I heart Kyoto big time. And why shouldn't I? It's the most beautiful and interesting city in the whole wide world!
Kyoto can’t be done in a day, or even a week. There’s just too much to see. While you may be able to cram the top 20 must-see attractions from your tourist guidebook into your itinerary, you might be missing out on what makes Kyoto such a uniquely beautiful city: the hidden gems, the overlooked temples, shrines, and gardens tucked away in the city’s narrow streets and alleyways. That’s where I come in!
My little guide is a spotlight on one section of the city, the Eastside around Yoshida Hill, an area that I found to be especially tranquil and packed with beautiful and interesting sights. While I mostly focus on the lesser known and off-the-beaten-path jewels of the area, my guide also includes some popular attractions that can be quite touristy, but that I believe are must-sees. With proper planning the big crowds can be avoided.
So come along! Wander through a decrepit Shinto cemetery at night, sing Beatles songs with the owner of a tiny Izakaya (traditional Japanese Bar/Restaurant) until your voice is hoarse, explore a virtually deserted twelve hundred-year-old esoteric Buddhist temple in the mountains where the head priest fire-walks on holidays, or just black out in a tiny sake bar where ordering a drink involves a lot of pointing, shrugging and finally chugging! Or, I suppose, you could go stand in line at some overcrowded temple, listening to some kid shrieking about “pee pee” or some clown going on about the snack bar. To each his or her own, right?
-Custom-drawn map of Kyoto (surprising, but it's REALLY hard to find a decent map of Kyoto in English!)
-Enough insider information, suggestions and reviews of places to provide fodder a week in the city.
• A helpful japanese phrase sheet with the real worlds you'll need to know.
-Photos, packing tips, and any other insider info you may want.
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