Although I am a city person, the countryside has always attracted me. When I decided my travel itinerary to Japan, I planned only 2 days in Kyoto. Trust me, even a month is less to see real Kyoto. Given a choice, I would love to spend my life in Kyoto. A city which is steeped in culture and where the echoes of past can be heard.
As soon as you step out of the ultra-modern Kyoto station, you will feel a Zen like calm in the air of Kyoto.
The Reasons which made me fall in Love with this Imperial Capital
As you move from the ultra-modern Kyoto center towards the old alleys of Gion, you can feel like you are in midst of a movie.The traditional wooden townhouses are known as ‘machiya’, will take you back to the Old Japan. These wooden townhouses which were at one time the abode of many merchants and traders are now converted into shops, restaurant, and even Vacation rentals. You can even consider staying at ‘machiya’ to experience the feel of real Kyoto.
Best Macha Desserts:
Initially, I wasn’t a fan of Macha, but if in Kyoto you have to try those attractive drool worthy Macha desserts. We tasted quite a few, however, nothing can beat Macha ice cream in a cone.
Forest Bathing at Arishiyama Bamboo forest:
What can be more magical than taking a dip in the serene Bamboo forest? The Arishiyama Bamboo forest is one of the most beautiful & picturesque sights of Kyoto. Walking amidst bamboos and watching those sunlight flares passing through the tall bamboos is itself magical.
Temples worth stopping at:
Kyoto, a land of culture has more than 2000 temples, and each temple has a story to tell. Every temple has a unique feature. Crafted in gold the Kinkakuji will leave you splendor by its beauty, or maybe a beautiful Zen garden that surrounds Ginkakuji, or watch lanterns of Yasaka Shrine. All we wanted was to sit quietly and contemplate the Zen calmness.
A walk through Thousands gate:
One of the most impressive shrines of Kyoto. Fushimi Inari, is a unique shrine where thousands of Tori gates are lined up along the pathway which leads to the top of Mt Inari, It is one of the most amazing parts of our journey, where we wanted to get lost with those amazing view of Orange gates with the lush green backdrop of the forest.
Wandering the streets of Gion, just to catch a glimpse of Geisha, surrounded by many tourists like us.Ever since I watch the flick “The Memoirs of Geisha”, I wanted to see them in person. Catching Geisha is the most alluring tradition of Japan. Geisha is the female entertainers who are trained in various arts such as dancing, singing, music and more. After passing through those alleys, getting the feel of Old Japan, still, we were not able to spot Geisha. But the reason of exploring those alleys itself made our experience beautiful.
We savored each moment we spent in Kyoto, a city which is still clinging to the old ways.