Exploring Japan's ancient capital with author Judith Clancy

Exploring Kyoto

"The thirty walking tours in Exploring Kyoto take you both to famous sites and to little-known but equally rewarding treasures tucked away up back streets or behind an unassuming gate or doorway. Supplemented with detailed maps for each walk, sixteen pages of color photographs, and thoroughly researched information on the city's culture and history, Exploring Kyoto is a book no visitor to Japan should be without."

A Sample Walk

This walk covers:
  • Shugakuin Rikyu
  • Sekizan Zen'in
  • Manshuin
  • Enkoji
  • Shisendo
  • Hachidai Shrine
  • Tanukidani Fudoin
  • Honganji
  • Kitayama Betsuin
  • Kompukuji
  • Ichijoji Sagari Matsu
Exploring Kyoto
Editorial Reviews

What began as the author's translation of Japanese-language Kyoto street and informational signs grew into a bountiful little book complete with superstitions, legends, history, and popular culture. The map key foretells the natural details used to guide the visitor through 27 walking tours of this beautiful, ancient city. Pagodas, gates, and shrines are marked, along with waterfalls, springs, cherry trees, plum trees, and lotus flowers. Romantic names such as "Sound of Feathers Waterfall," "Moon-Crossing Bridge" and "Teahouse of Clear Rippling Waves" intimate how highly the Japanese regard the natural world. On each clearly written tour, the author reveals fascinating facts about the city: the lattice-windowed wooden townhouses are called eel houses because of their depth and narrowness, and norens are the split curtains that help distinguish businesses from homes, hanging in the doorways of open shops and restaurants to announce the name of the business and the nature of its trade. Whether or not you're planning a trip to Kyoto, this is a fascinating glimpse into the culture of Japan.

About the author

Buy at
Exploring Kyoto, Revised Edition: On Foot in the Ancient Capital

Kyoto Japanese Language School