Hello everyone~ I’ve decided to participate in this year’s Animanga Festival! If you aren’t aware, the Animanga Festival is an event hosted and created by Auri and Nairne at Manga Toritsukareru Koto. “Simply put, it is a month-long festivity that includes aggressive writing prompts, intriguing competitions, whacky activities, remarkable talent, and all-round fun!”
For my incredibly late post, I’m using this prompt from the festival: “Trip Itinerary To Places You’d Like To Visit In Manga/Anime.”
The moment I saw this prompt, one place popped into my head. I could have picked from a plethora of fictional anime settings, such as the world of Pokemon (I’m a huge Pokenerd). But the location I decided to choose is actually a real place in Japan: Kyoto.
At first, this might seem like a strange choice, but I’ve noticed anime high schoolers always go to Kyoto for their school trip. I’ve seen it countless times. In Citrus, Rosario + Vampire, Yuru Yuri, K-On… just to name a few off the top of my head. There’s a ton more, though.
Why do so many schools go to Kyoto? And why do I want to go so badly? The answer for both questions is that Kyoto is full of both Japanese history and culture. It was the capital of Japan for over a 1,000 years, from 794 AD to 1868 AD. In modern times, it has endless museums, historical landmarks, and other things to check out. I’d love to explore it all in person.
One key aspect of Kyoto is its vast number of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Many have their own unique backstory that further add to Kyoto’s compelling history. For example, you can see a very brief history lesson about the famous Kinkaku-ji temple, as presented by Mugi, in the slideshow below~
I’m interested in both Buddhism and Shinto, so I’d be fascinated when visiting the religious sites, especially the Shinto shrines since I’ve never been to one. The temples and shrines are also incredibly beautiful. Although I’ve never seen them in person (;_;), the pictures I’ve seen are gorgeous, such as the Fushimi Inari Shrine and all of its torii gates (pictured above).
The allure of Kyoto’s architecture doesn’t just apply to religious buildings. The designs and layout of the whole city is extraordinary. It was actually designed after Chang-an, the capital of the Tang dynasty in China. The traditional streets and famous slopes are also something to awe at. From the pictures I’ve seen, they look as though you’re being transported back to old-time Japan.
Besides of all the history and culture I want to consume, Kyoto seems like a great place to relax. The scenic spots look so tranquil. The city also has some well-known onsen and inns. I’d love to relax in one after a long day of sightseeing (because I’d probably overdo it).
There are so many other things to do in Kyoto, but I want mention just one more. The Daimonji Fire Festival. Every year in August, lanterns are lit up on the side of a mountain to create the shape of different characters or images. You can apparently see them from miles around, and it seems like an amazing experience. It… looks… so cool *_*
Even before seeing scores of anime high schoolers visit Kyoto, I have always wanted to go there. But every time it pops up as yet another school trip, it makes me want to go even more. It seems like the perfect place to experience traditional Japanese culture and so much more. I can’t wait until I make that pilgrimage myself one day.
If anyone has been to Kyoto, I’d love to hear some stories! :3 I’m so jealous of you~ ;0;