Nowhere in Japan is more apt for wearing traditional kimono than Kyoto. Transport yourself back in time before westernisation of Japan during the Meiji Era by donning on a kimono or yutaka, that is cheaper and less tedious to wear than a kimono. Do not fear of being looked at weirdly, as you might be if you had wore it in Tokyo, because there are plenty of locals and tourists doing the same too. And whilst you are in the area, below are a list of places to go now that you are in character and blending into the environment.
Start your day at one of the most famous temples in Kyoto – Kiyomizu dera (清水寺). Pray, visit and learn the ancient teachings of Kannon (觀音), and visit the temple during Spring in March for extended opening hours at nighttime.
After cleansing your mind at the Temple, head over to Ninen-zaka (二年坂), ten minutes walk away, and take a mandatory pic with the iconic Yasaka Pagoda of Hokanji Temple (法観寺) as your backdrop (above pic). Be immediately transported to an era where elegant geisha roamed the streets and transportation was limited to rickshaws. The shops lining the streets not only can satisfy you with their tourist and handmade souvenirs, but are also instant-worthy spots at every turn.
Hello Kitty Cafe
You can probably find Kitty Cafes easily, anywhere else in the world. And this may not fit your ideal image of a dreamy and cute environment that’s typical of a Kitty Cafe. However, you can be sure that you won’t find the nostalgia feel of this cafe, coupled with the cute menu that’s indicative of Japanese attention to presentation, anywhere else in the world.
If you remembered how impactful the 2005 “Memoirs of a Geisha”, starring Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li, was, you would want to see for yourself how elegant Geisha really are in person. If you are going to walk to Yasaka-jinja which is about 10 mins away, then you must explore the streets of Hanami-koji (花見小路通), just 5 mins walk away. Of course, as with celebrity spotting, patience and luck do play a factor. But rest assured that you will be able to recognise them when you see one.