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Kyoto

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in autumn, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 100 metres (330 feet) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Kyoto Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Kyoto

Gion which includes cycling, night scenes and street scenes

Gion

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

Gion
Sannenzaka Ninenzaka which includes a small town or village and street scenes as well as a large group of people

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Top hotels in Kyoto

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
P3,595
per night
12 Apr - 13 Apr

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Toji Temple and Shijo Omiya are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (3,786 reviews)

"The hotel was very well located, the staff were very friendly, helpful and professional and our room had all the amenities that we needed."…"

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Kyoto Century Hotel
Kyoto Century Hotel
4 out of 5
P2,780
per night
30 Mar - 31 Mar

Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kyoto Tower, Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Shijo Omiya and Kiyomizu Temple are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,215 reviews)

"The location was great, friendly staff, nice hotel!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2020

Kyoto Century Hotel
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Shijo Karasuma
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Shijo Karasuma
3 out of 5
P2,566
per night
17 Apr - 18 Apr

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shijo Omiya, Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Kyoto Tower and Pontocho are also within 1 mile ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (684 reviews)

"Location is very good with easy access to trains and restaurants."…"

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2020

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Shijo Karasuma

Popular things to do in Kyoto

Kyoto Tower
Image for Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

In a city known for its temples and other ancient relics, this observation point catches the eye as an example of 20th-century innovation.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Image for Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

This shrine at the base of Inari Mountain is dedicated to the goddess of rice and prosperity. See its thousands of red gates around a network of beautiful trails.

Kiyomizu Temple
Image for Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Nishiki Market
Image for Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

Come to this market in the heart of the city to experience the authentic sights, smells and sounds of the bartering vendors and their traditional food.

Nijō Castle
Image for Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle

Visit the world of a wealthy and powerful shogun in this opulent 17th-century castle complex.

Yasaka Shrine
Image for Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

Observe traditional Shinto architecture, pretty lanterns and sacred rituals at this historic shrine, home of the annual Gion Festival and Kyoto’s favorite cherry blossom park.

Top activities in Kyoto

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour
Image for Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

96% of travellers recommend
P6,385
Per adult
Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe
Image for Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

82% of travellers recommend
P3,380
Per adult
Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour
Image for Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

96% of travellers recommend
P7,115
Per adult
Kyoto Full-Day Tour
Image for Kyoto Full-Day Tour

Kyoto Full-Day Tour

86% of travellers recommend
P6,385
Per adult
Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
Image for Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

98% of travellers recommend
P8,209
Per adult
Kyoto Historical Highlights Cycling Tour with the Golden Pavilion
Image for Kyoto Historical Highlights Cycling Tour with the Golden Pavilion

Kyoto Historical Highlights Cycling Tour with the Golden Pavilion

P4,164
Per adult

Reviews of Kyoto

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
11
5 - Excellent 84.61538461538461%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 15.384615384615385%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

KMercado

24 Nov 2019

Kyoto is full of rich heritage and culture. A laid back city compared to Tokyo where everybody seems to be in a hurry.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

31 Oct 2019

If you want to experience the real life in Japan, Go to Kyoto!

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