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Inside Kyoto

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It's Japan's essence: home to the Imperial family from 794–1868, when Tokyo became Japan's new capital. A center of religion, politics and culture for three centuries, Kyoto is both a monument to the past and a bustling, modern city. The City of Ten Thousand Shrines boasts some 17 World Heritage Sites, 1600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, and many stunning gardens. Here, contemporary geishas still practice the ancient arts of the tea ceremony, flower arranging and entertaining wealthy men.
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323 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0073, Japan
In a narrow alley, I spotted her: a young maiko (geisha-in-training) wearing distinctive white make-up, a neon-bright kimono, silk flowers in her hair and four-inch-high wooden sandals. Eyes downcast, she scurried by me, enroute to work in one of...
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Eager to explore the culture Arthur Golden celebrated in Memoirs of a Geisha, I set off for Kyoto, where the ancient arts of the Japanese tea ceremony, flower arranging and entertaining wealthy men are still practiced by contemporary geishas....
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera on Mount Otowa is one of the most famous temples in Japan, a place that appears in every sequence of Japanese travel photos. The landscape is all cherry trees and forest; it is among Kyoto's loveliest spots. The current structure...

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Most people, including myself, hear the word Gion and immediately think of Memoirs of a Geisha. While Gion is definitely known for the elusive Geiko's and Maiko's that roam the streets after dark, there is a lot more to this neighborhood that...
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1 Chome Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Expect to be overwhelmed. In Tokyo's neon-bright Electronic Town, what began as a post World War II black market for radio parts has become a mecca for geeks. Fondly known as Akiba, the area features hundreds of thousands of retail space dedicated...