Updated: Jul 28
One of the prettiest cities in Japan, Kyoto is power spot situated along the banks of the picturesque Kamo river in Kyoto prefecture. The energy here is deep and wise, helped by its valley location above a large natural water table and cozied in on three sides by the hills of the Kyoto basin.
The original name for Kyoto was Heian-kyo, which translated literally means "tranquility and peace capital"; so appropriate!
Feng shui was used to select the location for the original city of Kyoto, and anyone who has visited will attest that you really do feel a strong positive energy in this area.
Having been born in Kansai and spending a good portion of my life in Japan, I had never actually visited this city properly, except for a few in-and-out business trips around Kyoto's main station; I knew of the famous temples like Kiymizu-dera and Ginkaku-ji, but had only seen them in photos. I needed to rectify that, so a few years ago I packed up my bicycle (I knew the city was pretty flat in topography) for a little cycling and trekking adventure to Japan's ancient capital.
What a great place to roam! With so much culture and history and so many old buildings, shrines and temples you'll really need several days, weeks even to fully explore the whole area.
I managed to visit only a handful of the more prominent sites, but with over 1,600 temples in the city I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. Bringing a bicycle was the right move!
Despite being busy and teeming with people, away from the popular sites there were surprisingly many little alleyways and gardens that were empty and serene, perfect to get away from the crowds and enjoy some quiet contemplation.
But to be honest my aim wasn't really to conquer the whole city like a tourist on a mission.
All I wanted to do was to absorb the energy of the surroundings, roam around and chill out in the tranquility of this beautiful land.