When visiting Kyoto... do not forget the Gold Pagoda
Yes, it is in every tourist book
I love Kyoto. It is a city with a soul. A city where people actually live. (weird to so but when living in Tokyo, Kyoto feels like a real city with people!)
I often go there for my job (tough life, yes, I know!) and usually, I visit a new place, of some of my favorites: Adashino, a bit far in the Northern mountain so it takes time, but so beautiful, close to the mystical, with thousands of jizo statues and its bamboo forest. I also always (yes, never miss it) visit the public bath of Nishiki.
And then, there are all the must-see-in-Kyoto places that I re-re-re visit from time to time. Recently, I was at Nijo castle, 17th century. The second residence of the Tokugawa, designed to welcome the Emperor with all due respect to his rank, and not failing to be ostentatious (like, you know, I, Tokugawa, am surely richer and more powerful than you...). What is absolutely awesome there? the garden. It is huge, and beautiful. There are so many trees: momiji, sakura, mats...
And, you do not feel the hand of the gardeners! It just look as if Nature itself had designed this garden. When you see the gardeners picking-out the unwanted moss with her hand, you realize how humble these gardeners are...
If you have time, it is good to also visit the Gosho, the Imperial Palace because, then you can compare it to the Nijo. Relativity is always good!
If you visit the Gold Pagoda, and you should, it is just the same: you do not feel the hand of man. It is just as if the hand of God had designed that place! It is quite bling-bling but even though, you may find peace there if you go early in the morning. And to experience relativity at work, you need next to visit the Silver pagoda. Just awesome. I prefer the silver pagoda but I have not yet seen the gold Pagoda under the snow, so I will continue to visit it too!