Japan – Kyoto

The next stop on my Japan trip was Kyoto. I took a high speed train from Nagoya to Kyoto, which took only a few hours. I was overwhelmed by the amount of things I wanted to see in Kyoto, since I only had a few days there, so I started viewing immediately after leaving the train station. I went to Toji, where there was hundreds of golden buddha statues. The view was beyond spectacular, but out of respect for the culture I didn’t take any photos as it is considered to suck the soul from the statue, or something like that.

2017-06-25 Japan 487

After visiting Toji I took the local metro, and walked to the place I was staying at, called the Uraraka Guest House. I thought it would be ready by 3pm, but it wasn’t, so I dropped off most of my stuff, and walked over to Nijo Castle in the Nakagyo ward. This castle was really neat and was completely surrounded by a moat! The castle was built in 1679, and was actually used all the way until 1939! Some of the buildings have suffered from multiple fires and typhoons.

2017-06-25 Japan 4892017-06-25 Japan 4902017-06-25 Japan 492

After visiting the castle I went back to the guest house to relax for a bit before heading out for the evening, where I spent my time in Gion district, which was phenomenal. There was so many amazing beautiful sights, geisha’s, amazing ramen, beautiful gardens, and a tiny little back street called Kiya-machi Dori. Picture’s don’t even do this place justice!

2017-06-25 Japan 4972017-06-25 Japan 5032017-06-25 Japan 5052017-06-25 Japan 5062017-06-25 Japan 5072017-06-25 Japan 5102017-06-25 Japan 5132017-06-25 Japan 5152017-06-25 Japan 5162017-06-25 Japan 521

The next day I visited the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, which was actually just a 30 minute train ride from the city, but technically still part of the city. This place was breathtaking, I’ve never seen this many bamboo trees before, and certainly none this tall. I experimented with my camera a bit to get the shot I was looking for. After walking through the forest (which is actually quite small), I stumbled on this beautiful riverfront, where I saw locals doing Cormorant fishing. Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method where trained cormorants are used to fish in the rivers. This tradition dates back to 960 AD!!!

2017-06-25 Japan 5392017-06-25 Japan 5472017-06-25 Japan 5502017-06-25 Japan 5512017-06-25 Japan 581

Later on in the evening I met up with two friends who also happened to be visiting from Calgary, Haley and her boyfriend. We spent the evening walking the Gion district and had some delicious ramen!

2017-06-25 Japan 5262017-06-25 Japan 5272017-06-25 Japan 5362017-06-25 Japan 580

The next day was a very special one for me. I got to see so many beautiful shrines, beautiful architecture, and eat delicious food during the day, but my highlight was going to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine to watch the sunset from the top of Mt. Inari. This site has over 10,000 Torrii gates, all painted orange. This place is beyond breathtaking. I felt very spiritual to be there.

2017-06-25 Japan 5552017-06-25 Japan 5962017-06-25 Japan 5992017-06-25 Japan 6052017-06-25 Japan 5632017-06-25 Japan 5702017-06-25 Japan 578_luminar

Stay tuned for my next post, where I travel onwards to Osaka!