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What we love

The spiritual heart of Japan, Kyoto is home to over 2000 temples and shrines. Watch geisha dances, take part in tea ceremonies and indulge in street food tours to learn all about fascinating Kyoto.

The destination

Home to over 2000 temples and shrines, Kyoto is the considered the spiritual heart of Japan and is adorned with no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Understand the unique Japanese culture by immersing yourself in some of the country’s best-known traditions. Head to the streets of Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, admire the many zen gardens on the outskirts of the city, or watch how matcha is made in an authentic tea ceremony. Food, religion and art are huge parts of Kyoto, and should feature heavily in your trip there to experience all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Where to stay

Kyoto has a wide variety of hotels to choose from, the most popular areas being the Higashiyama and Central districts, with a selection of our favourite hotels listed below. However, this is just a sample, so please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01993 899430, or email inspire@oxfordprivatetravel.com if you would like to find out more and we will be delighted to craft your own tailor-made trip.

Who should visit

Kyoto makes the perfect place for couples, groups of friends and families with children to explore. We think it is perfectly catered to all types of travellers, whether on a honeymoon, traveling solo, as a family or part of a group.

When to visit

March-April is a brilliant time to visit Kyoto, when the cherry blossom is out in force and the temperatures are pleasant. Alternatively, the autumnal months of October and November showcase the fantastic red hues of the trees as the leaves change colours with the seasons.

Passports and visas

A passport with at least six months validity is necessary as well as at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration. A visa is not required for stays up to 90 days.


Top tips

  • Walk through a Shinto Shrine to embrace Japan’s oldest religious tradition and to feel the spiritual energy of Kyoto – there are over 400 Shrines so choose wisely!
  • Do a food tour at Nishiki Market and try some of Japan’s best sushi, ramen and tempura in this covered pedestrian arcade that boasts a 400-year-old history
  • Find your inner zen at some of Kyoto’s beautiful gardens, where you can take a stroll and escape the hustle and bustle of city life
  • Marvel at the Japanese Arts and enjoy tea ceremonies, geisha dances and galleries


Local currency: Japanese Yen

Accepted credit cards: Visa and Mastercard (most places)

Time zone: GMT +9hours

Featured Hotels

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