Located in the center of the main island of Honshu, it was the heart of Japanese Culture and Government in the Edo Period.
Having been to Kyoto many times, I can say on the surface it can appear a bit blah, and like any other Japanese mid-sized city. But food and culture is everywhere, though much is tucked here and there, needing a bit of exploring.
KIX Kansai International Airport which also serves Osaka, is the main airport in the region. And though you may be tempted to have car service from the airport, the best and fastest is taking the JR Limited Express Haruka, to the main station in Kyoto.
The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is the my suggested option when coming from Tokyo.
For Japan in general, Spring and late Autumn (Oct / Nov) are my favorite times to be in Japan. The summers can get hot and muggy and typhoons are common in August and September. Winters can get bitter cold, though tend to be on the drier side.
Mid-March to April is Cherry Blossom Season and is considered a “High Season”, so pricing goes up and many fine hotels reach maximum bookings, so do plan ahead if wanting to visit during this time.
Just on the outskirts of Kyoto, it requires a ten minute cruise up the Ooigawa (Katsura River). This still is one of my favorite Hotels in Kyoto, though not the most convenient, so not recommended for a business traveller. All 25 beautifully designed rooms offer a view of Arashiyama’s beautiful Ooigawa. One of the best Japan has to offer.
Many consider this the best hotel in Kyoto, if not the most expensive. This may be a good choice for those coming to Japan the first time and can afford the services. A good balance of the West meets Japan.
For a lesser expensive optons:
Rather new, and well done. An excellent location and option for any stay in Kyoto.
Several Ryokans I am exploring right now.
Will update shortly on these.
This is a must see and plan to spend half a day (or more) here. But you need to get your tickets arranged prior to arrival, by a few weeks or more.
Weather permiting, this is a fun trek along the Katsura River.
Before or after your Romantic Train Ride, enjoy this very Instagramable site!
Need a bit of help planning a trip?
Let me know.