A destination to experience Japan’s rich cultural and natural heritage, Kyoto has much to offer and this handy guide will help you prepare for your adventures.
A Bit of History
This city was initially the nation’s capital as well as the emperor’s residence from 794 to 1868. During this time, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Edo Period’s first shogun, also built his residence here in 1603; known as Nijo Castle, this historical site near Park Hotel Kyoto can be visited to gain more insights into a captivating history.
A Central Base
Look to be based in or around streets like Oike Dori for easy access to attractions. Consider a hotel near Karasuma Oike Station so you can enjoy hassle-free travel to sites of interest further away too; get a prepaid Icoca card to use on subways, buses and trains. There are also taxis and the Sky Hop Bus for sightseeing.
The above mentioned Nijo Castle is one of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto so there’s plenty to visit! Among the other key attractions are the Kinkaku-ji Temple or Golden Pavilion, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto Goen National Garden and the Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine with its torii gates on Mount Inari.
Dining & Nightlife
No trip would be complete without savouring local cuisine; highlights include a multi-course meal known as kaiseki ryori and shojin ryori which is a traditional vegetarian Buddhist cuisine. For foodie discoveries, head to places like the Nishiki Market, while for nightlife, visit Pontocho Alley home to charming bars and restaurants.