Kyoto is old Japan: atmospheric temples, beautiful gardens, traditional teahouses and geishas. This is a city of some 2000 temples and shrines: a city of religious architecture, such as the iconic splendour of Kinkaku-ji (the famed Golden Pavilion). It’s where robed monks shuffle between temple buildings, prayer chants resonate through stunning Zen gardens, and the faithful meditate on tatami-mat floors.
Kyoto remains the spiritual heart of Japan and one not to be missed on your rugby adventure. It will get you to the heart of a culture and people that is remarkable. If you have never slept on a futon or had a bath with naked strangers, then it doesn’t matter as this is the place to immerse yourself. Whether it’s to spend the night in a ryokan, get your clothes off for a soak in an onsen, or discover the art of Japanese cooking – you’ll come away one step closer to understanding the unique Japanese way of life – and create something you will never forget.