Kyoto - Avoid the Crowds and Discover Timeless Beauty: Geisha, Gardens, and Gallant Samurai

February 29, 2024

Your Gateway to Japan's Business and Cultural Landscape



This time, we invite you to explore the ancient city of Kyoto, where Meetings and Exhibitions (M&E) are woven into the fabric of a city that balances tradition with modernity. Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan, offers a seamless blend of historical treasures, cultural depth, and innovative venues. Let us guide you through Kyoto's enchanting streets and hidden gems, promising an unparalleled M&E experience.



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Memorable Experiences


Geisha and Maiko Experience: Cultural Immersion


The Gion district, known for its wooden machiya houses, is the heart of Kyoto's karyukai (the world of the geisha). Exclusive dinners or performances with a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) offer a rare glimpse into this secretive world. This unique cultural experience, perfect for high-level incentives, allows guests to interact with these iconic figures of Japanese heritage.


Samurai Swordsmanship Experience: Leadership Lessons


Delve into the spirit of the samurai through Japanese swordsmanship workshops, where discipline, respect, and leadership are critical. This hands-on experience, suitable for team-building activities, connects participants with Japan's bushido (the way of the warrior) ethos, fostering teamwork and personal growth.



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Unique Venues


Ninna-ji Temple: A Haven of Tranquility


Kyoto, a city that embodies the essence of traditional Japanese culture, is adorned with some of the world's most renowned temples, shrines, and gardens. These tranquil sanctuaries offer serene landscapes for reflection, inspiration, and a harmonious escape from the fast pace of the corporate world. Among the myriad of temples, such as the contemplative spaces of Kinkaku-ji with its reflective Golden Pavilion, the tranquil paths of Ginkaku-ji, or the Silver Pavilion, and the sprawling rock gardens of Tofuku-ji, there lies a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site that deserves special attention — Ninna-ji Temple.

Ninna-ji Temple offers a unique venue for M&E activities and corporate events. Its prestigious imperial lineage and proximity to the Golden Pavilion make it an exceptional choice. Ninna-ji allows private events, cultural experiences, and meditation sessions within its serene gardens and historical buildings. Tailored experiences include shojin-ryori (Buddhist cuisine) dinners, gagaku music, ikebana flower arranging, and special tea ceremonies - blending art, culture, and spirituality set against a stunning natural backdrop.


Nijo Castle


Nijo-jo Castle, established by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 and later expanded by the third shogun, Iemitsu, is a prestigious venue for meetings and events. Its architecture and artwork from 400 years ago have been preserved thanks to extensive restorations. The castle offers exclusive access to normally restricted areas, including the Kara-mon Gate, an Important Cultural Property, ensuring a unique and memorable event experience that leverages the site's historical significance and grandeur. Nijo Castle can accommodate up to 500 guests for special events after regular opening hours, such as dinners with entertainment.


JTB GMT M&E team can arrange Unique and Historic Venues in Kyoto

Our expert M&E team can arrange unique and historic venues in Kyoto, such as Heian Shrine, Nishi Hongwan-ji, and Daigo-ji. With the expertise and flexibility to arrange events for up to 3,000 people, our team is ready to support your next visit to Japan. Whatever your requirements are, we can make them happen. For enquiries about unique venues in Kyoto, get in touch with our expert team here for more information!



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Hotel Spotlight



Kyoto offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, and most recently Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto and Banyan Tree Dhawa Yura Kyoto, which blend modern luxury with traditional Japanese elements, to the traditional charm of ryokan inns and renovated machiya townhouses, offering an authentic Japanese stay.


The Banyan Tree Kyoto Higashiyama, a luxury onsen hotel offering panoramic views of Kyoto city, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2024. A standout feature of the hotel is its Noh stage, which allows guests to immerse themselves in Kyoto's traditional culture while enjoying a modern luxury stay​.


Kyoto’s hotel scene is constantly changing, and here at JTB GMT we have our finger on the pulse of all the new openings and are constantly on the lookout for the best accommodation and venues for your M&E events.

Opening in spring 2024, Six Senses Kyoto is an excellent new option for more intimate corporate functions with an emphasis on wellness.


For a truly unique blend of Thai hospitality and traditional Japanese culture, check out Dusit Thani Kyoto, which opens in September 2023.

Those seeking sustainability should check out the Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto, located in the scenic Arashiyama district, which combines luxury with eco-friendly practices.


For hotel recommendations to suit your taste and budget, get in touch with our specialist team for some incredible suggestions.


Unforgettable M&E Experiences for Your Business

Visit our website for curated group experiences to make your M&E visit to Kyoto memorable. Our team is ready to customize your journey, ensuring it aligns with your business objectives and cultural interests.

As we conclude this edition, we hope you are inspired by Kyoto's blend of history, culture, and innovation. The city offers endless possibilities for enriching business events and immersive cultural experiences. With JTB GMT as your partner, your journey to Kyoto will be filled with moments of discovery, inspiration, and connection. Thank you for joining us, and we eagerly anticipate exploring Kyoto with you.


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