Anywhere you go in Japan is picturesque. You can always find interesting places, temples, shrines, parks, and museums. Traditional or modern, Japan has all of it.
If it’s your first time in the land of the rising sun, of robots, of technology, and of traditional structures, KYOTO would probably be the best place for you. Foreign and local tourists often go there, even in summer, when it’s so hot and humid.
I’ve been there twice. The first time I went, I traveled solo. I prefer exploring new places by myself. There’s just something about traveling solo that makes you feel so good. You have control of your schedule, explore the place at your own pace, where to eat, everything. You get to know more about yourself and you have plenty of chances to meet and interact with people. Moreover, you may discover that you are creative, maybe even an extreme level of creativeness, just to get that perfect photo or selfie.
Kyoto is one of the best places to experience the changing of seasons. During springtime, you can go to the garden in Heian Jingu and be amazed at the very magnificent view of cherry blossoms. Even without cherry blossoms, the garden is still majestic. At the peak of autumn, you can go to Kiyomizu or Uji City to view the autumn colors.
If you’re a fan of Japanese Literature, you may be familiar with The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. The last few chapters of the tale were set in Uji. While in Uji, you can visit the Tale of Genji Museum, walking distance from Byodoin Omotesando where you can see plenty of matcha shops with matcha related products and of course the famous Byodo-in Temple.
Lastly, after enjoying shrines, temples, and garden, you go walking around Gion. If you’re lucky, you might even have a chance to see a maiko or geisha going to their appointments. Or if you really like gardens, you can visit the Garden of Fine Arts which was designed by famous architect Tadao Ando.
Kyoto has everything to offer. When in Japan, you should definitely go there.