Delicate cherry blossoms, inviting teahouses and enchanting traditional gardens all give Kyoto a very special charm and ambience of serenity which sets it apart from its other competitors in the tourist stakes. Considered Japan's cultural capital, this delightful haven is located on Honshu south of Maizuru and Wakasa, east of Himeji and north of Nara and Osaka, while Nagoya lies to its east. Visitors to this cultural jewel will discover temples covered in gold leaf, traditional theatre shows, elaborate tea ceremonies and an experience quite unlike any other in Japan. With a plethora of sights, sounds and experiences to enjoy one thing's sure: that a vacation in this charming city is the stuff dreams are made of.

Many a former capital has faded into obscurity following the emergence of a newer city on the scene - but not Kyoto. With a number of very handy trump cards in its possession, it has continued to hold its own in spite of the rather close proximity of tourist magnets Tokyo and Osaka, and is actually pretty much one in its own right too. If you happen to be enjoying the neon-lit sights of the capital and are thinking of immersing yourself in Kyoto's soothing ambience, you will be able to arrive following a Shinkansen train trip of just 2 to 4 hours. Osaka renowned for its amazing selection of edible temptations is merely a 90-minute flight away. Kyoto itself boasts an excellent transport network consisting of its metro, rail lines and bus services. Thanks to this indispensable trio, navigating its quarters is quite straightforward ensuring you will able to get to your destinations of choice in record time. Kyoto's illustrious past is evident in the number of beautiful palaces which dot its landscape.  Royal residences such as the Katsura Imperial Villa and the Sento Imperial Palace are available for viewing and visitors can get to tour their well-manicured grounds and catch a glimpse of the opulent surroundings which the very lucky royal family get to enjoy on occasion.

Kyoto is also renowned for its natural beauty and a stroll along the Philosopher's Path is just one of many opportunities to experience such magic. Walking along the path is an especially enjoyable activity particularly since it winds through a sunlit bamboo forest which is also close to a monkey park filled with mischievous and joyous residents.