With over 1500 temples and shrines in Kyoto alone, it would take a lifetime to appreciate each elaborate detail of Japan’s spiritual structures. Navigating the city on foot is a great way to take in the must-see monuments, and there are easy Shinkansen links to the landmark temples outside of Gion. Walk under the 10,000 red torii gates winding through Fushimi Inari Shrine, wonder at the glittering gold Kinkaku-ji temple, and drink water from the mountain spring at Kiyomizu-dera, for good luck.
As you wander between the five hotel buildings, make your way 15 minutes north toward the Rokkaku-do temple. This florally decorated landmark is the original home of ikebana, or flower arranging. The accompanying museum gives explanations of the history and craft of ikebana, both in Japanese and English, so you can fully appreciate the art form adorning the temple.