From Osaka we travelled to Kyoto, one of Japan’s more traditional cities. Here you can find lots of old Japanese temples and shrines dating back to 800AD. Over the years many have been burned down due to lightning or have fallen due to earthquakes but all have been rebuilt over and over and are now kept in immaculate condition.
Kyoto is also the home of the world famous bamboo grove pictured above. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of this before either on the internet or maybe on a TV documentary. You may have also seen Fushimi-Inari – the orange shrines pictured below. These large orange arches are placed side by side along a winding path that goes on for over 4km. It’s breathtaking! Possibly the most visually awe-inspiring place we’ve been to so far.
Kyoto is also the home of Kinkaku-Ji or the Golden Temple as it’s more famously known. This beautiful building is covered in gold leaf and if you visit it whilst the sun is shining it’s truly incredible. Just the reflection in the water is breathtaking enough.
We also got into our Japanese cuisine whilst in Kyoto. We tried our first taste of authentic Japanese sushi which was delicious, and we tasted (me very carefully) Fugu, puffer fish. If you haven’t heard of Fugu before it’s a deadly fish, only a select number of companies have the skills/authority to prepare this fish and then sell it on to restaurants.
You will also find Japan’s tallest Pagoda in Kyoto as well as many other slightly smaller ones. The temples themselves are of course stunning in architecture, however we found the immaculately manicured gardens our favourite! Each temple has beautiful grounds surrounding them with bright blue water, moss covered banks, stepping stone paths and patterned raked gravel. Each one is like a pathway into a secret garden. Photo’s just don’t do it justice!
Also in Kyoto I fell in love with a French Bulldog puppy, had photos taken with two very sweet ladies in traditional Japanese kimonos, and fed wild deer at Nara Park. We had 5 days here and it was the perfect amount of time to see and do enough to say we truly saw Kyoto.
Next we move on to Kobe, Himeji and Hiroshima. But first you can expect to see a couple of foodie posts about the delicious eats we had here.
See more posts from our travels throughout Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka.