Kyoto is one of the most beautiful places of Japan, known for its culture and its palaces, temples, shrines, gardens, and wooden houses. Kyoto was also the historical center of power; it was the capital for ten centuries until 1868, with the Emperor living in the city. Kyoto provides many gifts to enjoy. And many gifts to engage our 2018 theme of “Rising Nationalism and Christian Witness.” During our pilgrimage of pain and hope into the city, we will learn stories of history and contemporary stories of people working for hope. Kyoto provides a powerful place to discern the signs of the times and to envision a new future.