5 Things to do in Kyoto
Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. It was also the former capital of Japan from 794 until 1868. With a 1.5 million population, Kyoto is one of the largest cities in Japan. There are thousands of shrines and temples in Kyoto and even if you live a lifetime in Kyoto, you would not be able to explore everything. While you have an endless of choices on what to do in Kyoto, here are my top 5 things to do in Kyoto.
5-Fushimi Inari Shrine
If you search for Kyoto on Google, this vermilion torii gates is one of the top photos that you would see. You can hike to the top and enjoy a beautiful view of Kyoto. You will also see a lot of fox statues in this shrine because they are known as the messengers of Inari, the god of rice. This shrine is free and does not require an entrance fee. To avoid the crowds, I highly recommend visiting really early in the morning or late afternoon to evening.
4-Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Another free attraction in Kyoto is this bamboo forest located in Arashiyama. You will be in awe of the tall bamboo trees. Since this is a free and touristy attraction, expect a lot of crowds and tourists. If you want to avoid them, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Just beside this bamboo forest is also another top attraction in Kyoto which is the Tenryu-ji temple. You can pay a small fee of 500 yen to enter and explore the temple.
Arashiyama is best known for the popular bamboo forest but just a few blocks away, you can find a hidden gem. Most tourists only visit Arashiyama for the bamboo forest but does not explore the nearby attractions. Kimono Forest is an underrated place in Kyoto where not many tourists know about this place. They light up during night time as well which makes it even more beautiful.
2-Experience a Kaiseki Meal
When travelling to a new place, I always make sure to try the local cuisine. Kaiseki meal is a must-try for anyone visiting Kyoto. It is an authentic Kyoto cuisine. Lunch course are much affordable than dinner so if you are on a budget, I highly recommend the lunch course. Aside from the authentic Kyoto cuisine, the experience is really amazing as well. The dining area is in a traditional room where there are tatami mats.
Sannenzaka slope, also known as the three-year slope is another must-see attraction in Kyoto. This slope is really popular in Japan, especially during the spring season. There are also traditional shops along this slope that is unique and can only be found in Kyoto such as the traditional Starbucks with tatami mats and studio ghibli shops.