Kyoto, Japan, has long been considered one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Once the capital of the nation, Kyoto is now an ultra-modern haven that retains a great deal of its ancient charm.
To see some of this long-established glamour, make your way to Kyoto Tower. Just two miles east of the tower is Gion, an entertainment quarter and home to many of Kyoto’s famous geishas. As you walk east through Gion, you’ll find even more old architecture, including several Ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns. Many date back to the Edo period, which ranged from 1603 to 1868.
During your Kyoto tour, take a rickshaw ride to the Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka districts, where cars are prohibited and traditional teahouses and temples adorn the nearby landscape. Kyoto is known as “The City of Ten Thousand Shrines” for good reason. Walk through the great open plazas of the Haian Shrine, or spend a quiet moment in the intimate confines of the Shorenin Temple and its beautiful gardens.
The most famous of Kyoto’s temples is Fushimi Inari-taisha, a stunning red complex that sprawls over Mount Inari, which is named after and dedicated to Inari, the fox spirit. A hike to the summit takes about two hours, and will lead you through thousands of colorful sub-shrines and thick, ancient forest. Once you’re at the top, you’ll have a stunning view of Kyoto.
What is your favorite part of Kyoto?
Visit our Kyoto travel guide page for more information or to plan your next vacation!