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10 Reasons to Fall In Love with Kyoto

10 Reasons to Fall In Love with Kyoto

Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan and is one of the historically and culturally rich cities in Japan. It is home to 17 UNESCO world heritage sites. If you are thinking of travelling to Japan, your trip won’t be complete without a trip to Kyoto.

There are hundreds of things that will make you fall in love with this place. Here below, we have put together a list of ten reasons to fall in love with Kyoto.

1. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

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    If you are visiting Kyoto and it doesn’t include this phenomenal bamboo forest, then you will not have experienced the best delights that Kyoto offers. The Arashiyama bamboo forest is not only a stunning landscape, it is also a fabulous ‘soundscape’.

    The sight of filtered sunlight through the thick bamboo forest at day time is a sight to behold. Similarly, at night time, many lanterns light the pathways of the forest, which is a breathtaking vision. In addition, when a wind passes through the forest, the bamboo leaves produce a rustling sound, which is a welcome music to our ears.

    Finally, the bamboo forest is thought to be more spiritual than the rest, so be prepared to be spiritually blown away. Obviously, the Arashiyama Bamboo forest alone can be one good reason to fall in love with Kyoto.

    2. Nishiki Market

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      The Nishiki Market is situated near the Kiyomizu-dera temple. To be more precise, it is located on the narrow alley of temples and is one of the oldest open air markets that is running in the world.

      This market is believed to have opened in the early fourteenth century, so it has been operating for centuries. It is also referred to as the “Kyoto kitchen”. The market consists of a plethora of small restaurants and shops.

      You can find different Japanese snacks ranging from sushi, pickles, sweets to vegetables and special desserts. The shops ae passed down from generations to generations, so every food you eat is a family recipe, each unique in its own right.

      3. Fushimi Inari-taisha

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        The Fushimi Inari-taisha is a Shinto shrine, which is located at the bottom of Inari Mountain. Shinto is the main religion here alongside Buddhism in Japan. It is famous for thousands of Torii gates, which are actually the traditional Japanese gates found at the entrance of Shinto shrine.

        Each gate is built with the donations from individuals and companies, so name of the donors with their respective donation amount is written at the back of the gate. The gate ranges from small to bigger sizes in the path to the shrine, according to the donation amount.

        4. Geishas

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          Geishas are basically a white faced women wearing a colorful Kimono. They appear along with their Maiko (an apprentice Geisha) in the Gion District. The Geisha culture started in the 16th century when girls performing on the Kabuki stage were ostracized. As a result, the white faced girl used to entertain the male patrons in tea houses.

          Bumping into Geishas is very rare nowadays. However, you could taste the culinary delicacies of Kyoto, along with the performance from Geishas at old wooden teahouses of Gion district, which is also known as the ‘last frontier of Kyoto’. Hence, you could experience ancient Japan and their ways, interacting with them.

          5. Kinkaku-ji Zen Temple

          Kyoto, Kinkaku-ji, Golden Temple

            We have all heard; ‘All that glitters is not gold’. However, all that glitters is gold in Kinkaku-ji temple, which is also renowned as the Golden Pavilion because the top two stories of this temple are actually made up of golden leaves.

            The temple is an epitome of the Muromachi period in Japan where architecture and settings correlate with each other in an artistic way. The temple is surrounded by many gardens and pools. The reflection of the temple on the pristine pool is simply enough to make you fall in love with Kyoto.

            6. Kyoto’s Hollywood

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              The Japanese version of Hollywood can be found at Uzumasa Movie village. Home to many stages, where most of the Samurai Movies and TV series are filmed, one can see the twenty minute ninja display, and many other shows with special effects there.

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              It also has a famous haunted house and many museums. You can dress up as a Samurai or a Geisha and take pictures as the memento of your trip to Kyoto.

              7. Find Love

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                You can find your one true love in Kyoto. Really? Well, it is believed that if you could walk in a straight line with eyes closed in between the two stones (placed 18m apart) located in Kiyomizu-dera temple, you will find true love. This temple is situated at the hillside and provides great view of Kyoto.

                The temple is supported by 139 pillars and is dedicated to the deity who is regarded as the powerful match maker. This Buddhist temple has many pagodas and beautiful gardens. Built in 1633, it is also enlisted in the UNESCO world heritage site.

                One of the astonishing facts about this temple is that not a single nail was used for its construction. Well, we can’t guarantee, if you will find love in Kiyomizu-dera temple, however, this amazing temple will definitely bewitch you.

                8. Kyoto Beef

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                  If you are into Japanese food, you must have heard about Kobe beef. However, Kyoto beef is supposed to be more exclusive as it is both tastier and more tender in comparison to other beefs.

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                  These beefs are only sold in Kyoto for consumption. Therefore, if you are a food lover, you must try the Kyoto beef. In addition, Sake and Sushi of Kyoto are also famous all over Japan because they provide their own unique taste and perspectives.

                  9. Ryoan-ji Temple

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                    The Ryoan-ji temple, also known as the Temple of Dragon at peace, is listed in the UNESCO heritage site. What makes it famous? The garden accompanying the temple is the best rock garden in the world.

                    The Karen Sansui garden, basically a dry garden, consists of fifteen rocks and has a special hidden message. You cannot see all the fifteen rocks from the courtyard of the temple. If you managed to do so, it is believed that your experience will be meaningful because 15 denotes completeness in Buddhism.

                    10. Nijo-jo Castle

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                      The Nijo-jo castle was built in 1603 by the Shogun Tokugawa Legasu with an objective to make it his official residence. It is believed that he wanted to showcase that Shogun has surpassed the emperor in prestige. Hence, the five buildings and 33 chamber castle is simply amazing.

                      In the Edo period, the rank of the visitor decided the chamber he could access, so only the highest dignitaries could reach the innermost chambers. It also has a special ‘Nightingale floor’ which is designed to warn off intruders. The floor makes a sound like chirping birds, if anybody walks on it.

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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