The land of dreamy artisans and geisha, Kyoto is the traditional heart of Japan in every sense.
With over 2000 temples, ethereal gardens, and a flourishing cultural scene brimming with authentic teahouses and culinary hubs, Kyoto is Japan’s traditional face in every sense. It is famous as the most spiritual city in the country. But what makes Kyoto so special among a series of cities packed with shrines is a never-changing daily mojo painted by religious rituals. Life seems to flow in a different dimension compared to the rest of the world on this serene land. You will see monks dressed in scarlet robes pacing between the temples, while the humming sounds of apprentices meditating in Zen gardens will accompany you on hidden passages.
In Kyoto’s warren of worship sites, Kiyomizu-dera stands out with an éclat so dramatic that you will feel the weight of spiritual presence whether you are a believer or not. The temple sits peacefully on a hill overlooking the valley and remains Kyoto’s most popular attraction. The picture-perfect vermilion Yasaka Shrine is just as alluring, located in the Gion District 10 minutes away from Kiyomizu-dera. Now and then, it gets washed in festival lights, becoming a place ladened with cultural celebration. Further along, Ryoanji Zen Garden sprawls serenely in a verdant setting. The temple and its meditation gardens are UNESCO-listed and pose as an ideal place to observe the practices of Zen Buddhism.
Other than the temples, Kyoto is famed as the land of dreamy artisans and geisha. Kyoto’s 18th-century pleasure hub, Gion, is a spellbinding place, dimly lit by traditional lanterns and peppered with cozy teahouses. It is a district to explore on foot, and you will find an evening walk among the wandering geisha and fragrant cherry blossoms soul-soothing. Intriguing antique shops seal the deal for Kyoto’s traditional charm, where you can observe a motley collection of Japanese-style items.
Tours visiting Kyoto
Highlights of Japan