One of the best-preserved cities in Japan, Kyoto offers not only a rare look at what was once the country’s imperial city for more than 1,000 years, but also some of Japan’s greatest cultural relics. More than 2,000 Buddhist temples, shrines, palaces and gardens lie within the limits of the Kansai Region city. Kyoto was spared from World War II atomic bomb attacks for a reason. Now here are five reasons you should consider visiting:
Shutterstock Gardens |
Kyoto is revered for its gracefully beautiful gardens, like the one at the famous Shinto shrine, Heian Shrine (pictured). The Zen temple of Ryoan-ji is noted for having one of the best Japanese rock gardens in the country.
Shutterstock Fushimi Inari Taisha |
At the foot of the towering Inari Mountain sits the entrance to Fushimi Inari Taisha – the head shrine of Inari (the god of rice). The main shrine structure was built in the late 1400s, but much of it was relocated several centuries before that.
Shutterstock Nishiki Market |
If you’re looking to get a genuine taste of Kyoto, head to Nishiki Market. This downtown marketplace has provided Japanese residents and tourists alike with items like delicious, fresh octopus, candied fruits and aromatic teas for more than 400 years.
Shutterstock Ginkaku-ji |
Translated to the “Temple of the Silver Pavilion,” Ginkaku-ji is a popular Zen temple set in Kyoto’s picturesque Sakyo ward. It was built in the 15th century as a retirement home for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa who originally intended the temple to be covered in silver foil.
Shutterstock Arashiyama |
Sprawled along the western edge of Kyoto is the district of Arashiyama. Nearly 200 monkeys roam the grounds at the Iwatayama Monkey Park in the foothills of Mount Arashiyama, not far from the enchanting Sagano bamboo forest.
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