Kyoto Photos

From the Yasaka Shrine to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, check out the attractions and foods of this Japanese city.

Photos

Himeji-jo

Himeji-jo

Himeji-jo
Called "White Egret Castle" for its supposed resemblance to a white bird taking flight, Himeji-jo is a perfect archetypal example of Japanese architecture dating back to 1333. The castle is actually a complex of 83 buildings that make up one of the most advanced defensive structures of 14th-century Japan.
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Bernard Gagnon, Wikimedia Commons  

Futarasan Shrine

Futarasan Shrine

Shrines and Temples of Nikko: Futarasan Shrine
Built in 767, the Shinto shrine Futarasan has a collection of over 130 swords that are considered national treasures. Mount Nikko, where the shrine stands, is believed to be the home of Shinto and Buddhist deities and has been where many monks received their religious training.
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Wally Gobetz, flickr  

Yakushima

Yakushima

Yakushima
The island of Yakushima was designated a World Heritage Site because it is home to a remnant of ancient forest. It also happens to be the largest nesting ground in the North Pacific for loggerhead sea turtles, an endangered species.
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Chris Harber, flickr  

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and Its Cultural Landscape
On Honshu Island, a collection of mountains and deep river valleys make up the archaeological remains of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. This mine produced silver between the 16th and 20th centuries, and in the 17th century produced a third of the world's silver.
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Yama 1009, Wikimedia Commons  

Kimpu Shrine

Kimpu Shrine

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
Due to the role they played in the fusion of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs, the sacred sites of Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan and Koyasan were named one of Japan’s World Heritage sites. Located along the pilgrimage routes in the forests of the Kii Mountains, the sacred sites are visited by up to 15 million hikers each year.
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663highland, Wikimedia Commons  

Ogasawara Islands

Ogasawara Islands

Ogasawara Islands
More than 30 islands make up the Ogasawara Islands, which are the home to 195 endangered bird species and 441 native plants. With its subtropical forests, the islands have been nicknamed the "Galapagos of the Orient."
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OgasawaraEnglishClub, Wikitravel Creative Commons  

Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto: Kinkaku-ji
Kinkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is just one of 17 locations that make up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto World Heritage Site. The original temple was built in 1397 as a villa, and then converted into a temple. Unfortunately, it burned down in 1950; the temple standing today was built as a replica in 1955.
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Keith Pomakis, Wikimedia Commons  

Shirakami-Sanchi

Shirakami-Sanchi

Shirakami-Sanchi
The ancient beech forest of Shirakami-Sanchi is one of the last of its kind in East Asia, and is undisturbed with no trails or manmade structures. Rare birds such as the black woodpecker and golden eagle live among the forest's numerous waterfalls and steep valleys.
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Hidetsugu Tonomura, flickr  

The Horyu-ji Temple

The Horyu-ji Temple

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area
The Horyu-ji Temple, one of the Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area, was the first historic place listed as a Japanese World Heritage Site. Considered the world's oldest wooden structure, its full name is Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law. The temple houses 38 national treasures along with a vast collection of Japanese art.
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663highland, Wikimedia Commons  

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
Isolated from the rest of the world, the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama cultivated mulberry trees and raised silkworms to survive. The architecture of the homes is the only example of its kind in Japan, with its steep thatched roofs allowing the houses to withstand the area's heavy snowfalls.
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Bergmann, Wikimedia Commons  

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park
The name of the Shiretoko National Park is derived from a word meaning "end of the Earth." The description is fitting since the park is accessible only by foot or boat, making it one of the most remote regions in Japan.
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Thinkstock  

Naha Shuri Castle

Naha Shuri Castle

Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu
Shuri Castle in the city of Naha was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In the 1945 Battle of Okinawa it was destroyed, then rebuilt in 1992 on the original site thanks to historical records and photographs.
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663highland, Wikimedia Commons  

Genbaku Dome

Genbaku Dome

Hiroshima Peace Memorial: Genbaku Dome
The only building left standing in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb exploded in 1945, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial honors the more than 70,000 people who were killed -- and the additional 70,000 who were injured -- by the blast. The ruin serves as a reminder of the importance of peaceful negotiation.
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SElefant, Wikimedia Commons  

Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi
The historic gardens and temples of Hiraizumi are devoted to the ideals of Pure Land Buddhism -- the area represents the pure land of Buddha where believers hope to visit after death.
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ReijiYamashina, Wikimedia Commons  

Kasuga Grand Shrine

Kasuga Grand Shrine

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara: Kasuga Shrine
Kasuga Grand Shrine, located in the city of Nara, is known for its many bronze lanterns that fill the interior, as well as the more than 1,000 stone lanterns that line the path to the temple.
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663highland, Wikimedia Commons   

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
The Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, built on a pier in the water, looks as if it is floating. It was built this way so visitors to the shrine could pass through the gate and be cleansed before setting foot on the sacred island of Itsukushima.
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Spiegel, flickr  

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

The business and entertainment district of Shinjuku is constantly flooded with people – over 2 million a day. 960 1280

Tinou Bao, flickr  

Sign in Tokyo Airport

Sign in Tokyo Airport

This sign in the Tokyo airport reminds you to keep a close watch on your luggage, or a ninja might swipe it. 960 1280

Alex Castro, flickr  

Akihabara

Akihabara

The district of Akihabara is known for its shopping, particularly if you're looking for anime souvenirs. 960 1280

OiMax, flickr   

Tokyo Signs

Tokyo Signs

No matter what street you wander down in Tokyo, watch out for sensory overload. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

The fashionable area of Shibuya Crossing is known for its nightlife and is often compared to Times Square with its towering electronic billboards. 960 1280

Mark Pegrum, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

With a culture known for its animation, it's no surprise that even the traffic signs in Tokyo are expertly drawn. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

In Tokyo, there's a sign for everything -- even one asking you to please apply your makeup at home. 960 1280

Leon Brocard, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Everyone needs a massage once in a while, especially if you're feeling pain like this. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Japanese Paper Lantern

Japanese Paper Lantern

Paper lanterns like this one can be found all over the city. 960 1280

shuets udono, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Sometimes, in a busy city like Tokyo, residents have to be reminded to slow down. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You have to admire the aesthetic qualities of Japanese signage, even if the spelling isn't always correct. 960 1280

shimown, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Safety is important on construction sites. Now if only we knew what we were being warned about. 960 1280

mrbriandesign, flickr  

Shinjuku Lights

Shinjuku Lights

Even the backstreets of Shinjuku glow with an endless array of neon lights. 960 1280

Christopher Kemp, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Lost your hat? Go fishing for a new one! 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Ueno Zoo Sign

Ueno Zoo Sign

At Ueno Zoo, do not feed the monkeys or their stomachs will grow to unnatural proportions. 960 1280

  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You don't have to always know what's going on to appreciate a good sign. 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Geisha Girls

Geisha Girls

We love Japan's rich culture, including Kabuki Theater and Geisha girls --traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills including performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Banryutei Rock Garden at Kongobu-ji Temple

Banryutei Rock Garden at Kongobu-ji Temple

Experience spiritual peace at the Kongobu-ji Temple’s Zen meditation garden, located on Mount Koya. The temple’s modern Banryutei rock garden in Japan’s largest, with 140 granite stones arranged to suggest a pair of dragons emerging from clouds to protect the temple. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Acura/Honda

Acura/Honda

We love American-made automobiles, but we also love Japanese manufactured cars, like Acura, the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company. And this will get your motor revving; Honda has been the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Yokohama Chinatown

Yokohama Chinatown

You can’t leave Japan without Yokohama Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in Asia and 1 of the largest in the world. There are roughly 250 Chinese-owned/themed shops and restaurants scattered throughout the district. You’ll be shocked to know that only a few Chinese people still live in Chinatown with a population of about 3,000 to 4,000 people. 960 1280

owenfinn16, Flickr   

Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum

Explore Japan’s top tourist attractions, including the Mori Art Museum (pictured), Tokyo Tower, Tokyo National Museum and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Osaka and Kyoto are also our favorite Japanese cities; so, make sure you add these exciting destinations to your travel itinerary if you’re planning a trip “The Land of the Rising Sun.” 960 1280

Mori Art Museum, Flickr  

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage

We love a relaxing Shiatsu massage. Shiatsu is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches and other massage techniques. Practitioners believe it’s a good way to help people cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety and depression. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Tokyo's Akihabara District

Tokyo's Akihabara District

The Japanese have always been a leader in cutting-edge technology, and what better place to visit than Tokyo’s Akihabara District to check out or buy some of the hottest, high-tech gadgets in the world. Looking for designer fashions, visit Tokyo’s Shibuya District if you’re looking for designer fashions; or go shopping for traditional Japanese crafts at the Japan National Craft Center in Tokyo. 960 1280

St̩fan, Flickr  

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Nothing beats the pomp and circumstance of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony also called the Way of Tea. This cultural activity involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. And we can’t turn down a good, soothing cup of green tea. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Sushi

Sushi

Sushi is a popular Japanese food, and we love it! Sashimi, neta, shan and wasabi are all the makings of a delicious and succulent sushi meal. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is a competitive full-contact sport that originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. We admire the brute strength of the wrestlers and their ability to force their hefty opponents out of the circular ring, or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. 960 1280

Marshall Astor, Flickr  

Mount Fiji and Cherry Blossoms

Mount Fiji and Cherry Blossoms

This photo captures 2 things we love about the Japanese. We enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms and the snow-capped peak of majestic Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Katsura Imperial Villa

Katsura Imperial Villa

Take a stroll through a beautiful Japanese garden like the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto (pictured), Sankeien Garden in Tokyo, Rikugien Garden in Yokohama, Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu or Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa. 960 1280

David Sanz, Flickr  

George takei

George takei

We appreciate the acting talents of Japanese actors, including George Takei (pictured), Takeshi Shimura and Ken Watanabe. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Karate

Karate

We love the discipline of Karate, a martial art that developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan, in the 19th century. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Cosplay at Nipponbashi Street Fiesta

Cosplay at Nipponbashi Street Fiesta

What’s not to love about dressing up in fun costumes? We marvel at the popularity of Cosplay. Participants dress up in costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Comic books, anime, graphic novels and video games are often sources of inspiration. 960 1280

mia.judkins, Flickr  

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

We enjoy learning about Japanese royalty and their history. Visit Tokyo and see the remarkable Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Built on the site of the old Edo castle, include the main palace, private residences of the imperial family, an archive, museum and administrative offices. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Nagoya Port

Nagoya Port

Nagoya Port, located in Isle bay, is the largest and busiest trading port in Japan. This port is notably the largest exporter of cars in Japan. So we admire the Japanese for their industrial ingenuity. 960 1280

Getty Images  


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