Kyoto embodies 1,200 years of Japanese history and tradition as capital of Japan. 17 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites are situated in a cityscape dominated by 2000 temples and shrines.
The friendly city of 1.5 million people offers endless opportunities for your congress to gain meaningful hands-on experience of rich Japanese culture through tea ceremony, sake brewing, kimono wearing, swordsmanship and more. Japan is renowned for its safety and the compactness of Kyoto makes for wonderful strolling during free time.
Things to see in Kyoto
A large wooden structure built in 1913 in front of the Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine to celebrate the enthronement of Emperor Taisho. Acknowledging its historical and cultural values, Shorenin Temple decided to relocate and rebuild the structure on the summit of Kyoto’s eastern mountains. Here it houses the national treasure Ao Fudo, a blue-colored depiction of a Buddhist deity. The vast wooden terrace is a popular location to enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the city.
The Daigoji Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site is the head temple of the Daigo School of the Buddhist Shingon sect, built in 874 in the south east of Kyoto City. Its five story pagoda is the oldest wooden structure in Kyoto. Its Reihokan Hall houses breathtaking Buddhist statuary and some of the temple’s approximately 150,000 other national treasures and important cultural properties. The temple is surrounded by the cherry trees of the Kenjinrin-en garden and is nearby the Sanboin gardens and the Ugetsu Chaya Onshikan, a building that was originally part of the Imperial Palace.
Kenninji Temple, located in Gion, is Kyoto’s oldest Zen temple, founded in 1202 by the Zen master Eisai. Soutatsu Tawaraya’s gold leaf covered folding screens depicting the Wind and Thunder Gods are national treasures. The great ceiling painting of the twin dragons in the temple’s hall was completed over a period of two years by and was installed in 2002 in commemoration of the 800 year anniversary of the founding of the temple.
With seemingly endless arcades of vermilion torii (shrine gates) spread across a thickly wooded mountain, this vast shrine complex is a world unto its own. It is, quite simply, one of the most impressive and memorable sights in all of Kyoto. The entire complex, consisting of five shrines, sprawls across the wooded slopes of Inari-san. A pathway wanders 4km up the mountain and is lined with dozens of atmospheric sub-shrines.
Things to do in Kyoto
Tea Ceremony – Time out to relax and reflect
Kimono Wearing – Completely enveloped in Japan
Calligraphy – Learn the ancient art
Japanese Pottery – Enjoy a chance to learn from a master
Meeting Maiko (Geisha) – Only in Kyoto
Zen Meditation – Find your inner peace