Kyoto: Where Japanese Come to Experience Japan

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years. The allies in World War II also avoided bombing the historic city, hence, it is a place full of old, beautiful temples, shrines, and traditional Japanese architecture. It is about an hour’s drive from Osaka, and makes up 1/3 of the tri-city metro area that includes Osaka and Kobe. We spent the weekend in a traditional ryokan near the Kiyomizu Temple and really enjoyed the experience. We were surprised to see so many Japanese people dressed in kimonos. They also come to Kyoto to experience their own culture. Japan is a very modern country and most of the cities look and feel like western suburbs. The hills of Kyoto are the exception and there are literally thousand of Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples. We only scratched the surface of what Kyoto has to offer.

Owen in front of the soldier memorial

The girls, Nadia, Ale, and Ocean were a big hit with their kimonos. People were asking to get their picture taken with them, as you can see above. The Kiyomizu Temple is one of the biggest tourist attractions and was great for the kids. There is a lot to do and see in the compound, much of it a bit kitschy, like drinking the water of the waterfall to get your wish to come true, fortune telling, etc. I do need to read up on Buddhism to understand fully what is going on at the temples.

It got crowded in the afternoon and we were starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with the amount of hustle and bustle. The girls loved the shopping. We got away from the crowds and visited the unknown soldier memorial and watched a local music concert while they finished their shopping. I highly recommend seeing Kyoto and spending a few days. The temples vary quite a lot so there is something for everyone.

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