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.
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.
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.