The former Imperial capital of Japan for over one-thousand years, Kyoto is full of historic neighborhoods, beautiful gardens, quiet temples and colorful shrines. After arriving from Tokyo on the Shinkansen or “bullet train” to Kyoto’s modern and efficient train station, we walked the narrow streets of the Gion district where geisha still study their art and perform in traditional dress. Exploring the Nishiki Market and the streets in the surrounding neighborhoods was fascinating and exciting. From a vintage kimono boutique to a shop where craftsmen were sharpening and engraving knifes one never knew what they might see around the next corner.
We spent one morning visiting KinKaku-ji, the iconic temple covered in gold leaf. A fantastic place with beautiful gardens, we found ourselves transported to another time. The beauty and serenity were palpable, feeling more refreshed than when we arrived. On another day we rose before the sun to catch the first train out to Fushimi Inari-taisha. This shrine with over 10,000 vermillion Torri was so inspiring and photogenic it has already received a separate posting.
Beautiful, captivating, immersed in history, culture and formal tradition Kyoto is must visit when in Japan.