VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kyoto, Japan

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) - Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Golden Pavillion and its garden were fashioned to represent the Buddhist's earthly paradise. The gorgeous, golden exterior is striking against the dark green forest and blue water pond in the garden surrounding it.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) - Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Golden Pavillion and its garden were fashioned to represent the Buddhist's earthly paradise. The gorgeous, golden exterior is striking against the dark green forest and blue water pond in the garden surrounding it.

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kyoto, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Whether you’re working from home, sheltering in place or just staying home, if you’re like us, you’re probably dreaming of open skies, sandy beaches, tall mountains, or perfect powdery slopes. Our travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Kyoto, Japan.

This old capital is at the top of the list for many first-time visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun. The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo. Two great options for heading to Kyoto are via the Shinkansen bullet train or the highway bus. The Shinkansen runs at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and will get you there in just around 2 hours. The overnight highway bus is an excellent option since it’s about a 5-hour drive to Kyoto.

Kyoto has plenty of culture and history, which makes it a great place for a quick getaway.

Kyoto is known as the “Capital of One-Thousand Years,” as it was the original capital of Japan 10 centuries before Tokyo took over. Here you will find numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 250 shrines and as many as 1,600 temples.

Some of the must-see spots in Kyoto include:

  • Fushimi Inari – Easily one of the most famous of Japan’s shrines. It sits at the foot of the Inariyama Mountain and is known for a climb featuring over 1,000 bright torii gates and a stunning view from the summit.
  • Kiyomizu Temple and neighboring Gion District – These are two you can’t miss. Kiyomizu Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back 1,200 years. At Gion District, grab some great souvenirs and a bite to eat. This district is known for its Geisha. Many tourists visit in hopes of catching of glimpse of one and if you’re lucky you might see a geisha on her way to dinner, too!
  • Arahiyama’s traditional wooden bridge and bamboo grove – Arashiyama District is a popular spot for its famous bamboo grove. Don’t miss the Oi River nearby, as it has a beautiful riverside with great views worthy of belonging on an Ukiyo-e woodprint.

On my last trip there, I also enjoyed Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion with a beautiful garden, and the Ninna-ji temple, one of the largest in the city, featuring a 5-story pagoda.

While in Kyoto, don't forget to sample “Yatsuhashi,” a soft, mochi-like traditional sweet filled with sweet bean paste.


Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama - Arashiyama District, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyoto is known for a traditional wooden Togetsukyo Bridge over the Oi River against the backdrop of green mountains, which often reminds us of an Ukiyo-e woodprint.  The famous bamboo grove is located nearby the bridge, as well.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Kyoto through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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