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The beauty of Kyoto

Tea, temples and geishas

Classic Kyoto

Kyoto is a city with more than 2,000 temples and shrines. A city where you may catch a glimpse of mysterious geishas. A city endowed with serene gardens and traditional tea houses, surrounded by modern fast-paced life. Welcome to Kyoto, Japan's spiritual heart.

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About 1,000 years ago, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan, which explains the large collection of temples and shrines. Since then, Tokyo has taken over as the nation's capital, but Kyoto still prides itself on being the country's cultural capital. The ultra fast bullet train whisks visitors in fifteen minutes from Osaka to this magical city. In this video our guides will show you the highlights of Kyoto, as well as the gorgeous Shiga prefecture just outside of town.

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The Shiga Prefecture

Mr. Seita Mori

Seita Mori has been working for many years as a guide in the Shiga prefecture. He founded his own company to introduce visitors to this beautiful destination just on the outskirts of Kyoto. He knows all the ins and outs of this beautiful prefecture.

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Kyoto

Ms. Miho Orihara

Miho Orihara has been living in Kyoto for six years and has fallen in love with the city. She became a tour guide to share her love for Kyoto with the rest of the world. She now takes visitors to explore Kyoto's most beautiful attractions year-round.

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Tradition and history

Few cities of this size boast as much culture and history as Kyoto. While the rest of Japan develops at lightning speed, Kyoto still clings to tradition. The best place to experience the history is in the Gion district. A stroll through the narrow streets lined with wooden buildings takes you several centuries back in time.

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A main fixture in Japanese culture, the tea drinking tradition was born here in Kyoto. So this is the perfect opportunity to attend a traditional tea ceremony. The famous green Matcha tea will be carefully prepared according to ancient rituals. This is also a chance to don an authentic kimono. We filmed inside the Kyoto Concierge Tea Salon, housed in an old Samurai home.

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One of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan stands in Kyoto: the Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Thousands of red torii gates mark the path to the top of the sacred Inari mountain – a spectacular walk.

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A guaranteed Instagram hit is the Kifune-Jinja shrine, about twenty minutes from here. Dozens of red lanterns lead the way uphill to this small shrine. Curious about your future? Place a sheet of paper in the water to learn what it has in store. Your fortune will appear in Japanese but the handy QR code allows you to translate it into English.

Off the beaten path

Ready to go off the beaten path? Then head north of Kyoto. Within half an hour you will be transported to a completely different world: rural, mountainous and peaceful. A gem that most people don’t know about is the Sanzen-In temple with its serene moss garden. Sip a cup of tea in this sublime natural setting or simply listen to the sound of wind or the babbling water.

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The beauty of Shiga

A ten-minute train ride takes you from downtown Kyoto to the magnificent Shiga prefecture. This region is home to Biwa Lake, Japan's largest lake. Here you will also find Mount Hiei, nicknamed the 'mother mountain’ of Japanese Buddhism, with its important Enryakuji temple. Many monks study here to later found other Buddhist schools in Japan.

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Access the temple by riding the longest cable car in Japan. The Shiga prefecture boasts beautiful nature and is the perfect city escape for Kyoto residents.

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