Archive for June, 2012

Renowned Attractions in Kyoto

Being seventh largest city of Japan, Kyoto was also a capital of Japan from 794 to 1868. Most of the people think that Kyoto is the city of temples and shrines but it is totally a misconception. Although temples are shrines are major attractions in Kyoto, there are a number of other fun-based and modern attractions in this cultural center of Japan. Let’s have a brief introduction to tourists’ attractions in Kyoto.

Kyoto Municipal Zoo

It is an 8.4 acre zoo which was established in 1903. It is the second oldest zoo in the country. It is not just a zoo but also it is considered to be the best place for enjoying cherry blossom in spring and watching leaves turning yellow in winter. Animals which you will find in the zoo are zebras, giraffes, monkeys, lions, bears, hippos, flamingo, sea lions, peacocks, foxes, red pandas, deer, gorillas, eagles, tanuki, hawks etc. Other facilities in this zoo include:

Animal Data Room: It is a place having information about former animals of zoo. Skeletons of these animals are also kept here for information and knowledge.

Children’s Zoo: Opened in 1955, the zoo allows people to watch and touch animals. Here you will find rabbits, pigs, chickens, ducks, penguins, goats, cockatoos, a donkey and turtles.

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is another attraction that provides visitors with the best views of city. It is an observation tower having an observation deck at a height of 100 meters. Kyoto Tower has been divided into two parts. The primary structure is one where the famous observation deck is located. To have a view of city, this area is provided with telescopes. From here, you can view some magnificent scenes of the city including the mountains of Higashiyama and Arashiyama. Second structure of this tower is quite interesting to see as it contains a spa, shops and book store. The 3-star Kyoto Tower Hotel is also located here.

Gion

Gion is a district of Kyoto located in front of Yasaka Shrine. This district was actually built to facilitate the visitors of shrine but with the passage of time, it became one of the most impressive and exclusive geisha districts in Japan. This district is featured with flagstone-paved streets and tourists love to visit this place because of its traditional wooden buildings. Here you will also see beautifully dressed women in teahouses. In this district, areas to the north of Shijo-dori are very beautiful as well as areas of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka are also worth-seeing.

Higashi Honganji

It is one of the most famous historical buildings of Kyoto. Constructed in 1602, this building is located near Kyoto Station. This building was constructed with an intention to compete nearby Nishi Honganji. The things that will attract you in this building include its huge gates and entire building along with the black rope that is made of a woman’s hair.

Kyoto Imperial Palace

This is an imperial palace of Japan where the Emperor resided since 1869. This palace is located in the huge Kyoto Imperial Park and boasts of having halls, gates and large gardens. If you want to visit this palace, you will have to plan a visited tour which is held by the Imperial Household Agency.

Uzumasa Movie Village

It is a modern attraction in Kyoto which is a headquarters of one of the Japan’s biggest film studio. It also serves as a location for historical and action movies and ninja films. Don’t forget to visit a theme park and movie museum located here.

These were some of the famous attractions in Kyoto. Now you must have known that Kyoto is not all about temples, shrines and dusty museums as there are modern and contemporary attractions as well.

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Top Tourists Destinations in Kathmandu

In the recent years, Kathmandu has developed into a very popular tourist destination because it has to offer a lot to all the people coming here. There are a lot of things to do in Kathmandu which keep the travelers busy throughout their visit to this city. There are not only places with magnificent scenes of the city but also there are hiking and trekking attraction for adventure loving people so a visit to this city will surely be quite enjoyable and memorable. Some of its major travel destinations are described below for your guidance.

Nagarkot

Nagarkot is an interesting place to visit because here you will find you will find some of the most exciting places for hiking. Nagarkot is surrounded by thick forests having beautiful pine trees and providing tourists with an opportunity to escape from hustle and bustle of city. From Nagarkot, you will also be able to see views of some of the most beautiful and breathtaking Himalayan peaks including Manaslu, Sisa Pagma, Ganesh, Langtang, Gauri Shankar etc. On a clear day, you can also have a view of Mount Everest tip from this place. Isn’t it wonderful and great? Of course it is. The best time to come to this place is in afternoon so that you can stay in one of the resorts and then enjoy view of sunrise the next morning. Other activities which travelers can enjoy in Nagarkot include yoga, birdwatching, riding and hiking.

The Chusya Bahal

A visit to Kathmandu will remain incomplete without a visit to this place. The Chusya Bahal Kathmandu is the best example of Bahal architecture. Let me describe this beautiful place as I hope that after reading about it, you will definitely visit this place. At the entrance of this place, you will find two magnificent lions. This is a set of buildings on the right side of which, you will find Mahakala Shrine along with Ganesha Shrine. Visitors will also come across traditional brick paving in sunken court of this building.

There is a temple in the entrance of this building which has got two storeys. The most worth-seeing feature of this temple is roof struts belonging to 14th century. If you are interested in watching stupas, you will find them inside the court. One of the stupas has got the image of Tara and the other has got the statue of Vajrasattva. In the ground floor, you will see many halls which are currently being used as school.

Durbar Square

Durbar Square is considered as a spiritual heart of Kathmandu. There are a lot of attractions around Durbar Square like courtyards, pagodas, temples as well as Royal Palace, Kumari House and the residence of Living Goddess. Te Kumari Chowk is also a popular tourist attraction in Nepal which is located in south of Durbar Square. At this place there is a cage having a young girl. The young girl is actually human personification of Goddess Durga which is a Hindu Goddess. Selection of this young girl is done through a spiritual and ancient process and during the time of religious festivals, this young girl is worshipped. A number of temples are also located at Durbar Square which are kept and preserved nicely as they are national heritage sites.

Gorakhnath Caves

An interesting place to visit in Kathmandu is Gorakhnath Caves which are named after saintly Gorakhnat. It is believed that Gorakhnath mediated in this cave and he also left his foot prints on a rock in front of cave. Around this region, many temples and monasteries have been established among which you will come across Tibetan gompa which belongs to Nyingmapa sect. This was built to honor a person named Guru Rinpoche who had been given the credit of introducing Buddhism in Tibet.

Royal Chitwan National Park

Royal Chitwan National Park is the oldest and most popular safari park in Nepal. This park is home to endangered animals like Royal Bengal Tiger and one-horned rhinoceros. Other animals which you will find here include sloth bears, pythons, leopards, wild elephants, monitor lizards and more than 400 species of birds. You can explore park in different ways but the best and most popular way is elephant-back safaris. Other facilities available in this park include guided walks, jeep safaris, canoe trips and overnight jungle expeditions. There are also accommodation facilities in this park so you can make a choice between hotels and luxury camps within park.

According to me, these were the best attractions which you must see in Kathmandu. Plan some holiday there and enjoy a good time.

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