Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Golden temple on water with reflection against stormy pink sky surrounded by lush trees.


Kyoto offers the classic image of Japan, traditional wooden houses, weeping cherry and the sound of geta (wooden soled shoes) on the paving stones.

The capital of Japan for over a thousand years Kyoto has an overwhelming number of ancient Buddhist temples, majestic palaces and gardens of every size and description, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The city is also one of the only places in Japan where it is possible to cross paths with a real Geisha, a magical experience.

Japanese Lady, Tea Ceremony, Kyoto, Japan
Tea ceremony in Kyoto
Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan
Todaiji Temple in Nara
Kyoto, Japan
Cherry blossom, Kyoto

Exploring Kyoto

Kyoto is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace, either on foot or by bike. Explore some of the many UNESCO temples, take part in a tea ceremony or just stroll along the banks of the Kamogawa River savouring the sight of cherry blossom, overhead. In the midst of this ancient culture is a thriving city, home to cutting edge industries and upscale shopping.

Kyoto is a lovely slow-paced city, easily combined by bullet train with a few days in Tokyo and is the perfect place to experience a stay in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn.

South of Kyoto and a lovely day trip by train is Nara, home to some of Japan’s largest and oldest temples. Most of the temples are located within a picturesque park, also home to around 1200 deer. Once considered messengers of god, these deer now enjoy royal status and are incredibly tame.

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Kyoto by Bike

Explore the back streets of Kyoto by bicycle.

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Geisha Experience

Spend an evening with Geisha and gain an insight into this ancient and fascinating world.

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Kyoto Temples

Visit some of the thousands of temples and gardens, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Nishiki Market

Sample local specialities from soy ice-cream to sweet-spicy octopus skewers at this colourful market in Kyoto.

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Cherry Blossom

Visit in spring to see the magnificent cherry blossom.

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Kyoto Markets

Purchase some of the local arts and crafts from ceramic ware to beautiful fabrics, folding fans and Japanese dolls.

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Nara Temples

Travel by train to the vast complex of Nara and wander among the temples and gardens with resident deer.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Make a Bento Box

Learn to make a bento box; a traditional Japanese style packed lunch containing rice, vegetables and sashimi.

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Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Amanemu £££££

  • Japan
  • Boutique

Inspired by a traditional Japanese village, each of the 24 elegant suites at Amanemu has a private onsen and spacious terrace. Positioned on a hillside above the picturesque islets of Ago Bay the hotel embraces the ancient Japanese tradition of onsen (mineral hot springs) and the culinary traditions of this gourmet region. The hotel also has a heated swimming pool.

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Four Seasons Kyoto £££££

  • Japan

The Four Seasons Kyoto offers spacious and contemporary rooms overlooking tranquil gardens and Japanese rooftops. An 800-year-old ikeniwa or pond garden lies at the heart of the grounds, surrounded by Japanese stone bridges and delicate maple and blossom trees. A pretty tea house completes the scene. The spacious terrace area allows picturesque waterside dining.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.
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  • 01285 601 784

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.
Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes