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Kyoto is synonymous with traditional Japan.
Having the highest concentration of cultural treasures in the entire country this historic
city is a must-see destination for travellers hoping to get a glimpse of old Japan.
A little over 2hrs west of Tokyo by bullet train, Kyoto is surrounded by mountains on
three sides and is located 40km inland from Osaka.
Laid out similarly to the contemporary Tang capital from China, Kyoto was the home of
the emperor and the capital of Japan for over 1000 years.
And as a result, it developed into the center of high culture, politics, and craftsmanship.
Although the city suffered damage many times in the past due to wars and natural disasters,
fortunately it was spared during World War II.
Today, Kyoto's main attractions include countless temples, shrines, gardens, and other
historic buildings, many of which are part of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.
The city is also renowned for its cuisine and crafts.
Even if you stayed in Kyoto for a month, it would be difficult to see everything it has to offer.
So, here are our Top 5 Recommendations in Kyoto.
Number Five: Kyo-Kaiseki
Kaiseki is traditional Japanese style high-class
(or haute) cuisine which is served in multiple courses.
Kyo-kaiseki is the Kyoto style of kaiseki which is particularly refined, and focuses
on highlighting the subtle flavors found in Kyoto's local seasonal ingredients.
Each dish is carefully designed by a chef are presents a different aspect of Japanese cuisine.
Usually the meal takes between one to two hours, will include 8-12 courses, and will
finish with a shokuji course consisting of rice, miso soup
and pickled vegetables followed by dessert.
One of the best places to enjoy a kyo-kaiseki meal is while staying at a ryokan in Kyoto.
Usually a stay at one of these Japanese style inns includes this multi-course dinner which is
served to you right in your room.
If you're not staying at a ryokan, kyo-kaiseki can also be
enjoyed at numerous specialty restaurants throughout Kyoto.
And during summer, many restaurants in Kyoto, including some that offer kyo-kaiseki
will provide terrace dining experiences where guests are served outside
on platforms built over flowing water.
Two popular locations for terrace dining are along the Kamogawa River in central Kyoto,
and in the scenic Kibune valley to the north of the city.
Although kyo-kaiseki meals can be a bit expensive, we think this traditional culinary experience
is well worth the price when visiting Kyoto.
Number Four: Arashiyama/Sagano
On the outskirts of western Kyoto lie the districts of Arashiyama and Sagano
which have much to offer.
This area was a former retreat for emperors,
and the Saga Emperor especially enjoyed taking retreats here.
Although it has become somewhat touristy, it's still very pleasant both in the center
of town and in the more rural-feeling Sagano area.
Some of the main attractions of this area are:
The beautiful Togetsukyo Bridge, especially during autumn
Tenryuji Temple which is ranked first among Kyoto's great Zen temples and is part of
Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Site
The famous bamboo grove which is located directly
next to Tenryuji Temple.
And the monkey park on the hill across the bridge.
In the wooded hills north of the bamboo forest there are many smaller temples to explore as well.
To see more of this area in a unique way, there is also the Sagano Scenic Railway.
This is a 25 minute sightseeing train ride which will take you through the beautiful
Hozugawa river valley. This ride is often combined with a Hozugawa River cruise back to Arashiyama
in a traditional Edo era boat ride which takes about two hours.
Number Three: Kinkakuji & Ginkakuji
On the north side of the city stands one of
the most recognizable buildings in Kyoto, Kinkakuji (also called the Golden Pavilion)
whose top two floors are covered in gold leaf.
It is one of the sites that make up Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Site
and was originally built as a retirement villa by the highly influential shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
In accordance with his will, after his death in 1408 it became a Zen temple which it remains today
Now visitors explore the well manicured grounds on paths that wind around the main building
and past other attractions such as a tea garden and a few other temple halls.
Interestingly, on the East side of Kyoto stands Ginkakuji (or the Silver Pavillion) which was
built several decades later as a retirement villa by Yoshimitsu's art obsessed grandson,
Ashikaga Yoshimasa and which also has become a UNESCO site.
Although never covered in silver, Ginkakuji became the base for contemporary Japanese
culture known as “Higashiyama culture” which had great impact on Japanese society
nationwide and spawned many of the traditions that represent Japanese culture today
such as the tea ceremony, poetry, and garden design.
Number Two: Kiyomizudera & the Higashiyama District
Perhaps Kiyomizu's most eye catching feature is the 13m tall wooden stage which projects
from the front of the main temple building.
During the Edo Period, tradition held that if you survived leaping from this stage to
the ground, your wish would be granted.
However, now this practice is prohibited.
Near the stage you'll also come across the iron spear of legendary strong-man warrior-monk
Benkei which visitors are encouraged to try and lift.
At the bottom of the temple grounds runs the Otowa Waterfall whose famously pure waters
are split into three streams.
Each stream's water is said to have a different benefit: longevity, success at school, and
fortune in love.
However, drinking from all three is considered greedy.
Kiyomizu-dera is located in the Higashiyama District which is one the country's best
preserved districts with numerous outstanding temples, traditional streets, and photo opportunities.
Aside from the numerous shops, a few specific highlights are Kodaiji temple, Yasaka pagoda,
Yasaka Shrine, and Maruyama Park to name a few.
Many tourists will make a half-day out of seeing Kiyomizudera and exploring this atmospheric district
Number One: Fushimi Inari Shrine
Perhaps one the most awe-inspiring places
to explore in all of Japan is the Fushimi Inari Shrine which is located only two train
stops from Kyoto Station on the JR Nara line.
Although it is the head shrine dedicated to the rice Goddess Inari of over 30000 Inari
shrines across the country, this location is internationally famous for the thousands
of vermillion gates which cover the mountain trails behind the main shrine building.
Each gate was donated as an offering by an individual or business.
The larger the gate, the larger the donation.
The most iconic section of trail is found where the path splits shortly after the entrance
and is called the Senbon Torii which literally means “one thousand gates."
As visitors continue up the mountain there are various rest areas, vendors, and side paths to explore.
About half-way up is the Yotsutsuji Intersection which has multiple restaurants and also provides
the best view of the city on the whole hike.
Hiking all the way to the summit takes about an hour to an hour and a half.
Kyoto is full of many more worthwhile locations
and we hope this Top 5 list helps you planan enjoyable trip.
For more information about any of the places mentioned in this video or to explore another region
click the links on the screen now, or head over to japan-guide.com,
your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan.
Thanks for watching, and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Japan.
Happy travels.


Top 5 Things to do in Kyoto | japan-guide.com

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Summer 發佈於 2020 年 4 月 28 日
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