Six Reasons To Visit Kyoto - A Photo Essay
A nice way to pass the afternoon

I found this pair fishing by a canal in Kyoto. The Philosopher's Walk is a beautiful walk lined with cherry blossoms in the Higashiyama district. It begins at the Silver Pavilion and follows a walk taken most days by one of Japan's most famous philosophers, Nishida Kitaro - and also teddy bears.
Eternal contemplation

Continuing with philosophy, what is Kyoto without contemplation? The city is famed for its rock and sand gardens, which can be found in most temples, and even ryokans. Sit, enjoy, and ponder your mortality.
A small restaurant in a Kyoto side street

Afterwards, it is time to contemplate the pleasures of eating. Every style of food is on offer, for every budget. Take the chance and go somewhere filled with locals, where no one speaks English and choose by pointing at the exquisite models on display. Try a local dish, from curry to sushi train - to a meal from a vending machine.
A maiko at work

Visit the Gion area, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. At night it is packed with tourists, but of a late afternoon you just might spy a maiko (apprentice) finishing her daily chores.
Kyoto stepping stones

Expect the unexpected. Stepping stones in the shape of animals was not what I expected in a city of 1.5 million. But when in Rome....
The fires of a brazier when cormorant fishing

If in Kyoto in the summer months, catch a bus to Arashiyama and watch the cormorant fishing, much as the court nobles did during the Heian Era (794 - 1185 AD). 

Then, of course, there are some more unusual things to do in Japan....

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