Visiting Kyoto and Nara was like a time travel to the past. We were wandering around cobblestone streets between old wooden buildings, watching monks in flowing robes carring their rituals, listening sounds of chanting and gongs in shrines and chrams, strolling in a perfectly designed Japanese gardens. We brought ourself to the home of traditional Japanese culture.
Kyoto and Nara are only 40 km away from each other. They seem to be very similar, but we encourage you to visit them both. Travelling between those two cities is very easy – just catch a train and in less than 1 hour you go from Kyoto to Nara or another way round.
It used to be a capital of Japan for over 1000 years (now Tokyo). Luckily, during the WWII it wasn’t destroyed so much and thanks to that we can still admire over 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 shinto chrams. Kyoto is a magic place and it sounds like we are sugarcoating, but it’s true. We can say that without a shadow of a doubt. It is worth going to the old town and walk around on mysterious streets to discover old tea houses or traditional restaurants. May you get lucky and see geisha? We did! 🙂
There is so much to see in Kyoto that days or weeks are not enough to walk from one to another attraction. We were there only for one week and definitely we want more! We must admit that we lost a lot of time looking for bicycles for our tour around Japan (will write about it soon!), but still most of the time we were sightseeing.
If you want to know a little bit more, just swipe over the picture and you’ll see some more info.
Very characteristic and inseparable fact is: Nara is full of… domesticated deers. They mostly live in Nara Park where most of the major shrines and museums are located. They not affraid of people at all. They even try to catch your attention to get some food! Every so often there is a stall selling Sika Sambei – deer biscuits. According to the legend, mythological god Takemikazuchi came to Nara on a white deer to protect newly built capital of this country. Since then deers are heavenly animals, protecting whole city.