City Scoop: Kyoto

28 December 2015
Read Time: 0.8 mins

Kyoto is a diverse and exciting city. One of Japan's finest tourist destinations, you might enjoy visiting a little more if you've got the knowledge of a local.

There are few things better than tips from an insider beyond the usual guide book suggestions! We asked Silvia Yamawaki, an Intrepid Travel leader in Japan, for her scoop on Kyoto.

 Guided by a local's hand through Kyoto


Owariya – Owariya is a 540-year-old soba noodle restaurant – one of the oldest in Japan – that has served monks, shoguns and emperors alike.

After Dark

Bar Gion – Sitting beneath a Starbucks at the foot of the APA Hotel Kyoto Gion is Bar Gion, a cool underground whisky bar with a great Japanese and international selection.


Pontocho – If you’ve ticked off the Golden Pavilion and the Inari Gates, head to Pontocho near Gion and try to track down a green-robed geisha.

 Sanzenin Temple in Ohara (Image: Getty)

Day Trip

Ohara – Ohara is a town in the mountains an hour from the city, and known for its beautiful Sanzenin Temple nestled in the forest. Go in autumn for the leaves.

Secret Tip

Insider info – Not many know that the Arashiyama bamboo forest is open at night in the winter months. There are fewer people around and the pencil-thin bamboo takes on a whole new glow after dark.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Japan.

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