Have you ever thought of going to Kyoto? Kyoto is a famous place in Kansai region of Japan. It is a religious hub sort of a place in Japan. This culturally rich site receives endless visitors throughout the year. From Shinto shrine to Nishiki Market, Rock Garden to Manga Museum, it has endless places to visit. The place is not short of adventurous spots as well.
The place is exceptionally beautiful as well as its monuments. Those who have never been to Kyoto and are planning a short trip to Kyoto, may not be able to cover all the tourist destinations all by themselves. They may lose their time exploring not unimportant or ordinary places. Here we are giving a list of top 10 best things to do in Kyoto, which may make your trip an experience to be cherished for a lifetime.
Table of Contents
- 1. Ryoan – Ji’s Rock Garden
- 2. Explore Goblins and Ghost
- 3. Feel spiritual at Fushimi Inari Shrine
- 4. Eat some Omurice
- 5. Go to Uji City and learn the Green-tea production process
- 6. Visit Arashiyama
- 7. Treat your taste buds at Nishiki Market
- 8. Enjoy a Philosopher’s Walk
- 9. Nijo Castle
- 10. Observe some exceptional things at International Manga Museum
1. Ryoan – Ji’s Rock Garden
This is Kyoto’s most famous Zen Buddhist garden. People get attracted to the park, for the idea of 15 boulders. Actually, the boulder story is most talked about in Kyoto. In the Ryoan – Ji’s Rock Garden, there are 15 boulders, which are grouped in a way that if you see any one of the boulder from the garden’s veranda, you will not be able to see the remaining 14. In the garden, you will find dry-landscape as well as water bodies. The adjustment of the gravel and sand at some places even give the impression of rippling water. The experience you get here is extremely soothing for the soul.
2. Explore Goblins and Ghost
The idea seems a little awkward, but is not so for sure. A visit to Kyoto’s Yokai Street will clarify your doubt. Actually, the Shinto religion of Japan teaches their disciples many a lesson through some folklore. These folklores often include yokai (supernatural creatures) as a part of their story. When you visit Kyoto’s Yokai Street (which is one of the most populated shopping area) you will find many a handmade yokai monsters for sale. There, you will find a wide range and varieties of handmade ghouls and ghosts’ dummies. The yokai-themed events are the center of attraction for many tourists.
3. Feel spiritual at Fushimi Inari Shrine
The word Inari is used for the Shinto deity of rice and Japanese rice wine – Sake. It is said that the shrine dates back to the 8th century. It is located in the southern Kyoto on a wooded hillside. There are about 10000 orange and red gates, all entrenched with the name of those devotees who have donated and contributed in the built up of this shrine. It takes up about 3 hours to hike up the mountain and reach the shrine.
4. Eat some Omurice
If you are a frequent youtube watcher, you must have heard of the chef Yukimura Motokichi. The cooking tip of the chef became viral in the recent times. His Omurice became famous dish. Omurice or omelet rice is a local food of Kyoto and has got popularity recently. The technique of cooking the Omurice is quite interesting. Actually, the eggy content of the omelet is spread over the rice and it is topped up with demi-glace sauce. If you want to give treat to your taste buds with Omurice, you can visit various local food shops, and the popular one is Kichi Kichi.
5. Go to Uji City and learn the Green-tea production process
Uji City in Kyoto is world-famous for its green-tea-production. The best part of the tea estates is that, it offers tea-picking-tours to all tourists. It is sure that the lush tea fields will attract your heart. You can learn the delicate part of picking the best leaves for the tea, and make a fresh tea for yourself from them. Temomi is a hand-rolling technique which is used to make fresh tea out of the batch of harvested tea plants. You can learn this technique there. The firsthand experience of tea making will surely exhilarate you.
6. Visit Arashiyama
It is a serene mountainous place near the western edges. This is a very scenic spot for sure. Once you reach the Togetsukyo Bridge, you will be amazed by the cherry blossoms and fall foliage. Both of these depends on the season for sure. Take a paddle boat there if you really want to enjoy the scenery from a distance. Somebody, who is not much interested in the serenity and the scenery offered by the area can explore the market, gardens, temples and restaurants located on both sides of the bridge.
7. Treat your taste buds at Nishiki Market
The process of making something unfamiliar, familiar is most of the times an overwhelming experience. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese Cuisine, you can give it a try at Nishiki market and get overwhelmed by the experience. There are around 126 stalls of food specialties. Do not get confused due to absence of any English signboard explaining the name and ingredient contained in the dish. You can ask the shopkeepers, or try to start small.
8. Enjoy a Philosopher’s Walk
The Philosopher’s walk is located along Biwa Canal and is about a mile-long pathway. Here, Japanese philosopher – Nishida Kataro used to take a walk. It has been named in honor of him. It is surely a place to be visited by the poetic, philosophic and peace-loving soul. The flowers of cherry tree spread along the lane, abundance of cafes and shops around makes this place very attractive. The easy availability of buses from there also makes this place an easily sought out place by the visitors.
9. Nijo Castle
If you do not explore some history about the place you are visiting – the visit seems to be a total place. It is said that observing the historical architecture of any place gives you a good knowledge about the life and loves of the people living there. Nijo Castle is a palace constructed in 1603 by Tokugawa leyasu. It has a gleaming white structure with some beautiful wooden carvings inside. It is said that only the highest-ranking officials were able to reach the inner part of this huge palace.
10. Observe some exceptional things at International Manga Museum
Japan had a very strong position in the history. There are various museums depicting the strong heritage of Japan. International Manga Museum is different in the sense that it depicts the not only the historical but the current form of Japanese Art. Very a few museum concentrates on the present art. The museum was opened in 2006 and displays an awesome collection of Manga (a style of the comic). The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It remains closed on Wednesday. It is located near Karasuma-Oike station, so the tourists can very easily reach there.
The list provided has been compiled to the best of our knowledge. If you know any other thing or place which you feel that it must find a place in this list, please do share it with us.