The Top 5 Things To Do In Kyoto, Japan
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
1. Sanjusangendo Temple The Sanjusangendo Temple is the longest wood building in the world and is home to 1000 buddhas. Speaking and taking pictures are not allowed inside of the temple making it a great opportunity to get in touch with the spirits up above. If you focus you can truly feel the power of the Buddha.
2. Ryoan-ji Temple Ryoan-ji Temple belongs to the Myōshin-ji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism and it hosts a type of Japanese Zen temple garden design called Kare-sansui. Kare-sansui consists of large rock formations arranged amidst a field of small smooth pebbles that are raked into a new linear pattern every day in order to facilitate mediation. I spent hours looking at the Kare-sansui and wandered around it’s surrounding garden in a dream-like state. You really feel the calming impact the temple has throughout your entire body
3. Fushimi Inari Shrine Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its thousands of red vermilion torii gates. The gates follow a path up the Inari Mountain and it takes about two to three hours to walk to its top and back down. The temple is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, and it is always open with free admission to the public.
4. Onsen Kyoto is famous for its onsens which are hot spring bath houses that are typically open to the public and people of all ages and genders will relax at them, unclothed. Tattoos are traditionally prohibited at onsens but this problem is less prevalent as tattoos are being more accepted in Japan. If you have a tattoo, I recommend checking reviews or calling ahead to make sure that they will allow you to enter the onsen.
5. Nara and Todaiji Temple Nara is a city about thirty five minutes from Kyoto and a round trip train ride is around 20 USD. Nara is known for its deer park and Todaiji Temple. Nara Park has over 1200 wild sika deer that freely roam and can be pet and fed by tourists. These deer are fearless and polite to humans because they were considered to be the city’s protectors and sacred messengers of the gods under the Shinto religion. Todaiji Temple hosts the Great Buddha Hall which has the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. The Buddha is so large that the Great Buddha Hall had to be built around it and it is like looking at a skyscraper.