Translated by Lester Somera
Just a Kansai guy trying to get by
Kyoto, the old capital of Japan, boasting several world heritage sites and preserving the distinguished atmosphere of authentic Japanese culture is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. By using Google indoor view you can enjoy some of
According to a July 2014 poll taken by Travel+Leisure, a major American travel magazine which boasts a circulation of one million, Kyoto was voted “the city people would most like to visit” by its readers, marking the first time in magazine history that a Japanese city was selected as number one.
The survey looked at five criteria, including arts/culture and scenery, to develop overall ratings for each city. According to this analysis, one of the reasons Kyōto was chosen was its traditional Japanese cuisine, which was designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In 2014, the number of foreign visitors to Kyōto saw a 29.4% increase over the previous year, with an annual total of 1,341,000 tourists - a record high. It is projected that the number of foreign visitors will only continue to grow.
Why is Kyōto such a popular place around the world? It’s difficult to physically go to Kyōto’s famous locations to discover the reasons for yourself. That is why we’re going to use Google Indoor View to conduct a tour for you!
Move through the actual physical spaces, and look around the Kyōto cityscape for yourself.
Hanami Kōjidōri is the main street in Kyōto’s Gion district.
Bordering the street known as Shijo-dōri, Hanami Kōjidōri can be divided into north and south sides.
The atmosphere on the north and south sides varies quite a bit. The north side has a modern feel, with rows of izakaya buildings.
The south side feels more classically Japanese, with many teahouses and restaurants. In 2001 the power lines in this area were hidden underground, and the stone pavings were also repaired, giving the area a special ambiance.
Address: Hanamikoji Dori, Higashiyama, Kyōto, Japan
Homepage: Hanami Kōjidōri
Fushimi Inari Taisha is located in the Fushimi area of Kyōto, formerly known simply as Inari Shrine. The main shrine sits at the foot of Mt. Inari, and the entire mountain is regarded as sacred territory.
Fushimi Inari is the central Inari Shrine - of which there are roughly 30,000, spread out all across Japan. Vast crowds of people visit the shrine every year to pay respects on New Year’s Day. For people in the Kansai area, which includes Ōsaka and Kyōto, it is an immensely popular spot for shrinegoers to gather, and has been designated as an important cultural property of the nation.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi, Kyōto
Homepage: Fushimi Inari Taisha
Located in Takagamine in Kyoto, Genkōan is well-known for its circular "window of enlightenment" and square "window of doubt," which contain various meanings according to Buddhist teachings.
The roof planks, taken from Fushimi Castle and reconstructed here, still bear the scars of battle from Japan’s warring states period in the 1600s, and the building is an important historical relic.
Address: 47 Takagamine Kitatakagaminechō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu
Jishu Jinja, known for being the shrine that houses the god of en-musubi - personal connections - is a five-minute walk from Sannenzaka.
Located on the left-hand side after leaving the site of Kiyomizu, this shrine is bustling year-round with students on school trips and worshippers seeking personal connections. The most famous object, the "Love Fortune Stone," is popular with not just domestic visitors, but people from overseas as well. Several buildings and areas have been designated as important cultural properties, and the shrine itself is a World Heritage site.
*1…En-musubi refers to the bonds between people, particularly between men and women.
Address: Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Homepage: Jishu Jinja
The Toji pagoda, built as a temple to safeguard Kyoto, is one of the most representative sights in the city, and was designated as a national historic site in 1934. In December 1994, it became a World Heritage site, and was registered as a "cultural property of ancient Kyoto."
Tōji Five-Story Pagoda
Address: 1 Kujōchō, Minami-ku, Kyōto
Homepage: Tōji Five-Story Pagoda
Well, we’ve had the pleasure of showing you around just a few of Kyōto’s many World Heritage sites and important cultural properties, but the city contains so much more! If we have piqued your interest in Kyōto through this virtual tour, then come see the real places for yourself!