Kinkakuji Temple, Kansai, Kyoto, Japan Image Credit: Corbis

Kyoto City has opened a promotional office in Dubai to encourage Gulf residents to visit Japan’s ancient capital for holidays and leisure. The office is the first in the Middle East opened by a Japanese tourism authority.

Kyoto is Japan’s ancient imperial capital, home to 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites and most of Japan’s cultural and traditional art and craft traditions, including the famous geiko and maiko as well as Japanese kaiseki cuisine.

Yoshikazu Kuki, Director, Kyoto City Tourism & Mice Office, says, “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we announce that we are the first Japanese tourism authority to open a permanent promotional office in the Middle East. While Kyoto is an ancient city, our outlook is extremely modern. We warmly welcome visitors from the Middle East to experience our unique culture, shopping, sites, activities and cuisine, as well as our internationally renowned omotenashi hospitality.”

To make the city more hospitable for Muslim travellers, Kyoto City has been working closely with its local tourism and hotel industry to ensure cultural and religious needs are well taken care of. Local seminars have been held regularly to educate the travel industry on the importance of providing halal cuisine and other amenities. Kuki adds, “After a long investigative, consultative and training process supervised by Kyoto Muslim Association, Kyoto is now trying to prepare for welcoming Muslim guests. In fact, we have launched an online Muslim-friendly Kyoto website, kyoto.travel/muslim_friendly_kyoto1.html, which is available in English, Arabic, Bahasa Malaysian and Turkish. Visitors can read about the city’s mosque, Muslim-friendly hotels, halal restaurants and much more,”
says Kuki.

With a 1,220-year history, Kyoto offers a unique juxtaposition between traditional and
modern worlds.

— GN Focus Report