You've probably heard of Kyoto, one of the most famous cities in Japan. Although today the capital of the country is Tokyo, Kyoto enjoyed that title in its day. From 794 to 1868 it was the official place of residence of the emperor and capital of Japan. If you plan to visit it, we offer you a basic Kyoto guide so you don't miss anything.
Kyoto basic guide: how to get around the cityKyoto - marcociannarel
Kyoto is the seventh largest city in the country and has 1.4 million inhabitants. But it is a very compact city in which it is very easy to get around thanks to public transport.
The city has an extensive network of trains and subway, as well as buses. The first ones are easier for tourists to use, since you can find maps and detailed information in English anywhere (even in the same stations).
Kyoto has six different train lines that will help you move within the city. For more details, you can visit the Kyoto train page.
It is the fastest way to get around the city. However, there are only two lines and they may be somewhat limited. If you move from north to south or from east to west, they will certainly be much more useful. The lines coincide in the center of the city, so making transfers is very simple.
Most Japanese use this means of transport, as it is the one that reaches all sites. It can be somewhat confusing for tourists, since the names of the places are usually in Japanese and there are many different lines and buses. But nevertheless, It is the most efficient and cheap means of transport in the city.
Kyoto basic guide: places you can't miss
Kinkaku-ji, the Golden PavilionKinkaku-ji - iamlukyeee
This temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion temple, is one of the most visited in the city. It has that name because the two upper floors of the building are covered with sheets of pure gold (gold bread).
It was built in 1397 and is part of the set of historical monuments of ancient Kyoto, a series of 17 monuments that were declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1994.
Fushimi Inari ShrineFushimi Inari - Pond Thananat
The Shush shrine of Fushimi Inari It is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, as it was erected in the eighth century. It is located in the south of the city and is open 24 hours. This sanctuary is dedicated to the god Inari, the god of rice and merchants.
You will surely be surprised by the thousands of torii(traditional Japanese red arches) that stand one behind the other for more than 4 km and form a practically roofed path. These arches have been donated by merchants who have given them their name or that of their business to ask the god Inari to bring them good fortune.
Kiyomizudera TempleKiyomizudera - Richie Chan
The Kiyomizudera temple also belongs, like the Kinkakuji, to the set of historical monuments of ancient Kyoto. The temple was built in 778 on some hills located east of Kyoto.
In this same place is the waterfall of Otowa, which was what gave him the name: Kiyomizudera or temple of Pure Water in Spanish. Although the place is known as the "temple", it is actually a set of intercommunicated religious precincts. We recommend you take a tour and visit each of the buildings.
What to eat in Kyoto?Tofu ice cream - KUMI / Flickr.com
In Kyoto, as in any other major Japanese city, you can enjoy the most typical meals of the country of the rising sun: sushi, sashimi, udon, tempura, ramen, etc.
However, Kyoto also has its specialties. For example, Kyoto tofu is very famous throughout Japan; you will find delicious dishes of fried tofu, tofu soup and even tofu ice cream!
Further, We recommend you try some typical Japanese sweet. One of the best known of Kyoto is the yatsuhashi, a kind of triangle-shaped cookies made with rice flour, sugar and cinnamon.
“There are no strange lands. Who travels is the only stranger. ”
-Robert Louis Stevenson-
As you could deduce with this basic Kyoto guide, This is a city with a lot to offer. Its impressive landscapes and monuments will leave you breathless and make you feel that you have gone back in time to the most traditional Japan.