Monday, March 3, 2014

36 Hours in Kyoto

Yesterday's New York Times Travel section had an interesting article in its "36 House in..." series. I found the Kyoto, Japan, article interesting because it recommends less famous but still extraordinary sites, all of which I've seen. It also recommends a number of restaurants and bars, none of which I know. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Kyoto is filled with exceptional restaurants and bars and when I've been there I've tended to let serendipity take over.

The Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Two of the spots the Times recommends I would add to a visitor's "must see" list: the bamboo forest in Arashiyama and the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shinto temple with it hundreds of torii gates. Arashiyama is a district in north west Kyoto and is easy to reach by bus or train. In addition to the bamboo forest, there are a number of wonderful temples and a stroll garden in Okochisanso, formerly the estate of a silent movie star.
A Shinto priest purifies a new car at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine
The hundreds of torii gates at the shrine form a tunnel up the mountain.
You can also reach the Fushimi Inari Taishi by train from central Kyoto but it requires a tricky change and I would recommend a cab. It's worth the expense.


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