Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Temple. A beautiful structure gilded to the nines that can pull a crowd from all over the world. This beautiful site has seen a bit of turmoil in it’s day as everything around the pavilion was burnt down in the 1400s after the Onin war. Later in the 1950s, a monk burnt the pavilion to its bones. Today it is fully restored, beautifully kept and rightly so, a world heritage site. It has a little bit of an Ikea vibe to it, by no means does it have meetballs and a desk you assemble yourself but it has a route and you are ushered on through. It is such a stunning area, the whole scene is perfectly manicured. I thought it would be like Plitvice National Park, where you could walk around and then come upon the gloriously gold building but unfortunately it’s not. I visited the area at 11am and there was already quite the queue forming. It only costs 400 yen to enter the site, so its pretty cheap. The gardens around the pavilion are beautiful, there are traditional buildings scattered around the area too and at the end of the walk there is food and stalls with trinkets. I think you have to go see it if you are in Kyoto but don’t expect it to be quiet or a place for a walk because it’s not that kind of place. So put it on the list of places to go!
I didn’t do too much research into the city of Kyoto before I left so I decided to walk and explore. I saw an opening with shops and went in and what I found was magic! One thing I loved about Japan was the fashion, people dress incredibly well, they have great neutral clothes with great fabric and cuts and I wanted everything if I could actually fit/afford them. (Japanese clothes run small for obvious reasons)
Teramachi and Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcades
There are two covered shopping arcades that run parallel to each other and they have restaurants, shops with clothes, art, furniture, everything you need to window shop and buy everything you need or want. The area also looks great! There are really beautiful shop fronts and little details that looks beautiful.
This narrow food market is incredible, there isn’t any room to move around, there are so many things to look at, smell and all of it looks so fresh! For any foodie, you have to have a look. Even me, the girl who grabs a handful of nuts once in a while when travelling, thought everything looked amazing!
I have been looking into more of the city and I’ve found even more places to see so I will just have to wait till next year to see them.
I made a video about solo travel with some things I learnt along the way. Give it a watch!
Do you solo travel? Have any horror stories?
The Royal Mile, the road that leads to Edinburgh castle, is in the middle of the oldest part of the city. This cobbled walk is full of history, medieval architecture and lots of things to do. There is something for everyone.
Landmarks Worth a Look
- Edinburgh Castle
- St Columba’s Free Church of Scotland
- Mercat Cross
- St Giles’ Cathedral
- Canongate Kirk
- Scottish Parliament Building
- Palace of Holyroodhouse
Fun Things To Do
- Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
- The Royal Mile Market
- The Scotch Whisky Experience
There is also lots of places to eat including The Elephant Cafe, aka the Jk Rowling Cafe and it’s Scotland so there are lots of pubs. There is also The Hive, a club that sells cheap drinks and has free in days so really there is so much to do!
Edinburgh Castle is the main attraction at the end of the mile. I recommend going in and experiencing the views and different sections of the grounds. As you can see it gets really really busy so go early! You can also catch a beautiful sunset from up here. The Royal Mile is somewhere I will always gravitate to it’s beautiful and has a great energy.