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The best time of day to enjoy Kyoto

Kyoto is an amazing city. And despite all the talk in the years before the pandemic about over tourism, it is still a special place. It is a magical place where time seems to have stood still. The city’s town houses - Kyomachiya - are still constructed using age old building techniques and materials. Old houses and buildings are maintained to look (almost) as good as new, and the 2000 shrines and temples that dot the city and the surrounding areas give it an almost otherworldly aura.

We consider ourselves immensely lucky, because we have been able to visit Kyoto many, many times. In fact we love it there. If it were up to me, we would live there. But, Ayako is a Tokyo girl, through and through, so it will likely never never come to pass…

Despite going there multiple times a year for the last few years, there was one thing that we had never done; something that we, or I, at least, have always wanted to do. And that was see the historical streets when no one else was around.

Surely, this is the best time of day to enjoy Kyoto: when the city is asleep. The trouble is, the only time the city streets are deserted is in the dead of the night/early in the morning. If you are neither a night owl nor a lark this can present a challenge.

The trouble for us