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Cultural Treasures

Perhaps no city in Japan is more steeped in tradition than Kyoto. Although it’s known as “The City of the Thousand Temples,” the number is actually closer to 1,600 — and that doesn’t include the imperial palaces and the breathtaking gates. And there’s more. Walking down the street you’re sure to cross paths with a procession of geishas in full attire. Artisans are reviving ancient craft traditions and, in fact, improving upon them with modern touches. Oh, and the food, (don’t miss out on an authentic kaiseki), served with the highest attention to detail.



  • Explore One of Kyoto’s Most Picturesque Temples.

    It’s called the Silver Pavilion, but Ginkaku-ji Zen temple doesn’t actually have any silver. Rumors say the shogun ran out of money before the temple could be coated with silver leaf. What it does have is a dreamy reflection pond, a raked sand garden and a canopy of meticulously manicured trees.

  • Admire the Local Artists.

    The National Museum of Modern Art showcases the work of 20th-century artists from the Kyoto area who have used traditional mediums (bamboo, ceramics, lacquer) and traditional techniques, like the nihonga style of painting done on fine washi paper.

  • Find Comfort in Ramen.

    You would see a lot of Ramen restaurants when you explore Kyoto city. If you are a ramen lover, try an authentic local ramen by visiting them a few steps from our hotel. At concierge desk, ask some recommendations from our ladies and gentlemen with a map around the area.

  • Experience a Traditional Tea Ceremony.

    Japanese tea ceremony, sado, the Way of Tea, is an ancient art involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, or powdered green tea. At the tea ceremony, you would be served whisked matcha in a cup and deliver the extra-grassy, local green tea brew to you with a bow.

  • Eat Some of the Best Local Food of Your Life in Gion.

    Originally developed during the middle ages, the district of Gion is within walking distance from the hotel and offers a wide range of establishments where you can enjoy a Japanese dinner in a traditional Japanese setting.

  • Explore the Bustling Gion Neighborhood.

    At night, the streets of Gion are lined with lanterns, geishas shuffle along the streets on the way to shows, and karaoke bars are filled with energetic singers.



  • Join the Exclusive Morning Chanting Experience.

    Wake up early and visit a Nichiren school temple, Myokaku-ji, escorted by our Guest Activities agent. You would enjoy unforgettable experience by joining chanting and learning playing the Japanese drums by monks. This activity ends with a traditional Japanese breakfast with the monks. Feel free to use this time to expose yourself to
    unexplored life of the monks.

  • Browse the Stalls of Nishiki.

    Nishiki Market has been around 400 years. Five blocks long, the market easily deserves a few hours of browsing (maybe even multiple visits). Snack on bites of baby octopus, rice balls and mocha (rice cake that involves pounding).

  • A Shrine to Remember.

    You wouldn’t expect to find one of Kyoto’s most beautiful and important shrines along a busy street but such is the case with the red-gated Yasaka Shrine, which is adorned with hundreds of paper lanterns.

  • Fall in Love with Pretty Little Sweets.

    Exquisitely crafted wagashi sweets have been enjoyed in Japan since ancient times. Enjoy making Kyo-gashi with the Japanese sweets artisan at our luxury hotel. He will teach you the art of creating your own traditional Japanese
    confectionery, which you can enjoy with a cup of matcha tea.

  • Experience a Kaiseki Dinner.

    At The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, the Mizuki restaurant hosts a Kaiseki — a multicourse dinner traditional to Kyoto — in a serene setting. A few of the small plates you’ll enjoy: miso grilled salmon, steamed rice with roe, and deep-fried tofu topped with bonito flakes.



  • Cycle Kyoto and Discover Ancient Cities.

    Go on an adventure to find ancient Kyoto right before the city wakes up by joining Cycle Kyoto at 8:30am. It would take you to explore authentic Kyoto by visiting Gion area passing by a few temples by cycling. Immerse yourself in the history and enrich your experience with Kyoto.

  • Have a Sweet Start after the Exercise.

    After the morning exercise, treat yourself with matcha (green tea) sweets and a cup of coffee! Parfaits and pancakes are ubiquitous in Kyoto. You would see various types of matcha sweets such as spongy matcha pancakes, matcha soft serve and matcha tea cake.

  • Purchase a Handcrafted Souvenir.

    Pursue your discovery of handcrafted arts in Kyoto. Enjoy exploring Teramachi Street, one of two streets forming the heart of Kyoto’s main shopping district. Filled with a variety of art galleries, crafts & antique stores and much more, Teramachi Street helps you to find pretty souvenirs from Kyoto for your family, and friends.

  • Dance, with a Sword.

    To get ready for battle, samurai soldiers used to perform kembu, a traditional sword dance still practiced by martial artists today. Learn some of these moves by booking the Samurai Experience at the hotel.

  • Enjoy a Unique Dining Experience.

    The popular and well known Japanese cuisine in Kyoto is Kaiseki and Tempura. End your trip in Kyoto with something new: Kappo. This is another style of fine cuisine, just as delicious and artful as Kaiseki, but served in a more casual setting, at a counter in front of the diners. Enjoy conversing with the chef as you watch him prepare the food.