Let’s start with the obvious, Kyoto is absolutely beautiful. There is an abundance of traditional wooden houses, temples, and gardens spread throughout Japan’s former capital and the Emperor’s former residence. Of all the Japanese cities we’ve visited, this has to be my favorite. It was distinctly Japanese and I doubt any other city would be able to emit the same feel. You know what they say about cities being just like other cities? This isn’t one of them. (OR maybe it is and I just haven’t heard of its doppelgänger yet? Let me know in the comments section below!)
Visiting at the height of spring meant cherry blossoms gracing the landscape – making the already photogenic scene even prettier. There are also various hanami parties sprinkled all over the prefecture to celebrate these blooms, and a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE. It was crazy crowded when we were there! If you’re only there for half a day, squeezing your way around isn’t how you would want to spend it. Don’t get me wrong though, Kyoto in spring is worth it. Everyone just had the same idea, hehe!
Next time, I’d probably spend a couple of days and try to avoid the weekend. I’d beat the rush of trying to see as much as possible in a short amount of time, research on the sights I want to see, and embark on said itinerary in a relaxed pace, allowing myself to linger and get side tracked every now and then. Who knows, maybe I’d even be one of those sitting in the mats, drink in hand and enjoying this flower watching tradition. Or maybe it won’t be spring, but even then, I’m sure Kyoto will be just as lovely. And I barely even scratched the surface! Below is only a peek of what Kyoto has in store for travelers. There’s pavilions and temples and shrines and castles and markets and omg, I have to go back!!!
But before I bombard you with photos from our day trip, let me first share with you the celebrity sighting we had in the Kyoto train station – the Emperor and Empress of Japan!
Cool, no?! There was a crowd gathered in the station when we arrived. We were told that the Emperor and Empress were arriving, and we couldn’t pass up on that chance. I mean, how often do you get to see actual royalty?! What a way to start our day trip. 🙂 This was cherry – or should I say cherry blossom? haha – on top of an already awesome city exploration.
Look at that crowd!!!
What about you? Have you been to Kyoto? Is it somewhere you’d like to visit? Tell me about it below!