The labyrinth of lane ways heads up every so slowly from Kyoto and Gion towards Kiyomizu dera, and as you climb each step, you take a step back in time. In Springtime the cherry blossom trees, some of which are over a hundred years old, are adorned with pink and white petals, announcing the start of new life and a new season. Nearby are shops selling cherry blossom themed sweets and fashion. Whether you would like some cherry leaf mochi rice cakes or a fan decorated with cherry blossoms, the colorful wooden shops of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are sure to please. Many people from around the world make the pilgrimage here at the beginning of April when the cherry blossoms are at their peak, so head here early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.