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Most Popular Places Around Kyoto
What You Should Know More About Kyoto
· Keep the touts at bay.
· Do not entertain the beggars.
· Make sure you have acquired sufficient knowledge about the place you are traveling to.
· Learn the necessary words and their pronunciations whenever you are traveling to any new location.
· Do not get involved in any types of brawls or fights with the locals.
· Be warm and gentle towards the locals.
· Always carry with you at least one proof of your identity.
· Do not let anyone deceive you.
· Always make sure you sit in prepaid taxis or cabs. If you are unable to find prepaid taxis, it is a good idea to negotiate the fare before traveling.
· Do not override the local cultures and traditions.
· Do not get involved in drugs of any form.
· Do not drink more than you can handle.
· In case a particular area forbids you from clicking a picture adhere to it.
· Do not film or shoot without taking necessary permissions.
· If you are eating street food, it is good to check the quality before eating.
· Drink only bottled mineral water.
· Check for the seal before buying a bottle.
· Do not buy a bottle from a brad that isn’t known to you.
· Book a hotel in a renowned location only.
The legal age for drinking in Kyoto is 18 years.
Nijo Castle was built in the year 1603. It is completed with a moat, walls and towers and latter happened to serve as the seat of the government. The complex of the castle has a couple of buildings which comprise of several significant works of art and is known as the location which was chosen by the Emperor to issue the rescript abolishing the country’s once famous Shogunate. Some of the striking highlights of the Nijo Castle include the Higashi Otemon which is the castle's East Gate and the main entrance, the elaborate Mikuruma-yose and the Karamon or Inner Gate which is known for its fine carvings and the extraordinary metalwork. The most popular building here is the Ninomaru Palace which comprises of five separate buildings that are linked by corridors. It has exquisite interiors that are embellished wit the paintings of Kano Tanyu and his pupils. One significant apartment is the Hall of the Imperial Emissary that is adorned by the Tozamurai-no-ma, adjoining rooms and Ni-no-ma and with their paintings of tigers. Other things that may be prime interest include the adjacent building with its huge Audience Hall that is encompassed by a gallery and with a large painting of larches on the golden background and sliding doors. The fourth building here is the Kuro Shoin that has animal paintings by Kano Naonobu while in the private apartments of Shogun are the paintings of mountain landscapes.
Nishi Honganji Temple
Nishi Honganji Temple is the chief temple of the original Jodo shinshu sect. It is a phenomenal example of the Buddhist architecture. The striking highlights of the temple include the Main Hall or Hondo which was rebuilt in 1760 with a variety of fine rooms that were adorned with painting on gold backgrounds as well as a variety of important statues which go back to the 6th century. Also, something that can excite you is the Founder's Hall with its much-revered statue of Shinran. This statue was carved in 1244 and later concealed with a coat of lacquer mixed with its ashes. Another prominent building here is the Treasury or Daishoin with a couple of rooms named after the ceiling paintings and the exquisite wall that is adorned well including the Room of the Wild Geese, Sparrow Room, the Chrysanthemum Room with its intricate 17th-century paintings of flowers in white and gold by renowned artist Kaiho Yusetsu. Other things which may grab your attention is the Jodo Shinshu sect’s Higashi-Honganji Temple. The temple was founded in the year 1602 and has a number of fine examples of artwork. Only a certain section of this temple is open to the public so be assured that you make arrangements in advance of your visit to include the areas which aren’t normally accessible.
Kiyomizu Temple is located in the eastern part of Kyoto. It is a very renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located in the picturesque location on the Otowa Mountain which towers the city. Visitors who come to the temple for sightseeing can take a delightful stroll to the temple along the quaint Teapot Lane with its craft stores and small shops. Constructed in the AD 790, the Kiyomizu Temple is dedicated to the 11 headed Kannon who is the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. You can even find her statue here. The buildings that you see here were erected in the year 1633 in the period of the third Tokugawa Shogun. It stands majorly on the rocky outcrop high towering the Otowa Waterfall. Some of the most popular highlights of the place include the large terrace of the Main Hall that was built on the 30-meter tall pillars with 5 rows of cross beams. This was used as a stage for the temple ceremonies and dances. Going high up on the terrace, you can relish on the spectacular views over the city and its nearby surroundings.
Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine
The Fushimi-Inari Shrine is one of the most renowned shrines of Japan. It is a must visit attraction when you are in Kyoto. The shrine was found in AD 711 and is dedicated to the Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto, the goddess of rice-growing. The shrine is majorly frequented by tradesmen and merchants who come here and pray for prosperity. The main building of the shrine dates back from 1499. It features an arresting 4 km long avenue of the bright orange "torii," or arches each of which is dedicated to a business. Also distinguished are the several sculptures of foxes that are reputed to be the messengers of the gods.
Kinkaku-Ji: The Golden Pavilion
Golden Pavilion was originally built in the 14th century. Back then it happened to be built as Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s retirement villa. At present, Kinkaku-Ji is a Zen Buddhist temple and happens to be one of the most picturesque places to see in Kyoto. The temple has acquired its name from the gold leaf embellishing the two top of its three floors. This design element of the temple is known to help you get rid of any negativity that is associated with death. Golden Pavilion has been rebuilt to its original form a couple of times, the most recent of it being in the late 1950s. Situated over a large pond, the temple is largely known for its beautiful grounds as well as its Sekkatei Tea House and the old stone pagoda.
Sanj?sangen-d? Temple is the Temple of the 33 Niches. It gets its name from the rather unusual structure with its façade that is divided into 33 gen or niches together which reflect the belief that the Goddess of Mercy could take up 33 distinct prosopopeia. Built in the year 1164, the temple’s present elongated structure was constructed in the year 1266 after a fire destroyed its predecessor with evidence of the former importance as a place famous for training in archery. It is still seen in the many holes in its archaic timbers and pillars designed by arrowheads. The most spectacular of its several works of art is the Kannon with a Thousand Hands that has a nearly 3 and a half meter statue that has been around since the 13th century. It is notable for the 500 standing figures of Kannon that are fringing on the either side of it. Also, something that may catch your attention is the additional sculptures of the 28 "celestial auxiliaries” which are spirits considered subordinate to Kannon and are located behind it.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
The original Kyoto Imperial Palace was built in the AD 794. It was replaced a couple of times after being destroyed by fire. Till date, the palace happens to be the most visited historic sites of the Kyoto. The present building that you see here was constructed in the year 1855 and still never fails to impress you. It occupies a large enclosure near the heart of the city. Some of the top highlights of the palace include the finely decorated gates in addition to the chance to explore a variety of the palace’s most prominent buildings and rooms including the Courtroom, Imperial Library, State Ceremonies and the Emperor's Residence. While the arresting grounds of this tourist attraction of Kyoto are open to the public, the palace itself can be visited by tourists only as part of the guided tour which is conducted by the Imperial Household Agency.
Katsura Imperial Villa
Katsura Imperial Villa was originally constructed in the year 1624 for the Prince Hachijo Toshihito who was the brother of Emperor Goyozei. It is a home to one of the most famous historical gardens of Japan. The villa was designed by Kobori Enshu with assistance by the prince. This magnificent garden is laid out in a manner that the visitors always see the things from the front. It's smaller gardens are clustered around a huge pool with the summits of Kameyama and Mounts Arashiyama. Key highlights here include the many garden paths and the Miyuki-mon Gates. The paths here are made from the river pebbles. Another must see a place here is the veranda of Furu-shoin, that has been specially designed to permit the observation of the moon along with the three rooms of the Naka-shoin with its many beautiful paintings crafted by the leading artists of Japan.
Temples and Architecture
Undoubtedly, the first and the most obvious thing which comes to your mind when you think of this city of Japan is probably the temples here. The city has a huge number of temples. On paper, the city has 400 Shinto shrines and 1600 Buddhist temples. There is a good chance that these temples might be more than enough for a worthwhile holiday. So, if you enjoy exploring the different temples, Kyoto is your go to place. In the temples, you can attend a tea ceremony. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to relish on the green tea here. One of the best places to see here includes the Higashiyama district which is a home to the most impressive and the most crowded temples in the city. This definitely is the place to spot the best temples of Kyoto. Landscape
If you head to places like Higashiyama district, the landscape here is so spectacular that it almost looks unreal. You must plan a visit on the perfect sunny day and it will look as if straight out from a fairy tale. One of the vital sightseeing attraction is the Arashiyama that is largely known for its bamboo forests. Besides, Higashiyama this is the place you can’t afford to miss. To fully explore the beauty of the Higashiyama, you must linger around for a minimum of two days here.
The people of Japan and Kyoto, in particular, are the real highlights of your holiday in Japan. They are polite and extremely friendly. You can be assured of not even a single negative experience here. You can smile and request for a photo and they’ll happily oblige. You can even seek a recommendation from the locals and they’ll help you out in the best manner possible.
Visit Kyoto to Hang out With Cats
Let’s just face it, every picture looks better if it has a cat in it. True that Tokyo has abundant cat cafes and most of them are great however the chances to see cats are way higher in Kyoto than Tokyo. Cats and the beautiful landscape together make this a must visit tourist destination.
Shopping and Downtown
Besides the traditional temples and the scenic landscapes, another reason that will make you fall in love with the city is that it offers a phenomenal shopping district where you can shop for all the cute things as well as an interesting variety of food. You must shop for as many things as you like as these will be your souvenirs to remember Japan when you go back home.
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