Ryoanji Temple

This is Japan’s most famous Zen rock garden. Although the temple dates from 1450 and the rock garden probably from 1499, no one knows who designed it, leaving its interpretation up to the viewer. Enclosed by an earthen wall and a verandah where you can sit and contemplate, it consists of 15 rocks rising up from carefully raked white pebbles, suggesting mountains above the clouds or islands in the sea.

Home to Japan's Imperial court for over 1,000 years Kyoto is the country's most historically significant city. It boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, hundreds of shrines and temples, is home to traditional kaiseki cuisine, has many skilled artisans, and craft stores.