Kyoto is Japan’s old capital serving as the hometown of the Japanese Emperor for more than 1000 years until the end of the 19th century. Unlike many other cities in the country whose image was shaped by the dominating samurai culture, Kyoto has always been a domain of the Emperor, his nobles and other hereditary aristocrats. This has resulted in an affluent medieval culture which produced countless of temples, historical artefacts, beautiful gardens, national treasures and unique local customs. Welcome to Kyoto, the living treasure box of Japan’s rich history!
Visitors to Kyoto often find it difficult to choose which of the endless cultural sites to visit. In fact, different parts of the city represent different historical era and the temples and shrines have some significant differences depending on the period during which they were built. Nevertheless, foreign travelers will be delighted to discover some of the 17 UNESCO registered historical sites, among which are the Golden Temple (Kinkakuji), Ryoanji Temple with its famous Zen rock garden, Kiyomizudera Temple with its elevated wooden terrace, and the Nijo Castle. Other famous spots that combine cultural properties with scenic nature are Arashiyama’s bamboo forest and Fushimi Inari Shrine with its thousands of red torii gates along the hiking trail.
Kyoto is a city where you can experience genuine Japanese culture. Enjoy strolling the old streets dressed in a traditional kimono, feel the classical Zen atmosphere of a tea ceremony, or be entertained by authentic geisha artists in a centuries-old tea house! Whatever you do in Kyoto you are guaranteed to experience the old ambience and spirit of Japan!
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