Kyoto is a city with 100 per cent Japanese stamped right across it. If you’re are looking for an authentic experience, look no further than this gem.
WHERE TO WAKE UP
Two words: Capsule and cool. It may not sound like the height of glamour, but the capsule hotel much loved by snoring salarymen has undergone a hip design makeover in Kyoto. 9H recently opened 125 small but perfectly formed minimalist capsules, complete with showers, locker room and a lounge. (9hours.jp)
WHERE TO SPEND THE MORNING
Zen and the art of temple appreciation is the order of the day. Forget city life and pass through the historic tiered gates of Tofukuji Temple for a spot of meditative contemplation of the epic Buddha paintings, the raked sand gardens and its famous autumn maple trees.
WHERE TO SPEND THE AFTERNOON
Kyoto Art Center
It’s not all about the past in Kyoto. For a taste of the city’s 21st-century creative scene, pop into Kyoto Arts Centre, an edgy contemporary art space with regular exhibitions of young Asian artists and a café housed in a former school. (kac.or.jp)
WHERE TO HAVE DINNER
For a fusion taste of traditional Kyoto mixed with contemporary cuisine, head to Bron Ronnery at Hotel Screen, the city’s first design hotel. Beneath a ceiling of gold and floral panels, tuck into a succession of traditional dishes with a modern twist each as pretty as a painting, followed by a signature plum cocktail at the bar. (the-screen.jp)
HOW TO SPEND THE NIGHT
Head to the atmospheric narrow cobbled lanes of Pontocho and keep look for the delicate clip of a wooden sandal and a flash of silk kimono beneath the lanterns. Given that they are often more elusive than a leopard in the bush, fill in the (lengthy) gaps by sipping sake nightcaps at any one of the tiny bars and teahouses that line the lanes.