Going on a Kyoto trip will have you visiting what many consider to be Japan’s storehouse for traditional culture as well as the stage on which much of Japanese history has played out. The place has a whopping seventeen Unesco World Heritage sites, as well as 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, one can safely say that Kyoto is one of the globe’s most culturally rich urban sprawls.
There are many lists that put Kyoto right next to Paris, London and Rome as one of the cities that everyone has to see at least once in their lives.
Kyoto is where you will find the archetypical Japan that you tend to see in classic portrayals of the place, with raked pebble gardens, bamboo groves, arcades of vermilion shrine gates and all the rest. In fact, most of the sites that make up the popular image of Japans most likely originated in Kyoto.
But with all of these things being said, once you get there you might be in for a bit of an anticlimax. In fact, the first thing that you’ll see when you step out of Kyoto station is neon and concrete – obviously, this is still modern-day Japan – and you might think that what you’ve heard or read about the place is something of a tourist lure and just that. We advocate a bit of patience, because a lot of Kyoto’s beauty is hidden – some might say protected – from casual view.
We’ll talk about many of the sights that you can see on a Kyoto trip in future articles, but today we’ll just mention the Kiyomizu-dera, an ancient temple originating from 789. The current building is much younger however, dating from 1633. The temple is an affiliate of the Hosso school of Buddhism which originated in Nara, and it has somehow managed to survive the various intrigues of the local schools of Buddhism throughout the centuries, to now be one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Keep some Japan car hire services in mind on your Kyoto trip.