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Down the Rabbit Hole to Kyoto’s Okazaki Jinja!

When Kyoto feels more than ever like a cedar-floored theme park, it's good to know that there remains a wealth of overlooked places to visit. Dotted throughout lesser-visited areas of the city, small temples and shrines continue to capture the peaceful spirit...

Kyoto Rurikoin Temple’s Green Maple Leaves Are Stunning in the Rain

The Rurikoin Temple Green Maple Leaves June has arrived, and along with it an unusually early rainy season comes knocking at the door. Yet even at this time of year, there are little things in nature from which to...

Shimogamo Shrine: One of Kyoto’s Oldest Shrines

Ask anyone where to go for the “really old stuff” in Japan, and they’ll probably mention Kyoto. Serving as the capital for over 1,000 years, it’s the birthplace of many traditional art forms and aspects of Japanese culture we see today. And,...

Heat, culture, chaos: the real Gion Matsuri.

Kyoto is a city that many consider to be the perfect embodiment of the truest 'Japanese sensibilities.' Refinement, subtlety and a restrained aesthetic create a type of harmony that permeates all facets of life in Japan. Minimalism, restraint and the beloved 'wabi-sabi' are all forms of a distinctly Kyoto-esque identity. Enter the Gion Matsuri: a night of hot air, cold beer and a touch of ancestral transcendence.

Strolling Around the Famed Tenryuji Temple Grounds in Arashiyama

The Bamboo Grove may be the most Instagrammed attraction in Arashiyama, but Tenryuji Temple is without doubt the most important. This World Heritage Zen temple was established all the way back in 1339, and quickly became the top ranking temple of Kyoto’s...

Kiyomizudera: Beyond The Main Hall

As I lower my camera amidst a sea of temple goers at Kiyomizudera, I get the feeling I’m being watched. Sure enough, in my peripheral vision, I spot two school boys, perhaps 14 years old, nervously looking from one another to me...

Green Tea Lovers Should Make a Pilgrimage To Uji… Right Now

Listen up green tea lovers! It’s time to get yourself down to Uji, aka the jewel in the crown of Kyoto’s tea scene. Here, the young tea leaves are shaded before being hand picked, giving them a unique flavour that has planted...

Half-day Kyoto Walking Tour Part 2: Kodaiji Temple to Kiyomizudera

This Kyoto walking tour brings you from the Kodaiji complex to Kiyomizudera. An extension of the Gion walking tour, the two can be combined and even completed in reverse. If you are following on from the previous tour, we continue our journey...

Half-day Kyoto Walking Tour Part 1: Gion to Kodaiji Temple

Looking for a short walking route in Kyoto that will give you real time chills and great photo opportunities? Look no further. We’ve put together a fabulous walking tour that winds through Kyoto’s Gion district and finishes at the Kodaiji Temple complex....

Kyoto After Dark: An Evening Stroll through Pontocho and Gion

Kyoto is the gently lit canal to Tokyo’s fit-inducing neon—part of its charm for many. As such, once the sun goes down and the monks close the temple gates, many visitors are left wondering what’s next. If you still have energy for...

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