Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Kyoto, Japan: One Sleeve But Many Tricks

Posted on: March 26, 2012

Where do I start to begin describing my experience in Kyoto? Oh I know…

Temples and shrines. There are hundreds of the buggers here. Too many to count and certainly far too many to include on any tourist guide book. That being said there were a few that I made imperative to go and visit. More about this later…

One of the first sites I visited was Kyoto Tower. Sitting all big and tall opposite JR Kyoto Station it was conveniently placed to start ticking attraction boxes. Great city views from the top tower that helped to give some landscape perspective. I was then set to make Kyoto my bitch.

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During a casual walk from my hotel I just so happened to stumble upon Gion corner, main entrance to the Geisha district. It’s a strange existence walking in a peak urban landscape and only having to turn a corner to be met with cobbled streets and wooden housing set in small and tiny walkways. Anyone who has been to Old Town in Prague will know what I mean. Oh and of course there were Geisha’s. Many of them…

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The jewel in Kyoto’s crown is most certainly Kinkakuji Temple in the North East district of the city. As you can see from the photograph I took below, it’s a sight to behold in the flesh which no picture can truly justify its existence.

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Other sites visited include Nijojo Castle, Toji Temple, Ginkakuji Temple and Ryoanji Temple. Indeed I am thoroughly ‘templed-out’ now…

So with two out of my three days in Kyoto spent temple stalking, a day was left that needed an excursion that didn’t involve a shrine or temple. Once again Kyoto didn’t disappoint by offering the best shopping streets I have come across so far in Japan. Large malls. Tiny markets. The lot.

Nishiki food market was a particular delight with common-folk touting various local delicacies; ‘erbs, spices, tapioca tea and mini-squid. Yummy! All in a rather tranquil and evocative Diagon Alley-esque setting.

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Kyoto is a place where a total non-Japanese speaking gaijin can be made to feel wholly welcome. On numerous occasions I have been shown the warmth that I was promised before arriving at the station. From an old chap taking me to the door of my hotel (via the the bus may I add!!) to a this cute beverage message, Kyoto was as City as it was twee. Very impressed indeed.

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Next: Osaka.

P.S. I want this seat #BAPE

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5 Responses to "Kyoto, Japan: One Sleeve But Many Tricks"

Love Kyoto. Have you been to Inari jinja and Arashiyama?

I’ve been to Inari Jinja. I’ve stayed rather central and been unable to venture out to Arashiyama sadly 😦

I recommend this guy’s itinerary if you do go:

http://paulstravelpics.blogspot.jp/2008/09/northwest-kyotos-hidden-gems.html

But his blog is dangerous… you’ll end up wanting to go everywhere ><

Looks brilliant. Now if I can only wangle in a hyperlink with the anchor text “SEO services”, I’ll be off…lol

Jem

Now now Jem, that would be a negotiated link and we know how Google feels about that. Lucky for you, I’m willing to negotiate 😉

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