Kyoto is one of the country's ten largest cities with a population approximately 2 million people. This city was as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. Kyoto was written out from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. Thereby its temples, shrines and other historic structures survived in the city by today.
Kinkakuji is a temple in the northern part of Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered by gold leaf. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history. The present building was rebuilt in 1955. The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. Gold was an important addition to the pavilion because of its symbolic meaning. The gold was to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative feelings and thoughts towards death.
The Golden Pavilion is set in a beautiful Japanese garden. A path leads around the pond, offering great viewing axes and photo spots to take beautiful pictures of the temple. A visit usually takes between 30 and 50 minutes. You can also have a cup of Matcha tea and traditional Japanese sweet in the garden.
Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kyōto Gyoen Park
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). Now its also used for enthronement ceremonies. Visitors can see the palace buildings and gardens but should note that none of the buildings can be entered. The palace was destroyed by fire and rebuilt eight times over the course of its history. The version currently standing was completed in 1855.
Like in a case with Golden Pavilion here inside of the Imperial Palace located small nice Japanese garden.
The district was built to accommodate the needs of travelers and visitors to the shrine.
It’s most famous geisha district in all of Japan. The geisha in Kyoto do not refer to themselves as geisha; instead, they use the local term geiko. While the term geisha means «artist» or «person of the arts», the more direct term geiko means essentially «a woman of art».
The most popular area of Gion is Hanami-koji street from Shijo Avenue to Kenninji Temple. It’s a nice but expensive place to dine or to lunch.
Maruyama Park is a public park. it has become a favorite «hanami» (cherry blossom viewing) spot, during late March to late April, and becomes very crowded at that time. This park is also famous for a gorgeous weeping cherry tree which gets illuminated in the night during the «hanami» season.
After visiting Kyoto we had some couple of days and we decided to go another time to Tokyo and visit the places which last time we didn’t have enough time for.
Shinjuku Gyoen Garden
It is one of largest and most popular park in Tokyo. In spring this park becomes one of the best places in the city to see cherry blossoms.
Shinjuku Gyoen is comprised of three different types of gardens: the oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges. The park's other main gardens include asymmetrically arranged formal French garden, and an English landscape garden featuring wide, open lawns surrounded by flowering cherry trees. There is also a beautiful greenhouse with many tropical and subtropical flowers.
Built in 1958, (333 meters high) it is the second-tallest structure in Japan and 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Every 5 years Tokyo Tower is repainted. It takes 1 year to repaint it. The tower’s main observatory at 150 meters is reached via elevator or a 600-step staircase (both ways are paid). There are also some «look down windows» in the floor to stand on, a souvenir shop and a cafe where visitors can enjoy refreshments. When visibility is good, visitors can see the Tokyo Skytree and Mount Fuji in the distance.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Its a large brick-faced museum located in Ueno Park. Opened in 1926 as Tokyo Prefectural Art Museum. Metropolitan Art Museum aspires to be a «doorway to art». It presents nearly 300 exhibitions each year. From oil paintings to calligraphy, pottery and sculpture, this is the place where contemporary Japanese artists show off their work. In total there are six galleries.
Tokyo National Museum
Another very interesting museum in Tokyo. The museum is located inside Ueno Park. It was established in 1872. National Museum is the oldest Japanese museum and also the largest art museum in Japan and one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110 000 objects.