Kyoto, the former capital of Japan is often called “The city of 10,000 shrines” and sure enough, there are countless of shrines to visit in this small city. Before the trip, I was slightly apprehensive about packing my itinerary with shrines after shrines for 3 days straight. I mean, how different could each one possibly be, right? But how wrong I was! I soon realized that each shrine has its own unique beauty and flair that is simply indescribable by words and absolutely astounding in their own rights. In this edition of the explore series, let me take you through some of the most outstanding shrines I visited!


1. Kinkakuji

Famously known as the Golden Pavilion, this Zen temple is an impressive sight to behold. With its top 2 floors covered in gold leaves, the temple seemingly glows when the sun shines on it! The serenity of the temple compound also makes it a lovely place for a stroll.

Kinkakuji from a distance


2. Kiyomizudera – UNESCO world heritage site

The Kiyomizudera temple is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the more popular temples in the whole of Kyoto. What I really like about this temple is the view it has to offer. With the temple sitting atop a hill, you will be able to see the beautiful Kyoto landscape down below. Besides, the route to this temple is filled with countless of souvenir shops for you to engage in some retail therapy!


Kiyomizudera in the autumn


3. Mount Inari

At 233m tall, Mount Inari is a pretty chill hike and can be completed in 2-3 hours. The hike up Mount Inari is made even more so memorable as you pass through thousands of orange Torii gates before finally getting rewarded with a beautiful view of Kyoto when you reach the very top. Definitely one of the more prominent and perhaps the most” Instagrammable” shrine

A more secluded path on Mount Inari


View of Kyoto from Mount Inari

We all know that Japan has a rich culture, but do you know that there exists many craft related co-operatives in Japan? From the Kyoto Wood Crafts Co-operative creating woodwork to the Kyoto Embroidery Co-operative offering the decoration of kimonos, try spotting a craft co-operative the next time you visit Japan!

This article was brought to you by Tammy Lim Lee Xin, a first-year Computer Science and Economics Undergraduate from Nanyang Technological University, SNCF Scholar 2018 who was interning at SNCF during May to July 2019. She likes travelling, reading and hunting for good food.