THE HIDDEN SIDE OF KYOTO
Were it not for an outpost of chic Parisian patisserie Pierre Hermé in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, you’d think you had been transported to a more serene time in Japan’s past. Based on a traditional Meiji-era house, the hotel sits on the Kamo River, where locals fly kites and fish from the banks. The scenic historic town of Kyoto is best seen by foot. Or take an early morning bike ride through the old town of Gion, past
okiya (homes of geisha or maiko, geisha- in-training), hidden temples and stores selling traditional rice-flour treats ( yatsuhashi) and matcha soft-serves. You can also sign up to the hotel’s art tour to view the Ritz-Carlton’s 400-plus artworks, from 80 local artists, inspired by the Japanese 11th-century novel of The Tale of Genji, or don a full kimono to partake in a traditional tea ceremony. Go to www.ritzcarlton.com. Zara Wong Heading to Kyoto? Qantas offers direct flights between Sydney and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport from December 14 until March 24, 2018. Go to www.qantas.com.
THE CORNER SUITE, COMPLETE WITH FUTON BEDS ON TATAMI MATS, AT THE RITZ-CARLTON KYOTO.