30 Best things to do in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto along with Osaka and Tojkyo is the most popular tourist destination in Japan. While Tokyo is the modern capital of Japan, Osaka is considered the street food capital of Japan, Kyoto is considered the cultural capital with a long and rich history. 

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years since its founding by Heian in 794, and during this period, it played an important role in the development of Japanese culture, religion, and art.

There are plenty of things to do in Kyoto from cultural and historical attractions to traditional arts and crafts. The city has a large collection of Unesco World Heritage Sites including 12 Buddhist temples, 3 Shinto shrines and Nijo Castle. 

Tokyo’s famous cultural landmarks and historical sites are the Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as Golden Pavilion, which is a beautiful Zen Buddhist temple; Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates leading up to the mountain; and Ginkaku-ji Temple, also known as Silver Pavilion;

There is also Gion District, famous for its geisha (geiko) entertainment, traditional wooden machiya house; as well as the world’s renowned Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

Apart from cultural landmarks, Kyoto is also known for its traditional arts and crafts such as tea ceremonies, kimono-making, flower arrangement, as well as pottery, lacquerware, and textiles. 

30 Best things to do in Kyoto, Japan

1. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine at the base of Inari mountain in Kyoto. The shrine is known for its thousands of vermilion torii gates winding their way up the sacred Mount Inari.  

Fushimi Inari Shrine’s history dates back before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. It was founded by the Hata family in 711 Inariyama hill and in 816, it was moved to its current location.

Japan has two main religious beliefs, Shinto and Buddhism. Temples are related to Buddhism, Shrines belong to Shinto. Fushimi Inari is dedicated to deity Inari Okami, the Shinto god of rice and sake. Fushimi Inari is the headquarters of all Japan’s Inari shrines.

You will see dozens of fox statues (kitsune) at the grounds of the shrine because they are thought to be messengers of gods.

Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine consists of five main shrines including an upper, lower, middle, and two auxiliary shrines, and many smaller shrines. 

The shrine’s main gate is two-storied Romon gate, located at the shrine’s entrance. It was built by donation from the ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in 1589. 

Passing through the tower gate, you will reach  the main shrine where the prayers and monetary offerings take place. 

The Senbon Torii is the entrance to the covered hiking trail. Each torii gate has the donor’s name on the side because it was funded by companies in the hopes of receiving prosperity since the Edo period.

It takes about 2-3 hours to reach the top of the mountain. There are a few smaller shrines, souvenir shops, and Japanese restaurants along the way, offering local dishes.

The shrine is open daily and there is no admission fee. The shrine is well-connected to public transport, a short train ride from JR Kyoto Station. It is located just close to JR Inari Station on the JR Nara Line, and a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station on Keihan Line.

2. Gion and Southern Higashiyama

Gion is a famous Geisha district, a small section northwest of Southern Higashiyama. Southern Higashiyama is located on the eastern side of Kyoto, between the Higashiyama mountain range and Kamo River.

Gion and Southern Higashiyama are popular destinations for sightseeing because it is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage temples including the Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkaku-ji temples, as well as a scenic path along a canal lined with cherry blossom trees, the Philosopher’s Walk.

The history of Gion dates back to the Edo period with many shrines and temples still popular even today. Gion has three main areas, Shijo Avenue, Hanami-koji, and Shirakawa.

Shijo Avenue is a modern area leading to Yasaka shrine; Hanami-koji has high concentration of famous teahouses (ochaya), while Shirakawa is the area located along the canal, home to many willow trees, sakura cherry trees, and attractive riverside dining.  

With many teahouses, Gion is a great place to enjoy an afternoon tea after sightseeing. These tea houses turned into bars with dancers and waitresses are beautiful young women called geiko and maiko. 

Gion also has a high concentration of well-preserved machiya – traditional wooden merchant houses, many of them have been converted into restaurants. 

There are several Buddhist temples in Gion including Kennin temple, Shoren-in, and Chion-in. Gion is also home to Japan’s famous festival,  Gion Matsur, which is held in Yasaka Jinja, the Gion Shrine each year. You can also watch geiko dance at the Kyo Odori and the Gion Odori.

The Higashiyama district with its many lanes and alleys that are packed with souvenir and craft shops, cafes, and ryokan like Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka Streets. 

Other famous temples to visit in Higashiyama are Kiyomizu-dera, Kodai-ji Zen Temple, Yasaka pagoda,  Hogan-ji temple. You can also explore cultural attractions such as the Kyoto Kanze Noh Theater and Kyoto National Museum.

See more: Where to Stay in Gion

3. Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkaku-ji is known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion because it is covered in gold leaf on  the top two stories. Located  at the foot of Kinugasa Hill in northwestern Kyoto, this Zen temple is the most famous temple in Japan and a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Kinkaku-ji was originally built in the 14 century as a villa for shogun and in the 15th century, it was converted into a Zen temple. The temple was rebuilt several times during the Onin War, and in 1985 it was reconstructed because it was set on fire by a suicidal monk. The gold leaf was added in 1987.

This 3-story gold-leaf temple overlooks a pond and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Each floor of the building has different architecture. 

The first floor has Shinden style from the Heian Period. You can view the Shaka Buddha and Yoshimitsu statues from across the pond. The second floor has samurai Bukke style and its roof covered in gold leaf, while the third floor has a Chinese Zen Hall style.

Kinkakuji Temple is open from 9:00 to 17:00 daily, the entrance fee is 400 yen. Kinkakuji is just more than a half an hour bus ride from Kyoto station. You can take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station then a taxi or bus to Kinkakuji. 

4. Participate in a tea ceremony

Participating in a traditional Kyoto tea ceremony is one of the best things to do in Kyoto because it is a great way to learn the history and culture of Kyoto. 

The tea ceremony, also known as  sadō, or chadō, has a long history dating back to the 9th century and has become an important part of Japanese culture.

The tea ceremony, or Way of Tea, is the traditional ritual of preparing and appreciating matcha. According to the tea master Sen Rikyu, tea ceremonies have four principles: harmony, purity, respect, and silence. 

The tea ceremony sessions usually last 45 minutes. Formal tea takes place in a traditional tea room or a tatami floor. You can wear a kimono at a Japanese tea ceremony and sit in traditional Japanese seiza, and say osakini before drinking tea and taste sweet.

Some places to join a tea ceremony in Kyoto are:

  • Camellia Flower: Located close to the famous Ninen-zaka and Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
  • En Tea Ceremony: located on Higashioji-dori Street, center of Southern Higashiyama district.
  • Tea Ceremony KOTO: located close to  Kinkaku-ji Temple
  • Tea Ceremony Kyugetsu: run by foreign tea masters.

5. Geisha watching

Geisha, also known as geiko in Kyoto, are Japanese professional female performance artists, who entertain guests at teahouses, private parties, and social events. Geisha means Person of Art, and are trained in traditional Japanese arts of music, dance, and conversation

If you cannot afford a geisha dinner show and see a geisha dance, you can still see geisha in Kyoto by spot geiko on their way to the appointment. 

Kyoto’s popular geisha districts are Gion, Kamishichiken, and Miyagawacho. Some of the best places to see geisha in Kyoto are at the end of Pontocho in Shijo-dori and Hanami-koji-dori in the early evening. 

If you spot a geisha, be sure to respect them and it is not appropriate to take photos of them without their permission.

6. Samurai Experience

There are many places in the ancient imperial city to experience Samurai, which is a great thing to do in the ancient capital city of Kyoto for couples and families with kids of all ages. 

The samurai were the elite warrior class in feudal Japan, they have served as soldiers, bodyguards for more than 1,000 years.

Samurai fans can visit the interactive Samurai & Ninja Interactive Museum and Show to learn about the history of samurai, samurai sword techniques, get dressed-up in samurai armor and costume, and watch samurai shows. This museum is located close to Nishiki Market and opens 10 am and 8 pm daily.

There are also samurai and sword lessons at the Samurai Kembu Theater Kyoto, which is located near Sanjo station. 

Another place to experience tameshigiri sword cutting is at Kyoto Samurai Experience, located within walking distance from the famous Nijo Castle.

7. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a famous sacred Buddhist temple, located in the eastern part of Kyoto, in Higashiyama district. The temple is also known as the PureWater Temple and it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

The temple was originally built in 778 AD on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. It was reconstructed many times due to its numerous destruction by fire. The current buildings were rebuilt during the early Edo Period in 1633.

Kiyomizu-dera It is best known for its giant wooden stage, which is made of 168 pillars, attracting tourists all year round to come to view cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.                

The temple also has a Niomon Gate, which is the red gate at the main entrance of the temple; the main hall is a National Treasure and has a huge wooden stage sitting on the hillside of Mt. Otowa; Otowa Waterfall can be reached from the main hall by walking down the stone steps.

There is also a small building with a stage called Okunoin. This stage offers views of the main hall and wooden stage as well as spring cherry blossoms and autumn foliage.

Kiyomizu Temple is also home to a three-story pagoda, which has a history dating back to 847. It is a 32 meters high pagoda, making it one of the largest three-story pagodas in Japan.

Kiyomizu Temple can be reached by a 10 minute ride of the Kyoto City Bus from Kyoto station to Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-zaka bus stop, from where you can walk to the Kiyomizu Temple.

8. Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is a 131-meter tower, located in front the north side of Kyoto Station, offering a sweeping view of the Kyoto downtown and mountain areas. 

Kyoto Tower houses a hotel, and many shops, restaurants, as well as a Kansai Tourist Information Center, Sky Lounge bar and an observation deck. The tower is a popular spot for viewing the city’s skyline because it is illuminated at night.

This tallest structure in Kyoto was designed to be a symbol of the city’s modernization and development, opened in 1964, the same year as Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games, the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.

Kyoto Tower is open from 9 am to 9:20 pm every day. Admission fees for adults are 800 yen, and there are different prices for different ages.

9. Pontocho

Pontocho Alley is Kyoto’s most atmospheric dining area and a great place to spot a geisha.

Pontocho Alley has a network of small alleyways and wooden traditional machiya houses, located between Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori and parallel to the Kamogawa river.

The area is quiet by day but becomes lively by evening.  Many of the restaurants and bars in Pontocho offer outdoor seating along the narrow alley, giving the area a unique and lively atmosphere. There are a number of restaurants and clubs that have  English-language menus and English-speaking staff.

You can have a chance to spot a maiko or geisha walking to and from their appointments at the many ochaya (teahouses) on a Friday or Saturday evening at the southern end of the alley around dusk.

Pontocho Alley is also home to numerous traditional Japanese performances including bunraku (puppet theater) and kabuki (classical Japanese theater), at the Minamiza Theater;

There are buses and trains from Kyoto Station to Pontochoo. The nearest stations are Hankyu Kawaramachi Station and the Keihan Line at Sanjo Keihan and Gion Shijo.

10. Eikando Zenrinji Temple

Eikando Zenrinji Temple, also known as Eikando Temp, is a main temple of the Jodo-shu Seizan-Zenrinji school. Located just south of the Philosopher’s Path, it is one of the best places for autumn leaves viewing in Kyoto. 

The temple complex houses the main hall, Tahoto Pagoda, and traditional Japanese garden with a Hojo Pond. The main buildings are connected via wooden corridors.

Shakado is the Hall of the historical Buddha that has a rock garden and sliding doors called fusuma. The main hall is adorned with intricate carvings and gold leaf, and is a designated National Treasure of Japan. You will see Miedo and the Amida Hall.

Eikando Zenrinji Temple is a year around destination but it’s best at fall because it’s a famous place for viewing foliage in the fall, with colorful maple leaves in mid to late November. The illumination event from 11th of Nov to the 5th of Dec.

Eikando Zenrinji Temple is located within walking distance from Keage station on the Tozai line. Admission is 600 yen and higher in the peak session.

11. Monkey Park Iwatayama

Monkey Park Iwatayama is one of the best things to do in Kyoto for families with kids. The park is located at the peak of Mt. Iwata in Arashiyama, a busy tourist area on the outskirts of Kyoto. 

The park is home to 120 Japanese Macaque or snow monkeys. They are  Japan’s native and famous monkeys. You can see them in the photo when they bathe at hot springs in winter.

You can buy a ticket at the ticketing booth. In addition to local monkeys’ observation, you can visit the Ichitan Munakata Shrine, which dates back to the Taiho period.

The park is located within walking distance from Hankyu Arashiyama Station and JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. There are buses and trains to reach the park.

12. Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market, also known as Nishiki Ichiba in Japanese, is the largest traditional food market in Kyoto, located between Teramachi and Shinmachi, close to Shijo-Dori, a main shopping street in central Kyoto.

The market is five blocks long and packed with more than one hundred restaurants and shops. The first shop opened in the 14th century, and many shops and stalls have been in operation for generations.

Known as Kyoto’s kitchen, the market is one of the best things to do in Kyoto for foodies. There are plenty of traditional shops sellings traditional Kyoto food including sukemono, fresh tofu, Kyo-yasai, wagashi, tea, and shellfish, as well as yakitori or sashimi. 

Nishiki Market is easily reachable from Shijo Station on Karasuma line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu line.

13. Philosopher’s Path

The Philosopher’s Path is located alongside a part of the Lake Biwa canal, the northern Higashiyama. 

The path is also known as Tetsugaku-no-Michi in Japanese because it was named after a Japanese professional, Nishida Kitaro who walked along the path every day when he worked at Kyoto University nearby in the 20th century.

Philosopher’s Path is a 2km long stone path, spans from Ginkaku-ji to Nanzen-ji. There are numerous temples, cafes and traditional shops along the path. 

Lined by hundreds of cherry trees, the path is a popular spot for  hanami – cherry blossom viewing. The best time to visit is in early April where cherry blossoms bloom.

15. Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum is one of the best things to do and see in Kyoto for manga lovers. Kyoto International Manga Museum was established in 2006 located in a former elementary school building in the Nakagyō-ku ward.

The museum has three floors and a basement and a collection of around 300,000 manga materials.

The museum has exhibits covering the history and evolution of manga, and showcases works by famous manga artists. TheManga Expo section has plenty of volumes in English and other languages.

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is located within easy walking distance from  the Karasuma-Oike Station, which is accessible from Kyoto Station.

16. Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park is a big green space located between Yasaka-jinja Shrine and Chion-in Temple, in Southern Higashiyama, and is a great place to relax after sightseeing.

Maruyama Park has a duck pond, a teahouse, a shrine, and many cherry trees, making it a very popular destination to view cherry blossoms in the first half of April. Many groups of people picnic under the trees.

Higashiyama Hanatoro Festival is held anually at the Maruyama Park and its surroundings illuminated by thousands of lanterns.

Maruyama Park is only 20 minutes by train from Kyoto Station, and is located within walking distance from the famous Kiyomizu Dera.

17. Sanjusangendo Temple

Sanjusangendo is a Buddhist temple located in the Higashiyama neighborhood. The temple is famous for its 1001 statues of the Thousand-armed Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy..

Established in the 12th century and rebuilt a century later after being destroyed in a fire. You can enter the temple to see the statues and participate in traditional Buddhist ceremonies.

Sanjusangendo Temple is known for its long wooden hall, called the Sanjusangendo. The temple hall is the longest wooden structure in Japan, housing a wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon.

Sanjusangendo is located very close to the Shichijo Station on the Keihan Line and Hakubutsukan Sanjusangendo mae bus stop. 

18. Nanzen-ji Temple

Nanzenji Temple is  one of the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto, located at the foot of the Higashiyama mountains. It is the head temple of all Rinzai Zen temples in Japan.

Nanzenji Temple was established in the mid 13 century by Emperor Kameyama as a retirement villa  but later converted into a Zen temple. 

Nanzenji Temple attracts lots of visitors during the foliage of autumn.  It is known for its beautiful gardens, including the rock garden designed by the famous landscape architect Muso Sosek

The Nanzen-ji complex is home to the Sanmon Gate, many smaller temples such as Nanzenin, Konchi In and Tenjuan temples, as well as Hojo, the former head priest’s residence.

Nanzenji can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus, subway or taxi. It is close to the Keage Station and Keage bus stop.

19. Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkakuji, also known as Silver Pavilion, is a Zen temple located in Higashiyama district. It is the most famous temple in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The temple’s history dates back to the 15 century when the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built a ville here modeled after the Golden Pavilion. It was converted into a Zen Buddhist temple a few years later after his death.

One of the most interesting features of the temple is the temple’s dry garden, known as the Sea of Silver Sand.

Togudo is the main hall of the temple, houses several important cultural treasures, including a Buddha sculpture.

20. Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple is home to the most famous rock garden in Japan. It has been a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1994.

The temple was originally built as a villa under the Heian Period, and later was converted into a Zen temple Hosokawa Katsumoto in the 15 century.

The rock garden consists of 15 rocks spread out on 248 square meter white sand, founded in the Muromachi period.

Ryoanji is easily reached by public transport. Ryoan-ji-mae bus stop is located in front of the temple. It is also set within walking distance from Ryoan-ji Station on the Keifuku Kitano Line. 

21. Kifune Shrine

Kibune is a quaint village, located in the northern mountains of Kyoto, only thirty minutes from Kyoto City by train. It is known for its Kibune shrine, ryokan, and cedar forests.

Kibune is a great place to enjoy quiet and calm away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto. 

You can choose to stay in a ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese inn. Enjoy the wildlife and flowers blooming along the river, as well as food in the local restaurants.

The restaurants in Kibune village have kawadoko, or decks, where you can eat fresh caught fish view the water of Kibune River below in summer. 

Kifune Shrine is dedicated to the god of water and has three different parts. You can first visit and pray at the main shrine, then go to Okonomiya, and lastly visit the middle shrine Yui no Yashiro.

Kifune Shrine is beautiful both in summer and winter. In winter the area is covered by snow.

While in Kifune, you can hike to Kurama-dera mountain temple on another side of the mountain.

Kibune can be reached from Kyoto by taking a train from Demachi-Yanagi Station to Kibune-guchi Station. One way trip  costs 430 yen and takes 30 minutes.

22. Yasaka Pagoda

Yasaka Pagoda is an outstanding landmark in the historic Higashiyama district along with other famous landmarks such as Kiyomizudera Temple, Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka Streets.

Yasaka Pagoda. also known as Hokan-ji Temple, or Yasaka-no-to is a 46-meter tall pagoda that was founded by the Imperial Prince Shotoku in 589,

The pagoda can be reached from Higashioji-dori, or from Ninen-zaka. You can admire its architecture and statues as well as take photos.

It’s a beautiful place to visit in the evening and in spring when the cherry tree at the foot of the pagoda is in bloom.

Within walking distance from Yasaka temple you can find Yasaka Shrine, or Gion shrine.

Yasaka Shrine hosts the famous Japanese summer festival, the Gion Matsuri. The shrine is busy during the cherry blossom season due to its close proximity to Maruyama Park, a famous Sakura hanami viewing .

23. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the best things to do in Kyoto because it is one of the most photographed sights in Kyoto along with Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji Temple.

The bamboo forest can be reached directly from the main street of Arashiyama, near Tenryu-ji Temple. Its bamboo path will lead you to the top of the hill, which is home to Okochi-Sanso Villa, the city’s imperial properties and free to enter. 

While in Arashiyama, you can visit Tsutenkyo Bridge, a 155-meter bridge built across the Katsura River. 

Other places of interest are Iwatayama Monkey Park, Kameyama-kōen Park, and numerous temples such as Arashiyama Temple, Nison-in, the Jojako-ji, and Gio-ji Temples.

To get to the Bamboo grove, you can take train lines from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station from where you can walk to the Arashiyama Grove.

If you choose to stay in this area, you can choose to stay in traditional inns to experience authentic Japanese culture.

24. Ine no Funaya

Ine is a traditional fishing town located around the Ine Bay in the north of Kyoto Prefecture.

Funaya is a boat house with a boat garage on the first floors and a living place on the upper floors. One bay has more than 200 funaya and some of them are used as guest houses.

Staying a night in a funaya or taking a boat tour around the bay is a great experience to Japanese culture.

Ine town can be reached by buses from Amanohashidate station or Miyazu station. The one way journey usually takes around 1 hour.

25. Cooking Class

Japan is famous for its sushi, ramen, tempura,takoyaki, and many more. A cooking class is a great way to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japanese food.

There are many cooking classes in Kyoto but before registering for the class, you can compare price, menu and past guest reviews.

26. Traditional Festivals

The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is not only famous for its temples and shrines, but also famous for its traditional festivals. 

There are plenty of festivals in Kyoto but the most famous are the Aoi Festival, Gion Festival, and Jidai Festival, making it the Three big Kyoto festivals.

The Gion Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Japan. It was held for more than 1000 years in history, in July every year in Yasaka shrine.

The Aoi Festival takes place in May annually with a procession through the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. 

27. Stay at Machiya

Staying a night or two in Machiya is a great way to experience Kyoto. Machiya are Kyoto traditional wooden townhouses with many of them dating back to hundreds of years.

Many fine machiya have survived until today with many having been converted to guest houses, restaurants, and shops.

Machiya offers private space, a typical hotel or ryokan sharing space with other guests, making machiya your perfect holiday.

28. Cherry Blossoms or Autumn Leaves

Japan is a beautiful all year round destination but it is more popular in the Spring cherry blossom and the fall foliage.

The Sakura cherry blossoms are in the last week of March and the first two weeks of April. Some of the best places in Kyoto to see cherry blossoms are at Maruyama-Koen Park, Nijo Castle, and the Philosopher’s Path.

The fall autumn leaves are usually from mid November to mid December. The best places to see autumn leaves in Kyoto are Tofuku-ji Temple, Nanzen-ji Temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple, Honen-in Temple, Takao, and Okochi-Sanso Villa.

29. Kyoto Botanical Gardens

Kyoto Botanical Gardens is one of the must-see attractions in Kyoto. Established in 1924, Kyoto Botanical Gardens is Japan’s oldest public botanical garden. 

With  240,000 square meters, 12,000 species of plants, and over 450 cherry blossom trees, Kyoto Botanical Gardens  is a great spot to see cherry blossoms in spring and colorful maple leaves in autumn.

Kyoto Botanical Gardens is also home to the ume (plum) garden, the bonsai tree exhibition, and a big onsite conservatory.

Kyoto Botanical Gardens is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. Admission for adults is  ¥200 and free for children and seniors. The garden is located within walking distance from Kitayama station and Kitaōji station.

30. Nijo Castle (Nijojo)

Nijo Castle’s history dates back to 1603 when it was built as the villa of Edo Period’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. In 1625, a castle’s palace building and a five story castle keep was added to the complex.

Nijo Castle served as an imperial palace in 1867 after the Tokugawa Shogunate, and later donated for Kyoto and open to the public. 

Nijo Castle has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994 because it’s the best preserved  architecture of the feudal era in Japan.

Popular things to see in Nijo Castle are the Honmaru Palace, the Ninomaru Palace, Seiryu-en Garden, and is surrounded by stone walls and moats. 

Nijo Castle is one of the best places in Kyoto for Hanami flower viewing when 400 sakura trees bloom in late March or early April.

Nijo Castle can be reached by trains from Kyoto Station to Karasuma Oike Station, then take a Tozai Subway Line to Nijojo Mae Station.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kyoto famous for?

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan, famous for being Japan’s cultural capital, home to many temples and shrines, and a large collection of Unesco World Heritage Sites, as well as many beautiful gardens, and traditional Japanese cuisine.

What are the unique things to do in Kyoto?

Some unique  things to do and see in Kyoto are the Golden Temple, bamboo forest, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nijo Castle, Nishiki Market, and traditional tea ceremonies. Other activities include visiting the Gion District to see geisha performances and tasting the delicious local cuisine.

What are the non-touristy things to do in Kyoto?

Some of the non-touristy things to do in Kyoto are visiting off the beaten path temples and shrines, taking a leisurely stroll through one of the city’s many beautiful gardens, trying traditional Japanese crafts like pottery or calligraphy. 

What are the best things to do in Kyoto with your family?

Some of the best things to do in Kyoto with family are temples and shrines, gardens, traditional Japanese cuisine, and Gion District, as well as the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine.

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So there you have it, the 30 Best things to do in Kyoto for your next trip. If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment below.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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