Top Reasons to Go to Kyoto
Architecture: Despite modernization, about 27,000 traditional houses remain. The preservation districts include Sannen-zaka, Gion Shin-bashi, the sake brewing district in Fushimi, and the canal street leading to Kamigamo Jinja.
Gardens: Chinese-influenced gardens symbolize paradise on Earth. The karesansui (rock gardens) of Zen temples signify the quest for wholeness; the most famous of these is at Ryoan-ji.
Crafts: There's no shortage of art and antiques shops; secondhand kimonos are a bargain; and ceramics, lacquerware, and woven bamboo make great souvenirs.
Living culture: Professional dancers and performers, geisha are revered as an embodiment of culture, with their opulent kimonos, hair ornaments, and artistic skills.
Festivals: Experience one of Kyoto's festivals, many occurring between May and October.
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