Kyoto, a very special city whose name alone brings Japanese history and culture to life. It is home to many World Heritage sites, ancient temples, abundant nature, and traditional Japanese culture. Let us take you on a journey back to the good old days of Kyoto. Let’s begin the journey.
The first place to visit is the Kinkakuji Temple, the symbol of Kyoto. The shining golden building is worth seeing. The scenery is unforgettable. Kinkakuji was built by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, a military commander of the Kamakura period. His ideals and sense of beauty are concentrated in this temple. When you look at its golden color for the first time, you will feel as if time has stopped.
The next stop is Byodoin Phoenix Hall. Here, the elegant architecture of the Heian period (794-1192) and the lotus pond coexist in perfect harmony. The Amida Nyorai statue displayed inside has been giving people peace of mind for more than 1,000 years. The view over the pond of Byodoin is beautiful in every season, especially the autumn leaves in fall are breathtaking.
Stepping further into the deep history of the area, we come to the Arashiyama district. As the name suggests, the district is surrounded by mountains, and offers a seasonal view. The bamboo forest paths of Arashiyama are especially mysterious and beautiful. Tall bamboos cover the surrounding area, swaying as the wind blows through, and the sound is like a symphony of nature. It will take you from the present day to the distant past.
And of course, one cannot forget Gion. Here, the traditional streets of Kyoto still exist. Walking through the alleys, you will feel as if you have stepped back in time. This area is also known as a hanamachi (flower town) where maiko and geiko work.
Head for Horyu-ji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan. The Yakushi Sanzonzo statue and the Yumedono hall, both designated national treasures, fascinate visitors with their intricate carvings and beautiful colors. Take a break here and experience the beauty of the ancient craftsmen’s skills and art.
Finally, visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple to enjoy the night view of the ancient capital. The night view from the illuminated Kiyomizu-no-butai (stage of Kiyomizu) is spectacular, especially during the special nighttime viewing. Walking along the cobblestone streets, the stillness of the night and the faint lights emanating from the temple will transport you to a time long past.
Kyoto is not only old, but the beauty and atmosphere created by its antiquity and the lives of its inhabitants make it a special place. You will immediately notice this as soon as you step into the city. Cobblestone streets, traditional townhouses, beautiful gardens, and above all, the deep history and culture of the place. All of these elements combine to create the story of Kyoto as it was in the good old days.
Kyoto is such a fascinating city that spins a new story for each and every visitor. As you visit Kyoto, you yourself will be a part of it. We hope you will truly enjoy seeing your own story interwoven into the tale of good old Kyoto.