Guía de Viajes de Kioto

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Letters from
Hidden Kyoto

Whether it's your first time here or your hundredth, you'll find that Kyoto is full of little-known locales. I'm an American expat living in Kyoto. Come explore the city with me!

Rakusai: A Pilgrimage to the Green of Western Kyoto

The Rakusai area lies to the west of Kyoto’s downtown area, where I visited the mountainside overlooking the city center. Yoshimine-dera Temple is hidden here in the mist, a beautiful treat to visit in any season.

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Kyoto's Historical Textile District

Kyoto’s Nishijin district is well-known for its textiles, many of which are turned into exquisite kimono. To better get to know these traditions, I visited the Orinasu-kan Museum of Hand-Weaving for a better look at these fabrics, and the master weavers at the Watabun workshop next door. I also visited Tondaya, a traditional Nishijin home in which visitors can try on the authentic kimono of the Tanaka family, kimono wholesalers and custodians of the home for thirteen generations.

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Eastern Kyoto’s Treasure Trove of Living Traditions

The southeastern Kyoto district of Yamashina hides a number of historical Kyoto treasures, large and small. My first visit this time is to the vast temple of Daigoji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a unique philosophy about the use of its 1,000 year-old monuments. Not far from Daigoji, I visit the kilns and galleries of Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi, an area famous for its beautiful Kiyomizu pottery, a living tradition passed through generations.

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