94 Days – Top Ten Things to Do in Kyoto (Share Your Work)

When I first started traveling alone, before the smartphone era, I would use guides like Fodors and LonelyPlanet to help me abroad. I would cut the glue-bound books up and carry little sections that I’d reassembled, which were relevant to me. I never thought of that as “cheating” in travel design and it helped me make itineraries more than once.

Recently, you may have seen ChatGPT emerge on the news. Articles evaluating the new AI have ranged from calling it the end of the need for humans to a simple fad. I think it is somewhere in-between. It is a powerful tool that will help us create, but force us to ask and answer serious questions about what we spend our time doing. The following post is created from my prompts on Chat GPT.

What are the Top Ten Places to See in Kyoto?*

  1. Fushimi Inari Shrine – This is a popular shrine in Kyoto known for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which form tunnels that visitors can walk through.
  2. Maruyama Park – This is a beautiful park in the center of Kyoto, known for its cherry blossom trees and weeping willows. It is a popular spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in the spring.
  3. Philosopher’s Walk – This is a scenic walking path that follows a canal in the north of Kyoto. It is named after the philosopher Nishida Kitaro, who used to walk this path to clear his mind and think. The path is lined with cherry blossom trees and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.
  4. Kyoto Imperial Palace – This is the former residence of the emperor of Japan, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens and buildings. Visitors can take a tour to learn about the history of the palace and see the buildings and gardens up close.
  5. Gion District – This is a historic district in Kyoto known for its traditional buildings, narrow streets, and geisha houses. It is a popular spot to see geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) walking to and from their engagements.
  6. Togetsukyo Bridge – This is a beautiful bridge that spans the Hozu River in Arashiyama, and it offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.
  7. Nintendo HQ – Kyoto is the home of the famous video game company Nintendo, and their headquarters is located in the city. Visitors can’t go inside the headquarters, but they can take a picture outside.
  8. Hongwanji Temple – This is a large and important temple in Kyoto, known for its beautiful architecture and gardens. It is the headquarters of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, and it is a popular spot for religious pilgrimages.
  9. Mount Hiei – This mountain is located on the outskirts of Kyoto, and it is home to several temples and monasteries. It is a popular spot for hiking and sightseeing, and visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the city from the top of the mountain.
  10. Museums and galleries – Kyoto is home to many museums and galleries, showcasing a wide range of art and historical artifacts. Some popular museums to visit include the Kyoto National Museum, the Museum of Kyoto, and the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts.

Phrase of the Day (Also written by AI): One important Japanese phrase to know when visiting a temple is “O-mamori” (お守り), which means “talisman” or “charm.” These are small objects that are believed to offer protection or bring good luck, and are often sold at temples. You may hear this phrase when purchasing an o-mamori, or when asking about the different types of charms that are available.

*Note – After asking the AI to create this list, I told it to Add Nintendo HQ and a couple specific temples. Then I asked it to add descriptions of each. Next, I asked it to substitute two locations on the outskirts for trendy coffee shops.

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