The two main attractions in Kyoto are the beautiful temples and gardens and the narrow laneways in Gion. I visited Kyoto for the first time in 2007 and was absolutely enthralled by the atmosphere. This week the magic escaped us – maybe because it rained a lot but also because we’ve already seen many beautiful places that were less commercial. However we’ve still got a few photos we would like to share…

Yasaka pagoda around the corner from our flat

We stayed in Gion, a charming traditional area with secretive looking bars, kimono-dressed tourists (we still didn’t see the real thing) and temples galore. But our closest neighbours were small ‘hotels’ named the Love Inn, Mona Lisa and Sunday Brunch – typical love hotels where couples can go for a bit of privacy.

Gion laneway
Gion laneway
Restaurants overlooking the main river in the centre
Restaurants overlooking the main river in the centre
Nishiki is the main food market
Nishiki is the main food market

We already showed you the gardens, here are a few details from Tenryu-Ji Temple in Arashiyama, on the outskirts of Kyoto

Detail at xx temple
Original gate at xx
Most buildings have been reconstructed after fires, this is an older original gate

Walking back from Ginkaku-Ji along the canal, on what’s known as Philosopher’s Path:

... with canal-side artist
I went off to check some local artworks…
Philosophers' walk
… while Nick philosophised

We don’t wish to discourage anybody from visiting Kyoto, it’s the best place to temple-hop (with 2000+ temples and shrines to choose from) and there is plenty to enjoy – but if you have the time it’s worth visiting some lesser-known cities too…


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