Kyoto is a perfect destination for a Japan holiday. Rich in culture and history, the old capital of Kyoto is a must see for any traveller searching for an authentic Japanese stay. Spared from the bombings of World War 2 much of the city remains intact and many historic buildings from the Edo period can still be admired, where other cities such as Tokyo were not so fortunate. Visit Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, stop and admire the sugidama (cedar balls), hanging outside wooden houses in the Gion district which symbolise a new batch of sake for sale. Experience traditional Kaiseki dining and follow the Shirakawa River in the hopes of spotting a Giesha.
Travelling long haul, you'll want to make it count, so for all our guests we've organised the first night of your trip to be in Tokyo. What's great though is for your return you can choose between an additional night or two in Tokyo or Kyoto.
We can also introduce you to Tokyo, an intense and amazing introduction to modern day Japan.
While our Japan holidays typically depart on a Saturday, the itinerary and duration is completely down to your needs! Give our reservations team a call to speak to our Japan specialists, on 01483 676 800.
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Things to do in resort
Top 6 Things to do – 17 UNESCO sites in Kyoto
- Higashiyama district – Visit the Kiyomizudera temple, with its famous wooden stage and views of Kyoto, then head towards the narrow and boutique lined streets below for those extra special gifts. Finish with a walk to Gion to spot a Geisha, there are many more boutique shops and restaurants to enjoy in this area. The Shirakawa canal is also nearby and offers a quieter but still authentic insight into the Gion region.
- Nijo Castle - Constructed in 1603 the Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace after the Edo period. The entrance gates are magnificent with fantastic animal carvings and use of gold leaf. Follow the route around the castle and observe the audience rooms once resided by a shogun- if you think you can hear birds whistling whilst you walk, you’re right! The flooring was adapted to make noise to warn of any intruders.
- Eat okonomiyaki - a favourite of ours, this Japanese savoury pancake is the definition of feel good street food.
- Ponto-chō – What looks like a discerning and narrow street was once the red light district of Kyoto. Visit now and you’ll find an abundance of restaurants and bars offering the affordable yakitori to indulgent haute cuisine. Ponto-chō is best visited in the evening with many establishments not opening until 5pm each evening.
- Kinkakuji – The Golden Temple is every tourist’s must see photo opportunity. A Zen temple, covered in gold leaf, Kinjakuji was built as a place of retirement for the shogun Yoshimitsu. Admittedly not the original (thanks to a fire hungry monk) the temple was rebuilt in 1955, photographs are best taken across the pond- see if you can spot the golden phoenix.
- Fushimi Inari Shrine - A unique Shinto shrine, there are thousands of torii gates, lining trails which lead into the forest of Mount Inari. Gates are donated by local people and businesses, the bigger the gate, the bigger the donation.
Location in resort
For more information on travel and transport visit our Kyoto page