Kyoto Images Location Journey Information + Kyoto Lodging

A Photographer’s Information to Kyoto, Japan

The true great 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 facet of Japan shall be saved busy too with Purikura (photograph 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 whenever you’re visiting Kyoto there’ll at all times be one thing to seize. The atmospheric festivals of summer time, vibrant leaves of autumn, cherry blossom magic in spring after which there’s the prospect of seeing a blanket of blizzard over the area in winter. In the event you can go to 4 instances 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 a number of the most photogenic sights of Kyoto together with the very best day journey and locations to remain. In the event you’re visiting Kyoto and have a query, be at liberty to depart 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 the very best day journey from Kyoto and which summer time pageant you don’t wish to miss!

To get began, right here’s a 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 without doubt one of the hottest locations for guests in Kyoto, it’s really a formidable sight to see.

Because of it’s recognition, it’s important to reach early when visiting Kinkaku-ji. You should definitely be part of the queue about 30minutes earlier than opening time to make sure you will get in and {photograph} the pavilion with out too many individuals in your method. One more reason to reach early is to expertise the serenity of the grounds.

The complicated 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 depart comparatively early within the morning and take the general public bus. Searching the window or simply watching as folks bounce on and off is an effective way to see the town from exterior 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 terrific vantage level wanting throughout the pond. Hold a watch out for reflections or body the pavilion utilizing the encompassing maple timber, when you’re visiting in autumn this can be a excellent 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 count on the pavilion to be all vivid 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 timber with koi stuffed ponds and little waterfalls throughout, it’s such a particular place!

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

Getting right here: A perfect solution to attain Ginkaku-ji is to comply with the Thinker’s Path from Nanzen-ji. This path follows a canal and is called the very 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 via the hedge and also you’ll see thick bamboo. It’s price a peek to seize a shot of the bamboo utilizing the hedge as a mysterious inexperienced foreground blue. As soon as inside, meander slowly via the grounds of Ginkaku-ji and maintain your eyes peeled for particulars throughout the gardens. There’s a terrific angle on the north-eastern nook in entrance of The Hondo which lets you {photograph} the gardens and Togudo Corridor. The backyard path nevertheless gives so many stunning vantage factors to seize each Ginkaku-ji and Kyoto utilizing the timber to border your pictures.

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

Nestled amongst cherry and maple timber, 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 principle corridor was truly constructed with out nails, when you see how tall and intricately it’s constructed, you’ll see how spectacular this really is. The principle corridor and varied temple buildings are the primary locations you’ll go to nevertheless I used to be personally taken by the temple grounds that function round 200 small stone statues of Jizo, the protector of kids and travellers. The little statues are clothed in small apron like attire making them further cute!

Getting right here: I like to recommend strolling right here from Gion to actually get the total expertise of the Higashiyama District and there are just a few temples to go to alongside the way in which. 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 have got the town of Kyoto within the background and might showcase the immense wood construction clinging to the hillside. There’s a terrific vantage level about 50m alongside the trail from the temple, simply maintain strolling and searching again till you see the pagoda just like the {photograph} beneath. Hold a watch 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 residence 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 top of the bamboo by leaning proper up towards them.

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

Arashiyama can also be residence to Monkey Park Iwatayama which you’ll be able to attain by an uphill hike via wooded forests and on the base of the hill you’ll discover the Cormorant Fishing boats which might be a terrific 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 method is by practice and most traces will finally 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 facet of Katsura River the place little waterfalls and drooping timber make for pure photograph topics. Additionally when photographing the Bamboo Grove, play along with your White Steadiness settings to showcase the brilliant greens correctly, cloudy normally works finest to deliver out the colourful colors.

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

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

Fushimi Inari Shrine

It was the promise of ruby crimson 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 formidable Shinto Shrine at its entrance, the hundreds of Torii Gates (donated by people and corporations) are the most important drawcard and are so placing it takes a second to sink in that the gates simply maintain going.

You possibly can hike all the route of hillside trails that result in a clearing with a terrific view over the town or simply wander slowly in awe of this distinctive tunnel of color. Alongside the way in which make sure to get one other perspective by stepping exterior the gates and examine the snake like path of crimson because it weaves via the woods.

Arriving at dawn, and even 45minutes earlier than will guarantee you have got 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 really unimaginable expertise.

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

Photograph tip: In the event you’re feeling artistic, it may be enjoyable to blur folks as they’re strolling alongside the trail, cross your fingers for a Japanese lady carrying conventional Kimono to actually excellent the shot. The outcome can flip a daily photograph right into a transferring picture that provides an actual sense of place. Main traces 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 via 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 the very best place to see the gorgeous Geisha, the Gion District is made up of conventional wood machiya service provider homes which line streets equivalent to Hanami-koji Avenue. It’s price visiting at varied instances of the day as a result of the scene adjustments enormously 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 when you head in the direction of Yasaka Shrine you’ll break free from the crowds and get a terrific view again over Shijo Avenue, the principle avenue of Gion.

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

Getting right here: Ask anybody in Kyoto and so they can level you within the path of Gion however when you’re travelling by practice 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 the very best photograph 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 provides you with a terrific view over the town or at night time it’s going to let you mess around with a gradual shutter and blur the visitors beneath.

Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens Kyoto 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 whenever you’re within the Gion area. Positioned proper on the finish of Shijo Dori you’ll discover this stunning shrine complicated sitting fairly wanting over the town. A staircase leads as much as the shrine entrance via a two-story rōmon gate the place some evenings you’ll discover market stalls lining the trail promoting every kind of yummy Japanese snack meals.

All through the complicated 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 gorgeous place to wander round watching as folks carry out rituals and in addition write on want plaques and participate in luck readings.

In the event you proceed strolling up via the Yasaka Shrine you’ll enterprise into Maruyama Park which is a calming space full of ponds, blossom timber 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 principle avenue) and also you’ll see the crimson 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 Lens Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto photography locations in Japan by The Wandering Lens Yasaka 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 shall be opened to the world of Japanese delicacies with candy Octopus skewers, soy ice cream and fish of all kinds on show prepared for munching. Oh and donuts, the donuts are good!

There may be such a buzz within the air as you wander via the market and whereas there are a whole bunch of individuals, take just a few pit stops on the varied little stalls and pattern one thing weirdly great. The market is a superb place for photographing particulars from the meals via to the signage with Japanese characters.

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

Photograph tip: Whereas the meals is distracting, maintain a watch out for the stall holders that sit patiently ready for folks to pattern their merchandise. They’re nice pictures topics and in the course of all of the chaos a peaceful face is usually a nice distinction.

Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens Kyoto Photography Locations, Japan travel guide by The Wandering Lens Kyoto 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 in the course of the well-liked Sakura season (cherry blossoms) make sure to e-book your lodging effectively upfront as a result of it’s not solely well-liked for international guests, however home travellers too.

Having visited Kyoto 4 instances now, my favorite place to remain is within the Gion or Higashiyama Districts. They’re centrally positioned, effectively 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 assessment of the 4 Seasons Kyoto for extra pictures, however when you’re on the lookout for someplace particular to remain in Kyoto, that is the place.

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

In case your funds is a bit tighter, the Japaning Lodge chain are the proper resolution. With resorts in Gion, Higashiyama and different suburbs of Kyoto, they’re small condo fashion rooms with the whole lot you’ll want to remain for just a few days. Don’t count on something fancy, simply clear, comfy rooms positioned completely all through Kyoto. They’ve acquired little kitchens and laundries plus function the flowery Japanese bogs that everybody must expertise a minimum of as soon as!

Four Seasons Kyoto, Japan Visual Hotel Review

The Gion Matsuri – A summer time pageant to not miss!

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

Massive wood floats as much as 25m excessive often known as Yamaboko roll via the town centre. At round 12 tonnes in weight, these spectacular buildings 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 Japan Gion Matsuri Festival, Kyoto Japan Gion Matsuri Festival, Kyoto Japan

Finest Day Journey from Kyoto – Nara

In the event you’ve acquired just a few days in Kyoto, spend one among 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 proper 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-about to be pure treasures.

Visiting throughout cherry blossom season means the park shall be lined in pastel pink Sakura, a gorgeous 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 formidable wood constructing and really photogenic each inside and outside.

Getting Right here: From Kyoto the quickest solution to get to Nara is on the JR Nara Line Specific (Kaisoku) which takes roughly 45mins. Alternatively there’s the native line which takes simply over an hour. Trains run repeatedly 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 glad. In autumn, the colors in surrounding forests are a rainbow of heat hues with sundown offering the proper 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’Lodge de Hiei and luxuriate in wine tasting, advantageous eating, an opulent 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 when you’ve acquired just a few further days spare in your itinerary to see one other facet 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 depart 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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