Shimabara – Kyoto’s Forgotten Courtesan's District

The area to the west of Kyoto main station has gone through major changes in recent years. Ume Koji Park has seen the construction of the popular Kyoto Aquarium, the upgrading and renovation of Kyoto Railway Museum, a new café in the park and new children’s playground. These changes have brought in many more visitors to the area and because of this, a new station has just opened between Kyoto and Tambaguchi, Ume Koji Nishi Kyoto.

Inexpensive Maiko Encounters and Kimono Cosplay in Kyoto

Those who maintain venerable traditions are highly valued in Kyoto. Even though maiko and the older geiko are part of an exclusive high society, there are not enough new recruits anymore. In the renowned Gion area they dart out of taxis into teahouses at twilight, so there is little chance to stop them for a photo.

Honenin's thatched-roof gate with bright red autumn foliage above

Discovering Kyoto’s Hidden Autumn Treasures – And Avoiding the Crowds

You can avoid the long waits outside temple entrances and bus stops by avoiding the guidebook-recommended spots, such as Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji, Heian Shrine or Arashiyama. Indeed, these gorgeous sites reveal Kyoto’s most treasured maple views; yet, there are other 1,600 and more temples and shrines in Kyoto that likewise exude charming beauty in their simplicity, solace, and natural landscapes.

5 Coffee Shops in Kyoto Worth Visiting

As coffee becomes more popular nowadays, it is not rare to find someone craving for a cup of coffee in the morning before they start the day–even while they are traveling. Luckily, Kyoto has several coffee shops that offer its tourist wide range of choice – from the local one to the multinational one. Here are five coffee shops in Kyoto you may want to consider to visit before you start your day exploring Arashiyama or Kiyomizu-dera.

Exploring the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan

When you’re planning your trip to Kyoto the initial thought is to visit all the shrines and historical museums, which of course, are definitely worth a visit. But also, because of this, Japan’s contemporary culture is overlooked when thinking of Kyoto. So why not change the itinerary a bit? Take a day to immerse yourself in the country’s modern times and artworks.

Kyoto’s Tale of Genji Museum is an Enjoyable Wander into Japan’s Literary World

The last ten chapters of The Tale of Genji are set in the small town of Uji in Kyoto, and the city has a small yet delightful museum dedicated to it. The Tale of Genji Museum first opened in 1998, but it’s been upgraded in recent years with some fun interactive and digital elements. If you’re a fan of the novel, or want to escape the tourist crowds in Kyoto, it’s well worth a look.

Experience the Meditative Effects of Traditional Japanese Arts with Makie Lacquer Painting in Kyoto

One such art is Maki-e, (蒔絵) a traditional Japanese lacquer painting. Maki means “sprinkling” and e means "picture". It is the most basic technique of a pattern of lacquerware making that is traditionally painted on plates, trays, mirrors, cups, boxes and other objects made from bamboo or wood, but also sometimes paper, leather or basket materials.

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