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Posted by Cayla Capri
Kyoto Love Accordingly
Kyoto love accordingly cover full
Former capital of illustrious, magnificent Japan, the resplendent city of Kyoto teems with temples, gardens, and avant-garde flourishes that keep visitors flooding back for more. From the mountain top terraces of Kiyomizudera to its bubbling springs with said healing powers, Kyoto is a breath of incomparable fresh air.
the romance
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Take a cue from local Zen-like practices and keep daylight dalliances soothing and calm. Stroll through a nearby ‘kaienshiki chisen teien’ or pond garden under the light of ‘Tsukimachiyana’ (the mountain awaiting the moon) where floating stones are all the rage and moss-covered bridges abound.
Other musts include:
A night spent at a traditional inn in a tatami-style bedroom where you’ll be served a multi-course ‘kaiseki’ feast before tucking in
Watching cormorant fish along the Oi River - wooden boats, pagoda lanterns, and fishermen complete the silver screen scene
An evening in Pontocho – streets lined with hostess bars and fine drinking establishments filled with hip cozy couplings
the scenery
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Hillside garden beds and weeping wisteria trellises weave their way through clandestine willows and lotus fronds. Wooden paneling painted with golden carp and stunningly adorned Gion-matsuri festival floats catch and please the eye.
Look for:
A deluge of waterfalls, stone edifices, and miniature maples
The 17th century Kyaku-den temple born out of the imagination of the Emperor Gomino-o
A grey shingle alley climbing 450 feet above sea level to gaze upon rice fields and mountainous panorama
the attractions
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Delve into Eastern Kyoto for more temples, shrines, and shops than you could possibly count, not to mention a hotbed of imperial palaces and luxury villas. Experience hands-on culture and community thanks to a multitude of traditional Japanese arts and performances. Amidst the tea ceremonies, Noh drama dances, calligraphy, and martial arts displays, be sure to check out:
Fit-for-a-shogun – Nijo Castle or the Shugakuin Imperial Villa
The tradish’ pleasure quarter of Gion – geishas in kimono dress, kabuki, court music, and puppetry displays
The Golden Pavilion – literally walls upon walls of pure gold
the adventure
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As fantastical as a Gion tea ceremony can be, take a little break from a meditative mindset with a trip into the mountains. Think Oeyama Ski Resort – where you can rent a bungalow and take courses that range from expert to beginner.
Super fun times carry on with:
Kyoto nightlife in the Nakagyo-ku district – try ‘Yoramu’ or ‘Mamma Zappa’
Iwatayama Monkey Park – the epitome of cuteness – roam at your leisure along with the guests of honor, apple ‘n’ peanut loving Japanese macaques
The mystical bamboo forest of nearby Arashiyama
the secrets
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Green tea cheesecake, humming cicadas, and sake served in chokos – just another perfectly perfect evening in this uber-lush region. Market backstreets, deer parks, and ancient shrines all house a facet of this city’s thrillingly unique sensibility.
Seek out:
Kotobikihama Beach – renowned for the mysterious beauty of ‘nakisuna’ or ‘singing sands’
Tetsugakunomichi - the Path of Philosophy along a cherry blossom-lined canal
The Sanju-Sangendo Hall – complete with 1001 Kannon and Bodhisattva statues dating back to the 13th century
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: March through May are pleasant (10-18°C/50-65°F). Rain is not uncommon but temperatures
are generally quite agreeable. The scenery at this time of year is especially beautiful too as the cherry
blossom trees bloom in early April.
Summer: June to August are warm but very rainy and humid (21-29°C/70-85°F).
Autumn: The most popular time to visit the city is between September and November. Temperatures
are comfortable and there is little rain (13-24°C/55-75°F). Evenings are a bit cool.
Winter: December to February are cold and snowy (-6-2°C/20-35°F).
Comfortable, fashionable clothes are worn by most of the locals and tourists. You might need to cover up in order to enter some of the shrines and temples.
The Japanese Yen
The Lingo
Japanese - hotel staff and airport employees may speak a bit of English
A valid passport and a visa or a visitor’s pass
Local Delicacies
Sukiyaki: strips of beef, tofu and vegetables cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, sake soup and sugar.
Udon and Soba: tasty Japanese noodles served either in or beside a bowl of soup