Kyoto: Cherry Blossom Strolls & Mesmerizing Temples

For all those people who would love to relive scenes from nothing short of a movie, Kyoto is the place to be. Experience a fast-flowing river right beside your choice of cuisine in a restaurant. Look around you to notice the immaculately dressed geishas protecting themselves from a light drizzle using the classical white parasol. Who do they remind you of? The  Memoirs of a Geisha, of course!

As you stroll around with your group of tourists, you will notice how the Geishas avoid making any eye contact with you. They will purposefully scurry along the light drizzle into their tea-house.

When you arrive to Kyoto, you might notice a few similar things like…Krispy Kremes! Once you leave the Shinkansen bullet train station however, things start to get interesting!

The city has a glorious past waiting for you to explore upon your arrival. Kyoto has been Japan’s capital for more than a thousand years! Imagine the history than can be found in a little over 2000 temples in this city. Alongside these, you will find little surprises on every corner of every street. You may come across machines that predict your fortune or museums that open when you wake up, and close when you are supposed to go to sleep!

A Novel World

Wondering around in the city’s thoroughfares, you will discover a lot of Japan’s folklore. You may even realize why this country was able to lead the world towards new technologies, and still find shops that are family-owned and don’t allow credit cards. Even the richest and well-dressed locals will be seen praying for their prosperity and success in the colorful shrines.

Vending machines all around the city can provide you with fresh and chilled beers for your evening strolls and hot coffees for your mornings. Even the simplest restaurant will be able to prepare the most aesthetically pleasing and freshly made foods.

Strolling around the streets Kyoto, you may think there are impenetrable secrets behind every door. Just like the mysterious geikos, however, the secrets of this world will charm you if you converse with them. The people of Kyoto always gradually reveal themselves to strangers, always offering their trust to tourists.

The Top Five Experiences of Kyoto

1. Learning to Make Sushi

You can visit the Woman’s Association of Kyoto to learn how to make tempura and sushi—the traditional way!

An expertise to bring back with your from a vacation; that too from the experts themselves! WAK will also offer for you to learn calligraphy, sake-tasting, tea making and kimono-wearing.

2. The Guided Walk through Gion

You tour will take you here after dark so you may be able to learn about the geiko (Kyoto’s geishas). You may even become a maiko (an apprentice geisha).

3. A Stroll through 5000+ Reddish Orange Tori

This shrine was built to be dedicated to the God of business and rice – Inari. Individuals can walk through this extensive shrine and understand how much their culture values rice. Some companies actually buy rice from here in their quest towards good fortune!

4. Explore Nishiki Market

In this market, you will be able to find Matsutake – the world’s most expensive mushrooms, and some rare, exquisite and affordable treats. One of these treats is tofu doughnuts, and they’re luscious beyond your imagination.

5. Fall In Love with Tea

You will never think of tea as a Zen-fulfilling and spiritual ritual. All you have to do is visit the Fukujuen tea store. You can also continue to do this after your vacation by buying some leaves to try with your friends back home.

Top Three Places to Stay

1. A Night in Ryonkan

These inns have traditional themes which you will be encouraged to follow by wearing a light kimono called yukata and eating a cuisine called kaiseki. Your sleep won’t be troubled though, you will be provided with the closest thing to traditions – a very comfortable and cloudlike futon!

2. Close to the Imperial Palace

These locations are serenely quiet, and also is home to Kyoto’s first ever boutique pad. The Screen is an intimate and luxurious choice as it has a total of just 13 rooms. Hotel Mume is another worthy choice for its similarity to The Screen, only that it’s a little more stylish.

3. The Tour Club

If you’re looking for a friendly hostel and are worried about language barriers, this is the perfect place to stay. Everyone speaks English in this hostel, and is right next to the Kyoto Station – which is going to be the beginning of all your adventures. T

he hostel offers some private en-suite offerings alongside the normal dorms.

So what’re you waiting for? The world from Memoirs of a Geisha awaits you!

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