A Perfect Day in Kyoto

A Perfect Day in Kyoto

Start with the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.  It’s one of the most enchanting places you’ll ever see. Ever.

Bamboo, a symbol of strength, towering overhead, creating canopies of lush greenery. Walking through this place feels like an absolute dream.  For the most magical experience, get there super early to avoid tourist groups that will surely photo bomb all of your pics.  Just walk around and listen to the sound of swaying bamboo. So soothing.  Bamboo is harvested from bamboo groves like this to create beautiful artisan made objects like these Bamboo Glass Vases.

Then go to the Ryoan-ji, a Zen temple for moments of reflection and well, zen.  This is the site of Japan’s most acclaimed rock garden.  Take in the beautiful grounds of the temple and reflect on the perfectly raked lines in the rock garden, a combination of straight lines and concentric circles and wonder how and why those 15 stones were placed there.

Next, head over to Kinkaju-ji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion. Originally built as a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who stated in his will for the villa to become a Zen Temple.  The top floors of the temple are covered entirely in gold leaf. The reflection off of the lake is breathtaking.  You’ll see.

Before leaving, be sure to get a light snack or even enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Back in town, you’ll discover some great shopping and markets in Kyoto. A huge favorite is Yojiya. It’s a specialty beauty and cosmetics store that was founded in 1904 in Kyoto, which at that time was the capital of Japan. You can only find their products at their shops in Kyoto and in airport shops at Narita, Haneda and Kaisei airports. The shop in Kyoto is filled with the most luxurious moisturizers and cleansers. You know those little squares of paper you see Japanese women using on their faces? Those are face oil blotting papers called aburatorigami. Yojiya was made famous because of these papers.

Finally, head back to town and have a delightful bite of sushi at Chojiro. It’s the best sushi in Kyoto served via a conveyor belt we’ve ever had. Or opt for table side service, ordering your meal from tablet. This place will not disappoint.

Now that was a perfect day in Kyoto.

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