Sacred shrines, Zen gardens and bamboo groves
Why come to Kyoto Prefecture, Japan?
These are my top six reasons:
Relaxation and Recreation: With stunning mountains just minutes from Kyoto station or further afield towards Amanohashidate or Fukuchiyama, enjoy Hiking, Cycling, Boating, hot springs (Onsen) with picturesque views or in century old bathhouses, or World Class Sporting events, such as the Kyoto Marathon. Or you can visit some stunning gardens such as the Kodaiji or Kiyomizu Temple where its beauty will take you to another world.
- Luxury: With more 3 star Michelin restaurants than France, Japan is a gourmet's delight. What's more, Kyoto has the largest concentration of these restaurants outside Tokyo. After dining, relax in a five star spa resorts like the Westin and Hyatt.
- Festivals: As the cultural capital of Japan since 794 the four seasons are marked by various festivals celebrating both folklore and nature. There is something to experience every month. One of my favorites is Aoi Matsuri, the Hollyhock Festival, where beautiful costumed townsfolk parade to ancient court music towards Shimogamo Shrine.
- Food: Local produce from the sea to the mountains are beautifully represented in Kyoto Cuisine. The coast is famous for delicious crabs and seafood, while the inland and Kyoto city has developed a unique cuisine to take advantage of the nearby mountainside produce. The fresh mountain springs is perfect for sake making, while Uji and Wazuka is known for tea.
- Wellbeing: The calming down of your spirit in a tea ceremony, or meditating in a beautiful Japanese garden. This is the essence of Wabi sabi, of simple transient beauty. From the Ryoanji rock garden to the simple floral arrangements in a Kyoto floral arrangement class, simplicity engenders mindfulness and wellbeing.
- Accessibility and Affordability: Kansai Airport provides the international gateway to Kyoto, with direct flights from four continents and one stop flights from Africa and South America. All three airline alliances (oneWorld, Star Alliance and Sky Team) offer round the clock flights daily. Did you know you can enjoy a three course for ¥1,300, or ¥250 for hot meal?