Destination Japan

20 beautiful photos show why Kyoto is a treasure

CNN StaffUpdated 15th September 2017
Editor's Note — This article was originally published in October 2016.
(CNN) — Never been to Kyoto? Chances are your curiosity is already piqued this city in Japan.
Pretty much every leading glossy travel mag has given it a shout-out for being one of the world's best cities for travelers.
This month, it was voted the world's second-best city by Conde Nast Traveler readers, topped only by Tokyo. Why all the accolades?
With a population of nearly 1.5 million, Kyoto is definitely worth visiting at least once in your life -- though preferably more given it's impossible to cram its charms into a single trip.
Japan's historical heart, the country's former capital (from 794 to 1869 AD) is home to thousands of architectural wonders, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But it's also a modern city with a thriving music and arts scene and incredible restaurants.
Still not convinced? We've put together a gallery of some of Kyoto's most captivating sites and scenes that might fix that.