The Fushimi Inari shrine is a Shinto shrine famous for its red torii gates: thousands of them line the path linking the entrance of the shrine to the summit of Inariyama. This makes Fushimi Inari truely unique among the many shrines of Japan.
The Shrine is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice. Most visitors enjoy a walk to the summit of Mount Inari which offers a nice view of Kyoto. The whole hike back and forth takes about 2-3 hours. If time is limited, there is plenty to enjoy at the Shrine’s entrance. Surrounding streets host lots of small stores with food and souvenirs.
The Umekoji Steam Locomotive museum is located about 20 minutes by foot from the central Kyoto station. The museum is dedicated to Japanese steam locomotives: it features 19 of them, stored in 20-track roundhouse surrounding the turntable. The main entrance to the museum is the old Nijo station that was moved to be part of the museum in 1997. An exhibition train ride occurs three times a day and lasts about 10 minutes.
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, abounds with historical landmarks but its main train station is far from anything ancient. The station was built in 1997 and is definitely futuristic by its architectural design. The station deserves the Tokaido Shinkansen line and many of the subway lines of Kyoto. A large number of hotels surround the station which is also located next to a large Isetan shopping mall. Don’t forget to visit the Ramen floor where one can choose among 8 Ramen restaurants!
The Sagano Scenic Railway is popular among tourists visiting the district of Arashiyama in Kyoto. The train ride starts from the Torokko station, located close to the JR Saga-Arashiyama station and follows the beautiful Katsura River gorge all the way to Kameoka city. The train is composed of panoramic cars that offer an unobstructed view of the gorge.
Kyoto, the wonderful old capital of Japan, never ceases to amaze. Ancient and sophisticated, Kyoto has a lot to offer from historical sites, splendid gardens to luxurious hotels and restaurants. For a taste of Japanese tradition, Kyoto is the place to go!
TENRYU-JI TEMPLE One of the best day trips from Kyoto’s city center, the Tenryu-ji temple is located next to Arashiyama’s famous bamboo grove. The temple is surrounded by a majestic garden that survived the ages.
YASAKA SHRINE Many shrines and temples in Japan are not accessible after sunset, but the Yasaka shrine, next to Kyoto’s famous Gion district, is open all night and is beautifully illuminated. The shrine becomes especially festive in the Cherry blossom season, with lots of food and beer stands.
GION, GEISHA DISTRICT Geisha’s are an iconic symbol of Japan’s sophisticated traditional entertainment industry. The art of Geishas is still alive in Kyoto. Gion is one of the most famous district where Geishas are found in modern Japan. As the sun sets, it is relatively easy to see Geishas and Maikos walking on Gion’s streets, heading to their appointments.
KIYOMIZUDERA TEMPLE The Kiyomizu-dera is an amazing temple overlooking the city of Kyoto. The temple is famous for its large wooden structure that allows it to stand above the surrounding forest.
HIGASHIYAMA HISTORICAL DISTRICT Higashiyama is a preserved historical district located on the Eastward slopes of Kyoto. The district has kept its traditional charm. The streets are lined with craft stores, cafes, and the ubiquitous souvenir shops.
The Tenryu-ji temple is without a doubt one of the landmarks of Arashiyama district and Kyoto’s region. The temple’s history, which is now listed as a world heritage, dates back to 1339. However, due to fires and natural hazards, most of the buildings were rebuilt about a hundred years ago or so. Its sumptuous gardens, on the other hand, are known to survive in their original form. The garden features a charming pond facing the temple and a sumptuous bamboo grove.
The Nonomiya Shrine is a small unpretentious shrine located in Arashiyama district. During the Heian period, imperial princesses spent year-long stays at the Nonomiya shrine to purify themselves before becoming representatives of the imperial family. On your way to the Arashiyama bamboo forest, you’ll have the chance too to purify at this charming and sacred site.