Outside the main city centre of Kyoto lies some other notable temples and shrines.
Fushimi Inari Taisha sits at the base of Inari Mountain with trails up the mountain lined with hundreds of identical wooden torii gates.
Since early Japan, Inari was seen as the patron of business, so merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii here was donated by a Japanese business.
In the northwest of Kyoto, outside the city centre, lies Ninna-ji, the head temple of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism.
A UNESCO World Heritage sight, it contains many ancient wooden buildings, linked by covered walkways and overlooking a very Japanese Zen-like gravel garden.
Each tatami-mat floored room seems to create a peaceful atmosphere. While closer inspection reveals the intricate detailing and craftsmanship that went into its construction.
Around the gardens are buildings from the 17th century, including a five-story pagoda.Some buildings were locked from prying eyes.
Everywhere in Kyoto, there are cherry blossom trees. Seeing the world renowned cherry blossoms in full bloom was one of the main reasons to visit Japan at this time of year. But that was a couple of weeks away, so we would return to Kyoto later on.
Visited 21st to 22nd February 2014.