A Night in Kyoto: The Ancient Capital of Japan

Japan’s cultural heartland, Kyoto, was established in 794 and was Capital for over a thousand years. Use a Heian map of Kyoto from 1200 to explore the streetscape of Kyoto’s old quarters. Learn to walk the Philosopher’s Path, Kiyomizu Temple and two Geisha districts of Kyoto with an eye for history and a knowledge of how this great city was built. Practical insights into how to enjoy Kyoto’s food, museums and other historic sites will be provided.

This course will be delivered both face-to-face at WEA Sydney and online via the online platform Zoom simultaneously. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer if they are attending via Zoom or have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling into the face-to-face class.


  • Richard Story – A History of Modern Japan (Pelican Original, 1960)


  • Brief history of Kyoto
  • Three walks in Kyoto – Philosopher’s Path, Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu Temple, Pontocho to Gion
  • Other outstanding symbols of Kyoto – Golden Pavillion, Ryoanji, Nijo Castle
  • Great restaurants of Kyoto
  • Great places to stay in Kyoto


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Confidently plan a visit to Kyoto
  2. Enjoy walking the old streetscapes of Kyoto
  3. Be aware of the long history of Kyoto as you visit the great monuments of Kyoto
  4. Enjoy some outstanding restaurants in Kyoto

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