Well-known as the long-standing great capital of imperial Japan in the past, Kyoto filled with many historic and rigid traditional way of living, even today. This reflected also the way its citizen styled their houses, scattered all-around the city. Aside of the famous downtown of the geisha district Gion with its neighborhoods such as Shijo and Sanjo, experiencing old vibe of Kyoto can also be found in Katsura Old Town. As part of the government regime in ancient times, the west side of Kyoto is also a particularly wealthy area, with most residents owning large, free-standing houses. The center includes an onsen (hot springs), numerous restaurants and shops, and ubiquitous pachinko (gambling arcade) parlors.
Street view in Katsura these days
Aside of that, Katsura also offered many different historical interesting spots. Such as Matsunoo-Taisha, one of oldest shrines in Japan which erected during the the time of moving the capital from Nara to Kyoto. There is also Katsura Imperial Villa, one of Japan’s most important large-scale cultural treasures, which its gardens are considered a masterpiece of Japanese gardening, and the buildings are regarded among the greatest achievements of Japanese architecture. Lastly, Katsura River flow through the right part of the region, which supports acres of agricultural area on its flood plain, known for its summer supply of ayu (Japanese Sweetfish), and also a popular place for holding barbecues.
One of the temple in Katsura
To go there, simply take one of train options, JR or Hankyu Line and stop in Katsura Station. From there, the calm scenery and reminiscent of the past will welcome the visitors gracefully. It is really one of the not-so-crowded option when visiting Kyoto, especially in its peak season.