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    Looking for the best things to do for couples in Kyoto? Firstly, the former Japanese capital is one of the most history-rich places to visit in the country. That means there's plenty of charming features to take in. The ancient Japanese vibe is retained with old townhouses all over the city and the picturesque cobblestoned streets. Many of these old townhouses have been repurposed as restaurants and cafés that serve delicious food and drinks in a uniquely Kyoto setting. 

    With shrines, temples and other historical sites at every turn, Kyoto is a modern city with a calming atmosphere - it's small wonder that the city is so popular with couples. From historical landmarks to popular modern shops, here are Kyoto's most romantic places for you and your partner to discover and enjoy.

    1

    Kimono Forest

    The forest of light

    Kimono Forest is an art installation and easily one of the most romantic places in Kyoto. Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Electric Railroad was reopened in July 2013 under the nickname of Hannari Hokkori Square. It earned a reputation for being renovated into one of the most Kyoto-like stations thanks to the addition of Kimono Forest. Designed by interior designer Yasumichi Morita, the art installation is also referred to as Yuzen Forest of Light.

    Kyo-Yuzen fabric wrapped in acrylic and made into 2-metre-high poles was set up like a forest, with about 600 poles in all. There are 32 different patterns of colourful fabric and when you look at each pattern as you walk through the pathway, it seems like going on a museum tour and makes you almost forget that it’s a railroad station. It’s lit up at night, producing a fantastic atmosphere, but it’s well worth a visit either day or night.

    Poloha: Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto 616-8384, Japan

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    fotografia od minoir (CC BY 2.0) upravené

    2

    Shogunzuka Seiryuden Temple

    Shogunzuka Seiryuden Temple offers a great vantage point for looking out over the city of Kyoto. When it comes to a stage in Kyoto, the first thing that comes to mind is the Stage of Kiyomizudera Temple, but a larger stage was built in Shogunzuka Seiryuden Temple in October 2014 and it has become popular as a new sightseeing spot in Kyoto. In fact, it’s about 5 times bigger than the stage of Kiyomizu. 

    From the 216-metre-high stage, you can see Mount Hiei, Ginkakuji Temple, Jodoji Temple, the Gozan no Okuribi Festival, and even Osaka. Also, Ao Fudo, one of the 3 most important Fudo paintings, is on display to the public at Shogunzuka Seiryuden Temple. Make sure you check out this first-class Buddhist painting when you visit.

    Poloha: 28 Zushiokukachocho, Yamashina Ward, Kyoto 607-8456, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-771-0390

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    fotografia od Tetsuhiro Terada (CC BY 2.0) upravené

    3

    Sagano Romantic Train

    Enjoy a date on a lovely train ride

    A ride on the Sagano Romantic Train lets you enjoy a date in nature, especially if you and your partner love the outdoors. Sagano Romantic Train runs a 7.3-kilometre journey from Torokko Saga Station to Torokko Kameoka Station in about 25 minutes. Both the exterior and interior are decorated in art deco style, and it has a classical atmosphere unique to diesel locomotives. 

    Ride on the 'Rich' car, an open car without window glass, and refresh your mind and body with the fragrant breeze. Tickets for the 'Rich' car are only available as same-day tickets. You can enjoy the nature of Hozu Ravine in every season, so it doesn’t matter when you’re planning to visit. The train runs slowly, but it slows down even more at places with especially beautiful scenery. All seats are reserved, and you can make a reservation from 1 month in advance.

    Poloha: Torokko Saga Station, next to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station

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    fotografia od Thomas Au (CC BY 2.0) upravené

    4

    Suzumushidera Temple

    Suzumushidera Temple is popular for its Jizo statue, which is the only Jizo of happiness (Kofuku jizo) wearing straw sandals in Japan. It's believed that he’s wearing sandals because if you visit Suzumushidera Temple and make a wish, Kofuku jizo will walk to visit you in order to fulfil your wish. But this is not the only reason that Suzumushidera Temple is unique. 

    The Suzumushi sermon given by 6 priests in the rotation is also very popular because it’s like a comic monologue. Suzumushidera Temple’s official name is Myotokuzan Kogenji Temple. It’s called Suzumushidera Temple because crickets (suzumushi) can be heard here not only in autumn but all throughout the year. This is also a popular place for couples to pray for blessings of happiness.

    Poloha: 31 Matsumorojikecho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto 615-8294, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm)

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-381-3830

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    fotografia od John Gillespie (CC BY-SA 2.0) upravené

    5

    Togetsu-kyo Bridge

    A scenic icon of Arashiyama

    Togetsu-kyo Bridge is an iconic landmark of Arashiyama. This quintessential sightseeing spot is a 115-metre-long, 11-metre-wide bridge with a beautiful view of the calm Katsura River and Arashiyama behind it. You can enjoy the beauty of the seasons throughout the year, such as cherry blossoms in spring, green leaves in summer, followed by autumn leaves and snowy scenery in winter. It’s understandable that it’s often used for sightseeing pamphlets and movie shootings. 

    It’s said that the bridge was named by Emperor Kameyama in the Kamakura period because the moon on the sky seemed to be moving as if it was crossing the bridge. Unlike the liveliness of the day, Arashiyama gets completely dark at night, but Togetsu-kyo Bridge is illuminated with LED lights. If possible, you should try to see Togetsu-kyo Bridge at night as well as during the day.

    Poloha: Saganakanoshimacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto 616-8383, Japan

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    fotografia od 岩浪陸 (CC BY 3.0) upravené

    6

    Enjoy Starbucks Coffee on tatami

    At the Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya Branch

    Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya branch is different from all the other Starbucks around the world. First of all, there’s its exterior. This branch is set in a renovated old Kyoto-style townhouse. When you enter, you'll find a front garden with a stone basin arranged in the Omotesenke style.

    Wood is used for the familiar food counter, giving it a distinctly Japanese appearance. And to get to the bar counter where you receive your drink, you’ll pass through a slightly dark hallway called a passage garden (Tori-niwa), which is unique to old houses in Kyoto. After appreciating the inner garden behind the bar counter, you’ll find seating with tatami mat flooring and cushions on the 2nd floor. This is not your typical Starbucks date!

    Poloha: 349 Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0826, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-532-0601

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    7

    Enjoy sightseeing on the Sanneizaka Slope

    Walk along traditional restaurants and shops

    Sanneizaka Slope was named after a legend saying that Nene, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, went uphill to visit Kiyomizudera Temple to make a prayer asking for a child. It’s also called Sannenzaka because it was completed in the 3rd year of the Daido period (808). It connects sightseeing spots like Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park in the north and Kiyomizudera Temple in the south, so it’s always crowded with visitors.

    The slope is also popular for being lined with traditional restaurants and souvenir shops. Sanneizaka is designated as a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings of Kyoto City, and there are Kyoto-style houses along the slope. It’s nice to take a walk while visiting shops during the day, but the best time to be here is at night when the street is lit with dim streetlights. This fantastic scene has its own special charm.

    Poloha: 2 Chome-221 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan

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    fotografia od Andrea Schaffer (CC BY 2.0) upravené

    8

    Okazaki Shrine

    The 'cute' shrine of Kyoto

    Okazaki Shrine in Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward is very popular for being so 'cute', with guardian rabbits (koma-usagi) and lucky rabbits (maneki usagi) instead of guardian lion-dogs and lucky cats. Besides that, this shrine is said to bring blessings in having children, marriage, and protection from bad luck, so it’s especially popular among couples. 

    The guardian rabbits sitting in front of the main shrine are a male on the right and a female on the left. Stroking the head of each rabbit is said to bring benefits in marriage and matrimonial harmony. It’s also said that if you pour water on the black granite rabbit statue at a place where you clean hands (chozusha), rub its stomach and then pray, for it will bring blessings in having children and safe delivery. Lucky amulets with rabbit motifs are available for different blessings on marriage, having children, road safety and education. They’re so cute that you’ll want them all.

    Poloha: 51 Okazaki Higashitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto 606-8332, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-771-1963

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    fotografia od baggio4ever (CC BY 3.0) upravené

    9

    Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei

    Have a date in traditional Japanese attire

    Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei is a go-to in Kyoto if you want to try wearing traditional Japanaese costumes on your visit. This place is very popular because there are many kinds of kimono offered at affordable prices, so you can easily find one to suit you. Staff will give advice on how to coordinate kimono to suit each customer, and they’re renowned for their attentive service. 

    Kimono rental plans that include everything you need for wearing kimono are available, and there are plenty of bags, shoes and shawls to choose from. You can enjoy wearing kimono for the first time without needing to bring anything. There are famous shrines and temples like Kiyomizudera Temple, Yasaka Shrine and Chion-in nearby, so you can walk to visit these places wearing your kimono. It's a great idea for your romantic date in Kyoto.

    Poloha: 5th floor, Prestige Gion, Umemotocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0064, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-531-1890

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    10

    Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Museum

    Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Museum is a museum that presents the collection of Guido Reuge, a music box collector, and displays and plays them. There are about 150 valuable music boxes on display in the museum, some of which are of European historical and cultural heritage. Looking at the world’s oldest music box, made in 1796, you can’t help thinking about the long history of these fascinating machines.

    There are also tours where staff explain the exhibits one by one and play the music boxes for you. If you visit with your partner, make sure you ask about discounts on the admission fee such as couple discounts and so-called love discounts. There’s a music box shop in this stone-built museum, and you can have a good time just by looking at the music boxes here.

    Poloha: 1-38 Sagatenryuji Tateishicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto 616-8375, Japan

    Otvorené: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Telefón: +81 (0)75-366-3395

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    fotografia od bm.iphone (CC BY 2.0) upravené

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