We put together an independent tour for ourselves to see some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in north west Kyoto. It’s good to have a plan so that you’re not spending too much time getting from one place to the other.
The Kamo Shrines – Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines, are two of the most important and oldest shrines in Kyoto. They are both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first one we visited was Shimogamo Shrine, known as a shrine to celebrate the beginning of things. It has trees that are up to 600 years old.
Kamigamo Shrine dates back to the 7th century.
It was nice to see the local people ‘Hanami’ under the cherry blossoms at the shrine.
Both of the Kamo Shrines are popular for weddings since the shrines’ gods represent success in love. We were lucky and saw weddings take place at both shrines.
After our visit to the Kamo Shrines, we hopped on a bus to the Gold Pavillion – Kinkakuji. It’s a Zen Temple that was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf!
Lastly, we visited another zen temple – Ryoanji Temple, the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. It used to be an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period and then converted into a zen temple in 1450. It belongs to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Personally the rock garden was not that exciting but the lake and grounds were unbelievably beautiful.
We ended this fantastic day with a nice cold beer and some wicked homemade gyozas!
Chocolate gyozas anyone?
Where we stayed: Hotel Resol 👍
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel