This eight hour itinerary takes you through some of the most traditional sights, including the World Heritage Nijo Castle, the golden temple, a shrine that features a tunnel of one thousand red torii gates, and Kiyomizu Temple, another great sight of World Heritage. All of this can be enjoyed in a packed day of Kyoto sightseeing. We hope that this helps you to plan a perfect itinerary for your tip to Kyoto.
1. Nijo Castle
At the World Heritage Nijo Castle, the obvious highlight is the array of Japanese gardens, each of which offers its own elegance and style. Ninomaru Garden offers a glimpse into the Edo period. Honmaru Garden is typical of the Meiji period and created under instructions from Emperor Meiji himself. And finally, Seiryu Garden, which offers Showa period landscapes of stones around a vast pond. All three gardens frequently appear in top ten lists that represent the best gardens of Japan.
Another World Heritage Site, and perhaps one of the most beatiful temples in Japan. Kyokochi Pond which sits below the temple reflects the shine of gold like a mirror, and is simply incredible to look out during a winter season that has brought with it snow. But you can enjoy Kinkaku all year around, when the temple itself stands out against a backdrop of seasonal nature.
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3. Fushimi Inari Shrine
This 1,300 year old inari shrine is now the headquarters for 30,000 smaller inari shrines across Japan. The highlight of a trip to Fushimi Inari Shrine is the row of 10,000 red torii gates, said to have been placed here because of a tradition of making a wish, and donating a gate to the shrine so that the worshipper's wish would come true; a custom that still happens to this day.
Take the Kiyomisu-zaka road through winding streets of small souvenir shops to the top of Mt. Kiyomizu, and atop you will find this incredible World Heritage temple. The temple is stunning, and includes a variety of sights and things to do, including entering the ‘womb’ of Daizuigu Bosatsu, taking part in old traditions, and exploring the Moon Garden. The view from Kiyomizu-dera is another feature that makes this temple one of the most visited spots in Kyoto.
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