Secret Kyoto was born out of this vision: standing out from the crowd, exploring hidden gems at your own pace, away from the crowds all massed in major tourist spots. There are so many great places to explore and adventures to experience. Kyoto is an amazing city when you don’t follow the beaten path, when you explore it your own way. There are many great small spots that only locals know about – Japanese and foreign residents alike.
When I first visited Kyoto, I stayed only for 6 days. I tended to see only the “must-sees” that most tourists visit: Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo-jo, Kinkaku-ji, etc. I was just an average tourists taking the same pictures as everyone else, having the same tourist experiences as everyone else.
I knew that Kyoto was full of hidden gems but I didn’t know their names, their location and how to get there, what to look out for and what season to visit them.
Also, the big tourist spots are spread out in Kyoto, so I wasted time in transports going from one place to another. And I hesitated a lot sometimes about where I should go as there are so many possibilities. But most places are open only from 9am to 5pm, so there was no time to waste in the morning trying to figure out where to go.
Instead, I thought to myself: what if next time, I visited places in just one area per day, taking my time (slow travel) and making the most of it? And what if I guided travellers to Kyoto who wanted to explore places off-the-beaten-path that are located near major tourist spots?