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I was lucky enough to be invited to visit Kyoto recently thanks to Kyoto Luxury Tours, part of the Kyoto Tourism Council that offers luxury tours of the City of Kyoto. While Tokyo represents the modern face of Japan, a fast-paced industrialised city, Kyoto is slower-paced the place to see and experience traditional Japanese culture. Omotenashi, the Japanese tradition of hospitality is alive and well here.

Over 2,000 shrines and temples are dotted around the city, and as Kyoto was spared the destruction that other cities suffered during the Second World War, it remains home to around 20% of Japan’s national treasures, as well as a wealth of world heritage.

In my next few blogs I’m going to cover what I did while in Kyoto. Amongst other things I’ll be covering: Where to eat kaiseki cuisine, otherwise known as Kyoto cuisine; where to stay in a ryokan or a traditional Kyoto house; the gentle reflective art of tea making and all the different styles of tea; the art of flower arranging Japanese style; where to see Ando dolls being made; visiting Zen temples, meeting a Zen monk and where to try temple food; where to to find peace, solitude and reflection in a Japanese Zen garden; where to meet and see Maiko dancers (the junior version of geisha girls) and why Maiko is becoming more popular; and lots more…..