What are the best places to see in Kyoto?
Kyoto is a city that is popular for its rich cultural heritage, stunning temples, and beautiful landscapes.
However, many tourists often miss out on some of the hidden gems that Kyoto has to offer. In this article, we will explore the top 10 hidden gems in Kyoto that you should add to your travel itinerary.
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine:
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine is one of the most popular shrines in Kyoto, but there is much more to it than just the famous torii gates. Beyond the crowded gates, you can find some hidden gems like the Yotsutsuji intersection, which is quieter and offers a unique perspective of the shrine. You can also explore the Omokaru Stone and the Okunoin Cemetery, which are off the beaten path and offer an intimate and peaceful experience.
Tofukuji Temple is another hidden gem in Kyoto that is worth exploring. The temple is known for its stunning autumn foliage and quiet ambiance. You can take a stroll through the Tsutenkyo Bridge, which offers a breathtaking view of the autumn foliage. You can also visit the Hojo Garden, which is a small yet beautiful garden that offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city.
The Nishiki Market is a bustling market that offers a variety of local food options. It is a hidden gem that is worth exploring to get a taste of the local cuisine. You can try some of the famous dishes like fresh seafood, Japanese pickles, and wagashi (Japanese sweets). The market is also home to some unique shops that offer traditional Japanese items like knives, pottery, and chopsticks.
The Philosopher's Path is a peaceful walkway that is lined with cherry blossoms in spring and autumn foliage in fall. It is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape from the crowds. You can take a leisurely stroll and appreciate the beauty of nature. You can also visit some of the nearby temples like Ginkakuji and Nanzenji, which offer a glimpse of Kyoto's cultural heritage.
Kifune Shrine is a mystical shrine that is located in a secluded mountain village. It is a hidden gem that is worth exploring for its unique experiences. You can try fortune-telling or water fortune-telling, which are unique to the shrine. You can also hike through the lush forest to reach the Kurama-dera Temple, which offers stunning views of the city.
Kyoto Imperial Palace:
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is a grand palace that offers a glimpse of Japan's imperial history. It is a hidden gem that is worth exploring for its stunning architecture and historical significance. You can book a guided tour to learn about the palace's history and appreciate its beauty.
Kurama-dera Temple is a serene temple that is located in the mountains outside of Kyoto. It is a hidden gem that offers beautiful scenery and a peaceful escape from the city. You can hike through the lush forest to reach the temple, which offers stunning views of the city. You can also attend the Tengu festival, which is held in January, or visit the hot spring for a relaxing experience.
Gion Corner is a cultural center that offers traditional Japanese performances like tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and geisha dance. It is a hidden gem that is worth exploring to get a glimpse of Japanese culture. You can book tickets in advance to attend the performances and appreciate the beauty of the art.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove:
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a breathtaking bamboo forest that is located on the outskirts of Kyoto. It is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape from the city and a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature. You can take a leisurely stroll through the bamboo forest and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The forest is especially stunning in the early morning when the light filters through the bamboo leaves and creates a magical atmosphere. You can also visit some of the nearby attractions like Tenryuji Temple and the Togetsukyo Bridge for a complete Arashiyama experience.
Kyoto is a city that is steeped in history and culture, and there is much more to it than just the famous tourist attractions. In this article, we have explored the top 10 hidden gems in Kyoto that are worth exploring to get a more intimate and authentic experience of the city.
From the serene bamboo forest of Arashiyama to the mystical Kifune Shrine, there are hidden gems for every type of traveler in Kyoto. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or nature, there is something for everyone.
Exploring Kyoto beyond the tourist hotspots is a great way to appreciate the city's true beauty and immerse yourself in the local culture. So, the next time you visit Kyoto, be sure to add some of these hidden gems to your itinerary and discover the city's hidden treasures.
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