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The Mesmerizing District of Kyoto

Updated on November 20, 2013
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Kyoto is one of the historical cities of Japan. A previous imperial capital of Japan, the city has survived the bombing attacks of World War II. The precious symbolic temples and shrines you can see in Kyoto are actually remnants from the past, whih have existed for centuries. Kyoto is famed for its xquisite architecture and culture and is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. Such recognition is one of the reasons why the city is worth a visit.

The fascinating view of Kyoto City at night

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Upon your arrival to Kyoto, you will probably be first exposed to a highly urbanized metropolis complete with skyscrapers and its state-of-the-art, glass-and-steel train station. However, you should not make immediate conclusions as the real gems of the city are its temples, shrines, and parks. And if you are patient, you will eventually see Kyoto's beauty slowly unfolding.

If you look at the map, Kyoto looks so small but it homes close to 1.5 million people

A markerKyoto -
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
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Kyoto is a city in the central part of the island of Honshu, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million

Entrance to Nijo Castle

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Kyoto's District and Divisions

Kyoto is divided into several districts, so if you don't know where to go, start from the Central District. In this district, you will find the magnificent Nijo Castle, which is the former home of the Tokugawa shoguns, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 1600s, the castle features traditional Japanese architecture, sliding doors, and wall painting masterpieces. The Central District is also home to the Imperial Park and the Imperial Palace, which can be accessed by the public through scheduled public tours.

Beautiful landscape in Japan

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Northern District of Kyoto

The Northern District contains numerous centuries-old temples and shrines, some of which are also World Heritage Sites. However, the first attraction you must visit in this area is the golden pavilion temple of Kinkaku-ji, which is world-renowned for its impressive design which reflects on the water and its surrounding beautiful and serene landscape.

Cherry Blossoms of Okinawa Japan blossoms as early as January

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A view of the Kamo River in Kyoto Japan

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The District of Gion

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The famous Higashiyama, Kyoto

Higashiyama in Eastern Kyoto is another interesting district to visit, with the picturesque Kamo River and the temple-filled Higashiyama mountains in close proximity. While here, walk the Philospher's Path, which follows a canal lined by a series of cherry trees. This incredibly scenic walk is about two kilometers long and features small shrines, temples, as well restaurants, shops and cafes along the way.

Another site in Higashiyama that intrigues travelers is the famous geisha district of Gion. Geisha are women who undergone rigorous and extensive training in the fields of performing arts for the purpose of entertaining customers professionally in social engagements. In Gion, you can easily spot charming Geishas and their apprentices called maikos attending events at anochaya teahouses. If you want to see these women in action, there is a regular cultural show held at the Gion Corner. Some of the regular performances conducted by geishas are traditional dancing, flower arranging and puppet plays.

Best Modes of Transportation in Japan

  • Walk
  • Bus / Tram
  • Ferry
  • Rail / Train
  • Cab / Taxi

Transportation in Kyoto City

Despite of Kyoto's lack of airport, visitors can still conveniently reach the city by landing at either of the two airports in the neighboring city of Osaka. The railway and road network between the two cities are quite efficient. Kyoto is also easily accessible from the country's capital Tokyo. A highly advanced bullet train service regularly travels in between the two cities, and the ride only takes about 2.5 hours.

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    • Mary Cimeni profile image
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      Mary Cimeni 4 years ago from Philippines

      not yet really but very soon I will be.. just waiting for a real good weather.

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      hlwar 4 years ago

      I want to go to Japan so badly, most especially Kyoto and Osaka! Have you actually been there?