I’ve been working for Japan Airlines for many years but never visited the country of Japan since I don’t speak or read Japanese. Honestly, without being able to read or speak the language, I was worried about finding a way to get around town. (I know it’s a pretty silly idea). One day, an opportunity arose, and I decided not to waste it this time.
When debating on which city to visit, many people recommended the city of Kyoto. After deliberating about this for a few nights, I decided to go to Kyoto since I heard about the beautiful scenery in the city including many historical temples. I also saw many positive online comments about the city from fellow travelers.
Luckily, one of my colleagues was originally from Kyoto so she helped arrange a hotel at a great location and gave me some pointers about the transportation system. In addition, my colleague’s sister offered to take me around town for sightseeing! At first, I was surprised but was so grateful for the kindness and hospitality that was offered to me… a complete stranger.
The flight to Kyoto went smoothly. The first location we visited was Ginkaku-ji, known as the Silver Temple. It was built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa for his retirement villa, which was modeled after Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple), and was converted into a Zen temple after his death.
The second stop was one of the most popular attractions in Kyoto, Kiyomizudera Temple. There was quite a walk from the bus stop to the temple since the temple is located on a hill. But, the souvenir shops, restaurants, and food vendors along the streets made the walk so much more enjoyable.
Did you know? Kiyomizudera Temple was built with wood without a single nail in the entire structure.
The view from the temple was amazing. A beautiful waterfall flows in the area which later divides into three different streams. Each stream is known to have different benefits: longevity, success and love. The visitors can drink the water from the stream, but drinking from all of them will be considered greedy.
After visiting a few more destinations, we had dinner at a very popular restaurant that serves gyoza (dumplings). The food we ordered was amazing and I was so happy she took me there.
After the dinner, we went to a ramen shop owned by my colleague’s family. The ramen was so good, but I couldn’t finish it since I ate too much gyoza!!!
We parted ways after dinner as I continued my trip in Kyoto with more confidence.
Name: Yanti Darmaji
Current section: Senior Customer Service Coordinator, Passenger Marketing & Planning, Americas