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Top luxury hotels in Kyoto & Shima

The serenity of a Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The scuttle of kimono-clad geishas walking past traditional wooden machiya houses. The bright orange torii gate at Fushimi Inari Shrine. Travelers would be hard pressed to find another city in the world as classically picture-ready as Kyoto.

For over a millennium, Kyoto served as the imperial capital of Japan, and it is one of the most well preserved destinations in the world. Intangible culture and historical palaces provide a glimpse into the past, while the city’s luxury resorts showcase western modcons but still pay homage to the traditional ryokan inns.

​With 2,000 temples and shrines to keep visitors enthralled for years on end, Kyoto is one city you can literally not get enough of. To lose the crowds, head towards the Pacific Ocean. A 2.5 drive from Kyoto lays Shima in Mie, where people are less present and nature more profound. The coastal prefecture may be known for its oyster and pearl cultivation, but it’s the cultivation of travel riches that keep experience hunters trickling in.

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