4. The Philosopher’s WalkThe Philosopher’s Walk – named after the 20th century philosopher Nishida Kitaro who liked a stroll down this pretty lane – runs between Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Temple – which is actually made of wood) and Nanzen-ji temple. The wander takes about half an hour, and is at its most glorious in cherry blossom season (late March/early April) when the surrounding trees throw a canopy of delicate pink flowers over the canal.5. KiyomizuderaThe star attraction of the Higashiyama district is Kiyomizudera, a large temple dedicated to the goddess of Mercy. The temple’s wooden terrace – constructed entirely without nails – is its most popular architectural feature, best enjoyed in spring and autumn when it gives you a spectacular view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees and vivid autumn landscape. 6. Heian ShrineBuilt in 1895, Heian Jingu may be a more recent addition to Kyoto’s collection of shrines and temples, but its four gardens are nonetheless some of Kyoto’s best. It’s here that you’ll find those stepping stones from Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed film Lost in Translation.7. Nijo CastleLearn the ways of the shogun at Nijo Castle, where powerful warriors appointed by the emperor wielded power and influence throughout centuries of Japanese history. The castle occupies a large site in central Kyoto, with two rings of moats and fortifications built to protect the Ninomaru Palace, where you can wander through private rooms once reserved for only the most important of the shogun’s visitors.8. Nishiki MarketFondly regarded as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, this ancient market is where you’ll find great local produce, perfect for a penny-saving picnic if you’re visiting Kyoto on a budget. Even better, trawl the stalls for your fill of free samples and see if you can spot the matsutake, which, at £750 a pound, is one of the world’s priciest mushrooms. While Tokyo is all flashing neon, future tech and skyscrapers, Kyoto is quieter, quainter and the perfect place to experience authentic Japanese culture. So take the bullet train back in time…We’ve picked 10 of the best sights and attractions essential for getting to know Kyoto.1. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden PavilionKyoto is famous for its temples, their beauty as well as the sheer number of them, hence its nickname, the City of Ten Thousand Shrines. Avoid temple fatigue and choose the ones you visit carefully. A great place to start is Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, arguably Kyoto’s most celebrated landmark. Admire its gold-leaf walls reflected in the tranquil pond surrounding it, amidst a peaceful park of cherry trees. Skip the swarms of tourists by arriving bang on 9am, when the site opens. 3. HigashiyamaBuilt into the lowest slopes of the mountains to the east of Kyoto, this historic district is (unsurprisingly) quite hilly, but it’s worth getting out there to see traditional wooden architecture, buy some local crafts and feast on food stall snacks. A special effort has been made to preserve Higashiyama’s old-world vibe; they’ve removed any signs of 21st century living, like telephone cables and poles. 2. Fushimi Inari ShrineThis is another terrific temple to stick on your hitlist. Over 5,000 red torii, or shrine gates, ensure Fushimi Inari-Taisha sticks out from the crowd. Dedicated to Inari (the god of rice and business) the shrine lies at the foot of Mount Inari. The gates – each one a donation from a business enterprise hoping for success – mark out woodland paths leading up the mountain to smaller shrines and city views. 9. Kyoto Station and TowerA train station may not sound like an exciting hangout, but Kyoto’s, designed by architect Hara Hiroshi, is a futuristic, ultra-modern homage to the historic city. While you’re at the station, cross the road and pay a visit to Kyoto Tower. Its 100m-high Observation Deck offers 360 degree views of the city and surrounding mountains – well worth the ￥770 (£4.30) admission fee whether by day or night.10. Gion, the Geisha DistrictGion, in eastern Kyoto, is known as the Geisha District, although they’re called ‘geiko’ in Kyoto dialect (apprentices are ‘maiko’). The exclusive tea-houses where these female performers, artists and conversationalists work are generally out of bounds to tourists. You’ll stil be able to spot them though, out and about during the day, or walking between evening appointments in their distinctive dress. A glimpse of a geiko is a reminder that the traditions of historic Kyoto thrive in a very modern Japan.Want more inspiration for Japanese jaunts? Check these out:Top 9 things to do in TokyoGiant robots? Mega towers? Ancient temples? Electronic sushi restaurants? Tokyo is like a peek in to the future with a foot in the past.5 cool things to experience in JapanLooking for more inspiration in the Land of the Rising Sun? Let us give you some top tips of what to see and do.8 best geek things to see and do in TokyoLove technology and gadgets? Take a tour of 8 of the best hi-tech attractions in Tokyo.Find flights to OsakaHotels in KyotoSkyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related5 of the most walkable cities in the worldForget confusing public transport and budget-busting taxis. The best way to experience a city like a local is on your own two feet. Not to mention it’s free, and eco-friendly too. We’ve picked five destinations where you can literally take exploring in your stride and suggested routes that join the…Gold Rush: world’s most golden destinationsGold Rush: world’s most golden destinationsBillionaire’s Paradise: where do the super rich hang out?Billionaire’s Paradise: where do the super rich hang out?
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