One of our many stops during our visit to Japan was Kyoto! It is a city you cannot miss on your trip to this beautiful country. Kyoto was the old capital of Japan for over one thousand years and as such it offers its visitors a number of incredible historical buildings and breathtaking temples to visit!
We picked the Garnet hotel for our stay in Kyoto, mainly as we wanted something close to the Kyoto station, that is comfortable and modern. The hotel was exactly what we expected.
The hotel also provides transportation with a mini bus to some of the main sightseeing spots in the town, such as the Kinkaku-ji temple, which is also super comfortable. The staff were really friendly and helpful and one of the things I loved the most about the hotel group is the information centre which they have next to the Kyoto station. In there you can find all the tourist information ou might need and it is totally free of charge. They can also help you book experiences during your stay. We managed to book tickets to a geisha show in the Gion theatre and a kimono dressing experience, which we enjoyed way too much!
The hotel offers 8 types of rooms and each one of them has a Panasonic beauty kit installed. Our room also had a massage chair in it, so you can relaxc after spending the whole day visiting historical sights in the city.
As I said Kyoto is one of the absolute must see places in Japan, especially if you want to discover more about the world of geishas´ and some of the oldest Japanese traditions.
There are also incredible temples in Kyoto, which are a must see. Some of my favourites were:
Kinkaku-ji, also known as the golden temple is a world heritage site, which attracts a huge number of visitors annually. The pavillion is made of wood, as most of the historical buildings in Japan, but it is colored in gold, which makes it so special. It is indeed one of the prettiest buildings I have ever seen, situated in a lake and surrounded by beautiful nature. The building dates back to 1397 and was owned by a powerful Japanese family. After the death of the owner, the pavilion was transformed into a Zen temple.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is a temple situated in a mountain 233 meters above the sea level. The main temple is on the top of the hill and the way to it is 4 kilometers. The whole way up the mountain is with trails in which you walk to get there. They look like massive corridors made out of wooden columns, each one of which includes a Buddhist message on it. The earliest structures in this temple date back to 711.
Kiyomizu-dera is another must visit temple in Kyoto. It is part of the historical monuments of ancient Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage, and in my opinion, it was the prettiest temple in the city. The temple was founded in 778, but its present buildings were constructed in 1633.
When in Kyoto I would highly recommend you to also visit the bamboo forest and the Gion area, if you are interested to see some authentic architecture and even a geisha walking down the street. If you visit during the spring, you will also discover many amazing cherry trees around the city!
If you are visiting Kyoto, I would highly recommend you to spend at least 3 nights there, in order to have time to see all the main sightseeing sites and to enjoy what the city has to offer. The Garnet hotel is a part of a big hotel group, that has many hotels and restaurants across Kyoto and I am sure you will find the hotel you are looking for in one of their properties.
Tina J xx