Further afield – Kyoto

The former Imperial Capital is more historic and better preserved than Tokyo, thanks to not being heavily bombed in WW2, and makes a great base to explore the region.

Kyoto Station
The huge, modern railway station in the heart of the city is a sight in itself, almost like a self contained city with hotels, museums, restaurants and lots of shops. This is a familiar sight in the big Japanese cities, with railway stations functioning as city squares would elsewhere in the world, as large scale social spaces, just with added trains.
DSCF6475 Kyoto Station DSCF5883 Kyoto Station

Miho Museum
A short bus ride from the city brings you to what mostly closely resembles the lair of a villain from a Bond movie, built into the mountainside. It is home to an extraordinary collection of items celebrated primarily for their beauty rather than historical context, housed in some stunning architecture.
DSCF5895 Miho Museum DSCF5898 Miho Museum DSCF5910 Miho Museum

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
This is beautiful and looks historic, but was actually rebuilt in 1955, after the original, far less golden, Pavilion was burnt down by a fanatic monk. Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima is a fascinating read if you want to find out more.
DSCF5955 Golden Pavilion DSCF5967 Golden Pavilion

Home to the best known zen garden, though the tranquility required to fully appreciate can be lacking given it’s popularity.
DSCF5984 Ryoan-ji DSCF5983 Ryoan-ji

Nijō Castle
Less of a traditional castle and more of a palace, providing a fascinating glimpse into the life of the shoguns who ruled Japan for nearly seven hundred years.
DSCF6522 Nijo-jo DSCF6516 Nijo-jo

Ninnaji Temple
Kyoto is home to over 1,600 temples, this is one of the more attractive ones.
DSCF6017 Ninnaji Temple DSCF6013 Ninnaji Temple

Fushimi Inari-taisha
Home to around 10,000 Torii gates along 4km of paths, an hypnotic experience to wander through.
DSCF6433 Fushimi-ji DSCF6456 Fushimi-ji

Author: jontycrane

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