Elegantly refined and deeply cultured, you’re sure to be instantly smitten by Japan’s ancient, erstwhile capital: take a break in our pick of Kyoto hotels and you’ll find this entrancing, not too big, not too small city, overflowing with superb food, bewitching sights and memorable experiences. There are literally thousands of temples to explore in Kyoto, many wrapped in sumptuous, meticulously groomed Zen gardens filled with groves of cherry, plum, wisteria and camellia that burst into a riotous rainbow of sweet perfumed blossom during spring and summer. If temple time is limited, you should certainly consider basking in the shimmering gold-leaf of Kinkaku-ji and exquisite 15th century Ginkaku-ji. You’ll also discover Kyoto is rich in imperious castles and palaces too: be prepared to have your jaws-drop at the moated Nijo Castle filled with its lavishly painted screens and the equally enchanting Kyoto Gosho palace and gardens. For a unique keepsake of your time, stroll along old shopping streets (shōtengai) browsing traditional wooden stores: from ancient tea merchants to pickle vendors, you’ll unearth an array of enticing local goodies. Blessed by a majestic mountain backdrop, our hotel in Kyoto also makes a great base to discover some of the great nearby hiking trails. As the sun sets behind the surrounding peaks, indulge in the formal traditions of kaiseki dining: a multiple course feast of crafted precision gastronomy served in romantic old wooden villas overlooking beautiful private gardens. Like the rest of the city, it’s a true taste of old Japan and a perfect, full-sensory way of rounding off your day in captivating Kyoto.
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