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Kyoto is the former capital of Japan, and home to a wealth of treasures – some more hidden than others. Head to the city centre and you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for any urban metropolis, with modern glass and steel dominating the skyline and a clean, efficient public transport system that makes getting around super-simple. Yet slightly further out, you’ll soon discover the wealth of temples, parks and more that surround the city, retaining much of the heritage of ancient Japan that has been lost in many other major cities in the country.
Head to Nijo Castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens, to get a taste of feudal Japan. In amongst the inner circles, completed at the start of the 17th century, you’ll enjoy the architecture which includes decorated sliding doors and special floors that chirped to warn the shogun of attacking ninjas. The Pure Water temple in the east of the city is another magnificent landmark, offering the best views across the whole of Kyoto, while you marvel at the ingenious construction of this ornate temple built without any nails or other kind of joiners.
The Yen is the official currency of Kyoto. Kyoto is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9).
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