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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)

Unique features of Gion include the monuments and shopping. Make a stop by Yasaka Shrine or Gion Corner while you're exploring the area.

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

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

You'll enjoy the gardens and monuments in Sannenzaka Ninenzaka. You might want to make time for a stop at Hokanji Temple or Sannenzaka Museum.

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
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is P3,150 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,931 reviews)

"Muy buen hotel, cuartos bastantes amplios, todos equipados. Desayuno bastante completo y bueno"…"

Reviewed on Mar 25, 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
The price is P12,590 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum, Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (10 reviews)

"新しいホテルで綺麗でスタイリッシュでスタッフの方もフレンドリーで海外のような感じでした。部屋にレコードプレーヤーがあり良かったです。"…"

Reviewed on Aug 5, 2020

Ace Hotel Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is P2,958 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rokakkudo Temple and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Kyoto International Manga Museum are also ...

4.3/5Excellent! (987 reviews)
A lovely secret treasure in the heart of downtown

"This is a little hotel that tries hard, and that offers a perfecf location (across from Rokkakudo Temple and in the heart of downtown), a brilliant buffet breakfast, fine videos of Kyoto in the breakfast room and kind, helpful service even in English. And the prices are often extremely reasonable, ..."…"

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2020

Hotel Monterey Kyoto

Popular places to visit in Kyoto

Kyoto Tower
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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
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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
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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.

Nijō Castle
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Nijō Castle

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

Nishiki Market
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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.

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 things to do in Kyoto

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
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Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

P8,420
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour
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Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour

P4,312
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Private Half-Day Tour of Arashiyama
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Private Half-Day Tour of Arashiyama

P14,561
Per adult
74% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Kyoto City Tour
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Full-Day Kyoto City Tour

P8,660
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Arashiyama Walking Tour
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Arashiyama Walking Tour

P3,859
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Kyoto Underground Tour
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Kyoto Underground Tour

P14,509
Per adult