Five Great Attractions To Visit In Kyoto, Japan

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Kyoto

There are a number of wonderful vacation destinations available to visit in the nation of Japan.  One of the first things that will strike a first time visitor to Japan is the beauty of the architecture and natural areas that are located there.  There is a long list of beautiful cities in Japan, but at or near the top of the list is the city of Kyoto.  Kyoto is located in the central part of the island of Honshu.  It actually sits in a valley which adds to the physical beauty of the area because it appears to be protected and sheltered by the surrounding hillsides.

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The city of Kyoto is one of the most picturesque cities in all of Japan.  The hillsides that line the city are covered in natural foliage and beautiful homes, spas, and religious sites.  One of the most popular times to visit Kyoto is in Autumn due to among other things the beauty of the turning leaves set against the reds of the temple rooftops.  The three rivers that flow through Kyoto also add to the city’s charm and enjoyment level.  From the businesses to the religious sites, and so much more, Kyoto is filled with a huge array of fun attractions that tourists love to see and visit each and every year.

Sanjusangendo Hall

One of the most unique places to visit in all of Kyoto is Sanjusangendo Hall.  This religious site offers an incredible experience to anyone who visits.  Within the hall here are more than 1,000 life-sized wooden statues of the goddess of mercy, Kannon.  Walking throughout the facility is a very peaceful experience that can cause the visitor to reflect and focus on thoughts of the treatment of others.  This is also a functioning religious site and it is not uncommon to see one or more monks show up for prayer or ritual.  This site could easily be overlooked as it does not stand out based on it’s outward appearance, but it is definitely something that should be seen and experienced.

Kurama Onsen Hot Spring

Located just a short way away from Kyoto is the very popular and lovely Kurama Onsen Hot Spring.  Here visitors can relax and be pampered to their heart’s content.  The facility caters to locals and tourists alike, and is a wonderful place to visit and experience a relaxing and care free time in a foreign country.  This is also the perfect destination to keep in mind for anyone wanting to escape the loud noises, crowds, and neon lights that are a familiar part of city life.  The Kurama Onsen Hot Spring is situated in what is largely a rural area and the tree filled backdrop adds to the relaxing atmosphere featured there.  It is available for a daily visit as well as offering overnight accommodations as well.

Kiyomizu Temple

The Kiyomizu Temple is the most popular and most visited temple in the Kyoto area.  It is set on a hillside that is both beautiful itself as well as provides for a gorgeous view of the surrounding area.  The temple was built to honor Kannon, the goddess of mercy and is unique both in it’s appearance and it’s contents.  The surrounding plant life is lush and beautiful and adds to the natural beauty of the temple.  It is extremely popular in early Spring, but is well worth a visit at any time of the year.  A great way for the traveler to enjoy their visit even more is to visit the shops and restaurants that are in the surrounding area once their visit to the temple is complete.

Arashiyama

A small village worth visiting and within the Kyoto area is the community of Arashiyama.  This much loved town has a peaceful atmosphere and laid back lifestyle when compared to the on-the-go life that is found in the rest of Kyoto.  Arashiyama has a number of specific features that are popular with locals and tourists alike including the Tenryu-ji temple which is one of the 14 World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.  This is also one of the most picturesque spots in the Kyoto area and offers views of a small river, the Oi River, and the surrounding mountains.  A wooden bridge in the community, known as the moon crossing bridge, or Togetsu-kyo, is a very important local landmark that is appreciated for it’s simplistic beauty.  This is another of the natural areas in the region that serve as a great break from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

Nijo Castle

Another of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites is Nijo Castle, an ancient castle that was once the home of one of the most powerful men in all of Japan.  There are a number of interesting features of this castle including it’s unique architecture, the many views that can be had of the surrounding land from different parts of the castle, and the fact that the wooden floors are decidedly creaky.  The creaky floorboards were designed to be that way on purpose as a form of defense in that no one would be able to sneak up on anyone within the castle.  There are a number of interesting and important works of art on display in the castle that can be seen by visitors.  Visitors also rave about the relaxing walk along the castle’s moat.  A visit in the Spring means that the traveler will see everything that everyone else sees too, but the cherry trees will also be in full bloom.  A very important and beautiful sight worth seeing in the Kyoto area.

Kyoto is a fabulous city to visit any time of the year.  It welcomes visitors to it with a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, historical sites, and attractions for them to take advantage of.  The city offers a fun time to any visitor lucky enough to head it’s way.  The people of Kyoto are aware of how important tourism is to their economy and they take great pleasure in showing off a city that they are proud to call their own.  A visit to Kyoto is a great way for a vacationer to experience even the smallest slice of Japanese life.  Without a doubt, one of the top vacation destinations in all of Japan is the city of Kyoto.

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