Kyoto reigned as the imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years. Founded in 794, the “Western Capital” was designed after China’s grand cities. Spared the destruction of World War II, Kyoto is an ode to the beauty and prosperity of Japan’s past. Its stone streets are transportive, graced with 11th-century townhouses, white-faced geisha, and centuries-old temples. The city is striking in all seasons; come to see the Golden Pavilion covered in snow, the Path of Philosophy lined with cherry blossoms, or the vibrant red maples at Kiyomizu-dera temple.