Kyoto Local Custom Tips by BorderHopper
Kyoto Local Customs: 83 reviews and 107 photos
Prayer cards can be in any language
These prayer cards were left outside a temple along the Philosopher's Path near Ginkaku-ji
Taking care of the ancient garden at Ginkaku-ji
The gardners here are botanical wizards...
Frangrant blooms in the garden of nijo-jo castle
The gardens of Nijo-jo castle
Row of Buddhist icons at Kyoto temple
Quit ringing that bell!
At Shinto shrines you can place a small donation in a box that sits below a long rope which leads to a bell. You should pul on the rope to ring the bell which is supposed to wake the gods. Bow twice, clap loudly twice, bow again twice, then step back.....and ther eyou have it. As you can see below my little son got it all wrong. He didn't quite like the tolling of the bell and instead of waking the gods it got McKinley all worked up.
Our son looking confused about Mommy as a Geisha
It is said that there are between 100 and 150 Maiko and Geisha in Kyoto so if your intent on seeing one, without going through the complex process of official introductions and paying a wad of cash, you may have some luck if you hang out in the Gion district or around Ponto Cho.
I spotted my first Geisha in a black taxi, riding shotgun & looking downcast, with two old Japanese businessmen in the back seat. It was a pretty exciting moment. If you don't have the time to hang around these areas you may want to try going to a photo studio which specializes in photographing people in Geisha costumes. They will first do your makeup in the Geisha style, dress you in ornate gowns which could take about an hour, then photograph you in their studio. Afterwards they'll take the client into their sitting room and conduct the business of paying (about $150 usd) whicle serving you delicous green tea & sweets.
Japanese prayer cards
There are many Shinto temples and shrines where travellers are welcomed. At some of these shrines visitors are may leave personal or special wishes for a small donation.
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