Through My Lens: Kansai Adventures Part 3, Kyoto

Kyoto was a blast! Kyoto also once served as Japan’s Capital, and was almost bombed in WWII. The city is one that littered with endless temples, shrines and historic structures, so if you wish to immerse yourself in traditional Japan, Kyoto is it.

Fushimi Inari was my first stop. I got up early to try beat the queues. Fushimi Inari is famous for its orange torii gates that form a trail through the forest and lead to Mount Inari. Roughly half way to the top, one can experience the beautiful views of Kyoto. Fushimi Inari, like many shinto shrines in Japan, offers visitors the chance to write their wishes on wooden plates and hang them along the walls of the shrine. I walked the path, left my wishes and I was ready to see the rest of Kyoto.

I  headed for Higashiyama district to see the traditional wooden buildings and merchant shops. This is where you can take time and walk through the streets and shops. Treat yourself to lovely lunches, souvenirs, and sweet treats. I visited the Kiyomizudera and  Kodaiji temple,  and Yasaka Padoga that surrounded Higashiyama. From time to time I lost myself in the sights and atmosphere of the area, but I honestly didn’t mind.

As I explored the city, I noticed that a lot of people were dressed in the traditional Japanese garb, kimonos. Initially I assumed that Japanese people in Kyoto just liked being in their kimonos, like you find with many Tsonga women in Elim, Limpopo.  It wasn’t long until I realised that even foreigners were wearing kimonos. Guess what? There are stores in Kyoto that allow you to rent and dress up in a variety of kimonos and walk through the city.

That evening, Rori joined me for dinner. We went hunting for good places to eat out in Pontocho, which is a popular dinning area in Kyoto. There are places that offer high-end traditional cuisine and those that are more affordable restaurants and cafes. Shijo Dori and Kiyamachi street and some of the nearby streets and alleys also have a variety of places to eat out.

I know I haven’t mentioned much about the food, but food added immensely to the experience across Japan, and Kyoto was one place where I had the some of the most memorable meals after the yakiniku with the Shiomis.

Please enjoy the gems of Kyoto Through My Lens.

Through My Lens series is a project that aims to look at some of my favourite adventures through a series of simple images.


Fushimi Inari


Higashiyama district and surrounding areas


Kyoto was the one city that I didn’t mind getting lost in. When I got lost, I embraced it and that opened up parts of Kyoto I don’t think I would have readily come across as a tourist.


31 thoughts on “Through My Lens: Kansai Adventures Part 3, Kyoto

  1. Lovely set of pictures. Kyoto still seems to be in a time warp. There is so much old-world charm, thanks to that traditional architecture buildings and the costumes that locals wear. You must have thoroughly enjoyed the trip.


  2. Beautiful pictures! We have had Japan on our list for years! Saving this article for when I start to make an itinerary! I am totally going to make my husband rent some traditional clothes with me!!


  3. Some really great shots here, gives a great insight into the fabulous array of colours that define the country. Unfortunately never make it to Kyoto on my travels but it seems from your post that it is as vibrant as everywhere else. Really enjoyed and pinned a couple of shots. Thanks!


  4. Wonderful photos!
    Have been reading japan related posts since morning and I now have a strong urge to visit this gem of a place!
    Bucket list Updated!

    Thanks for the amazing post!


  5. I would love to visit Kyoto and I am definitely planning to include it in my trip to Japan. I remember reading a book about a little girl who grew up in Kyoto, as a maid to a rich family, and I would love to follow her steps through the city. Must be amazing to see geishas on the streets!


  6. Great pictures! The architecture in Kyoto looks amazing, so many beautiful temples! It looks like a very well preserved city. I will definitely include it in my next trip to Japan


  7. Some fab pictures! What camera do you use? I’m glad I found this post because I’m going to Japan in January but only for a few days so I’m trying to choose between tokyo and Kyoto. Higashiyama district is kinda swaying me towards Kyoto… Which would you recommend? Did you go to Tokyo?


    1. I use my canon 550D, when I travel, I am very comfortable with it!! It is really hard to choose, I spent two days in Tokyo, (see post: ), I found that it was extremely populated, but it had Studio Ghibli. I quite enjoyed the Kyoto area because it was close to other cities, such as Nara and Osaka(I also blogged about these). I guess it depends on what you are looking to get out of the trip ;).


  8. I simply adore Japan! Unfortunately I’ve been to Kyoto for a day only, and on that day I can’t say I really enjoyed the city, but considering that for me Japan is a country I’d like to go at least every year, I guess in the (near) future I’ll have the time to explore it with more calm 🙂


  9. Love the pictures! Really give you a feeling of what Kyoto is all about and they have definitely put Kyoto on my travel list. I can’t wait to go into one of those rental places, put on a beautiful kimono and proudly stroll through the city’s gorgeous streets 🙂


    1. It is quite a comfortable place to roam around. people are really friendly, and you actually meet many people from different parts of the world who have settled there, because they fell in love with the city!


  10. Gorgeous pictures. I have always wanted to go to Japan as it is such an interesting colourful place. Your pictures, make me want to go even more now.


  11. There are not that many articles about Kyoto for some reason so this was really interesting to see. The orange gates of Fushimi Inari look great to pass by. I would be interested to learn more about the food you mentioned.


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