With its Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, Japanese gardens, local gastronomic delights, and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kyoto is the cultural and historical soul of Japan.
A well-preserved and charming city, Kyoto offers a taste of old Japan. It is famously home to more than 2,000 shrines and temples, highlighting the cultural and architectural influence of Japan's two main religions—Shintoism, the country's native spiritual belief, and Buddhism, which was imported from China and Central Asia. The city also features many lush classical gardens, a meditative art form that has helped define the aesthetics of Japan for centuries. Kyoto's scenic Gion District, with its historic housing structures, shrines and temples, and geishas and kabuki, provide a glimpse into Japan's cultural history and traditional daily life. Near Gion is Kyoto's Nishiki Market, where visitors can sample traditional Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, including foods like pickled vegetables, squid and quail eggs, and Japanese tea sweets. Immerse yourself in Kyoto's many delights with Context's private guided tours.