Visiting Kyoto Japan on vacation is an interesting clash of old and new.
It is a bustling metropolis with an old world flavor intermixed.
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Japan’s Traditional Culture
In Kyoto you will find more than 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines.
There are raked pebble gardens, poet’s huts, golden temples and many wonderful sites.
Temple of the Golden Pavillion
Kyoto is one of the world’s most cultural cities. Many of the images that define Japan have come from Kyoto.
Note: When you first come to Kyoto you will be surrounded by concrete and neon lights with a lot of tourist type hype. Like nature Kyoto is slow to show you her beauty and secrets. There is much beauty to be discovered. Patience is a virtue here …
This is the only remaining building left from the Golden Pavilion (a Zen temple located in northern Kyoto). The top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf! The impressive Kinkakuji structure overlooks a large pond. There is a fascinating history which includes the temple being burnt down during the Odin civil war (much of Kyoto was destroyed). The temple was burnt down again in 1950 by a frantic monk. The current structure was built in 1955.
The most famous Geisha district is found in Gion. It is located near the center of the city around Shija Avenue between Yasak Shrine and Kamo River. There are many teahouse where the guisha entertain. You can also visit theatres, restaurants and shops. Another main attraction of Gion are the traditional wooden merchant houses (machiya style) which is a Kyoto characteristic design.
More things to visit in Kyoto Japan
The Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is one of the most popular temples in Japan. It was founded in 780 AD east of Kyoto in the wooded hills on the site of the Otowa Waterfall (with pure waters). The most popular attraction is the wooden stage which stretches out from the main hall 13 meters above the hillside. From here you can see beautiful cherry and maple trees below. In the spring and fall there is an explosion of colors.
Kiyomizudera - Pure Water Temple
Founded in 1164 the Sanjusangendo temple is located in eastern Kyoto. The temple is famous for its 1000 statues of Kannon (goddess of mercy). The main hall at 100 meters is Japan’s longest wooden structure. The center has a large Kannon with 500 smaller statues standing neatly in rows on each side. Each of these statues is as tall as a human.
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