Of all the places I’ve traveled throughout Japan, no other place had me in awe as much as the city of Kyoto Japan. The reason behind this is simple. Japan itself is the epitome of the phrase “what you see is what you get.” If you’ve ever looked at an image of a place before you’ve actually been there and developed feelings of excitement and anticipation, only to be let down upon arrival because the expectations didn’t match up with reality, then you can relate. Japan is quite the contrary, to this scenario. From its food to its scenery, Japan lives up to its expectations.
Before making my decision to visit Kyoto Japan, I did what any young traveler would do, I “googled” Kyoto to get the gist of what to expect. I was immediately taken away by the images I saw on my computer screen, and just like any other sceptic thought, “there’s no way this place is as beautiful as they are trying to make it out to be,” and ” I wonder how many filters it took to enhance these images.” I arrived in Kyoto Japan with low expectations but was immediately blown away by what I saw. Aside from the area being more congested with tourists than I expected, Kyoto Japan looked exactly like what I saw on my computer screen just days earlier.
I started my tour visiting the local shrines and temples and read up on some of the city’s history. Kyoto (京都) served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. It is now the country’s seventh-largest city with a population of 1.4 million people and a modern face. Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.
I concluded my tour visiting:
The World Famous Bamboo Forest
The Golden Pavillion Temple (Rokuon-ji)
Buddhist Zen temple
All in all, I highly encourage individuals to put Japan on their “to-do” list and visit at least once in their lifetime. I believe that if you are looking for a place to visit where expectations line up with reality, then look no further, Kyoto Japan (along with the rest of Japan) will meet your needs.