Chasing mystery in Kyoto

Photos of famous (and lesser-known) sites from a city that was Japan's imperial, cultural and religious capital for more than a millennium.


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Chasing mystery in Kyoto

Chasing mystery in Kyoto

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Nighttime on 先斗町 (Ponto-Cho), a pedestrian alley lined with cafes, bars and Old World Japanese tea houses. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

先斗町 (Ponto-Cho)

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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The Kyoto Tower from Kyoto Train Station. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

Kyoto Train Station

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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A stand selling octopus balls outside the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

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The brass temple bell at Hoko-ji, a 16th century temple in the Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

豊国神社

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House for the brass temple bell at Hoko-ji temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

豊国神社

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Shrine and fountain at Rengeoin Sanjusangendo temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

三十三間堂 (Sanjūsangen-dō)

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The main gate at Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, a temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

三十三間堂 (Sanjūsangen-dō)

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The ancient three-story pagoda at the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

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Visitors walk among the thousands of shrine gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

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Visitors walk among the thousands of shrine gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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The Mieido hall at the Chion-in temple in Kyoto, one of the more popular attractions for both Japanese and foreign visitors. Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle

知恩院 (Chion-in Temple)

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Visitors are dwarfed by the three-story pagoda at the popular Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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Some of the thousands of orange torii (shrine gates) at the Fushimi Inari Taisha in southern Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

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A photographer tries to capture the ancient Karamon Gate into the Toyokuni Shrine. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

豊国神社

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Visitors to the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto sip sacred water from a spring fountain that is supposed to bring good fortune. Photo...

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

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A stone marks a sub-temple on the hillside above the Nanzen-ji Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

大本山 南禅寺 (瑞龍山 太平興国南禅禅寺)(Nanzen-ji Temple)

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Chefs at Hiranoya Hoten restaurant in Kyoto have been making the signature ebi imo and bodara (shrimp potatoes and dried cod), or just "imob...

円山公園 (Maruyama Park)

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The Hondo (main hall) and stage at Kiyomizu-dera were built in the 17th century without a single nail. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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Pilgrims and tourists walk corridors made up of thousands of torii (shrine gates) at the Fushimi Inari Taisha south of Kyoto. Photo: Spud Hi...

伏見稲荷大社 (Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine)

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Issen Yoshoku restaurant is a popular late-night hangout, with wacky decor, plaques with dirty jokes, a mannequin at each table to keep dine...

Issen Yoshoku

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An okonomiyaki dish called issen yoshoku is the only dish on the menu at Issen Yoshoku restaurant. Photo: Spud Hilton, The Chronicle

Issen Yoshoku

Looking for the secrets of Kyoto

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