Reasons to Visit
Modern and exciting cities make up much of the Japanese landscape, encapsulated by sleek bullet trains, flashing neon lights and dizzying skyscrapers. Scratch the surface to find hidden temples, preserved samurai quarters and local markets.
From delicate sashimi to prime grade steaks washed down with a local beer or a cup of hot sake, every mouthful you try in Japan will certainly be memorable and more often than not, delicious.
A stay in a Japanese ryokan inn is an unbeatable opportunity to experience true Japanese hospitality, including kaiseki cuisine, hot onsen baths and sleeping on a tatami mat.
Although the image of Japan is that of skyscrapers and flashing neon, most of the country is rural, rugged and mountainous, providing excellent walking and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Kyoto alone has over 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines paying homage to a number of different deities and gods. Enter the through the large torii gate and contemplate.
From tea ceremonies and flower arrangements to lavish Geisha attended kaiseki banquets, Japanese culture is the most refined and elaborate in the world.
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Kyoto is the Japan of the imagination: a city of grand palaces, ornate shrines and exquisite gardens, mercifully spared from the bombing of World War II that razed other Japanese cities.
For many centuries Kyoto was Japan’s capital and to this day retains the nation’s greatest and most glorious concentration of cultural treasures.
Kyoto is the Japan of the imagination: a city of grand palaces, ornate shrines and exquisite gardens, mercifully spared from the bombing of World War II that razed other Japanese cities. It has not stood still however, and this is undeniably a modern city, but amongst the new developments pockets of ancient Japan linger, where kimonoclad Geisha still shuffle along narrow, lamp-lit streets.
We have selected some of Japan’s finest ryokan to allow you to truly experience this magical atmosphere and to ensure your visit to Kyoto is the highlight of your time in Japan. Such is the wealth of attractions in Kyoto that we recommend at least a few days to savour the atmosphere, exploring independently, with an experienced private guide or as part of a guided group tour.
Japan is rightly famed for the delicacy and refinement of its traditional crafts and pastimes, such as Ikebana flower arranging, origami, bonsai and earthenware pottery. The Women’s Association of Kyoto have established a range of short introductions to various aspects of Japanese culture, craft and cookery that allow foreign visitors to Kyoto to visit a real Japanese home and try their hand at traditional skills. Courses are run by local women keen to share their hobbies and skills with visitors, and offer the chance to enrich your time in Japan by interacting with local people on an individual level.
The cherry blossom season in Japan is one of the most popular and iconic times of the year to visit this spectacular country, and for good reason. But there are also many benefits to travelling outside of this period, from the changing leaves in autumn to the snow festivals in winter.
To visit a garden in Japan is to take a step away from reality. Many of the gardens are calm oases in the centre of busy cities and they offer visitors an opportunity to relax and forget.
Travelling to Japan on a budget is often perceived to be difficult. But by taking advantage of a Japan rail pass, choosing your accommodation wisely and knowing the best value places to eat, a cheap holiday to Japan is more achievable than ever.
13 days from £3,285pp
9 days from £2,300pp
11 days from £2,495pp
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Include a visit to Kyoto on your tailor-made trip around Japan by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in JapanWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout JapanCountry Guides
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