Kyoto
Kyoto flourished for 1,000 years as the capital of Japan, and in many ways it remains its cultural heart. Here, Buddhist temples coexist with Shinto shrines, and graceful geisha still perform. The people and the city share a refined elegance, and Japanese hospitality and courtesy are said to exceed even that of other regions. The classic arts of Kabuki and Noh theater, and the tea ceremony known as chado, continue to be honored traditions. The Japanese are both proud of and fascinated by Kyoto’s mesmerizing architecture and landscapes, which have influenced design throughout the world.