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Kyoto - Japan

On the island of Honshu you will find the city of Kyoto. No ordinary place, this gem that has a population of almost one and a half million people and is as beautiful a city as you are likely to find.

As well as having no less than 17 UNESCO heritage sites Kyoto is a wonder of stunning temples, breath-taking gardens and a local community that is the epitome of Japanese culture and perfect for the ecotourist.

One of the first things that is likely to take you by surprise is the world of different colours that greet you when you first enter this city that was once the Imperial capital of Japan.

One perfect way to enjoy the countryside is to visit the Kurama. Not only does the temple command stunning views. You can take a train to close by and then a ten minute walk to your location, thus avoiding long trips in a car or bus.

Once there what better way to relax than to enjoy the Kurama Onsen. Once you have laid around for a while you may feel up to a 45 minute hike up to Kurama-dera. A wonderful Buddhist temple it is really worth the visit, and to make it just that little bit more special, there is a cable car up the side of the mountain that will take you half way up.

For those with plenty of energy you can then take the hour long trek through the jungle to the Kilburne Shrine. The walk itself is said to be steep in places so this one is probably only for those of you who are very fit and up for a bit more exercise.

If you visit during the months of June to Sep you can enjoy lunch on one of the platforms that sits upon the river and relax as the spray from the water cools you down.

The real Kyoto is a prefect way for the ecotourist to enjoy a vacation whilst staying out of a car or being stuck in the hustle and bustle one would associate with most cities, so enjoy your trip.