Kyoto is filled with culture and Japanese fashion. Day 10 saw me wearing kimonos on the Kyoto streets and visiting the Imperial Palace and the red gates.
Kimono hire in Kyoto
We woke up bright and early in Kyoto as I was determined to try on a kimono and have a photo shoot. It is common practice in the city for girls and women to hire the kimonos from the countless stores on offer and wear them on the streets of Kyoto during sakura season. I did investigate buying one, they were ludicrously expensive, so you can understand why many people opt to hire them instead. We went a street filled with the kimono hire shops, each offering a different package.
We paid around £40 in UK money for a full package of the kimono and the hair too. It was such a swift dress up, I was amazed how quickly the girls did my hair and got me into the kimono. It almost militaristic. As soon as we had it on, we headed out onto the streets of Kyoto to take some photos. Walking in those wooden slippers on the cobbled streets proved to be a challenge but honestly I loved it. They were so comfortable and I felt so special.
Imperial Palace, Kyoto
Next, we went to visit the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. Unfortunately it was close to visitors but the grounds were so beautiful that we couldn’t help wander around and take it all in. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom so we got to see the famous trees up close and they smelt amazing.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
The last stop for the day was the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine which is the Kyoto home for the red gates. The Shinto shrine sits on the top of a mountain base and is also famous for several hiking trails that lead to other smaller shrines. We were there to see the red gates and we were not disappointed.
The red gates, known as the Torrii gates, became famous when during the Edo period, people started to donate them to shrine to get a wish to come true or to say thank you for having a wish come true. They were majestic to see, with rows and rows of red gates with the wishes written on the back of them. I loved wandered through them and even though we didn’t go right to the top, we just enjoyed the atmosphere and seeing them up close.
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