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Kyoto

Kyoto is old Japan, world famous for its incredible array of its UNESCO temples and shrines. The nostalgic images of archetypal Japan can all be seen in Kyoto; this is the place of perfectly raked pebble gardens, bamboo groves and vignettes of geisha disappearing inside traditional restaurants. Kyoto is a culturally rich city, relishing in its ancient traditions, it is like walking in a mysterious place.
You can never be bored in Kyoto, there are over a months’ worth of treasures to see and with this you are only beginning to scratch the surface. Here’s a short list of the best temples, shrines, museums, shopping, hikes and green spaces.

The Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of Japan’s most iconic images, dedicated to the Japanese Fox Goddess and is the lead shrine for almost 40,000 shrines across the country. Stretching 230 metres uphill behind the shrine are hundreds of red torii or gates. 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 you 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 major residence in Kyoto. It has many beautifully decorated reception rooms, it is also well known for its nightingale floors, a series of wooden floors that make a bird-like song when stepped on. The impressive gardens are amazing to wander around, especially during the cherry blossom season.
 
Gion District
The Gion District is the place to go if you would like to see Geishas and their Meiko’s. Here you will see them scurrying in between buildings heading out to an evening of traditional entertaining. This cobblestone area is lovely to walk around day or night with many restaurants in which to sample some of Kyoto's delicious and traditional food.
 
Philosophers Path
The 2km Philosophers Path is one of the highlights of a trip to Kyoto, the walk is very pretty and has many temples and shrines to visit along the walk, you could easily spend a couple of hours easily here.
 
Nishiki Market
Known locally as "Kyoto's Kitchen", the Nishiki Market has been selling the best of the best to the discerning Kyoto citizens for over 400 years. This lively market is a foodies paradise selling a wide range of culinary delights that Kyoto is world famous for. For Japanese knife enthusiasts it is 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 famed 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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