Kyoto (京都) was the capital of Japan for over a millennium, and has the reputation of being its most beautiful city. However, visitors may be surprised by how much work they will have to do to see Kyoto’s beautiful side. The first impressions will be of the urban sprawl of central Kyoto, around the ultra-modern glass-and-steel train station, which is itself an example of a city steeped in tradition colliding with the modern world.
Unlike Tokyo, Kyoto was able to keep the customs and traditions of the Old Japan, as it was spared from the bombing of the Second World War and was never affected by earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Nonetheless, the persistent visitor will soon discover Kyoto’s hidden beauty in the temples and parks which ring the city center, and find that the city has much more to offer than immediately meets the eye.
Kinkakuji temple (golden pavilion) / Sanjusangen-do / Kiyomizu-dera / Arashimaya / Fushimi Inari-taisha / Pontocho / Gion