Over one thousand temples and shrines reside in the magical city of Kyoto on the island of Honshu. In this capital city of the Kyoto Prefecture, respect for tradition is evident in daily life. Refined Kaiseki restaurants, picturesque tea houses, and ancient art forms are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.
Ippodo offers an intimate encounter with the finest teas in Kyoto. An impressive selection of Japanese blends such as Gyokuro, Sencha, and Bancha are arranged in the store's refined displays. Settle in at the counter of the Kaboku Tearoom for a guided lesson in the leisurely process of making tea using a traditional kyusu teapot.
Leave the city crowds behind and escape to Kameyama Koen Park, a leafy hilltop oasis on the outskirts of Arashiyama. Scenic in every season—with fiery fall colors and feathery cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring—the local monkeys, when they make an appearance, are the most thrilling sighting of all.Learn More
Opened in 2005, this refined boutique showcases local, contemporary designers who are inspired by traditional elements. The bold ceramics, delicate sake sets and elegant furoshiki wrapping cloths displayed with gallery-like cremenony are very much at home in the impressive Tadao Ando-designed building.Learn More
Carefully arranged cabbages and radishes fill wooden barrels, and the aroma of roasted chestnuts drifts through the air. Kyoto's four-hundred-year-old covered marketplace is a feast for the senses. Hundreds of shops and tiny stalls line the long row that stretches for five blocks through the center of the city. In this lively atmosphere, dainty Japanese confections shaped like flowers sit side-by-side with tantalizing bites of sushi and a range of artful kitchenware.
Board a quick train ride beyond Kyoto to the Yamazaki Distillery, Japan’s first single malt whisky distillery opened by Suntory in 1923. Embark on a guided tour to learn about the process of how some of the world’s most distinctive whiskies are made. After time spent admiring the barrel, say kanpai to an exclusive tasting of unblended whiskeys not available outside the distillery.Learn More
Pass beneath a massive granite torii, shrine gate, follow cobbled paths lined with diminutive grottos and pavilions to the stately red lacquer Shinto shrine hung with delicate paper lanterns. The guardian shrine of the ancient Gion district, is a popular spot for traditional Shinto weddings, baby blessings and festivals. Wander through after dark when this sacred shrine takes on a fairytale glow when all the lanterns are lit.Learn More
Locals greet the new year with a visit to a shrine (or a hatsumode), and Fushimi Inari is particularly festive with women dressed in their best kimonos and stalls selling traditional food.
Stand on the sidelines and encourage runners as they wind their way through this incredibly scenic course that passes seven UNESCO World Heritage sites.Learn More
The arrival of the breathtaking cherry blossom season in April is greeted with tea ceremonies and traditional dance performances by geisha and maiko (apprentices) of the Gion district.Learn More
Full of drama and pageantry with Noh actors and musicians, this boating festival on the Oi River is a reenactment of an imperial boating party when Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the Heian period.
Noh is an ancient and revered form of theater of actors in hand-painted masks, and this popular festival performed at a shrine is capped with a bonfire.Learn More
Kyoto’s largest festival is a month-long celebration marked by elaborate parades, performances, street parties, with the highlight being a massive float procession mid-month.Learn More
Filmmakers, artists, publishers, and fans turn out in large numbers for KYO-MAF, Western Japan’s largest manga and anime trade fair.Learn More
Locals dressed in Edo-period costume parade through this small village north of Kyoto with fiery torches as part of this ancient and fascinating rite of passage for youth in the town.Learn More
"One of the most pleasant ways to take in Kyoto is on a Hozugawa River boat ride. On the two-hour journey from Tanba-Kameoka to Arashiyama, you’ll pass churning rapids, deep ravines, and inspiring scenery that changes with each season."
Classic ryokan elements, such as tatami surfaces, yukata dressing gowns, soaking tubs, and traditional futon mattresses on request, are found in every room.Learn More
Have the dedicated concierge team assist with arranging tours of historic temples and inspiring landmarks, or booking rickshaw tours, a sake tasting or kimono-dressing experience.Learn More
The Japanese bathing ritual is as sacred today as it was thousands of years ago. Soak in one of the two traditional onsen-style open air baths, the Hinoki cypress or natural stone tub, in the hushed spa treatment rooms.Learn More