Kyoto, which was once the capital of Japan, is known for its many beautiful temples, shrines and also for its many historic sites, including Nijo Castle. This city is, in fact, one of the best places to catch a glimpse of “Old Japan.” For the full historic effect, you might even want to consider staying in an old-fashioned ryokan or riding in a rickshaw through a stunning bamboo forest.
One of the most popular destinations in Kyoto is the Gion district where you’ll find a large concentration of traditional wooden merchant houses. It is also where you might see geisha or maiko (apprentices) walking through the streets. Then once you’re done exploring this lovely city, consider checking out the following sites that are all within an easy day trip from Kyoto.