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I must say, I liked Kyoto very much! If you are after a Japan cultural trip, go to Kyoto. I want to go to Kyoto because it’s the recommended place in Japan to see Cherry Blossoms! However, we came at the wrong season.
Kyoto is the old capital of Japan. It is very evident as temples and shrines are just around the corner side by side. You can also still see some women wearing their Kimonos, unlike in other places like Tokyo if you see women in Kimono, either its their job uniform or they really are in costume only hehehe.
Kyoto is tourist-friendly also, they have English translation at their trains and buses and road signs and directions too. Buses are very convenient to go to tourist spots, just approach any Information Booths and they will give you a list of numbers of Buses going to where. You can even ask them how long is the travel time so you can plan ahead which places you only intent to go.
I suggest you buy the Kyoto Bus and Subway Passes, 1 day is 500 yen for Bus only (good for Day Tourists like us) 600 yen for subway trains only which I don’t recommend coz you will miss all the sceneries around the city. Remember that 1-way fare in Kyoto is around 200yen so its very advisable to get this Daypass ;)
Places we visited:
1. Kiyomizu Temple
One of the oldest temple in Japan and one of the many UNESCO World Heritage in Kyoto. It is famous for its unique architecture style. Within its sacred hall lies a national treasure and from its cliff-edged verandah, the city of Kyoto and its surroundings are yours to indulge in. If you have time (unlike us), take a walk from Kiyomizu Temple going to the Heian Shrine whose garden is admired for its cherry and iris flowers in season, this shrine is dedicated to the first and last emperors to reside in the old capital. On your path, it is an attractive winding road lined with colorful souvenir, curio shops, pottery shops, Geisha house, and an array of small temples and shrines.
2. Nishijin Textile Centre
It is famous for its silk weaving. The highlight here is the Kimono Show. But luckily, they have the Try-It-On Kimono, so I took a shot and I enjoyed it a lot! It’s nice to feel it and understand why the Japanese were called “sakang” because the kimono is too tight and the slippers is too high and narrow, now I know coz me myself can’t walk properly hahaha!
Funny thing is tourists actually thought i’m one of the Japanese Kimono Models and asked to take photos with them, oha! But when their tour guide talked to me in Nihonggo I couldn’t even say any single word! That gave me away hahaha!
Try-It-On-Kimono (The making of the “Fake” Kimono Model hehe)
3. Market Nishikikoji where you can find lots of interesting local products here, because its just 5mins. walk to the Kyoto station only.