In-Focus is a series which tells the story of a place via photos creating a virtual tour using some of my favourite photos of that area. All photos are my own and have come from both my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) and my DSLR (Canon EOS 600D) check out my specs here.
Kyoto Japan is a picturesque city both by night or day and makes for a wonderful place to unwind and get away from the hectic lifestyle of Tokyo. Although not as busy as Tokyo Kyoto is anything but small and offers many scenic walks across this ancient city which will meander through the many sights of the city.
There is always more to see and sadly I missed a few of the big tourist attractions but sit back and thumb through my highlights (the featured image was taken inside Yasaka Shrine at night during the Fire and Light summer festival).
Situated at the end of Shijo Dori Yasaka Shrine is a fantastic place to explore. The sprawling gardens behind contain several temples and shrines along with many wonderful walks.
Shirakawa-Minami Dori follows a run off from the Kamo River through Kyoto and offers a perfect walking route for a slow Sunday stroll. The streets are wide and offer many great views along the way to the Kamo River, although if you would rather you can always hire a bicycle or ride a rickshaw to take you along this scenic path.
Sanjo-oohashi bridge in Edo era (1603 – 1868) became the starting point of Tokaido the most important road during the era due to it connecting Kyoto to the new capital Edo (Tokyo) along with 53 other towns leading to the capital. The walk along the river bank is yet another wonderful spot to stroll along, with the bank on the west side offering a great place to relax and just hangout.
Along the west bank of the bridge many of the locals celebrated the Fire and Light summer festival and placed these balls all along the bank. This created quite the atmosphere and made for a beautiful night scene, sadly I didn’t have my main camera with me or my tripod so sadly the only shots where from my phone which didn’t capture the scene quite as well as I had hoped.
Possibly the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto and one of the most popular in Japan, Fushimi Inari-Taisha is a unique and deeply fascinating place to spend a day. This was one of my highlights of my time in Japan and because of this I have a whole post dedicated to it later on.
One of the unique aspects of Fushimi Inari-Taisha is the thousands of Torii gates that line the walk up mount Inari, so many in fact that much of the walk feels like you are actually walking down a tunnel. It’s quite the sight to behold and helps make this one walk you are not going to want to miss.
Yasaka Pagoda is a great sight but the area directly around it is full of old fashioned streets full of history. The district has a distinct personality and the old wooden buildings strewn along the long pedestrianised streets help transport you back to a simpler time.
On the board outside the museum hangs a notice board entitled opening hours: “I open when I wake up and close when I must go to sleep.” This was no normal museum this was Meister Ichimura Mamoru’s house which he has turned into a woodblock print museum displaying many of his highly skilled prints.
”I open when I wake up and close when I must go to sleep.”
Despite the rather brazen sign outside the house Meister Ichimura Mamoru is the most hospitable host eager to share with you his life story along with many of his beautiful art-pieces, many of which are for sale – although you can always opt for postcards which are significantly cheaper.
This Gem of Kyoto is tucked away on Yasaka street across from the Kennin-Ji Temple (near Ebisu shrine) and is well worth a visit to admire this beautiful Japanese traditional art form and talk to this lively woodblock printer about the thing he loves the most.