FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Kyoto: Kyoto Cool

May 1, 2012
2012 / May 2012

First-time visitors to Kyoto come to experience the religious sites that made this city, founded in 767, so famous, including its 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. These beautiful, peaceful places easily fill up one or two full days of absorbing sightseeing.

But there is another aspect to Kyoto, as of course there would be in a city of 1.5 million people, part of the sprawling Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto metroplex. Kyoto also has a “cool” side where strikingly modern architecture, quirky design studios and high-end cuisine are treated with as much respect as the city’s fabled temples and shrines. Kyoto’s large and diverse artistic community offers an eclectic range of modern artistic attractions. The Japanese word for modern — モダン — is pronounced similarly (“modan”), but the essence of modern design in Kyoto is much more serene.

With the Shinkansen (bullet train) taking a little more than two hours to cover the 320 miles from Tokyo to Kyoto (or just 15 minutes from Osaka), you can easily reach the city by midmorning, but it is a treat to overnight at the 29-room Hotel Kanra, where several Japanese interior designers created an amazing, esoteric hotel experience using traditional and contemporary design.

If you arrive by rail, spend time exploring Kyoto Station, a 15-story, futuristic-looking glass structure designed by Hiroshi Hara in 1997. Check out its curved glass and steel roof and the bustling interior restaurants, museums, gaming centers, theaters and shopping mall.

After the “20 Vegetables Power Breakfast” at the Kanra’s intimate restaurant, set out for a look at some of the city’s cool sites, including the International Manga Museum, opened in 2006, whose 50,000-plus manga items (colorful and sophisticatedly designed comic books) will interest aficionados and those curious about the current manga phenomenon in Japan.

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (aka MoMAK) opened in 1963, but its newest building was designed by Fumihiko Maki in 1986 and constructed of stone veneer, aluminum and glass panels. The American Institute of Architects named Maki the 2011 Gold Medalist for his lifetime achievement in modern design. The museum houses an extensive collection of 20th-century art from both Western and Japanese artists.

A short walk away is another fascinating Kyoto building, designed by noted architect Tadao Ando, who placed his stone and steel Times Building alongside a stream in the city’s upscale Pontocho area. Have a cup of green tea in the building’s small café at the water’s edge and feel as if you are on a boat and the café is floating on the peaceful waterway. If you want to experience the ultra-hip Kyoto far above its busy streets, the nearby Ace Café is a trendy bar located on the 10th floor of a high-rise office tower. It offers spectacular views of the city (especially at sunset) through its glass walls and has a retro, mid-20th-century ambience.

Be sure to visit the Kyoto branch of Tokyo’s Taka Ishii Gallery, a contemporary gallery showing new works by Japanese photographers, many from the Kyoto area.

Before leaving Kyoto, have lunch or dinner at one of its 102 Michelin-starred restaurants (yes, that many) and stroll through the Gion District which, in addition to being the site of dozens of ochaya (tea houses) where guests are entertained by geisha, has a number of remarkably restored, wooden machiya (merchant townhouses) now converted into exquisite restaurants, shops and designer studios. In Gion, as in other areas of Kyoto, the juxtaposition of old and new, bamboo and brushed aluminum, paper lanterns and neon is stunning.


Hotel Kanra

International Manga Museum

Kyoto Station

Kyoto Tourism Council

National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

Taka Ishii Gallery


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


Insta Feed
May 26, 2022

New Golden Rock Resort, Sint Eustatius

Golden Rock Resort, the upscale, contemporary lifestyle property, opened in 2021 on the remote Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius. Compared to many other Caribbean islands, Sint Eustatius (aka Statia) is not known for mass tourism.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

May 25, 2022

Princess Cruises Launches All-Inclusive Premier Add-On

Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.

May 25, 2022

NoMo SoHo Hotel Launches Nation’s First NFT with Hotel Stay Experience

Recently, NoMo SoHo and its ownership, real estate and investment firm Sapir Corp Ltd., launched a curated NFT program, making NoMo SoHO the first hotel in the United States to offer guests an innovative way to book stays using blockchain technology.

Celebrity is celebrating Spring with 25% off Cruise Fares!

There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*

May 25, 2022

Celebrate the King During Memphis Elvis Week

From Aug. 9 to 17, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, will vibrate to the sound of the world’s favorite Elvis Presley tunes as Elvis Week 2022 gets underway. This year’s event will be a fun-filled mashup of tributes, concerts, special events and celebrity appearances, including actress Barbara Eden, who starred with Elvis in the 1960 film Flaming Star and became a household name for her lead role in the long-running television series I Dream of Jeannie.

eFlyer Deals
May 24, 2022

New Surfing Offer at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Celebrate summer’s arrival with the new Gili Go Surfing Summer offer at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. In addition to three days of surf instruction from the pros at luxury surf company Tropicsurf, the multiday offer also includes a one-hour lesson in the calm lagoon.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists


eFlyer Lead
May 24, 2022

Travel Edge Releases Travel Trends for 2022

With a network of more than 450 independent luxury advisors, Travel Edge, the North American leader in luxury travel, released a report on its findings for travel trends in 2022. No doubt the pandemic can be blamed as the main culprit behind many of these changing trends in travel, with travelers attempting to regain moments lost over the last two years.