This past weekend, I rode the shinkansen with my parents to visit Kyoto and Nara! Narrowing down pictures was extremely difficult, because both of these cities are beautiful and unique.
Let’s start with Kyoto:
Kyoto was once the capital of Japan (from 794 AD to 1868 AD to be exact). The city is filled with shrines, temples, castles, museums, and other little pieces of history to be explored.
The first temple I saw is called Kiyomizudera, known for its pretty view of the city and autumn leaves.
Nijo castle was home to the Tokugawa clan in the 1600s. No pictures allowed inside, but the outside is pretty picture-worthy by itself.
Kinkaku-ji, aka the golden pavilion, is one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. The building is painted with gold leaf, which is truly something to behold. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. There were so many visitors at this temple, that it was almost hard to move around.
Ginkaku-ji, aka the silver pavilion, is Kinkaku-ji’s less popular other half. It’s not actually painted silver (although the architect originally intended it to be), but the reflection in the water creates a sparkling effect. In my opinion, Ginkaku-ji is just as spectacular as Kinkaku-ji.
Fushimi-Inari Taisha is one of Kyoto’s most famous shrines. It has thousands of Tori gates, lined up one after the other.
Since Kyoto was once the capital, it also has an imperial palace, with some great gardens.
Nara, about a one hour drive south of Kyoto, was also once the capital from 710-784 AD. I wasn’t able to see as much here as I did in Kyoto, but the things I did see were amazing!
Todai-ji temple, located in Nara park, holds the world’s biggest bronze statue of Buddha.
On the other side of the park is Kasuga Grand Shrine, known for its many stone and bronze lanters.
My favorite things that I saw on this trip was Nara park, which has over 1200 deer roaming around. They may look pretty cute, but be wary! They’ll do just about anything to get a cookie from you.
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<p>Hi! My name is Sara MacConnell and I'm studying abroad in Tokyo in Fall 2018. I've been taking Japanese classes since I was a freshman in high school, so I'm very excited to spend a whole semester getting to put my language skills to use! I'm a rising senior at the University of Puget Sound where I study Japanese and Business Administration. On campus, I'm involved in greek life, I'm the publicity chair for Students Against Sexual Assault, I do costume design for the theater department, and I work in my school's study abroad office. My favorite things to do are photography, hiking, cooking, trying new restaurants, and watching Netflix with my friends.</p>