Miyazu is a beautiful port city, and as Kyoto's gateway to the Japan Sea, played an important part of its trade with the outside world. As you walk around the city, you will realise that many of the streets rotate outwards from the waterfront wharves. Mr Mikami was a prosperous merchant in this castle town, trying his hand in sake making, shipping as well as trading textiles. You can see the legacy of his lifetime's work at his house, with its stone garden as its focal point. The south facing garden allowed sunlight to bathe the surrounding rooms, giving it a spacious and warm feel even in winter. Take a seat on the wooden patio and imagine the days a few centuries ago when visiting merchants would relax over tea or sake as the sun and moon made its way across the skies over the garden. Mikami's house is short walk or cycle ride from Seikiro Ryokan, where you can relive the grandeur of Kyoto's past in a spacious ryokan, or Japanese bed and breakfast.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.