When you pull into Kyoto, you could be forgiven for naively thinking that it’s just another industrial Japanese city.
However, the city is actually full of some of the most incredible castles, temple and shrine you’ll ever see.
You can turn corners and find yourself face to face with some of the largest wooden buildings on earth.
The grounds of most of these buildings are almost completely hidden from the streets and contain their own treasures:
Traditional Japanese and bonzai gardens can be found everywhere:
Later you can climb the lush hills, where you’ll pass graveyards on the way to various shrines:
The hills are dotted with different temples and shrines, each their own charms:
Some seem to literally appear out of the hills:
If you explore a little off the beaten path you might find yourself in the middle of a bamboo forest:
Back on the beaten path, you can wind your way through the wooden houses and granite paving stone streets of the old city:
If you hunt around, you’ll get a glimpse of courtyards full of rock gardens and ornate fantasy gardens attached to tea houses:
When you explore Nijo Castle, you almost expect a samurai to come walking around the corner:
It’s a beautiful city and should be on any Japan traveller’s agenda.
Here are a few parting shots: