Recent Trips

KYOTO: City Highlights

They say Kyoto is the place to be in Japan if you want to have a good taste of culture and history. Indeed, it didn't fall short of beauty and cultural significance. We spent a weekend in Kyoto and noticed how different it was from Osaka. You won't find buildings and will see almost no crowded areas. Among many things to see in Kyoto, let me talk about the top three (as usual) that made an impression on me.

The Kinkaku-ji is the first thing I can think of, and is also the first destination we visited in Kyoto. The highlight here is the golden pavilion, which I suggest you visit in the morning so you can see its full beauty as it is surrounded by a pond that also serves as its reflective pool. The tour is pretty straightforward and simple - it starts with the front view of the pavilion, and goes on to a path circling around it.

Next up on my list is the Nij┼Ź Castle where I saw glimpses of cherry blossoms. Since it was winter, they have not fully bloomed yet. So going to Japan for cherry blossoms might be an agenda for next time. Aside from having a great garden area, the castle takes up a big land space, and is surrounded by stone walls.

The last one is my personal favorite, the Fushimi Inari-taisha made iconic by its thousand torii gates. The walk to enter the shrine is already interesting to begin with for the street leading to it is filled with local food stalls where you can try different kinds of food from mochi balls to steaks. From inside, you can roam the shrine buildings themselves, and already explore the mountain trails of Mt. Inari, the mountain in which this shrine sits.

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