When you're visiting a city for the first time, there's nothing better than getting tips from a local beyond the usual guide book suggestions!
We asked Silvia Yamawaki, an Intrepid Travel leader in Japan for her insider scoop on 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.
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 greenrobed geisha.
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.
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.