Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, while now it is a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, gardens and imperial palaces. Shinto shrines, and traditional wooden houses. Compared with other cities in Japan, Kyoto was lucky to have avoided a lot of the bombing in WWI, and so remains well preserved to this day.
Take a stroll through the Higashiyama District and experience the feeling of travelling back in time, occasionally crossing paths with a Geisha. Stop by the Kiyomizude Temple to ask for blessings from the Buddha, and don’t forget to admire the whole of eastern Kyoto from the temple balcony.
Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood lies the Philosopher’s Path. In springtime it is lined with blooming cherry blossom trees, exploding in pockets of pink. Enjoy the views nearby, experience a traditional tea ceremony or delve into the local Tofu cuisine.
The last stop to sum up ancient Kyoto must be the Fushimi Inari Taisha. Here you get to witness a shrine of thousands of Tori Gates, side-by-side, a sight you won’t see anywhere else in Japan and a vision which defines Kyoto as a city.
Drop by the west side of Kyoto and visit the Arashiyama Bamboo park, a place where you can take in the feeling of zen while walking along the lush green bamboo trees. If you go early in the morning, the crowds are much quieter, and the air is still fresh and crisp. Next, climb up to the Arashiyama Monkey Park to see monkeys playing, and also to admire the beautiful skyline of modern Kyoto dusted in pink cherry blossom clouds.
Christine Ong is a twenty something Mathematics graduate still figuring out what the world has to offer. While spending three years living in London, she travelled to Norway, Morocco and many other parts of Europe, documenting her adventures through her passion for photography. She is currently based back in Malaysia, exploring as much as Asia as she can. Her stories have appeared on Townske, as well as ROAM Magazine.