Japanese culture in Kyoto

Wonderguide by

Sophie van der Meulen

Japanese culture in Kyoto

Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture and history. Although it is a large city, it has a small town atmosphere. The wealth of historic buildings and sites makes Kyoto the best place to experience authentic Japan.

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Experience traditional Japanese culture

Image - Kurama Onsen
Kurama Onsen
Sophie van der:After climbing Mount Kurama, a visit to the Kurama Onsen is just what the doctor ordered. This traditional Japanese spa has a seperate section for men and women where you can relax in the soothing waters of the natural hot springs.
Image - Gion AYA Maiko & Geisha Makeover
Gion AYA Maiko & Geisha Makeover
Sophie van der:Kyoto is the perfect place to experience traditional geisha culture. And what better way than to literally walk a mile in those tiny little shoes? Try being a geisha for yourself with a fun makeover
Image - Koan Hanare -Mesmerizing Dinner with Maiko & Geisha-
Koan Hanare -Mesmerizing Dinner with Maiko & Geisha-
Sophie van der:See what the iconic geisha hospitality is all about and learn about this fascinating part of traditional Japanese culture with your very own geisha dinner experience.
Image - Kyoto Samurai Experience
Kyoto Samurai Experience
Sophie van der:If you want something a bit tougher than a geisha, then you can be a Samurai for a day in Kyoto!
Image - Sumiya Ryokan Kyoto
Sumiya Ryokan Kyoto
Sophie van der:The best way to experience Japanese culture is to sleep in it. Ryokans are traditional inns complete with bamboo mat floors and ricepaper walls. They are beautiful and surprisingly comfortable.
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See traditional Japan come to life

Image - Gion
Sophie van der:Gion is the most famous part of Kyoto. This is where you can wander through pretty little streets lit with lanterns and along lovely canals. You might even spot a geisha on her way to work.
Image - Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market
Sophie van der:The Nishiki Market is the biggest traditional market in Kyoto. You can wander around here for hours looking at all the strange and delicious foods sold here.
Image - Arashiyama
Sophie van der:Ever wanted to walk through a bamboo forest? In Tokyo you can do just that!

Museums to learn about Japanese history

Image - Kyoto National Museum
Kyoto National Museum
Sophie van der:See the best traditional Japanese art and cultural artefacts at the Kyoto National Museum and learn more about the history of Japan.
Image - The Museum of Kyoto
The Museum of Kyoto
Sophie van der:Want to know more about the city of Kyoto? The Museum of Kyoto is located in a beautiful former bank. It houses some impressive exhibitions on the history and culture of Kyoto.
Image - Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Sophie van der:Kyoto used to be the capitol of the Japanese Empire. You can still see this former glory at the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The gardens surrounding the Palace make for a beautiful stroll.

Traditional Japanese temples and shrines

Image - Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Sophie van der:The Fushimi Inari Taisha might just be the most famous temple in Japan. The whole hill is covered in red wooden arches known as torii. It's a serious up and down climb, but well worth the sore legs.
Image - Tofukuji Temple
Tofukuji Temple
Sophie van der:A stark contrast to the red color of Fushimi Inari Taisha is the black and white of the Tofukuji Temple. The property houses a collection of buildings and a beautiful Japanese garden with red Japanese maple trees. It is also far less touristic than most temples in Kyoto.
Image - Kinkaku-ji
Sophie van der:Kinkaku-ji is the most striking temple in Kyoto. The sight of the golden temple reflected on the water is breathtaking. The lines for this temple can get pretty long and it is a bit of a drag shuffling around the trail, but it is worth it!
Image - Mount Kurama
Mount Kurama
Sophie van der:It's a bit of a hike, but so worth the view! You can take a beautiful train ride from Kyoto to the foot of the mountain. On the top you'll find a lovely old temple.
Image - Nanzenji Temple
Nanzenji Temple
Sophie van der:Nanzen-Ji is a zen paradise with beautiful gardens.
Image - Hōnen-in Temple
Hōnen-in Temple
Sophie van der:This temple looks nothing like the polished glamour of Kinkaku-ji. The moss coverage makes it look and feel ancient

Wonderguide map

  1. Kurama Onsen
  2. Gion AYA Maiko & Geisha Makeover
  3. Koan Hanare -Mesmerizing Dinner with Maiko & Geisha-
  4. Kyoto Samurai Experience
  5. Sumiya Ryokan Kyoto
  6. Gion
  7. Nishiki Market
  8. Arashiyama
  9. Kyoto National Museum
  10. The Museum of Kyoto
  11. Kyoto Imperial Palace
  12. Fushimi Inari Taisha
  13. Tofukuji Temple
  14. Kinkaku-ji
  15. Mount Kurama
  16. Nanzenji Temple
  17. Hōnen-in Temple

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