Shiny golden temples, ultra-calm Zen gardens and scarlet-lipped geisha are all evocative of Japan’s old imperial capital. Kyoto is a soothing antidote to Tokyo’s neon-bright, buzzing cityscape – a little over two hours away by bullet train. But the birthplace of many Japanese cultural traditions – including the tea ceremony, flower arranging and kaiseki multi-course cooking – isn’t just about the past. Here you’ll find sleek boutiques and technological institutes (this is where Nintendo was conceived), and its high concentration of universities means there’s a young cool crowd about town. These are the best things to do in Kyoto.