Blog: Destination – Japan (Kyoto Part 3) by Leon Matigian
We were totally captured by Kyoto’s beauty and charm. Thank goodness we had booked to stay 6 nights in Kyoto as it just gave us enough time to visit and appreciate the main sights.
We strolled through Gion, which is well known for being the geisha district in Kyoto. We happened to be there in the evening looking for somewhere to eat when we saw limousines and taxis going by and stopping to pick up these well dressed geishas. Suddenly all the tourists including me, reached for our cameras to capture the moment. Needless to say that we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Kiyomizu Temple is a fantastic place to visit. It covers a large area on the side of the hill, with marvellous views over Kyoto. This 3 story pagoda beside the temple was very impressive. The temple itself has a large wooden verandah built on the side of the cliff offering a wonderful vista of the area and my camera worked overtime.
We enjoyed our guided tour to the Imperial Palace, which we had booked before we left to Japan. Although not the original structure, as the palace has been destroyed several times by fire, we still enjoyed the commentary by the very well English speaking guide about how the imperial family lived and governed for some 500 years before moving to Tokyo. The surrounding gardens, ponds with bridges and beautiful flower beds were very impressive.
Our last and best site to visit was the Fushimi-Inari Shrine. It is only 2 local train stops from Kyoto station and well worth the visit. We went there to pray, together with the Japanese people, for success and prosperity. Just behind the shrine there is this fantastic 4km pathway lined with thousands of smaller orange torii gates that lead you up the hill to enjoy magnificent views of Kyoto.
We consider Japan as one of the best destinations we’ve ever visited around the world and intend to go there again to cover other areas of interest including Osaka, Hiroshima and Hokkaido up north.
All images by Leon Matigian. All rights reserved.
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