Ancient Meets Modern

Business Traveller India|January 2020

Ancient Meets Modern
Though Kyoto remains the centre of traditional Japanese culture, the city is a beautiful dichotomy of old and new
Nisha Shroff

Famed for its sublime gardens, cherry blossoms and exuberant temples, the ancient town of Kyoto goes beyond its traditional reputation to offer a world full of modern indulgences. It boasts numerous shrines and tranquil zen gardens. The echoes of prayer and aromas of incense linger in and out of every lane in the city, gently reminding us that although it is not the nation’s capital anymore (it was the capital of Japan for much of the country's history), it still remains the spiritual and cultural capital of Japan.

Expanding its horizons, Kyoto is now aiming to become a major Information Technology (IT) and start-up hub, thereby attracting business investments and travellers from overseas.

According to an industry report by Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Development, a Tokyo-based think tank, Kyoto ranked on top of the list of Japan’s most powerful cities beside Tokyo in 2019.

EXPERIENCE KYOTO RICKSHAW RIDES

The best way to explore the city is by living like a local. One can either go around the city on foot or hop on traditional rickshaws, where an athletic rickshaw-puller may also recommend must-visit, offbeat places in the city. Visitors can book this tour through Ebisuya, a company that operates rickshaw businesses across Japan. The picturesque Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (a bamboo forest) and its charming neighborhood make for a scenic route for your rickshaw ride. If you visit the region in mid-October, you can enjoy nature in different hues of autumn. The rickshaw that can accommodate two people, has comfortable seats and provides a roof on hot summer days.

HOW TO GET TO KYOTO

Kyoto, which is one of Japan’s largest and most visited cities, allows travellers to access the town conveniently through its high-speed trains and highway network. International travellers can transit to Kyoto on airlines such as Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air China, Air India, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Bangkok Airways via Tokyo or even from the following airports:

Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

Osaka International (Itami) Airport, Osaka, Japan

Kobe Airport, Kobe, Japan

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January 2020