If you’ve been to Tokyo and wonder if there’s anything more Japan has to offer, the answer is yes.

Kyoto, in the Kansai region, is proof. It was ranked the third-best large city by Conde Nast Traveler last month, after Tokyo – no surprises there – and Austria’s Vienna.

The magazine also calls Kyoto, the country’s former Imperial capital for more than a millennium until the middle of the 19th century, one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan.

Unfortunately for those in Singapore, Kyoto is not a flight away. The closest airport is Kansai International Airport, in neighbouring Osaka. Fortunately, the Haruka train is a direct link between the two.

The ride, as with other local Japan Rail (JR) trains in the region, was covered by my Kansai Area Pass (from $25 a day).

There are numerous types of passes, each valid for a different area and set number of days, but they all serve the same purpose – to make it easy and affordable, not to mention smart, for tourists to visit multiple places in one holiday.

Text: Soon Wei Lin / The New Paper / November 2017
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For more travel stories, read 6 Places In Taipei To Visit For Amazing Food And Drink and Here’s How Long Your Holiday Should Be According To Science.