Kyoto is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Japan’s rich cultural and natural heritage and here are some enthralling facts that give you a glimpse of what to expect.
An Ancient Capital
Before Tokyo was chosen as the capital for the imperial court of Japan, Kyoto held that honour; keep in mind, this was something it did for over a thousand years! Heian-kyō (now known as Kyoto) was selected as the capital in 794 and many emperors ruled here for 11 centuries before the switch to Tokyo in 1869.
A Stunning Castle
Amongst the key attractions in Kyoto, Nijo Castle was in fact, the residence of the Edo Period’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Accessible by foot from a hotel near Karasuma Oike Station, this 17th century UNESCO World Heritage Site features the striking Ninomaru Palace that offers insights into an intriguing history.
A Unique Cuisine
Rooted in 16th century tea drinking ceremonies, the Japanese haute cuisine known as originated in Kyoto. The menu for this multi-course meal changes seasonally and is well worth trying; a distinctive aspect of kaiseki ryori is that each course is prepared to be a visual feast for the eyes as well.
A Religious Heritage
Did you know that Kyoto is home to around 1,600 Buddhist temples! Added to this are the many shrines which offer plenty of sightseeing discoveries. Some of the temples are part of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites here including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Tenryu-ji Temple and Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion).