both in the way it is built and in the scenery surrounding it.

The last day I go on a daytrip to Nara, the former capital of Japan. Todaiji temple, situated in Nara park, hosts the largest wooden Buddha statue in Japan. Visit Nara if you like temples!

It is worth noting the contrast between Tokyo and Kyoto.
Lanterns at Kasuga Shrine
Two cities worlds apart and both of them a necessary part of any Japanese itinerary. On one hand you have the future, on the other the past. Kyoto, with its traditional culture, quiet atmosphere and more approachable people is more down to earth and offers a unique experience of this incredible country.

During my stay in Kyoto I spend most of my time hanging out at IchiEnSou guesthouse, even though this isn't my hostel. A traditional guesthouse with a very warm feeling to it and people that will make my visit here one to remember for the rest of my life. There is something in the air that makes Kyoto so memorable... Kyoto can easily become the highlight of your trip to Japan.
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Geisha at Kinkaku-ji temple
Geisha at Kinkaku-ji temple
Kinkaku-ji Temple
Kinkaku-ji Temple
Lanterns at Kasuga Shrine
Lanterns at Kasuga Shrine
Rock garden at Ryoan-ji temple
Rock garden at Ryoan-ji temple
detail from Ryoan-ji temple
detail from Ryoan-ji temple
5 storey pagoda, Nara
5 storey pagoda, Nara
Torii marks the entrance to Nara p…
Torii marks the entrance to Nara …
Deer in Nara park
Deer in Nara park
view of Nara from Todaiji Temple
view of Nara from Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple, containing the wor…
Todaiji Temple, containing the wo…
The wooden Buddha inside Todaiji t…
The wooden Buddha inside Todaiji …
being affectionate with a deer
being affectionate with a deer
the streets of Gion at night
the streets of Gion at night
18,927 km (11,761 miles) traveled
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photo by: ys484