Kyoto, Japan's former capital and cultural hub, is a must-visit with 17 UNESCO sites and a mix of ancient and modern wonders. It is a city of splendid color, with major attractions including a walk through the eerie green light of the photogenic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, tunnels of red lacquered Torii Gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the opulent gleam from the Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. To experience everything that Kyoto has to offer, we highly recommend taking a private tour with a local guide.
No trip to Kyoto is complete without a walk around the historic Gion district, home to Japan’s last remaining geisha population. The narrow streets and traditional ochaya teahouses will transport you to another time. Kyoto also serves as a base for day trips to Nara, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, and Hikone, each less than an hour away by train.