It was a no-brainer for me to decide to travel by rail within Japan instead of by air on my return to Tokyo. I had traveled to Japan to attend a travel convention in Fukuoka, and I wanted to get the most out of a hurried visit to the island nation. Kyoto is a major city on the Shinkansen rail line, so I asked a travel agent in Fukuoka to make the arrangements, including lodging for a night and a city tour.
My second stopover on the high-speed rail journey north was Kyoto. Getting there in early afternoon would allow plenty of time to catch the half-day city tour.
Kyoto is an ancient city. Emperor Kammu made it the imperial capital in 794 AD and it remained so for 1000 years. Although much of the city was destroyed during a period of war in fifteenth century, the city retained its status as capital until the government was transferred to Edo (renamed Tokyo) in 1868. It remains an important cultural, religious and educational center.
In fact, so many ancient buildings and gardens remain in Kyoto that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The Site includes 17 locations within the city and its immediate vicinity. Within the locations are Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, buildings designated as National Treasurers, numerous gardens that are Special Places of Scenic Beauty and others that are Places of Scenic Beauty. The list is really impressive because Kyoto was spared from firebombing, the fate that destroyed the ancient icons of so many other cities in World War II.
I was thankful to find an expert travel agent to help me change my plans while in Japan. If this fabled country is on your bucket list, we have personal experience in Japan and are prepared to craft a trip that is matched to your specific desires and expectations. We’ll even answer questions you didn’t know you should ask to help you prepare. Give us a call. We will do all the work, so you can savor the experience and enjoy the memories of a lifetime!