Tag archives for Kyoto

I Heart My City: Takafumi’s Kyoto

Kyoto native Takafumi Kawakami appreciates how his city’s ancient history and cutting-edge dynamism meet in the middle to create a fascinating, world-class destination. “In Kyoto, I can easily reconnect with the past,” he says. “But at the same time, I can meet so many creative minds.” Here are a few of Takafumi’s favorite things about the city he’s proud to call home.

Finding Peace in 21st-Century Kyoto

When travelers arrive in Kyoto for the first time, they often are confused and disappointed. Expecting a place that exudes timeless elegance and peace, they instead find a thoroughly modern city of traffic-clogged streets and blocky concrete buildings. Looking at their faces, you know what they’re thinking: Where’s Kyoto?

Learning to Speak Japanese

I recently returned from the Nat Geo Expeditions journey “Inside Japan.” In my role as an expert, I was to prepare several lectures to deliver to my fellow travelers. The idea of encapsulating everything I know and love about Japan into discrete talks was daunting. But one day near the end of the trip, reality brought home just how important these kinds of discussions can be.

Reader Recs: Life-Changing Childhood Trips

Traveling at a young age can be a transformative experience that leads to a lifetime of wanderlust. To celebrate the power of travel (and perhaps inspire a few parents out there), we asked our @NatGeoTravel Facebook fans to tell us about trips that made a lasting impression on them during their early years.

Letter from Kyoto: Cherry Blossoms in Old Japan

It’s the end of a glorious two-week immersion in Old Japan. When I arrived, Kyoto seemed to have erupted overnight into a sea of brilliant blossoms, fluffy pink clouds massing over canals and rivers. On my first night I wandered in a jet-lagged haze through the Higashiyama-Gion neighborhood that I love, all closet-sized shops, tiny winding lanes, and timeless temples and shrines. Lost in the hushed, lantern-lit passageways, I wasn’t sure what century I’d landed in.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

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The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the Web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories with #NGTRadar. Check back on the blog every other Wednesday for our Travel Lately roundup.

Traditional Japanese Bliss (in NYC)

Why is it that with each passing year, it seems to get more and more difficult to think of a cool gift idea for my wife’s birthday? Maybe it’s because in 2008, we spent her special day walking around Kyoto, Japan in traditional kimonos and stayed over at an authentic 19th-century ryokan. So, there I was, having a drink at the Kitano Hotel in New York City, plum out of bright ideas, when I learned that the property had a special tatami suite that offered guests what it was calling authentic Japanese culture and hospitality.

Jenss Family Travels: Japan’s Secret Gardens

Rainer Jenss and his family are three months into their around-the-world journey, and they’re blogging about their experiences for Intelligent Travel. You can keep up with the Jensses by bookmarking their posts and following the boys Global Bros blog at National Geographic Kids. Three important occasions marked our second week in Japan: a milestone, a…

Japanese Temples Glow Green

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The Japanese temples in Kyoto are holy places, so it makes sense that they try to “illuminate” us with a “higher power.” OK, forgive the puns for a moment to appreciate the fact that the Japanese, recognizing that their temples are major tourist attractions, have begun replacing lightbulbs, both inside the temples and outside for…

Monkey Surround

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IT has a thing for monkeys, so when Jessie Szalay—an English teacher in Kyoto, Japan—sent us this item about a monkey park, we were naturally curious. She writes: It’s no secret that the rock gardens of Kyoto are incredibly beautiful. But if all those meticulously placed boulders, trees, and blades of grass leave you wondering…