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The former capital of Japan, Kyoto is a beautiful city that still has many traditional townhouses as well as modern skyscrapers. The city sits in a valley in the Tamba highlands and has much to offer visitors, with numerous hotel options from which to enjoy the city, like the top rated Kyoto Century Hotel.Don’t Miss
There are 17 Unesco World Heritage sites in Kyoto, with those in north-western Kyoto being the most popular due to their location. The Kinkakuji, Daitokuji, Ryoanji and Ninnaji Temples are all within a 15- to 30-minute walk of one another, though Central Kyoto’s Nijō Castle, which is made up of two palaces, beautiful gardens and numerous centuries-old structures, should also be on visitors’ itineraries.
The Imperial Park is a peaceful area right in the city heart that centres on the impressive Kyoto Imperial Palace and is also home to Sentō Imperial Palace. Katsura Imperial Villa is another beautiful palace, though permission must be obtained ahead of time to tour this stunning property.
Those into natural attractions should not miss Maruyama Park, which is the city’s main centre for cherry blossom trees. Taking a pleasant hike to the top of Mount Daimonji in Higashiyama gives visitors breath-taking views of the city. The Iwatayama Monkey Park on Mount Arashiyama is a great place to spend an afternoon with its Japanese macaque monkeys.Restaurants and Bars
There is an abundance of places to eat and drink in Kyoto, though no one should leave without trying local dishes like hamo, tofu or yatsuhashi. Central Kyoto has the best selection of eateries where visitors can get cheap kaitenzushiya or top quality beef. Central Kyoto is also the best place to have a drink, as there are large numbers of bars, nightclubs and British and Irish pubs. Still, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is one of the best places in the city to wine and dine.Shopping
Many souvenir shops can be found near the Unesco World Heritage sites and other historical attractions throughout the city. The Shijō-dōri and Kawaramachi-dōri intersection is Kyoto’s main shopping centre, with the covered Teramachi Street shopping mall being the best place to shop for anime, games and comics.