The old imperial capital and cultural heart of Japan
Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and is famous world wide for its refined culture, cuisine, and the charm of its outskirts. It is home to fantastic temples, noble gardens, traditional tea houses, and, of course, geisha.
Kyoto is the destination of several millions of tourists looking to experience Japanese culture every year. It contains countless temples and shrines, and you can see the architecture of Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Higashi Honganji. At the temples, there are countless places where the monks pray, and conduct zen meditation on the tatami flooring. You can truly feel that Kyoto is the spiritual center of Japan.
Kyoto is also home to wonderful cuisine. There are countless restaurants that serve Kyo Kaiseki, the unbelievably refined, artistic Japanese cuisine, Michelin star restaraunts, chic cocktail bars, cafes, izakaya, and ramen shops.
It is also a city of artisans. Here, they create traditional crafts using long established methods. There are specialty shops featuring Japanese paper, weaves, lacquerware, and more. Visiting these specialty shops is an event in and of itself.