Japan’s Cultural Heart 

Amongst all cities in the world, Kyoto’s beauty seems incomparable. Claiming it to be unrivalled may sound pretentious since after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet few Kyotoites would beg to differ – after all social life here does revolve around courtesy. Kyoto’s beauty is incomparable in its poetic quality, rather understated. The city certainly offers some breathtaking sights (think Golden Pavilion or Kiyomizu Temple). However, staying in Kyoto long enough will make you acquire a needed sensitivity to perceive its genuine beauty, one that lies in the hidden rather than the shown. A shamisen ringing on a muggy summer day, floating shadows of a geiko playing behind the blinds of an okiya in Gion. The peculiar gloss on a rock on a rainy monsoon day, enlightening a moss covered rock garden. The faded paintings behind closed doors in one of the dozen temples along the Higashiyama district. Kyoto is a place for the imagination, an invitation to reverie and promenade, best explored on foot or bicycle. 

An Imperial Capital whose original name (Heiankyo - the Capital of Everlasting Peace) captured visions of prosperity, greatness and imperial prestige, Kyoto had been the axis around which everything Japanese revolved for more than a thousand years as Tokyo rose and became Japan’s driving force towards modernity. It only seemed natural that Kyoto was to embody traditional Japan, a perfect picture of a bygone past and ideal counterpart to Tokyo’s dynamic modernism.

However, portraying Kyoto as an open-air museum showcasing the best of traditional Japanese culture is just as tempting as inaccurate. It is precisely because innovation has  been the driving force of its traditions for centuries that Kyoto remains a vibrant and creative city up to this day. Artists, architects, designers and craftsmen - some inheriting prestigious multi-generational brands, others being new settlers from distant horizons -  all compete to make Kyoto a dynamic city, appealing to all generations.


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Chuo
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Shinjuku
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Chiyoda
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Chuo
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Minato
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Shinjuku
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Chiyoda
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2
Chuo
千代田区
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3
Minato
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4
Shinjuku
千代田区
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1
Chiyoda
千代田区
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2
Chuo
千代田区
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3
Minato
千代田区
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4
Shinjuku
千代田区
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1
Chiyoda
千代田区
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2
Chuo
千代田区
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3
Minato
千代田区
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