I am the world’s worst at planning trip itineraries. Even though I am quite skilled at obsessing over things such as my life plan (or lack thereof), the weekend’s agenda never seems to cross my mind. A few weeks ago, this seemingly aloof attitude followed me to Kyoto. Other than transportation arrangements, hostel accommodations and utter excitement, my friend and I arrived in the city with no agenda. Luckily, Kyoto is a friend to nonchalant travelers.
Although Kyoto is referred to as the cultural capital of Japan, it is a unique blend of old and new. It has upbeat bars and decent shopping while simultaneously housing countless temples and shrines. However, most of these cultural gems are located away from the city’s center. Therefore, if one happens to be adept at aimless wandering (like myself), he or she will most certainly find the city’s ancient charm.
Without much difficulty, we stumbled upon numerous temples and shrines, including Kiyomizu-dera. We also managed to find quaint cobblestoned streets, view beautifully colored leaves, see a few geisha and eat delicious matcha, or green tea flavored ice cream. On Saturday night, we continued such meandering with a crew from our hostel and got a glimpse of Kyoto after dark.
Although I was only in Kyoto for 24 hours, it was 23 hours more than I needed for it to become one of my favorite cities in the world. I will most definitely return to see spring’s cherry blossoms and visit all the sights which I missed!