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Kyoto, a storehouse of Japanese culture

Raked pebble gardens and bamboo groves

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than thousand years and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country, housing a mix of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Buddhist temples and Shinto sanctuaries hidden in the middle of the concrete jungle, making you discover a very traditional Japan living peacefully with the modern buildings and lifestyle. Kyoto will make you feel the traditional Japan better than any other city.

All coated in golden leafs, the Kinkaku-ji, or the "Golden Pavilion", is the symbol of the city and the number one place to visit. It was built on 1397 as a retirement villa and later converted to a temple, that was, centuries later, burned to the ground by an obsessed monk and reconstructed exactly as the old one. The Golden Pavilion is open every day from 9am to 5pm, and the entrance fee is 400 yen.

If the golden temple is on the top of you list of places to visit in Kyoto, probably the "Silver Pavilion" will be as well, even though the plans to cover it on silver was never realized, but its beauty among the trees and lake won't let you regret your visit to Japan. Built on 14, Ginkaku-ji was not burnt nor reconstructed, but it was also a retirement villa turned in the Zen temple it is today. The entrance fee is 500 yen and the opening is at 8:30am.

One of the finest Zen landscapes in Japan, the Ryoan-ji Zen temple has its garden as special attraction. Nobody knows the creator of the garden not even the meaning of the arrange, with fifteen rocks surrounded by a small area of land in an ocean of sand. Some say they represent a tiger carrying its pup across a river, or the map of the Chinese Zen monasteries... maybe this is the best thing about Ryoan-ji. The Kyoyo-chi pond is another part of the temple that deserves your attention, specially when the garden gets crowded. The Zen temple opens everyday at

If you are an animal lover, Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama is the spot for you. While the humans stay inside a cage, Japanese monkeys of all ages and sizes roam around freely. It's a perfect place to families and kids, and a great opportunity to take pictures. This kind of attraction you only find in Kyoto!

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