The 20 Best Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan


With a lot of things to do in Kyoto like seeing the cherry blooms in complete blossom, taking pleasure in tea events in standard tea homes, and strolling through Zen gardens, you’ll never ever wish to leave. Understood for its impressive history Kyoto, has actually handled to maintain its credibility and ancient customs, and functions as a window into Japan’s past. It has among the world’s biggest collections of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is among the most checked out and liked cities in Japan. When the capital city, Kyoto stays the spiritual and cultural heart of Japan.

Top Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan

Best Things to do in Kyoto Japan

Kyoto, Japan is a location that has plenty of temples, and by investing a long time here and checking out every one you can truly see why this is thought about the capital of standard Japanese culture.

You can still see geisha in their standard robe and white makeup strolling the streets and all of the shrines and temples are still inhabited and preserved by monks that still continue the old methods, using their streaming bathrobes and carrying out events from long back.

If you are trying to find a location that enables you to avoid the stress of big cities like Tokyo and Osaka then this is the location for you. It can be frustrating with a lot of things to do in Kyoto, so this guide ought to offer a great concept of all the must-see things in Kyoto. And then you can check out: The Best Day Trips from Tokyo

About Kyoto

best places to visit in kyoto japan

Kyoto lies in the Kansai location, about 3 hours far from the capital city of Tokyo by Shinkansen (the primary railway). The Kansai area is renowned for its regional food, that makes Kyoto a great location for culture and food lovers alike. We recommend intending on a minimum of 3 days in the city to truly get one of the most value.

Pick up your 1 or 2 day hop-on-hop-off bus pass to check out the leading destinations, temples, and shrines in Kyoto at your own speed. Consisting Of UNESCO World Heritage websites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, and more.

1. Check out the routes of Fushimi Inari Shrine

Things to do in Kyoto Japan Fushimi Inari Shrine

One of the very best things to do in Kyoto is to stroll the routes of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. When an essential trip walk, the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is among the most checked out shrines in Japan. Well known for its countless vermilion Torii gates, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is committed to the Shinto God of rice. It’s gorgeous gates make it among the leading things to do in Kyoto. The walking along the forest path is relatively simple. You can pick to do the entire loop, which will take about 3 hours or simply do the lower loop if you do not have that much time.

The path itself is extremely hectic throughout the year, nevertheless, the smart tourist can prevent the crowds by raising the mountain prior to sundown or early in the early morning. Along the method, you will come across the very best view at the Yotsutsuji crossway for a fantastic photographic chance over Kyoto.

Where is the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

The Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine lies in southern Kyoto at the foot of Mount Inari. To reach it take the train to Fushimi Inari Station on the Keihan Main Line and the entryway is a 5-minute walk from there. Book this highly rated Fushimi Inari Shrine tour with a regional guide Journey into a secret bamboo forest, see the red tori gates, and take in the views far from the crowds.

2. Kinkakuji Temple

Things to do in Kyoto Japan Kinkakuji Temple

Located in northern Kyoto The Kinkakuji Temple is a Zen temple that is truly worth seeing. Embellished in gold leaf (thus why they call it the golden structure), the temple rests on a calm lake surrounded by trees. When you go to Kyoto, do not miss out on seeing this striking temple, it is among the most photographed locations in Kyoto.

The Kinkakuji Temple was initially constructed as a retirement community for a well-known shogun and he approved it to end up being a temple after he passed away in 1408. Walking the premises, it is simple to see why this would make an ideal retirement location.

Like a lot of locations in Kyoto, we suggest checking out early in the early morning to prevent the crowds and to delight in the early morning light that sparkles off of the calm waters and the Golden Temple itself.

3. Thinker’s Walk

Things to do in Kyoto Philosopher's Walk

One of the very best things to do in Kyoto is to walk along the Philosopher’s Walk. The Philosophers Walk is the best location to delight in a serene yet gorgeous walk. This pedestrian pathway lies along the Biwa Canal that is lined with cherry trees. It likewise links the Nanzen-ji and Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavillion) temples. When the cherry blooms are in complete blossom, this walk is one of the leading things to do in Kyoto specifically if you are here. There are some smaller sized temples in addition to some coffee shops and dining establishments along the course that deserve checking out.

This Kyoto Walking Tour lets you find the magic of Kyoto through cultural experiences, temples, and shrines consisting of Tofukuji Temple, Zen garden, and Fushimi Inari Shrine plus a check out to the Geisha district.

4. Check out the Arashiyama bamboo grove

best places to visit in Kyoto Japan Arashiyama bamboo grove

One of the leading destinations in Kyoto is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Strolling through the high green stalks resembles entering an alien world. The bamboo grove in Arashiyama is maybe the most gorgeous natural area in Kyoto. When the wind blows, the bamboo stalks gradually rock, developing a dreamy and stylish dance.

The finest time to go to Arashiyama is prior to daybreak, when the warm rays of the sun, gradually permeate the quiet forest. When you will prevent many of the crowds and trip busses, it is likewise. When checking out Kyoto, this is simply something you can not miss out on.

The Arashiyama bamboo grove lies in Western Kyoto and can be reached by taking the train from Kyoto station to Arashiyama station. It is simply a 10-minute walk to the entryway of the courses, simply follow the indications. It is likewise complimentary to get in.

This highly rated bamboo forest tour takes you on a rickshaw trip through Arashiyama forest with an individual guide. Think of taking a trip by standard ways through among Japan’s a lot of renowned scenes.

5. Go Geisha Spotting in the Geisha District: Gion

Things to do in Kyoto Japan Gion Geisha

Kyoto stays a romantic vision of Japan, with Geishas being its most appealing topic. Gion, called the home entertainment quarters in Kyoto, is the very best location to go Geisha finding. These evasive entertainers are still quite appreciated and admired, not simply by the Japanese, however by the universe.

There are numerous business in Kyoto that arrange Geisha programs. These generally consist of partaking in a tea event, followed by a Geisha dance. Book this night walk Geisha Tour— among the most popular walking trips in Kyoto. A 100-minute directed walk takes you through nighttime Gion to find out about Geisha customs.

Read about dressing up as a Geisha in Memoirs of a Male Geisha in Tokyo, Japan by NomadicBoys.

6. kiyomizu dera temple

Best Things to do in Kyoto kiyomizu dera temple

Kiyomizu Dera Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in eastern Kyoto and needs to be among Kyoto’s most well-known destinations. Integrated in 778 this zen Buddhist temple has a few of the very best views throughout the city. The primary hall was in fact constructed without nails, which is quite cool to see, and the rest of the complex is simply as excellent.

The Otowa Waterfall has 3 streams of water each with a various advantage. One for durability, one for scholastic success, and the other for success in their love life. Residents utilize cups connected to long poles to consume from among them.

As with the majority of the exceptionally popular things to do in Kyoto, it is encouraged to arrive early to prevent the crowds and busses. Fortunately the Kiyomizu Dera Temple opens earlier than a lot of (6 am) so that is a bit much easier to do. It is quickly available as it is a 10-minute bus trip from Kyoto station. Take bus 100 or 206. the entryway charge is 400 Yen.

7. See the Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms Things to do in Kyoto Japan

Almost everybody has actually become aware of the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura) that occurs each year in Kyoto. Throughout this time the cherry blooms around the city’s shrines and temples remain in maturity and it produces this fairytale-like environment. A few of the leading locations to see the cherry blooms are The Philosopher’s Path, the Yasaka Pagoda, and the Kodai-ji Temple which houses the weeping cherry bloom tree.

If you do pick to go to Kyoto when the cherry blooms remain in blossom simply know that is remarkably hectic all around the city at this time and whatever is more pricey. Cherry bloom season remains in the spring (April is the primary month) so ensure to book early.

8. Admire The City From Kyoto Tower

A lot of the popular things to do in Kyoto revolve around Japanese culture, Zen temples, and cherry trees, however there is a modern-day side to Kyoto. Among the very best locations to go to in Kyoto for a taste of modering Japan is the greatest structure in the city, Kyoto Tower.

Located in main Kyoto, the tower provides incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding location in addition to telescopes and touch screens that reveal the names of what you are taking a look at. It is unusual to see such a structure in the middle of a city that is understood for its temples and it has actually been a questionable topic for residents given that it was constructed.

In our viewpoint, it is still worth making the journey up to get the complete gratitude of the appeal of this city.

Things to do in Kyoto Tea Ceremony

The Japanese 9. When a Zen Buddhist monk affected the method such event was carried out, participate in a tea event

Tea Ceremony is a remarkable practice that dates back to the 15th century. An old custom that is stated to have actually begun around Uji, the practice of the tea event is still extremely much taken seriously today.

plaecs to visit in kyoto Nishiki Market

Many research study it in information and want to share their understanding with tourists, which can experience a genuine tea event in among the myriad tea homes situated in Kyoto. Experience your own Japanese tea event led by a tea master as you find out of the guidelines, history, and spiritual function of tea in Japanese culture.

10. Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market need to be on every food enthusiast’s pail list. A labyrinth of narrow streets lined with food stalls, Nishiki Market has actually been nicknamed Kyoto’s cooking area.

Things to do in Kyoto Japan Matcha Ice Cream
This is the very best location to attempt the strange Tako Tamago (little octopus on a stick to an egg inside its head), regional pickles, and fresh eel.

11. Consume in Shijo Dori

Matcha tea ice cream in Kyoto, Japan ice cream No journey to Kyoto can be total without investing a significant quantity of time feasting on regional specials. For the cooking lover, Shijo Dori is the location to be, as this is a long street dotted with food stores and dining establishments.

Furthermore, it is on Shijo Dori that a lot of travelers can indulge themselves in tasting standard foods, consisting of matcha products, charcoal

What to do in Kyoto Zen Temple
, fruity mochi, and plum tea.

12. Shrine and Temple hopping

Kyoto has numerous temples to check out

Book this Zen Meditation Tour Kyoto stays the spiritual soul of Japan, being home to over 2000 temples and shrines. With a lot of choices, it’s tough to picture checking out all spiritual websites throughout a brief check out to Kyoto. There are numerous shrines and temples not to be missed out on, consisting of Ginkaku-ji, and Ryan-ji. Details here.

Although couple of understand it, among Kyoto’s best-kept tricks is Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, a little Buddhist temple situated method off the beaten course, around the Arashiyama district.

things to do in kyoto Tofuku ji temple
where you’ll practice Zen meditation with a Buddhist monk, take part in a tea event and roam through the bamboo grove. Plus a lot more cultural experiences.

13. T?fuku- ji

Kyoto, Japan structures on the premises of Tofuku-ji Temple.

T?fuku- ji stands as one of the city’s most prestigious Zen temples, acquiring substantial attention for its spectacular fall colors. Developed in 1236 by the royal chancellor Kuj? Michiie, the temple’s roots trace back to the monk Enni, who formed its inaugural neighborhood of monks.

things to doin kyoto zen garden

The name “T?fuku- ji” itself is a mix of characters from 2 of Nara’s ancient temples, T?dai- ji and K?fuku- ji, signifying its goal to surpass their splendor. The extensive temple premises are home to different noteworthy structures, with the primary hall and temple gate both honored as National Treasures of Japan. A number of structures within the substance are acknowledged as Important Cultural Properties.

14. The Zen Gardens

One of T?fuku- ji’s highlights is its Zen gardens, which incorporate the Hojo or the Abbot’s Hall. Created in the 1930s by the prominent garden designer Mirei Shigemori, each of these gardens mirrors an unique style and showcases the essence of contemporary Zen garden landscaping. The southern Zen garden, with its renowned moss and granite squares in a checkered design, is maybe the most differentiated. On the other hand, the western Zen garden paints a creative scene of a mom tiger and her cubs passing through a river, represented through moss mounds and white gravel. The staying eastern and northern gardens likewise have special styles, using aspects like rocks, moss, and azaleas to craft abstract patterns and landscapes.

Japanese Ryokan Room things to do in kyoto
Beyond the gardens, the Ts?ten- ky? Bridge, causing the Kaisan-d? Hall, provides another visual reward, specifically throughout the fall. The surrounding valley, overflowing with maple trees, changes into a vibrant canvas of oranges, reds, and yellows, drawing big crowds. Found easily near the T?fukuji Station on the JR Nara Line, the temple is reasonably simple to gain access to from Kyoto Station. While the majority of the temple premises are open to the general public totally free, particular locations, such as the Hojo gardens and the Ts?ten- ky? Bridge, need an entryway charge. A check out to T?fuku- ji, whether for its serene gardens or the animated fall foliage, guarantees a memorable Kyoto experience.

15. Sleep in a Ryokan

Sleeping in a Japanese Ryokan is extremely advisedThe Gion Fukuzumi Ryokan To experience standard Kyoto, oversleeping a Ryokan is an outright must. Reasonably pricey, these Japanese inns generally consist of supper and breakfast, first-class service, and the usage of the hot springs (onsen).See it on TripAdvisor Ryokans differ in regards to centers and spending plan, however the very best ones will consist of all of the above. A friendly word of caution: the ryokan experience is so amazing, it ends up being rather addicting. Search more Kyoto Ryokans here.

is a premier ryokan for tourists to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kyoto Mount Hiei

16. Take a field trip to Mount Hiei

Although Kyoto has a lot to provide, the real zen can be pursued beyond the city and within its surrounding mountains. Mount Hiei is a great choice for a day out, being quickly available and home to a couple of temples along the method.

Things to do in Kyoto Japan Train Station

To access the top of the mountain, there is a cable television vehicle (an advised experience) or a mountain path that results in an old Buddhist abbey. For a fantastic day out, finest to take the cable television vehicle to the top, then come down on foot to delight in a few of the ancient Japanese forested routes.

17. Lose yourself in the Kyoto station

Perhaps the least anticipated advised destination, the Kyoto Station, is a fantastic location to invest a day. With over 14 stories loaded with dining establishments and stores, this location has something for everybody. Start in the basement and store in the regional outlet store, which offers mouthwatering fresh food.

Visiting the Manga Museum things to do in Kyoto Japan

End the night by consuming either sushi in Musashi or tonkatsu in Katsukura. It is likewise a fantastic area to delight in remarkable views over the city in the evening.

18. If you are looking for something a little out of the common to do make sure to inspect out the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Kyoto International Manga Museum

If you are not into manga comics you will be impressed by the 300,000 volumes of comics that are equated into numerous various languages, even. If you have kids and is the best location to eliminate a couple of hours if the weather condition is bad, the museum is an enjoyable stop.

19. Kyoto Imperial Palace

Best Things to do in Kyoto Japan

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is a location not to be missed out on, specifically if you are checking out in the spring or fall. This palace was utilized as the house of various Emperors for 500 years up until the capital transferred to Tokyo in 1869. The walled substance has some extensive and amazing gardens which truly come to life in the fall.

  1. The structure themselves are created in the standard Japanese design and make the best accent to the surrounding nature. This is a location you certainly wish to walk around for an hour approximately. It is close to Nijo Castle and the Kyoto International Manga Museum in addition to the Nashinoki Shrine. 20. Historical Monuments of Ancient Kyoto
  2. Historically, Kyoto has actually been the royal capital of Japan for more than a thousand years. In 1994, UNESCO engraved 17 archaeological sites in Kyoto (in addition to close-by Uji and Otsu cities) as a cumulative World Heritage Site called the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.” Not all temples in Kyoto are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so if you wish to make a point of checking out the designated monoliths, here is a list. Kiyomizu-Dera Temple
  3. : Known for its wood balcony that provides a scenic view of Kyoto, this temple is especially popular throughout cherry bloom and fall foliage seasons. Enryaku-ji Temple
  4. : Located on Mount Hiei, it’s traditionally substantial as the head office of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism. Daigo-ji Temple
  5. : Famous for its five-story pagoda, it’s another popular website throughout cherry bloom season. Ninnaji Temple
  6. : It’s understood for its standard royal palace design architecture and gorgeous gardens. Byodo-in Temple
  7. : Located in Uji, this temple’s Phoenix Hall is plainly included on the Japanese 10 yen coin. Ujigami Shrine
  8. : Also in Uji, it’s thought about to be the earliest standing shrine in Japan. Kozan-ji Temple
  9. : Located in the Takao area of Kyoto, it’s acknowledged for its ancient bibles and its gorgeous environments. Saiho-ji Temple
  10. : Known as the “Moss Temple”, it’s well-known for its moss garden. Tenryu-ji Temple
  11. : Located in Arashiyama, it’s especially kept in mind for its beautiful garden. Ryoan-ji Temple
  12. : Famous for its rock garden, which is an ultimate representation of Zen garden style. To-ji Temple
  13. : Known for its five-story pagoda, which is the highest in Japan. Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
  14. : Renowned for its golden structure which sparkles next to a pond. Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion)
  15. : While not covered in silver, it’s renowned for its sand garden and gorgeous premises. Shimogamo Shrine
  16. : One of the earliest Shinto shrines in Japan, it’s situated in a forested location, supplying a tranquil environment. Kamigamo Shrine
  17. : Another ancient Shinto shrine with a relaxing atmosphere. Nijo Castle

: Known for its “nightingale floorings” which chirp when strolled upon, in addition to its gorgeous gardens.

Kyoto Gyoen (Imperial Palace and Sento Imperial Palace Gardens)

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: Located in the heart of Kyoto, it was the previous house of the Emperor.

Each of these websites has actually been acknowledged for its historic, cultural, and architectural significance, adding to Kyoto’s credibility as the cultural heart of Japan. Checking out these World Heritage Sites would provide a deep dive into the city’s abundant history and unrivaled appeal if you’re preparing to go to Kyoto.

How to Get to Kyoto, Japan Getting to Kyoto, Japan, mainly depends upon where you are beginning with and your mode of transport. The majority of individuals take a trip to Kyoto after checking out Tokyo however you can fly straight to Kyoto.

By Air: Kansai International Airport (KIX)

: This is the closest significant global airport to Kyoto. From Kansai Airport, you can take the Haruka Express train which straight links the airport to Kyoto Station in about 75 minutes. Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport, ITM)

: It’s a domestic airport however likewise rather near to Kyoto. From here, you can take buses that run in between the airport and Kyoto Station.

Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya): Another choice, though further away. From here, you ‘d usually take a train to Kyoto. By Train:

If you’re taking a trip within Japan, the Shinkansen (bullet train) is among the most practical approaches. From Tokyo, the Tokaido Shinkansen takes about 2-2.5 hours to reach Kyoto.

If you’re preparing to circumnavigate Japan, think about getting a

JR Pass

(Japan Rail Pass). If you’re taking a trip in between numerous cities, it enables unrestricted travel on JR lines (consisting of most Shinkansen lines) and can be a cost-efficient choice.

By Bus:

Long-distance buses link Kyoto with other parts of Japan. While they take longer than the train, they can be more affordable, specifically if you’re taking a trip over night.

By Car:

You can likewise drive to Kyoto if you’re comfy browsing Japanese roadways and traffic guidelines. Guarantee you have a proper motorist’s license and comprehend interstate charges.

japanese ryokan tour

Getting Around Kyoto

Once you’re in Kyoto, the city has a thorough bus and train system to get you to a lot of significant destinations. There are likewise taxis and bike leasings readily available. Accommodations in Kyoto

Kyoto has a wide variety of lodgings from high-end hotels, ryokans (standard Japanese inns), guesthouses, to capsule hotels. It’s advised to book beforehand, specifically throughout peak seasons like cherry bloom season or fall foliage season.


: Always inspect travel advisories, entry requirements, and other significant information before preparing your journey, specifically if you’re taking a trip worldwide.

Remember, these are basic standards, and the very best method to get to Kyoto would mainly depend upon your beginning spending plan, point, and travel choices. Safe takes a trip!YouCouldTravel Final ThoughtsFacebook Kyoto is the best location to delight in standard Japanese culture, get a glance into the history of Japan in addition to take in the amazing architecture that has actually made this one of the most popular traveler locations worldwide. , if you prepare on checking out Kyoto you will not be dissatisfied..Instagram This post was initially composed by Cory Varga and has actually been upgraded by The Planet D. Cory and G, are the pleased British couple behind You Could Travel, a site tailored towards motivating others through information-packed posts that focus on travel guides, ideas, and suggestions. They focus on soft experience travel, off-the-beaten-path locations, and cooking affairs. They encourage and motivate a nomadic way of life through storytelling and photographic essays. Follow them at: Pinterest/ Twitter


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