Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It’s famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district.
Philosopher’s Walk, a canalside path lined with cherry and maple trees, is home to temples like Ginkaku-ji, with its pine-framed pond, and Nanzen-ji, with a renowned Zen garden. Hillside Kyomizu-dera Temple is famed for its huge, log-supported veranda. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine features a tunnel-like procession of hundreds of bright-orange “torii” gates in the forest. The shogun-era Nijō Castle has elaborate wood-carved interiors, while Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is coated in gold leaf. To the west, Arashiyama’s bamboo grove offers tranquil walks among the towering stalks.