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Kyoto

Nostalgic images of archetypal Japan are all satisfied in Kyoto; this is the place of perfectly raked pebble gardens, bamboo groves and vignettes of geisha disappearing inside traditional restaurants. Kyoto is truly a culturally rich city, relishing its ancient traditions.
Things to see and do:

The Fushimi Inari Taisha is  dedicated to the Japanese Fox Goddess and is the lead shrine for nearly 40,000 shrines across the country. Stretching 230 metres uphill behind the shrine are hundreds of red torii or gates, and this is one of the most iconic images of Kyoto. At the top you will be afforded will wonderful views back over the city.
 
Kiyomizu-dera overlooks the city and is a very popular attraction, the main hall is supported by hundreds of wooden pillars.
The Jishu or love-themed shrine is one for new or old lovers; there is a waterfall here, which oyu are to stand underneath collect water to drink and purify your soul.
Nijo-jo
One of the major highlights of Kyoto is Nijo Castle, built in the early 17th Century by the Tokugawa Shogunate as their residence here. It has many beautifully decorated reception rooms and is well known for its nightingale floors, a series of wooden floors that make bird-like song when stepped on. The impressive gardens are amazing to wander around, especially during the cherry blossom seaons.
 
Gion District
The Gion District is the place to go if you would like to photograph the Geishas. You will find them here, scurrying in between buildings and into cars, heading out to an evening entertaining. This cobblestone area is  lovely to walk around, and, apart from the Geishas and their followers, their are some lovely shrines and many restaurants in which to sample some of Kyoto's delicious food.
 
Philosophers Path
The 2km Philosophers Path is a lovely walk to take with throngs of Japanese who normally do this on a weekend. It's very pretty, and, with so many temples and shrines to visit along your way, you could easily spend a couple of hours easily here.
 
Nishiki Market
Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", the Nishiki Market has been selling the best of the best to the discerning Kyoto citizens for 400 years. This lively market is a foodies paradise. It sells a wide range of culinary delights that Kyoto is famous for, and is also the home of Aritsugu, the maker of some of the best Japanese knives in the world. There are many excellent places to eat within the market and just off its small side streets.
 
Ponto-cho
The nightlife area of Kyoto, small cobbled streets, lit by lanterns at night runs parallel to the river and here you will find some very good Japanese restaurants, known for its traditional teahouses and geisha houses and famous for the preservation of the buildings.
 

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