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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 May 15, 2019

                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                      As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

                      “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

                      When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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                      Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

                      We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

                      But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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                      So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

                      It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

                      1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

                      Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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                      2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

                      This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

                      You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

                      3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

                      This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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                      4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

                      How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

                      So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

                      If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

                      And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

                      Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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