5 things to do in Kyoto
Kyoto is not just about temples and shrines, you can have many unique experience in this traditional but also modern city.
Ninja and virtual reality experience
Many people would like to learn about ninjas and learn how to use the ninja weapons. A newly opened shop in Kyoto offers these experiences in one place.
You can try out how to throw shurikens (and even no problem if you hit the ceiling or walls ;), how to use the fukiya ninja blowgun, how to perform ninja rituals and meditation.
The main attraction is to experience a fight as ninja! With the help of virtual reality, you can feel if you just teleported in another world, where you should prove your ninja potential in two ways: avoid shurikens aimed at you and use your katana sword to defend yourself.
Imagine, as you are walking at the nighttime among red torii gates, and when you look up to the full moon, you hear a suspicious sound…
A shuriken is flying to your direction and you should avoid it to survive the trial! If you never experienced virtual reality before, this is a really good chance to learn about ninjas and explore a virtual world, which was designed after real places in Kyoto.
Tasting sake in a traditional factory
Usually travelers heading to the Fushimi area to taste sake, or just going to a kombini to buy one, however the taste can be really different.
But there is a place in the heart of Kyoto, where you can explore an old sake factory and taste more types of sake and even Kyoto beer – just for 300 yen.
When the imperial family was lived in Kyoto, there was a whole street full with sake producers, just south from the Imperial Palace area.
Nowadays there are still many izakayas (small pubs) in this area and one great sake factory and museum, called Kinshi Masamune, remained.
It is possible to visit the old machiya house, where some of the workers lived and which was the centre of the business.
In the production of sake the important thing is the quality of the water: here you can still taste the natural mineral water, which is used for making sake and nowadays Kyoto-style beer too. If you want a cultural experience and sake tasting in the same place, this one is a perfect choice.
☆check this article also! http://teaceremony-kyoto.com/kyoto-sightseeing/350
Eating mochi in a 1000 years old restaurant
North-Kyoto has many secret places, usually visited only by Japanese people.
One of these places is Imamiya shrine, which is originated from the 9th century and it has a magical rock, called Ahokashisan, which can help to support your health.
You may wish anything related to your health and immediately test if your wish will be fulfilled or not.
The ritual is the following: tap the stone three times and lift it. After make your wish and do it again: if you feel the stone is lighter now, it means your wish will come true.
Other reason is to visit this place is to taste the 1000 years old, traditional Kyoto confection, called aburi-mochi. It is said that if you eat aburi-mochi, you can avoid illness, because the bamboo stick used to serve the mochi is dedicated to the god of the shrine. You can try it in the restaurant called Ichikawa, next to the shrine, which was opened in 1002!
Going to a temple flea market
If you would like to buy some real souvenirs, old or ancient handmade things, used kimono, old knives, tea utensils or other traditional stuff, your place is in a temple market.
On designated days there are markets across Kyoto, offering wide range of products. The most biggest one called Tenjin-san, it is on every 25th day in each months.
Around one thousand vendors are selling antiques, potteries, clothes etc. and there are many food stalls where you can enjoy local festival-style foods.
In the same time you may visit Kitano Tenmangu temple, which is the host of the market. Usually it don’t appears on the list of the foreign travelers, but it is very famous temple among Japanese people.
Especially among students, because the god of study can be found in this temple. Students usually coming here before an important exam to ask good luck for passing the exam.
List of temple flea markets:
(Check the event highlights)
Exploring Takashimaya food court
Nishiki market is pretty famous and usually crowded, because it is a great place to taste traditional Japanese food. But just 5 minutes from the market there is a modern version of it, visited mainly by local people, so it is not a touristic spot.
The ground floor of Takashimaya mall is fully dedicated to foods with an incredible wide range of choices. Prepared food boxes (bento), traditional japanese sweets, fresh sushi, meat and fish dishes, tea, sake and many unique Kyoto-shops can be found here. And the lucky thing is you can actually taste the foods or drinks at many vendors, so you can have a real insight into the Japanese cuisine.