Kyoto, Japan



Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu.
It is an old Japan writ large: quiet temples, sublime gardens, colourful shrines and geisha scurrying to secret liaisons. Few cities of this size offer such a range of excellent restaurants. Work your way through the entire spectrum of Japanese food, from impossibly refined cuisine known as kaiseki to hearty plebeian fare like ramen. There’s also a wide range of French, Italian and Chinese restaurants, where the famed Japanese attention to detail is paired with local ingredients to yield fantastic results.


There are said to be over 1000 Buddhist temples in Kyoto.

You’ll find true masterpieces of religious architecture, such as the retina-burning splendour of Kinkaku-ji (the famed Golden Pavilion) and the cavernous expanse of Higashi Hongan-ji. Within the temple, precincts are some of the world’s most sublime gardens, from the Zen masterpiece at Ryōan-ji to the riotous paradise of moss and blossoms at Saihō-ji. And then there are the Shintō shrines, monuments to Japan’s indigenous faith. The mother of all shrines, Fushimi-Inari-Taisha, has mesmerising arcades of vermilion torii (entrance gate to a Shintō shrine) spread across a mountainside.


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