More Image (4) Kyoto JAPAN Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan and despite being a large city it preserves a purely traditional and fascinating character of rural Japan. It is appreciated for its gardens, the typical entertainment with geishas, its Zen temples but also for its refined traditional gastronomy. It is one of the most touristic cities in the world. Visited by millions of international and Japanese tourists. Kyomizu-dera, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in all of Japan, takes its name from the waterfall located in the gardens of the complex (Kyomizu means pure water) built in the 8th century, destroyed by a fire it was rebuilt in 1633 during the first Edo period. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan associated with the Hosso Buddhist school of thought. Kinkaku-ji, temple of Zen Buddhism, a UNESCO heritage site, takes its name from the gold leaves that cover its pavilion. In addition to creating an exemplary scenic impact due to its position overlooking the lake and garden, and the way it is reflected on Lake Kyoko, it contains relics of the Buddha. Nijō Castle, one of the most significant monuments of Kyoto, proclaimed UNESCO heritage. It looks like a fortified townhouse, majestic, extending over 250,000m, inside which is the Ninomaru palace, the ruins of the Honmaru palace, two fortresses (Kuruwa) and several gardens. The complex is able to bring the visitor back to the past reiterating the history of the Japanese empire and is a fundamental stop for anyone visiting Kyoto. The Fushimi Inari Taisha is the most representative of thousands of shrines that are dedicated to the Shinto god of Inari rice. The complex is characterized by the presence, within it, of more than 10,000 red vermilion torii (shinotist gates) of striking impact that form a tunnel in the forest. While inside there are various statues of foxes because it is said that they were the messengers of Inari Gion district born in the Middle Ages to provide services to visitors to the Yasaka Shinto temple; over time it has acquired fame as a geisha district. Even today you can breathe an absolutely traditional air, towards the evening you can meet the geishas (geiko) and the maiko (who are still studying to become geishas) in the streets while they reach the places of their appointments. On the Shirakawa river there are typical wooden houses that directly overlook the river, this area preserves an enchanting atmosphere in which you will feel as if you had made a jump hundreds of years back In addition to the countless attractions offered by Kyoto, the surrounding prefecture offers exemplary rural gems such as Arashiyama with its bamboo groves where you can lose yourself in relaxing and picturesque walks, or enjoy an exceptional view from the river aboard a boat, both particularly impressive if we are lucky to visit it in the spring, in conjunction with the cherry blossoms or in autumn when the foliage turns golden and the landscape takes on amber shades. Renting bicycles in the Sagano area is a great way to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and lose yourself in time, enjoying an exemplary landscape where rural residential areas, fields and temples follow one another. This is an ideal area to stay in a quaint ryokan, and enjoy a visit to a regenerating onsen enjoying the best of traditional Japanese gastronomy or a multi-course kaiseki dinner. To the north, Kyoto is also known as Amanohashidate, also known as the "bridge to paradise", an isthmus of sand, estimated to be one of the three most beautiful landscapes in Japan (along with the floating torii of Miyajima and the islands of the Matsushima bay). covered with pine trees and home to numerous beaches. It offers a picturesque landscape from a naturalistic point of view and is dotted with temples, shrines and thermal springs. You can appreciate it by taking a ride on the panoramic ferry that leaves from the temple of Chionji or enjoying the extraordinary view from the surrounding mountains from which it is possible, reaching different observation points, to enjoy a spectacular view. On the surrounding mountains rise Miyama and Kayabuki no Sato towns where you can appreciate some of the last remaining thatched-roofed farmhouses. Miyama and Kayabuki no Sato are less than an hour's walk from each other and represent a spectacular and enchanting walk that will make you fall in love with this place.