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Kyoto, Japan

The former capital of Japan and a treasure of Japanese culture. Kyoto synonymous of classic Japan, where geisha often frequent the alleyways of the Gion area and some of the country's most important shrines, temples and gardens are set. Zen, Shinto or Buddhism, thousands of religious sites are on offer. Visit the temple of Kinkaku-ji with its golden pavillion set amongst a lake and spectacular landscaped gardens or Kiyomizu-dera raised up on a mountain side by a latice of wooden pillars. In the centre of the city is Nijo castle enclosing palaces and gardens open to wandering. On the outskirts of Kyoto 1000 orange torii gates can be found snaking up and down Mount Inari at the Shinto Fushimi Inari Shrine. If this were the only site in Kyoto, then it would be alone worth a visit to the city. When night falls the wandering can be directed at the dimly lit areas of Gion, Higashiyama or, if in need of food, the restaurant filled alley of Ponto-cho, which runs parallel to the Kamogawa River. Kyoto, filled to the brim with places to visit, but never enough time for it all.