When friends ask, where should we visit in Japan? my advice is always,
if you have time to visit only one place, you go to Kyoto.
In addition to Kyoto and its surrounding regions,
Kyoto is centrally located in the Kansai districtfrom
Kyoto you can make easy day trips ( via traindon't
waste your time driving a car ) to Osaka,
Nara, and Kobe.
Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan from the year 794 AD
through 1868 AD.
The period during which Kyoto was capital overlapped with what was known as the Heian
period, which spanned the years from 794 AD
through 1185 AD,
a time when Japan saw massive flowering of culture, literature, art, music, learning, and religious thinking.
Heian meansmore or lessPeace and Tranquility, and in this time,
Kyoto was called Hei An Kyo ( Tranquil Peaceful Capital ),
represented by the beautiful golden characters in the title above. Early in the Heian era
the Lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote the epic literary work known in the West as
The Tales of Genji.
Kyoto is home to some 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines,
museums, gardens, places of historical interest, and hundreds of fine dining establishments.