5 Ways to Indulge Kyoto-style

Kyoto, located in the Kinki region of Japan, is arguably the country’s most beautiful and historic city. With much of its original architecture still intact, Kyoto is a place like no other, where history and modernity are naturally integrated with each other, boasting over several thousand religious places while at the same time being a major metropolitan hub of Japan. A luxury vacation in this unique city is a must while in Japan, and these five activities will help you get started planning it.

1)   Stay at a Luxury Ryokan (Japanese Inn)

Kyoto Luxury Rokan

A Kyoto getaway  begins with accommodation. There is no better way to appreciate and immerse yourself in the city than to stay at a ryokan, or Japanese style inn. Visitors indulge in luxury of all senses at these inns which feature traditional Japanese rooms with futons and tatami, views of beautiful Japanese gardens, Japanese baths and delicious kaiseki meals – traditional Japanese multi-course cuisine. Shiraume Ryokan, situated in the heart of Kyoto’s most historic Gion district, is one such example. Shiraume, which began as a teahouse in the Meiji period, is a world famous ryokan known for its hospitality. The inn sits alongside the scenic Shirakawa stream, whose banks transform into cascades of red, white and pink blossoms in the spring. More information on Shiraume Ryokan can be found here.

2)   Stroll in Gion in a Kimono

Gion_Kyoto_Kimono

You can travel back in time in Kyoto by walking into the Gion district. Apart from the plethora of traditional architecture and greenery, Gion was and still is famed for its geisha, female entertainers trained in classical Japanese arts. You can further immerse yourself by exploring Gion while dressed up in kimono, stylized traditional Japanese clothes which came to prominence during the Heian period, which are worn today during special occasions such as weddings and coming of age ceremonies. Information on rentals can be found here.

3)   Participate in a Tea Ceremony

Kyoto_Maccha_tea_ceremony

An excellent way to relax and get in touch with your spiritual side is by participating in a Japanese tea ceremony, called sado. Known as the Way of Tea in Japan, sado is an art form, with heavy influence from practices of Zen Buddhism. The art was further refined by legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu. Powdered matcha, green tea, is used in ceremonies and is accompanied by wagashi, Japanese sweets. An authentic tea ceremony can be experienced at En, details here.

4)   Indulge in Kyoryori

Kyoryori Kaiseki Cuisine

Kyoryori, or Kyoto cuisine, is one of the most refined in all of Japan. It is food not only to be eaten but to be enjoyed by all five senses. This is not surprising, as Kyoto was the emperor’s home for over a millennium. Kyoto cuisine is often considered to be the pinnacle of kaiseki dining. Only the freshest, in-season ingredients are used, and special attention is paid to the dishware which brings out the most appealing aspects of the food. All authentic kyoryori is enjoyed in a multi-course meal served at a ryotei, or traditional Japanese restaurant. This article from Time introduces a couple of places where this special cuisine can be enjoyed.

5)   Souvenirs from Yojiya

Yojiya Kyoto

No trip is complete without unique souvenirs. When in Kyoto, visit the shop of local favorite makeup brand, Yojiya, a Kyoto-based cosmetic company founded in 1904. Yojiya is known for their non-powder oil blotting paper, which gives smoother skin and allows for the easier application of makeup. Other products include lipstick blotting paper and compact soap sheets. Look them up here.

photo credit: _Wookie via photopin cc
photo credit: LOWSPEED via photopin cc

59 comments
Kath Mitsuda
Kath Mitsuda

Kyoto was outstanding when I visited there 3 wks ago

Marsha Lavoie
Marsha Lavoie

I loved visiting Kyoto and wish I could go back. Miss the match tea and the matcha parfaits.

Aileen Clough
Aileen Clough

Such a beautiful city we enjoyed with our Japanese friends, Bungo & Sayuri! They were great fun to be with, and great tour guides!

Ahna Hall
Ahna Hall

Me too! Kyoto was the best!!!

Tia Asano
Tia Asano

I have a friend from Kyoto who promised he'd take me to see the geisha

Marsha Lowe
Marsha Lowe

I've had this several times in Japan and very much enjoyed it too. Many things in Japan taste better than they look.

Zee Zie
Zee Zie

YQ Loy Shawn Ng Maizura Nuurul Hasanah

Ailinae Vic
Ailinae Vic

Ça me rappelle tellement de chose :)

Hali Kay Wise
Hali Kay Wise

I loved Kyoto and its atmospheric feel! I hope I will visit it again one day soon!

Yaeyama_Chubu
Yaeyama_Chubu

ありがとうございました。We love the Magic and Classic life in Kyoto.

Eduardo Nabana
Eduardo Nabana

hows nice and beautiful kyoto my dad's home country :-)

James Messner
James Messner

Will be there first week in July. Want to visit the Silver Pagoda.

Lily Lesson
Lily Lesson

Let's start online Japanese lesson with me

Yasuhisa Tj
Yasuhisa Tj

日本人ですがこんな料理食べてないな~(笑)

loveinjapanese
loveinjapanese

Really love your post! I've been participated in a tea ceremony, it symbolize Aesthetics, relationships, art and beauty, tradition, economy of movement, history. It's a little like having Japan's artistic philosophy encapsulated in one event.

Nora Eng
Nora Eng

I have from my years living in Tokyo, beautiful pictures, I love this country...Domo Arigato!!!!!!

Kathryn Doi
Kathryn Doi

I just got back from Japan today and I'm planning my next trip. If you have the opportunity to visit Japan, do it! It will change your perspective of life. Osu