Many adventurers throughout history have stumbled upon four magical islands also known as the Land of the Rising Run. Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu together make up most of what we know today as Japan.
Today we will be stopping so see the sights and seen of Honshu’s biggest industrial, cultural and historical landmark, the amazing Kyoto City. For over a millennium, this bursting with life metropolis has been the subject of interest to both Japanese and Westerners alike.
How it came to be
Life on the Honshu Island has been documented to originate as far as 10 000 years ago. However, the real story of how Kyoto became one of Japan’s most densely populated cities is still unknown. The town is refereed by historians as ‘The Seat of Power’, holding records of great leaders choosing Kyoto as their state capital. In fact Kyoto has been the official capital of Japan for over 1000 years!
Due to the despotic feudalism which governed the country through most of its history, Kyoto was forced to have its fare share of the destruction.
Maybe the most influential of all Japanese warlords, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (also known as the great unifier) played a major role in reviving the city; building streets, walls and houses for the people of Kyoto.
During the Edo period, the city of Kyoto because one of the three major cities in Japan, along with Osaka and Edo (Tokyo).
So much to see, so little time
As curious outlanders in a land that is not particularly famous for having an open society, we must soak in as much of the culture as possible. We will be going over the 3 most interesting places to visit before you leave Kyoto.
Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion)
Originally build as the shogun’s retirement home, this Zen temple astounds and astonishes tourists with its magnificent landscape, simple but yet carefully planned interior design and the spirit that dwells within this whole majestic scenery.
Interestingly enough, even though the temple is known as the Silver Pavilion, the structure is in no way covered in silver. Some say that the shogun that built it, ran out of money and could not finish the project in time. Later Ginkaku-ji was transformed into a Buddhist temple.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Built as part tourist attraction, part TV and film set, Eigamura (Toei Kyoto Studio Park) holds many tricks that most of us will find… different. Many visitors come to this Kyoto favorite to witness the amazing theatrical performance of actors, usually recreating important historical battles and encounters. It is a great place to visit if you are a fan of drama, action and hilarity.
If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine as well as Japanese culture, and you enjoy the company of pretty young women, then Gion District is just what you are looking for. Chock full of fantastic oriental tea houses and entertaining atmosphere, the Gion District offers tourists some of the best experience one can have in Kyoto. Why not sit down to a cup of warm, zingy sake, while two beautiful geisha sing and play for you on their shamisen traditional Japanese songs.
Like all good things, our trip must now come to an end. There are hundreds of interesting places to be in Kyoto, and I hope that you are left with nothing but the best memories of a country like no other. And remember, Kyoto is only a small part of Japan’s enormous cultural venue.
Happy Travels, Friends.
Jack Sheamus’ big love is traveling and visiting exotic places. He works for http://www.endoftenancycleaners.net/hampstead-nw3/ and thanks to that he earns enough money to travel regularly and write about his trips.