Kyoto, a beautiful, refined city with a history spanning millennia. What better season than winter, with its stark tranquility, to experience Kyoto's magnificent shrines and temples! And it's a mere 80 min away from Nagoya via a relaxing Finnair flight.(35 min away from Nagoya Sta.) For getting to Kyoto, no other airport beats Nagoya's.
Covered with lacquer and gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji is even more beautiful in person than when seen in photographs or on TV. Foreign dignitaries who visit Kyoto nearly always pay a visit to this temple.
Fushimi Inari Shrine receives more New Year's visitors than any other shrine in Kyoto or western Japan. Inari is known as the god of prosperous business in particular, and ancient folk beliefs about donating a torii archway are still followed.
Kiyomizu-dera gets its name from the pure waters that gush from Otowa-no-Taki waterfall, and features a platform 12 meters in height with a panoramic view of the city of Kyoto. At the waterfall, there is a popular shrine dedicated to the god of marriage.
WAK JAPAN House provides visitors with experiences that can only be had in Kyoto, city of tradition, including kimono wearing, sake tasting at a sake brewery, and sushi-making.
When it comes to zen rock gardens, none can compare with the one at Ryoan-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site. The garden’s 15 stones are arranged in groups of seven, five, and three; and they are arranged so that you cannot see them all from any one angle.
Kyo-ryori is the name of the cuisine that has come about from Kyoto’s history, culture, and climate. It is served banquet-style and consists of dishes made from seasonal ingredients that are both delicious and pleasing to look at.
Numerous hot spring spas can be found in the Hakuba area of Nagano. Rejuvenate your mind and body at your favorite hot spring spa, whether a resort with outdoor baths you can soak in while at the beautiful mountains, or a spa where you can relax in the warmth of a traditional old-fashioned Japanese house.
During the winter season only, there is an inexpensive night shuttle that tours the main tourist attractions in Hakuba village, Nagano. It operates a night between various tourist attractions, restaurants, and lodging facilities in Hakuba. Enjoy the night in Hakuba after having fun on the ski slopes.
Hakuba, Nagano is known as a producer of delicious soba thanks to a cool climate with pure water and clean air. Soba-making is an activity that can be enjoyed at hotels and tourist venues in the area, including Soba Kobo Ringoya, Goryu Escal Plaza, and Hakuba 47 Mountain Sports Park.
Jigokudani Monkey Park, famous for the Japanese macaques that enter the hot springs, has become a popular attraction among foreign tourists, who love it for its snow monkeys. At present, the park is inhabited by one group of about 160 monkeys, many of whom come down the mountain almost daily, and particularly in winter, to go in the baths.
Matsumoto Castle is Japan's oldest existing five-level castle and a national treasure. The castle keep has survived some four hundred years of blizzards and the Warring States period in its present state. It is a marvelous sight to see with its black and white silhouette seen against the backdrop of the Japanese Alps.
This large temple includes 39 sub-temples as well as Daikanjin Temple and Daihongen Temple. In the 1,400 years since the temple's construction, some six million people have visited annually. The main hall uses a special construction style called shumoku-zukuri; it is a masterpiece of mid-Edo-period Buddhist architecture and the largest of its kind in eastern Japan.