Hello, this is your favorite MANGA.TOKYO writer, Ayumi! I don’t know how many of you know it, but I live in Kyoto! Recently, a lot of anime events like the Touken Ranbu collaboration, the Akira Amano Exhibition and Kyo-Maf, have all been held in Kyoto. I’m so glad that this amazing modern culture called anime is not confined in Tokyo, and that otaku fans have the chance to enjoy their favorite medium while appreciating the sights of the old Japanese capital.
Meanwhile, the second season of Blue Exorcist is taking place in Kyoto! As an anime fan living in Kyoto, I’m really looking forward to its progression. There has even been a collaboration event with Kyoto Tower. The city is working hard to entertain anime fans.
Kyoto is viewed as an attractive and historical city by the rest of the world. I, as a writer who has been living in Kyoto for 10 years, will take you on a anime field trip to all the famous spots in Kyoto and give you lots of sightseeing tips. Bonus excitement moments for those watching Blue Exorcist!
Kyoto has thousands of places that are considered sightseeing spots. Since I live in Kyoto, I get comments from people living in other prefectures, ‘Oh so you can go to temples and shrines as much as you want. Lucky you!’ but I think that most people living in Kyoto don’t visit these places because there are too many! In fact, I rarely went to them, except for Mibudera, which is a place connected to the Shinsengumi.
However, since I started working as a writer, I started visiting a lot of places. I’ve rediscovered the fun in Kyoto and now I visit a lot of sightseeing spots! Kyoto is a beautiful place to live. Even though Kyoto is a sightseeing city, there are a lot of people living here and so many places to visit, so you need a well-prepared program. You will find yourself into trouble if you move without considering the time. I have experienced that trouble many times.
Do you remember volume 9 of Blue Exorcist? When everyone was excited about sightseeing in Kyoto, Shima-kun excitedly said, ‘Kinkakuji first?’ and Konekomaru firmly said to him: ‘If you don’t think about the best ways to visit the sightseeing spots, you won’t be able to see everything!’ He’s absolutely right!! It hurt my heart…
As a writer who’s been living in Kyoto for 10 years, I want to give you some beginner tips on Kyoto sightseeing! Don’t worry, I will mention many anime, including the sacred spots of Blue Exorcist. For people who like Blue Exorcist or/and Kyoto, take a good look!
Kyoto, Snow, and Kinkakuji
Kinkakuji, the place of the Golden Pavillion, is the temple that the people of The True Cross Academy visited in volume 9 of Blue Exorcist. Kyoto is such a world-famous sightseeing area that when it is mentioned, people automatically think of Kinkakuji. In the snowy season, you can see it in a different light. It’s a fantastic sight to see snow falling onto the shiny golden temple. I assume a lot of people want to see it at least once.
When Kyoto is covered with cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, or snow, it’s full of tourists. I personally prefer snow. ^^
When Kyoto is covered in snow, the whole city looks gorgeous. Especially Kinkakuji, the classic sightseeing spot which the characters in the manga wanted to visit, looks very different. A lot of people come here from early morning to take pictures.
In 2017 so far Kyoto saw a lot of snow! Around noon, the waiting line to enter the area went all the way outside the temple grounds!!
How long do you think I spent trying to take these pictures? The answer is 30 minutes to enter and 40 minutes to get the best spot, so it’s around an hour. I got there at 10 a.m. and I waited that long. Wow… was there some kind of an event…?
If you travel to Kyoto and see the weather report saying that the next day will be snowy, take care. It’s not only Kinkakuji, but also at other famous temples like Kiyomizudera or Nanzenji, that everyone is desperate to go and take extraordinary pictures. They’re packed as if they were at Comiket. It was a shutter circle…
For those of you who are eager to take pictures, I recommend you plan to arrive at the place before 9 a.m., which is when the temple gates open! It will be hard on snowy days because of the cold, but nothing can top the sense of accomplishment after taking good pictures!
How About Cherry Blossoms and Autumn Leaves Seasons?
Unlike snow, you can actually predict when the cherry blossoms and the autumn leaves set in. As years pass, there are more and more tourists and it seems that a lot of people moan about not being able to take pictures of anything but people’s heads. During occasions like this, I recommend you go to relatively smaller temples or shrines!
My recommendation is Kenkun Shrine, which you may know from Touken Ranbu: Kyo no Kiseki.
It’s a little far from Arashiyama or Gion, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful during autumn. The inside of the shrine grounds get all red. This is a secret spot which still isn’t known by many people! There’s a hot spring and a special roasted sweet potato store in the vicinity. It’s a quaint spot.
You can easily take a lot of beautiful pictures at spots that aren’t in the guide books. Visiting different places from those where people usually choose to go is a great part of a trip.
(Next page) Must-read for fans of Izumo-chan! Fushimi Inari Taisha