Kyoto Images Places – A Information to Photogenic Wonders of Kyoto

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A Photographer’s Information to Kyoto, Japan

The true fantastic thing about Japanese tradition involves life within the conventional metropolis of Kyoto.

Wooded forests disguise ornate temples and shrines, Geisha scurry into historic service provider homes on dimly lit alleys and misty mountains reveal their magnificence all through the seasons.

A go to to Kyoto is like experiencing a glimpse into the previous. With over 2000 temples and an enormous variety of UNESCO world heritage websites, the town is called Japan’s cultural capital. These hoping to witness the quirkier aspect of Japan might be stored busy too with Purikura (picture cubicles) and arcades, animal cafes and markets full of bizarre delights. Whether or not you’re trying to seize the delicacies, nature, traditions or bustle of Kyoto, there’s one thing photogenic for everybody.

Relying on while you’re visiting Kyoto there’ll all the time be one thing to seize. The atmospheric festivals of summer season, vibrant leaves of autumn, cherry blossom magic in spring after which there’s the possibility of seeing a blanket of snowfall over the area in winter. In the event you can go to 4 occasions a yr, I’d extremely suggest it, you possibly can by no means get sufficient of Japan for my part!

On this information I’ve listed among the most photogenic sights of Kyoto together with one of the best day journey and locations to remain. In the event you’re visiting Kyoto and have a query, be happy to go away it within the feedback beneath and I’ll do my finest that will help you out!

Learn extra: Japan Journey Concepts – Go to the official Japan Nationwide Tourism Group web site

Additionally scroll all the way down to see my suggestions for one of the best day journey from Kyoto and which summer season competition you don’t wish to miss!

To get began, right here’s a little bit map to share the place every location is –

Kyoto Images Places –

Kinkaku-ji – Golden Pavilion

Referred to as the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji dazzles in look and sparkles with the daylight. With the higher storey accomplished lined in gold leaf, this is likely one of the hottest locations for guests in Kyoto, it’s actually a powerful sight to see.

Attributable to it’s reputation, it’s important to reach early when visiting Kinkaku-ji. Make sure you be a part of the queue about 30minutes earlier than opening time to make sure you may get in and {photograph} the pavilion with out too many individuals in your manner. One more reason to reach early is to expertise the serenity of the grounds.

The advanced befits the Zen temple of Kinkaku-ji with mossy gardens and a quaint little path main in the direction of the Sekkatei Teahouse and small wood corridor that includes Buddhist statues.

Getting right here: It is a nice alternative to go away comparatively early within the morning and take the general public bus. Searching the window or simply watching as individuals bounce on and off is an effective way to see the town from outdoors the vacationer sights. Bus #12 leaves from the Gion space and takes roughly 50mins in any other case bus #101 or #205 departs Kyoto Station taking round 40minutes.

Photograph Tip: In the event you arrive at opening time, head straight for the pavilion and seize a fantastic vantage level trying throughout the pond. Maintain an eye fixed out for reflections or body the pavilion utilizing the encompassing maple bushes, in the event you’re visiting in autumn it is a great spot for vibrant leaves!

Kyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering Lens

Ginkaku-ji – Silver Pavilion

Hidden within the foothills of the Higashiyama Mountains, Ginkaku-ji is my favorite temple in Kyoto. The serenity and peaceable ambiance right here is like nothing I’ve ever skilled, even when there’s a whole bunch of individuals round. With raked Zen patterns, moss lined manicured gardens and a forest path winding between maples, large bonsai and bamboo, it’s a tranquil escape.

Don’t anticipate the pavilion to be all shiny and shining silver. Regardless of the unique intention to match the golden Kinkakuji and canopy the pavilion in silver, as an alternative it now blends with the environment. You’ll discover Ginkaku-ji nestled among the many bushes with koi crammed ponds and little waterfalls throughout, it’s such a particular place!

Wandering across the backyard path takes you up into the hills a little bit the place you possibly can see the pavilion and Kyoto metropolis from above. Make sure you take your time because it’s a a technique path so cease and luxuriate in it as you make your manner round.

Getting right here: An excellent approach to attain Ginkaku-ji is to comply with the Thinker’s Path from Nanzen-ji. This path follows a canal and is called one of the best location to expertise Hanami, cherry blossom viewing in Spring. In any other case, buses 100, 17 or 5 will get you to Ginkaku-ji from Kyoto Station for 230yen.

Photograph tip: The doorway is lined with a tall hedge however peep by way of the hedge and also you’ll see thick bamboo. It’s value a peek to seize a shot of the bamboo utilizing the hedge as a mysterious inexperienced foreground blue. As soon as inside, meander slowly by way of the grounds of Ginkaku-ji and maintain your eyes peeled for particulars inside the gardens. There’s a fantastic angle on the north-eastern nook in entrance of The Hondo which lets you {photograph} the gardens and Togudo Corridor. The backyard path nonetheless provides so many lovely vantage factors to seize each Ginkaku-ji and Kyoto utilizing the bushes to border your photographs.

Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensGinkakuji Temple, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering Lens

Kiyomizu-dera + Higashiyama District

Quaint conventional streets dot the hillside on the best way to Kiyomizu-dera. The Higashiyama District is so image excellent which you could simply spend the complete day simply wandering and photographing all of the little particulars and hidden spots. You may get fortunate and see Geishas strolling by way of this space however primarily, the streets of Higashiyama are full of native produce, eating places and exercise all main the best way to the “Pure Water Temple” Kiyomizu-dera.

Nestled amongst cherry and maple bushes, this ornate wood temple is listed on the UNESCO world heritage listing and it solely takes one go to to see why. The balcony of the primary corridor was really constructed with out nails, when you see how tall and intricately it’s constructed, you’ll see how spectacular this actually is. The principle corridor and numerous temple buildings are the primary locations you’ll go to nonetheless I used to be personally taken by the temple grounds that characteristic round 200 small stone statues of Jizo, the protector of kids and travellers. The little statues are clothed in small apron like clothes making them further cute!

Getting right here: I like to recommend strolling right here from Gion to essentially get the complete expertise of the Higashiyama District and there are just a few temples to go to alongside the best way. Alternatively you possibly can catch buses 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station and bounce off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stops.

Photograph tip: Undergo Kiyomizu-dera and {photograph} it from the temple grounds so you might have the town of Kyoto within the background and might showcase the immense wood construction clinging to the hillside. There’s a fantastic vantage level about 50m alongside the trail from the temple, simply maintain strolling and looking out again till you see the pagoda just like the {photograph} beneath. Maintain an eye fixed out for the little Jizo statues too, they’re lovable.

Kyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering Lens


Enterprise to this quaint suburb of Kyoto to {photograph} Japanese surroundings at its most spectacular. A visible feast in each season, Arashiyama is dwelling to the notorious lush Bamboo Forest and it doesn’t disappoint with a peaceable path that winds beneath a towering cover of bamboo. For photographers it’s an inspirational backyard of alternatives, my tip is to search for and seize the immense peak of the bamboo by leaning proper up in opposition to them.

There’s quite a few temples and shrines all through Arashiyama so take your time strolling by way of the small again streets and visiting locations like Gio-ji Temple or Tenru-ji Temple which is UNESCO listed.

Arashiyama can also be dwelling to Monkey Park Iwatayama which you’ll be able to attain by an uphill hike by way of wooded forests and on the base of the hill you’ll discover the Cormorant Fishing boats which might be a fantastic cultural expertise as soon as the solar units…I’ll be posting extra particulars about this quickly in an in depth Arashiyama location information.

Getting right here: Probably the most dependable and quickest manner is by prepare and most strains will ultimately hook up with the Arashiyama line. I took the Hankyu Arashiyama Line from Gion however the JR Sagano Line (also called JR Sanin Line) is essentially the most direct and a one-way experience to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes quarter-hour and prices 240 yen.

Photograph tip: Spend the day in Arashiyama and enterprise alongside the southern aspect of Katsura River the place little waterfalls and drooping bushes make for pure picture topics. Additionally when photographing the Bamboo Grove, play together with your White Stability settings to showcase the brilliant greens correctly, cloudy normally works finest to convey out the colourful colors.

Learn a extra detailed article on the best way to {photograph} the Bamboo Grove right here.

Kyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens

Fushimi Inari Shrine

It was the promise of ruby pink Torii Gates that had me dreaming of visiting this gem that lies on the sacred Mount Inari in southern Kyoto. Whereas Fushimi Inari Shrine boasts a powerful Shinto Shrine at its entrance, the 1000’s of Torii Gates (donated by people and firms) are the main drawcard and are so hanging it takes a second to sink in that the gates simply maintain going.

You may hike the complete route of hillside trails that result in a clearing with a fantastic view over the town or simply wander slowly in awe of this distinctive tunnel of color. Alongside the best way you’ll want to get one other perspective by stepping outdoors the gates and look at the snake like path of pink because it weaves by way of the woods.

Arriving at dawn, and even 45minutes earlier than will guarantee you might have the shrine to your self and might {photograph} these prized pictures with out crowds. To be photographing and wandering amongst the torii gates because the solar rises is a very unimaginable expertise.

Getting right here: Take both the JR Nara Line to Inari station or the Keihan Major Line to Fushimi Inari Station. Each are roughly 5-10mins from Kyoto.

Photograph tip: In the event you’re feeling inventive, it may be enjoyable to blur individuals as they’re strolling alongside the trail, cross your fingers for a Japanese lady sporting conventional Kimono to essentially excellent the shot. The end result can flip a daily picture right into a transferring picture that provides an actual sense of place. Main strains work wonders right here additionally, proceed to comply with the path up into the hillside and also you’ll discover a variety of nice locations to {photograph} the torii gates as they weave by way of the forest.

Learn extra – ‘Views: Photographing Fushimi Inari Shrine – How + When’

Kyoto photography locations and travel guide to Kyoto by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, a complete travel guide to Kyoto's best photo spots by The Wandering LensJapan Photo Tour with The Wandering Lens

Gion District

Referred to as one of the best place to see the gorgeous Geisha, the Gion District is made up of conventional wood machiya service provider homes which line streets comparable to Hanami-koji Road. It’s value visiting at numerous occasions of the day as a result of the scene adjustments vastly as soon as the lights start to dimly showcase teahouses and gently reveal slim alleyways. In the course of the day it’s bustling and alive with vacationers however in the event you head in the direction of Yasaka Shrine you’ll break free from the crowds and get a fantastic view again over Shijo Avenue, the primary road of Gion.

My favorite place is the Shirakawa Space simply to the north of Shijo Ave, it’s a surprising little path that runs alongside Shirakawa Canal and takes you again just a few centuries with attractive willow bushes that appear to be large bonsai, a small bamboo fence and wood teahouses.

Getting right here: Ask anybody in Kyoto and so they can level you within the route of Gion however in the event you’re travelling by prepare search for the Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

Photograph tip: Don’t pester the Geishas by being their private paparazzi, they’re working and who needs flash bulbs of their face whereas strolling to work!? Observe respectfully and maintain your distance. For one of the best picture alternatives go to after darkish and wander alongside Hanami-koji Dori or Shirakawa Canal capturing the calm night vibe. Additionally climbing the steps to Yasaka Shrine at sundown gives you a fantastic view over the town or at evening it’s going to assist you to mess around with a gradual shutter and blur the site visitors beneath.

Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens

Yasaka Shrine + Maruyama Park

As essentially the most well-known shrine within the space, it’s important to pop by the Yasaka Shrine for a peek while you’re within the Gion area. Positioned proper on the finish of Shijo Dori you’ll discover this lovely shrine advanced sitting fairly trying over the town. A staircase leads as much as the shrine entrance by way of a two-story rōmon gate the place some evenings you’ll discover market stalls lining the trail promoting all types of yummy Japanese snack meals.

All through the advanced there’s a sequence of halls, lanterns and bells that are rung when worshipers notify the gods of their presence and prayers. It’s a stupendous place to wander round watching as individuals carry out rituals and in addition write on want plaques and participate in luck readings.

In the event you proceed strolling up by way of the Yasaka Shrine you’ll enterprise into Maruyama Park which is a calming space full of ponds, blossom bushes and maples. There’s additional temples hidden all through the park so maintain your digicam able to seize the smaller particulars and surroundings round every nook.

Getting right here: In the event you’re in Gion, merely wander to the top of Shijo Dori (the primary road) and also you’ll see the pink gates on the finish when going through east. In any other case take buses 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station and bounce off on the Gion cease, it takes roughly 20minutes.

Photograph tip: Go to round sundown so you possibly can watch the colors change over Gion from beneath the rōmon gate then wander up into Yasaka Shrine round nightfall when the lanterns start to glow.

Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering LensYasaka Shrine, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering LensYasaka Shrine, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering Lens

Nishiki Market

The smells, the tradition, tastes and hues, it’s all below the roof of Nishiki Market, fondly dubbed ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’. Right here your eyes might be opened to the world of Japanese delicacies with candy Octopus skewers, soy ice cream and fish of all types on show prepared for munching. Oh and donuts, the donuts are good!

There’s such a buzz within the air as you wander by way of the market and whereas there are a whole bunch of individuals, take just a few pit stops on the numerous little stalls and pattern one thing weirdly fantastic. The market is a good place for photographing particulars from the meals by way of to the signage with Japanese characters.

Getting right here: Nishiki Market is one block north of Shijo Road and runs parallel for 5 blocks west from Teramachi Procuring Arcade, additionally value a peek for its oodles of arcade video games!

Photograph tip: Whereas the meals is distracting, maintain an eye fixed out for the stall holders that sit patiently ready for individuals to pattern their merchandise. They’re nice images topics and in the course of all of the chaos a relaxed face is usually a nice distinction.

Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering LensKyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens

The place to Keep in Kyoto?

Kyoto has many areas to decide on between and all have a wide range of lodging choices out there. In the event you’re visiting through the widespread Sakura season (cherry blossoms) you’ll want to e-book your lodging properly prematurely as a result of it’s not solely widespread for international guests, however home travellers too.

Having visited Kyoto 4 occasions now, my favorite place to remain is within the Gion or Higashiyama Districts. They’re centrally positioned, properly accessed by public transport and are proper within the midst of the temples, shrines and historic streets.

4 Seasons Kyoto is a model new lodge and a haven for all issues culturally luxurious. The lodge options it’s personal non-public gardens, an 800 yr outdated ikeniwa, a pond backyard that completely shines throughout autumn. Take a peek at my visible lodge evaluation of the 4 Seasons Kyoto for extra pictures, however in the event you’re in search of someplace particular to remain in Kyoto, that is the place.

Expertise someplace actually particular and keep at Hoshinoya Kyoto, a tradtional lodge nestled amongst the gorgeous landscapes of Arashiyama. Examine my keep right here.

In case your finances is a little bit tighter, the Japaning Resort chain are the right resolution. With accommodations in Gion, Higashiyama and different suburbs of Kyoto, they’re small condominium model rooms with every part you’ll want to remain for just a few days. Don’t anticipate something fancy, simply clear, comfy rooms positioned completely all through Kyoto. They’ve acquired little kitchens and laundries plus characteristic the flamboyant Japanese bathrooms that everybody must expertise at the very least as soon as!

Four Seasons Kyoto, Japan Visual Hotel Review

The Gion Matsuri – A summer season competition to not miss!

There are solely so many phrases you should use to explain a Japanese competition and that’s as a result of they’re merely considered one of a sort. They’re loud, vibrant, loopy and entertaining however so very conventional and weirdly calming. Each July the streets of Kyoto flip into a large celebration with essentially the most well-known competition of all of them, Gion Matsuri.

Massive wood floats as much as 25m excessive often called Yamaboko roll by way of the town centre. At round 12 tonnes in weight, these spectacular constructions are pulled by teams of males wearing conventional Yukatas as crowds line the trail and cheer in delight. In the event you’re visiting in July be ready to be wowed by the Gion Matsuri!

Take a peek at some pictures beneath…

Gion Matsuri Festival, Kyoto JapanGion Matsuri Festival, Kyoto JapanGion Matsuri Festival, Kyoto Japan

Finest Day Journey from Kyoto – Nara

In the event you’ve acquired just a few days in Kyoto, spend considered one of them exploring the close by historic city of Nara. With 8 UNESCO world heritage sights and the sprawling Nara Park dotted with temples and museums, it’s the right place for a day journey from Kyoto.

One of many most important causes guests flock to Nara are the furry and pleasant deer. Regarded as messengers of the gods, there’s over 1200 deer that roam all through Nara Park and so they’re even thought of to be pure treasures.

Visiting throughout cherry blossom season means the park might be lined in pastel pink Sakura, a stupendous time to expertise this space of Japan.

No go to to Nara is full with out seeing Toda-ji Temple. Housing Daibutsu, the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, it’s a powerful wood constructing and really photogenic each inside and outside.

Getting Right here: From Kyoto the quickest approach to get to Nara is on the JR Nara Line Categorical (Kaisoku) which takes roughly 45mins. Alternatively there’s the native line which takes simply over an hour. Trains run usually all through the day and there’s a few 20minute stroll from the station to Nara Park.

Todaji Temple Nara, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering LensNara Day Trip from Kyoto - Kyoto photography location guide by The Wandering Lens

Escape the Crowds on Mount Hiei

Take a break from downtown Kyoto and enterprise on a brief bus experience to the highest of Mt Hiei the place expansive views over Lake Biwa will maintain any photographer comfortable. In autumn, the colors in surrounding forests are a rainbow of heat hues with sundown offering the right alternative to {photograph} over Kyoto in the direction of the Arashiyama district.

In the event you fancy an in a single day expertise, you possibly can keep on the L’Resort de Hiei and luxuriate in wine tasting, nice eating, a luxurious room then get up at dawn for a particular cultural expertise. Designed across the French ‘auberge’ idea the place a restaurant has lodging amenities, a keep at this Hoshino property is additional enhanced by witnessing the morning prayer on the Enryakuji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage website.

This peaceable expertise is simply half-hour from downtown Kyoto and I’d contemplate it a should do in the event you’ve acquired just a few further days spare in your itinerary to see one other aspect of this fascinating metropolis.

Hoshino Resorts Kyoto

Hoshino Resorts Kyoto

Have you ever been to Kyoto and have someplace photogenic to suggest? Be at liberty to go away a message within the feedback beneath!

Kyoto photography locations, the best photo spots in Kyoto and Nara by The Wandering Lens

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