Kyoto is to be seen to be believed. With no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the city encapsulates traditional Japanese culture and tradition. Visit a plethora of ancient shrines, sip matcha at its sedate tearooms, relax at traditional inns (ryokan) with tatami mats spread out in minimally decorated rooms, or practice the art of conversation with a geisha. There is an unmistakable air of serene mysticism around Kyoto! As Japan’s former capital it also happens to be one of its best preserved cities, drawing thousands of travelers from around the world with its distinctive charm. Kyoto enjoyed a special status in the hearts of the Japanese as the royal seat of power and the residence of the Emperor – from the late 6th century to the 17th century!