Jun 20, 2016
In this episode of the Tips For Travellers podcast Gary
Bembridge visits the historic city of Kyoto in Japan.
Kyoto is packed with 1,000s of temples and historic sites, many
of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is one of the few key
cities in Japan spared major damage and destruction during World
War II that wiped out much of Japan’s historical sites. As you will
hear, it is an amazing experience and Gary highly recommends you
visit it. However, unless you have days (or weeks) you cannot hope
to scratch even the surface of what is available to see - and so
making informed choices is key - hopefully this episode will help
In this podcast you will hear an overview of the history and
must-know facts as well as general tips for travellers and the
must-see and do things while there. Finally Gary will recommend and
discuss the follow must-see things in Kyoto:
- Review the UNESCO lists and decide which of the 17 you
really want to see. But Gary suggests:
- Visit at least one Buddhist Temple like the spectacular
Kinkaku-ji Temple (The Golden Pavilion).
- Visit at least one Shinto Shrine like the Heian Shrine as it
has spectacular gardens behind, even though not on the UNESCO list.
For more http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3904.html.
Alternatively, visit the more famous Shimogamo-jinja Shrine (family
shrine of the Kamo clan, who inhabited this area before the
transfer of the capital to Kyoto) or Kamigamo-jinja Shrine (One of
the oldest shrines in Kyoto, dating back to the 7th century).
- Visit Nijo Castle. Built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of
Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period. After the
Tokugawa Shogunate fell it was used as an imperial palace for a
while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public
as a historic site.
- Visit the old Imperial Palace area. The Kyoto Imperial Palace
used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868,
when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The
palace grounds can be entered only on guided tours (in English or
Japanese) and the podcast explains how to get on one of these.For
- Dress up in a kimono. Lots of hire shops around the city.
- Explore the Geisha culture by going to an event, although it
can be very expensive and so the podcast suggests some more
affordable options. Kyoto is the heart of Japan’s geisha world.
They are highly skilled entertainers who appear at high-end
dinners, private parties and special events to add a special touch
to the proceedings. They are not prostitutes but have trained for
years in the traditional Japanese arts to become the perfect
Resources and links referred to in the
This episode was supported by DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Guides
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