Kyoto, once the capital city of Japan, as well as the residence of the emperor from 794 till 1868, is now the seventh largest city in Japan. The city has suffered through much, numerous fires and of course World War II have taken much from this great city, considering all of this, historically there is much to see here. There are a large number of shrines, temples and other historic structures that have survived the years, of all the cities in Japan, Kyoto is certainly among the richest both architecturally and historically.
Kyoto is divided into several districts like Central, Western, Eastern, North and South Kyoto. Each district features something unique and interesting for the tourist to see. Although the first impression of the city is that of an
urban sprawl located mostly in central Kyoto, with its modern steel and glass train, the tourists will also come across Kyoto’s hidden beauty in its many temples and various parks, indicating the city has much more to offer than what first meets the eye.
The main attraction of Kyoto for most tourists is its imperial palace and villas. The four most popular sites are the Imperial Palace, Sento Imperial Palace, located in central Kyoto, Katsura Imperial Villa, which is located in
Western Kyoto and Shugakuin Imperial Villa, located in Northern Kyoto. These sites, with their tea houses and gardens are managed and taken care of by the Imperial Household Agency. The best time to visit these locations is during autumn, during which time visitors can be enchanted by a riot of colors or spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Kyoto hosts many festivals and events that are popular among visitors and locals alike. Some of the more famous ones include Setsubun, which is a large bonfire and a ceremony that is held in Yoshida Shrine, Cherry Blossom Season, which includes various events that are held all over the city, Aoi Matsuri, which is a large procession that starts at Kyoto Imperial Palace and includes a number of people dressed in Period garbs, Gion Masuri, which is one of the top three festivals in the country and features the Mikoshi parading through the streets and Daimonji Gozan Okuribi, which a festival to honor one’s ancestors by lighting candle lanterns that float in Hirosawa Pond.
Other places worth a visit in the city of Kyoto include Gion, which is the city’s famous geisha district. The place is filled with various restaurants, teahouses and shops where geisha and their apprentices entertain. Gion attracts a large number of tourists because of its traditional wooden merchant houses. Another place that attracts tourists is the Nishiki Market, which is a narrow shopping street that extends five blocks and features over a hundred restaurants and shops. The market specializes in everything related to food and exudes a busy yet pleasant atmosphere.
Tourists planning to spend their vacation in Kyoto can make reservations at the Hotel Sugicho. The hotel is located within close range to many attractions including Kawara Juku and Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae Subway Station. The hotel offers many facilities that make the hotel ideal for business as well as leisure travelers. It features inviting rooms with a wide range of amenities that ensure a comfortable and pleasant stay for guests.