Japan’s cultural and spiritual heart

The long standing imperial capital until 1868, Kyoto is Japan’s cultural and spiritual heart. Home to an abundance of ornate temples, classic gardens and geishas, the city is steeped in tradition and is a worthy addition to any Japan itinerary.

Explore Kyoto by bike to discover its historic and cultural treasures, from the ancient Imperial Palace to the thousands of temples and Shinto shrines that are scattered throughout the city. A few of our favourites include the gilded Kinkaku-Ji temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, and the Fushimi Inari, a Shinto shrine in the south of Kyoto famed for its vermillion torii gates.

Dip into Japan’s history in Gion, Kyoto’s Geisha precinct, where you may see the kimono-clad performers themselves or their apprentices, the maiko. Here you can sip matcha in old tea houses or enjoy a meal whilst being entertained with traditional songs and dances.

Kyoto is also a city known for its gastronomic delights and is a must for any foodie. Whether you want to chow down on a sensational fine-dining menu, or sample local delicacies such as yakitori, there is plenty to tantalise the taste buds.

Those with an adventurous spirit can venture to the surrounding mountains and explore the scenic hiking trails. Reaching the peak of Daimonji Yama is a relatively quick ascent, and the views from the top are spectacular.

If you’ve been inspired to tap into Japan’s spiritual side, speak to one of our Asia specialists to add Kyoto to your tailor-made itinerary.

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