Visiting mesmerizing Kyoto? If not, you definitely should. It’s just one of those things that a person must do in his/her lifetime. Get lost in its past and relish in its present. There’s no wonder what the future brings for this city and its heavenly peaceful, but in the same time energizing aura.
After the mysterious Zen garden, one should see another Japanese tradition. Gion, the most famous geisha district in Japan is a collection of streets defined by its teahouses, old wooden buildings and exclusive Japanese restaurants. The chances of seeing an actual geisha are pretty good.
They are in their traditional outfits, cumbersome zori sandals and handmade exquisite kimonos, pale faced and with red lipstick and those well-known hairstyles with ornaments in them. If you happen to find yourself in Gion in July, be sure not to miss the Gion Matsuri festival.
If you’re in the mood for some tacky fun, be sure to check out the Eigamura (Kyoto Toei Studio Park) and dress up as a samurai or a geisha, watch TV actors doing their thing on set, and generally enjoy a dose of Japanese kitsch at its finest.
Eigamura is a working TV and movie set that doubles as a theme park. It also has live studio performances, which are just all over the place. It’s really neat if you’re into such a thing.
Are you considered to have been in a place if you haven’t tried the food there? Not really. Kyo-ryori (Kyoto cuisine) is the most refined Japanese cuisine there is. Reach nirvana with the help of those subtle flavors, seasonal tones and don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the intricate design of the meals. It is truly a work of art.
After the meal, take part in a Tea Ceremony. Cleansing of the tea utensils, the gentle bow as you receive your cup and the three clockwise turns before you take a sip are a passage way of its own into the world of Zen Buddhism.
Chado/Sado (the tea ceremony) is also a way that the original pieces of tea utensils are preserved.
Without the ceremony, the delicate materials of which the utensils are made would eventually “fall apart.”
Also, with each usage (and ceremony in general), the objects keep their shine.
Modern day Kyoto is to be appreciated as much as the past one, and there is no better way than going shopping in Shijo, Kyoto’s brand-name adorned central shopping district.
After that, make sure to visit the National Museum of Modern Art, which focuses on local 20th century artists, but it also has exibitons on the rich history and past that makes Kyoto wat it is even today.