Kyoto – The Heart Of Japan

by erin on December 31, 2010

Kyoto is a city in Japan that is well known for the super modern, busy-city atmosphere that gets intermingled with the peacefulness and spirituality shrines and temples. Kyoto was actually the capital of Japan at one point, and it is very similar to the current capital, Tokyo, in many ways. Even in the middle of all the excitement of the city, you can still feel the ancient Japanese tradition. You will need a passport if you are planning on traveling to Japan, but online passport services can help you get started.

If you don’t have a passport or if you have a passport that is expired or lost, online passport services can help you get everything straightened out. All sorts of services are available, from online passport renewal to getting your first ever passport in time for a trip.

Kyoto is a city that boasts a total of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which is more than many countries have in total. Nijo Castle is just one of these World Heritage Sites. The entire complex was constructed in order to house the famed shoguns. Ninomaru Palace is mostly constructed out of cypress, and the other buildings feature stunning gold leaf details and wood carvings.

Nishi-Hongan-ji Temple is famous for housing the oldest Noh Theatre in the world, along with many other National Treasures. The breathtaking details – such as the intricate gates that are trimmed with gold – are what make this place so special. Kamigamo Shrine is another good place to visit, as it represents the importance of religion in Japan. Not only that, but it’s incredibly beautiful as well.

There are four imperial palaces and villas open to the public to tour, and they are popular attractions to see. The best time to see the palaces and villas is definitely during the fall when the leaves are changing and also during the spring, during cherry blossom season. Speaking of the cherry blossoms, Kyoto is definitely one of the prime places in Japan in which to view the cherry blossoms blooming.

Another neat place to see is Iwatayama Monkey Park, also called Monkey Mountain. This park features 170 Japanese macaque monkeys that roam around the park freely. Admission is required, but it is totally worth it. The monkeys aren’t afraid of humans, especially if you come bearing food.

Spend some time exploring the museums and gardens of Kyoto as well. Manga is a prevalent part of pop culture in Japan, and it’s recently become popular in the US. If you have someone who loves manga in your group, make a stop at the Kyoto International Manga Museum. The Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum is a great place to visit if you have someone who is interested in the evolution of the steam locomotive. The Kyoto Botanical Garden is the best place to escape the busy city for a while. It’s tranquil natural atmosphere does wonders for an exhausted traveler.

As you can see, your time in Kyoto will be filled with all sorts of historical, cultural, and naturally beautiful things to see and experience. Just don’t forget to purchase a passport well in advance of your trip.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: