Kyoto was up next on our list of places to visit and we booked a small group walking tour for a few hours to get a glimpse of as much of the city as we could in one day. The only downside was that it basically rained the entire day, only stopping for brief intervals. However, we made the best of it and plowed through it and it didn’t seem to bother our tour guide Yuta much either!
Our guide had a few set destinations for us to visit, including various Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and some local spots famous to Kyoto. The first thing we did was visit a Shinto shrine and I did a small prayer.
From there we then headed to the Buddhist temple Tōfukuji… One thing that has impressed me is the amount of meticulous dedication to the landscape, architecture, and everything about this area. Every single blade of grass to even the toilet are arranged and placed in the utmost particular way to ensure everything has the appropriate placing to just look good.
At the first temple, our guide paid the fee to get us in and we had to remove our shoes and we got our first close-up view of the intricacy that the Buddhist monks will put into decorating their landscapes with very specific ideas in mind.
From there, we then headed to the Shinto shrine Fushimi Inari Taisha which is famous for its red gates. There were many people vacationing there, and many of the locals and those on vacation liked to dress up in more casual geisha wear.
After exploring the red gates in detail, and viewing many of the ceremonies you can partake in there – we headed to Gion Koubu, one of the geisha districts in Kyoto and one of the most exclusive and popular districts. Unfortunately since it was raining so much, we didn’t get to see any geisha. Our guide did take us to a location where maiko or geisha in training get their hair done, but it was closed at the time we stopped by. For shame.
After that our guide pointed us to the direction of a local bus and we took the bus back to Kyoto station where we could catch a train home. That’s about it for Kyoto! Plenty more pictures below and next is our trip to Nara!