When people think of Japan they tend to think of Tokyo first, and it's not hard to see why. After all, Tokyo has the flashy lights and glamour. But anyone visiting Japan owes it to themselves to visit Kyoto as well. Kyoto is in a lot of ways the opposite of Tokyo. It feels more homely and down to earth than the metropolis Tokyo is, with its smaller streets, numerous parks and temples. Kyoto's history is present on its streets, which makes it a wonderful city worth visiting on its own. To help you explore this beautiful city, we recommend you visit at least these 5 places to make the most of your trip.
Arashiyama feels like few other places in this world. As you walk down the trails you're surrounded by what seem like endless fields of bamboo as far as the eyes can see. The smells of bamboo fill your nostrils and feel so calming as you explore these long long trails full of nature. At the end of the bamboo trail is also a monkey park where you can feed the monkeys by hand!
This temple is absolutely stunning to look at, with its large golden pavilion being the first thing that strikes your eye. It's situated right in front of a pond, which is absolutely stunning to look at, and the perfect place to rest your mind.
This shopping street is full of local food to taste and a great place to feel more of the hustle and bustle of the city of Kyoto. Kyoto is famous for its tofu, and it's well worth a stop to try out if you're able to! Tofu ice cream and locally made tofu are plentiful in this market.
This castle dates back to the Edo period of Japan, and was the head palace during that time. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, Nijo Castle is easy to visit due to its central location in Kyoto. Nijo Castle offers tours and is still in beautiful condition.
One of the "Five Great Temples" of Kyoto, Tenryuji is often ranked as the best Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. This temple is absolutely massive and boasts stunning architecture that dates back to the 14th century. It also features the original garden built for the temple, which is extremely peaceful to walk through. Tenryuji is located next to the Arashiyama Bamboo Groves.