Sambit Dattachaudhuri, our photo-blogger at large, had spent a year studying in Japan (well, obviously not only studying) and he has done the first in our ‘in 10’ series.
KYOTO IN 10:
With the exception of climbing Mount Fuji, visiting the city of Kyoto was one of the loveliest things I did while I was in Japan. So much so that I went back again, and again. And again!
The city of Kyoto, people say, is in contrast to Tokyo. Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. It is a retreat, nestled among hills. Extremely hot in summer, and extremely cold in winter. I saw snowfall for the first time in my life in Kyoto in early December, 2012.
The city wears a warm hue around itself, even on cloudy or cold days. It is surrounded by wide open spaces, big parks and hills and temples. Kyoto isn’t a big city, hence is easily covered in a couple of days. I went there on four day trips since it is quite easily accessible by train from Osaka city; roughly an hour and a half away.
Hanami is observed in cherry blossom season. It is one of the most calming experiences, sitting under those trees and eating ones lunch with close ones.
The streets uphill to the famous Kiyomizu-dera is lined with hundreds of interesting and colorful shops. It’s a treat to the senses walking to the temple. The temple itself is quite grand; constructed completely out of wood, without a single nail. The same goes for the Philosopher’s Path and Ginkaku ji.
The city is wonderful in all seasons. The Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s grandest festivals, takes place here in July.
(Sambit Dattachaudhuri is a young photographer and film student who has studied in Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and Momoyama Gakuin University, Osaka. In addition to photography, film-making, photoblogging and a fair amount of film-obsessing, he has also taught English in Japan to unsuspecting people between the ages of 17 and 65.)