Situated on the banks of the Kamogawa river and overlooking a cluster of mountains, the Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto provides all the swanky amenities (spa, fine dining, impeccable service) one might expect, plus a slew of unexpected extras. While it’s the perfect home base from which to venture out into downtown Kyoto and surrounding districts, the hotel’s roster of activities offers plenty of reasons to hang around the property. Here, you can try your hand at Japanese floral design, soap making, traditional origami, and more. Sake tastings, matcha tea ceremonies, and master sushi classes can also be arranged for anyone who’s interested.

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