Go to Kyoto: A Journey Data to Japan (2020)

Kyoto is my favorite metropolis in Japan. Even after visiting many cities and prefectures by the use of the years, Kyoto stays my favorite trip spot inside the nation.

Tokyo and Osaka are additional thrilling nevertheless Kyoto has each half I actually like about this fascinating nation. Slower and additional deliberate in tempo, it’s an atmospheric metropolis that takes you to a definite time in Japan.

Kyoto is a metropolis of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, of geishas and landscaped gardens far far from the sensory overload of Harajuku and Akihabara. Don’t get me unsuitable. I benefit from video video video games and otaru custom too. Nevertheless as soon as I take into consideration the entire points I actually like most about Japan – surroundings, customized, custom, and meals – I see Kyoto.

There could also be so much to see and experience on this metropolis prolonged thought-about the historic and cultural coronary coronary heart of Japan. Whenever you’re visiting Kyoto for the first time, then I hope this journey data helps you fall in love with this metropolis as so much as I’ve.

As a result of worldwide pandemic, journey ideas change nearly frequently. Our buddies at SafetyWing created a helpful helpful useful resource that particulars containment measures, testing and treatment data, and journey restrictions throughout the globe.

Sooner than planning a go to to Kyoto, you will wish to study the Flatten the Curve web page for information on journey restrictions to Japan.

When of us think about Japan, two cities usually come to ideas – Tokyo and Kyoto. Tokyo may be Japan’s present-day capital nevertheless Kyoto held that distinction for over a thousand years – from 794 to 1868 – sooner than administration of Japan moved from the Shogun to the Emperor.

Regardless of this shift in have an effect on, many instantly nonetheless regard Kyoto as Japan’s cultural and historic coronary heart, dwelling to over a thousand temples and gardens which have earned it a reputation for being the nation’s most beautiful metropolis.

We’ve visited many prefectures and cities in Japan by the use of the years, nevertheless Kyoto stays one of many very important explicit. It is indubitably the middle and soul of standard Japan.

Probably the most well-liked situations to go to Kyoto are all through the Spring (March-Might) and Fall (October-November) months when the local weather is true and the panorama is at its most placing. Every seasons are characterised by a dramatic change in color – Spring for its cherry blossom pinks and whites, and Autumn for its fiery reds, oranges, and yellows. In distinction to its chilly winters and scorching summers, the local weather is delicate in Spring and Fall so each season may very well be the precise time to go to.

Whenever you’re fascinated about Kyoto’s festivals, then you can observe this hyperlink for a list of Kyoto’s annual festivals and events. It’ll give you a month-to-month breakdown of its local weather as correctly.

DEC-FEB: That’s the coldest time of the yr in Kyoto. Till it’s good to experience snow, then this perhaps isn’t probably the greatest time to go. I heard it snows a few situations a yr though it doesn’t stick. Should you want to see snow, then there are just a few facet journeys you may also make from Kyoto.

MAR-MAY: That is possible one of many hottest situations of the yr to go to Kyoto. The local weather is true. The cherry timber begin to blossom in late March they normally’re usually in full bloom by the first week of April. Unsurprisingly, it’s moreover the busiest time of the yr so depend on larger crowds and steeper resort prices. The equivalent goes for the first week of Might which is the Golden Week trip for native Japanese.

JUN-AUG: That’s summer season in Kyoto. Crowds are thinner nevertheless it’s hotter and additional humid, so it’s most likely not probably the greatest time to go. It’s usually hottest in August and rainiest from June to July.

SEPT-NOV: Like spring, autumn is probably going one of many biggest situations to go to Kyoto. The local weather is true and the autumn foliage is placing. We visited Arashiyama in late November and the autumn colors had been attractive.

Native climate: Annual Month-to-month Local weather in Kyoto

Check out holiday-weather.com for additional on Kyoto’s local weather. In your consolation, I’ve created the widespread temperature and annual rainfall graphs underneath. Urged months to go to are indicated in orange.

Widespread Temperature
Average Temperature in Kyoto, Japan

Annual Rainfall
Annual Rainfall in Kyoto, Japan

From KIX

There are many strategies to get to Kyoto counting on the place you may be. Whenever you’re flying in to Japan, then chances are you’ll be arriving at Kansai Worldwide Airport (KIX). Positioned in Osaka, it’s the first entry hub to the Kansai house. Proper right here’s how one can get to Kyoto from KIX.

BY TRAIN: The Restricted Categorical Haruka Observe is the one direct rail service from KIX to Kyoto station. It takes about 80 minutes and might worth you on the very least JPY 2,850. You probably can study Hyperdia for a schedule. You can purchase tickets on the station or upfront by the use of KKday.

It’s worth noting that some transportation passes are reputable for journey between KIX and Kyoto. Soar to the HOW TO GET AROUND a part of this data for additional data.

BY BUS: You probably can journey from KIX to Kyoto by limousine bus as correctly. They operate on a 24-hr schedule so this may be the upper chance when you occur to’re arriving at off-hours. The journey takes about an hour and a half and costs JPY 2,550 for adults and JPY 1,280 for youths. You probably can seek the advice of with the Kansai Airport transportation web page for a timetable. Tickets will probably be purchased on the airport or you’ll get them upfront by the use of Klook or KKday.

BY SHUTTLE: There’s a helpful door-to-door shuttle service that takes you from KIX to your resort in Kyoto. It costs JPY 4,200 and might get you to your resort in about 2 hrs 30 minutes. Chances are you’ll make reservations on the Yasaka Taxi web page. Superior bookings are required.

BY TAXI: In case you’ve numerous baggage, then going by taxi might be essentially the most helpful chance, nevertheless it’s moreover the most expensive. Anticipate to pay a minimal of JPY 30,000 each means.

BY PRIVATE TRANSFER: Whenever you’d prefer to rearrange for a private change, then you’ll be able to achieve this by the use of Klook or KKday.

From Totally different Components of Japan

Japan’s railway system is so surroundings pleasant and in depth that it’s easy to journey to Kyoto by put together from totally different elements of the nation. You probably can study hyperdia.com for put together routes and schedules.

Whenever you’ll be visiting many cities in Japan, you then may have to get a JR Go. It’ll give you limitless use of all JR nationwide trains in Japan – along with the Kansai Airport Categorical Haruka, Shinkansen bullet trains, and the Narita Categorical – for a consecutive number of days. JR Passes will be present in 7-, 14-, or 21-day variants and will probably be purchased from Japan Rail Go or Klook.

The unit of foreign exchange in Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY).

BANKS / POST OFFICES: Banks and submit workplaces are among the many many most reliable places to commerce worldwide foreign exchange in Japan. However, the strategy is sluggish. I’ve exchanged foreign exchange at banks in quite a few cities and there’s on a regular basis paperwork to be stuffed out. The tactic can take time, as a lot as 30 minutes in some situations.

KINKEN SHOPS: Kinken retailers are small retailers that buy and promote unused event tickets. A number of of them moreover commerce foreign exchange. You’ll uncover kinken retailers in predominant Japanese cities, usually shut to large metro stations. I exchanged foreign exchange at a kinken retailer in Shinjuku and purchased good prices. In Kyoto, I be taught that probably the greatest kinken retailer to commerce foreign exchange is the Tokai Low price Ticket Retailer.

TIP: Some ATM machines will ask you when you occur to’d want to proceed “with or with out conversion”. Always choose WITHOUT conversion. Persevering with “with conversion” permits the worldwide monetary establishment working the ATM machine to do the conversion, usually at horrible prices. In response to this textual content, the excellence will probably be as extreme as 10%.

The downtown house and Higashiyama are probably the greatest areas to stay in Kyoto. They put you close to many consuming locations, retailers, and vacationer factors of curiosity. Every of the city’s subway traces run by the use of these areas, making it easy to get spherical.

That may help you understand the place all these actually useful areas are, I’ve created the color-coded map underneath. Click on on on the hyperlink for an interactive mannequin of the map. (Please observe that marked areas are approximations solely)

BLUE – Downtown / Central
RED – Spherical Kyoto Station
YELLOW – Northern Higashiyama
ORANGE – Southern Higashiyama
GREEN – Arashiyama

Kyoto area map

DOWNTOWN: Toyoko Inn Kyoto Gojo-Karasuma

Toyoko Inn Kyoto Gojo-Karasuma

As described, the downtown house is an effective place to stay in Kyoto. It’s conveniently positioned with a great deal of resorts, retailers, consuming locations, bars, and luxury retailers.

Toyoko Inn is probably going one of many biggest and hottest enterprise resort chains in Japan. Like all Japanese enterprise resorts, the rooms are small nevertheless well-amenitized. You probably can e e book a room proper right here on Agoda.

Should you want to preserve in downtown/central house nevertheless don’t actually really feel that’s the becoming resort for you, then you can study for alternate listings on Reserving.com or Agoda.


The world spherical Kyoto Station is one different glorious spot to stay in Kyoto. Kyoto station is the city’s essential transportation hub so staying on this house will offer you fast entry to transportation throughout the metropolis and to totally different elements of Japan. There are various retailers and consuming locations proper right here as correctly. Take a look at these web sites for listings spherical Kyoto station: Reserving.com | Agoda.

HIGASHIYAMA: Shiki Shiki Higashiyama

Shiki Shiki Higashiyama

All through the Kamo River from central/downtown Kyoto is Higashiyama Ward. Divided into north and south, this house is dwelling to some of Kyoto’s hottest factors of curiosity like Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka Shrine, and Ninnen-zaka / Sannen-zaka streets.

Every Northern and Southern Higashiyama make good bases from which to find Kyoto, though it’s biggest to stay as shut as attainable to the Gion district. I stayed at Shiki Shiki Higashiyama which is true on the border of north and south. It’s a transparent and comfy boutique inn in a quiet neighborhood in Higashiyama.

I paid about USD 30 a night for a 3-person personal room with a bathe. That’s USD 30 a night for the entire room! It might have been barely tight for Three of us, significantly with your whole baggage, nevertheless it’s glorious for two.

You probably can e e book a room at Shiki Shiki Higashiyama on Reserving.com or Agoda. Whenever you don’t assume that’s the becoming place for you, then you can study these web sites for alternate listings in Higashiyama: Reserving.com | Agoda.


Arashiyama is farther away from central Kyoto nevertheless it’s such a shocking house that it’s worth considering. It’s the place you’ll uncover these iconic bamboo groves that people usually submit on social media.

In distinction to the sooner areas which can be additional densely populated, Arashiyama is quieter and nearer to nature. It’s dwelling to quaint retailers and a few temples, most notably Tenryu-ji.

When searching for lodging, I counsel looking out for a ryokan (standard Japanese inn) as that’s the proper environment for it: Reserving.com | Agoda.


There is a LOT to see in Kyoto. You’ll spend an entire week there and nonetheless not see each half. Listed underneath are among the many metropolis’s hottest factors of curiosity.

You probably can uncover Kyoto by your self with a transportation card and loads of vitality, nevertheless when you occur to’d want to associate with a data and have transportation organized for you, then you can choose from thought-about one among many Kyoto excursions on Klook or Get Your Data.

1. Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkaku-ji is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and one among many metropolis’s most memorable factors of curiosity. Lined in gold leaf, it’s merely Kyoto’s most placing temple. In actuality, so attractive is Kinkaku-ji that it was as quickly as burned down by a schizophrenic monk who felt that it was “too beautiful”.

Check out my article on Kinkaku-ji for additional pictures and information. We visited the Golden Pavilion on our private nevertheless you may want to check out this guided tour that takes you to Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, and Ninna-ji temples.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1 hr / Admission: JPY 500

2. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha is a Shinto shrine and regarded one among Kyoto’s most recognizable landmarks. It’s acknowledged for it’s 1000’s of orange torii gates arching over a scenic, 2-Three hour-long climbing path up sacred Mount Inari.

Whenever you get hungry all through your hike, then you definately’ll wish to stop and enjoy a bowl of kitsune udon and some inari sushi. Every are native specialties associated to Fushimi Inari Shrine.

3. Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

The Arashiyama District’s bamboo groves is probably going one of many hottest and photographed areas in Kyoto. Nicely-known for its towering stalks of bamboo, it’s a magical place that reminds you of that iconic scene from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Aside from these bamboo groves, the entire Arashiyama house is dotted with picturesque temples, gardens, quaint retailers, and consuming locations. It’s an superior place to spend the day carrying a kimono and taking pictures.

Check out my article on Arashiyama Bamboo Groves for additional pictures and information. A hand-pulled rickshaw journey by the use of the bamboo forest is a popular train in Arashiyama. You probably can e e book a rickshaw journey and totally different Arashiyama excursions on Klook, Get Your Data, or Magical Journey.
Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Kyoto, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: At least half a day / Admission: FREE

4. Tenryu-ji

Tenryu-ji is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and regarded an essential temple in Arashiyama. It’s positioned correct subsequent to the bamboo groves and is dwelling to landscaped Japanese gardens that features a central pond with the forested Arashiyama mountains as its backdrop.

We had been on the temple in late November and as you can see underneath, the colors of autumn had been on full present. It was extraordinarily beautiful and regarded one among many the rationale why Arashiyama is my favorite house in Kyoto.
Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Kyoto, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1 hour / Admission: JPY 500

5. Ryoan-ji

Ryoan-ji is a picturesque Buddhist temple in a carefully wooded house east of Arashiyama. It choices an enormous pond, well-maintained Japanese gardens, and possibly essentially the most well-known rock yard in Japan.

As celebrated because it’s, the historic previous and meaning of Ryoan-ji’s rock yard is unclear. It incorporates an oblong plot of pebbles with fifteen rocks laid out on patches of moss that resemble islands.

It’s easy to go to Ryoan-ji by your self nevertheless it may very well be good to associate with a data who can shed additional mild on the mysteries of its rock yard. As described, this guided tour takes you to Ryoan-ji, Kinkaku-ji, and Ninna-ji.
Large pond at Ryoan-ji

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1-2 hrs / Admission: JPY 500

6. Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and one of many very important well-known temples in Kyoto. It’s generally called a temple for making wants and choices an enormous picket stage constructed with out utilizing a singe nail.

Which suggests “Pure Water Temple”, Kiyomizu-dera is constructed on the situation of the sacred Otowa Waterfall. It choices three separate streams of water that friends are free to drink from. It’s believed that consuming from these streams grant of us’s wants for longevity, success in class, and a prosperous love life.

Check out my article on Kiyomizu-dera for additional pictures and information. It’s an attention-grabbing temple with heaps to see and do. Whenever you’d want to go on a guided tour, then you can e e book one by the use of Klook or Get Your Data (Risk 1 | Risk 2).
Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, Japan

Sooner than or after visiting Kiyomizu-dera, you will wish to uncover charming Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka streets. On both aspect of these gently sloping roads are standard picket properties, numerous which have been remodeled into retailers, cafes, consuming locations, and teahouses. It’s one of many very important well-preserved and atmospheric areas in Kyoto.
Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, Kyoto, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 2 hrs / Admission: JPY 400

7. Yasaka Shrine

Positioned only some minutes from Kiyomizu-dera is Yasaka Shrine, thought-about one among Kyoto’s most well-known Shinto shrines. It’s biggest acknowledged for its summer season competitors held every July often called the Gion Matsuri.

The Gion Matsuri is arguably Japan’s most well-known competitors. It dates once more over a thousand years and choices giant floats measuring as a lot as 25 meters (82 ft) in prime.
Gate to Yasaka Shrine

Whenever you’re touring to Kyoto in late March or early April, then you may want to check out Maruyama Park. Positioned correct subsequent to Yasaka Shrine, it’s a public park with dozens of cherry timber. It’s one of many very important customary spots in Kyoto to view the cherry blossoms all through the primary half of April.
Cherry blossom tree at Maruyama Park

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1 hr / Admission: FREE

8. Nijo Fort

Nijo Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and the fort residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan’s first Edo Interval shogun. It’s well-known for its landscaped gardens, cherry timber, and an ingenious alarm system generally called the nightingale flooring.

With every step, flooring nails beneath the floorboards rub in the direction of a jacket or clamp to provide low creaks paying homage to chirping sounds, due to this fact the determine “nightingale flooring”. It was a warning system designed to alert the shogun and his bodyguards of any impending ninja assaults.

Check out my article on Nijo Fort in Kyoto for additional pictures and information. You can purchase admission tickets on the gate or upfront by the use of Klook. Whenever you’d want to uncover the fort with a data, then you can e e book a tour by the use of Get Your Data (Risk 1 | Risk 2).
Nijō Castle, Kyoto, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1-2 hrs / Admission: JPY 620

9. Ginkaku-ji

Ginkaku-ji or the Silver Pavilion is a Zen Buddhist temple that was patterned after the equally named Kinkaku-ji. It was the retirement villa of the grandson of Kinkaku-ji’s former proprietor, due to this fact the similarities.

Regardless of its determine, Ginkaku-ji isn’t lined in silver. It’s a beautiful temple nonetheless that’s one among many stops on the Thinker’s Path – a stone path alongside a canal lined by tons of of cherry timber.

Whenever you’d want to uncover Ginkaku-ji and the Thinker’s Path with a data, then you can e e book a tour by the use of Get Your Data.
Ginkaku-ji and pond

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1-2 hrs / Admission: JPY 500

10. Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is the tallest development inside the metropolis. Its commentary deck is perched 100 meters (328 ft) above the underside and provides 360° views of downtown Kyoto.

The tower is positioned merely all through the highway from Kyoto station so you may also make a quick journey to the best in your means in or out of the city. You can purchase entry tickets on the gate or upfront by the use of Klook.
Kyoto Tower, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: About 1 hr / Admission: JPY 800

1. Rent a Kimono

I do know that renting a kimono in Japan sounds touristy and cliched, nevertheless who cares? It’s pleasurable and makes for glorious Instagram images. Plus, there’s no increased backdrop for it than Kyoto, the nation’s coronary heart for custom and the humanities.

There are kimono rental retailers all via the city. We had been lucky to lease one on the spot in Arashiyama nevertheless in accordance with my Japanese buddy, they usually run out all through busy durations like cherry blossom season.

To be safe, you may want to order one upfront by the use of Klook or Get Your Data (Risk 1 | Risk 2). Merely you will wish to study the deal with of the rental retailer to make sure its location is helpful for you.
Kimono Rental, Kyoto, Japan

2. Eat Your Means By way of Nishiki Market

Nicknamed “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki Market is an prolonged and slim procuring avenue with over 100 meals retailers and consuming locations on each facet. It’s similar to Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, which appropriately, is nicknamed “Osaka’s Kitchen”.

Whenever you’d want to sample Kyoto’s native delicacies, then it is important go to Nishiki Market. It’s just a few 5-minute stroll from Shijo subway station. It is also potential to e e book a guided Nishiki Market meals tour by the use of Get Your Data or Magical Journey.
Nishiki Market, Kyoto, Japan

3. Uncover a Geisha District

Exploring a geisha district is taken into account one among my favorite points to do in Kyoto. They’re atmospheric neighborhoods characterised by a group of picket machiya shophouses. Whenever you’re lucky, then you may spot a geiko (geisha inside the Kyoto dialect) and maiko (geisha apprentice) strolling between teahouses.

There are 5 geisha districts in Kyoto nevertheless the legendary Gion District might be essentially the most well-known with the easiest number of energetic geikos. The world is certainly comprised of two geisha districts – Gion Kobu and Gion Higahsi. Gion Kobu is the larger of the two and encompasses lots of the district.

Whenever you’re into avenue pictures, then the Gion District is the place you’ll have to be. It’s moreover an superior place to lease a kimono for Instagram pictures. I explored Gion alone nevertheless it’s possible you’ll as properly go on a guided tour (Klook | Get Your Data).
Man walking in the Gion District

One different geisha district you can go to is Pontocho Alley. It’s a strip of consuming locations and izakayas that runs parallel to the Kamo River on the opposite facet of the Gion District. It’s so much smaller than Gion nevertheless merely as attention-grabbing.

Pontocho Alley is attractive at any time of the day nevertheless it’s biggest expert at evening time. Whenever you’d want to have a data take you to its biggest spots, then you can e e book a meals or bar hopping tour by the use of Get Your Data or Magical Journey.
Red paper parasols in Pontocho Alley

Whenever you’ll be in Kyoto for sakura season, then you may be fascinated about catching the Miyako Odori. It’s a geiko and maiko effectivity held at Gion Kobu’s Kaburen-jo Theater near Yasaka Shrine.

Miyako Odori is taken under consideration one among many Four good geisha spring displays in Kyoto. Whenever you’d want to see it, you then’re instructed to e e book your tickets correctly upfront. You probably can study the Miyako Odori web page for additional data.
Japanese woman in a kimono

4. Go Sake Tasting in Fushimi District

Whenever you like sake, then it is important go to the Fushimi Sake District. It’s a traditional sake brewing district alongside the Horikawa River in southern Kyoto. It’s dwelling to nearly forty breweries and is the second largest sake district in Japan, behind solely Nada in Kobe.

I went on a sake tasting tour in Fushimi District with A Chef’s Tour that truly opened my eyes to sake. Seeing the way in which it’s made and finding out to pair it with the becoming meals gave me a so much higher appreciation for it.

There are a few breweries and museums you can go to nevertheless when you occur to’d like to really examine sake, then I extraordinarily advocate occurring a sake tasting tour. Other than A Chef’s Tour, it’s possible you’ll as properly e e book one by the use of Klook, Get Your Data, or Magical Journey.
Exploring Fushimi District

Sake is nice by itself nevertheless finding out to pair it with the becoming meals makes the entire distinction.
Bottle of sake

5. Expertise the Sagano Romantic Observe

The Sagano Romantic Observe is a sightseeing put together that runs alongside the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka. It choices basic trains with picket benches that wind their means slowly by the use of western Kyoto, offering vacationers a spectacular view of the river and mountain environment.

The put together journey is attractive at any time of the yr nevertheless significantly inside the spring and fall when the panorama bursts with color. It’s terribly customary all through that time so that you simply’re instructed to order tickets upfront.

You probably can e e book tickets to the Sagano Romantic Observe on Klook or Get Your Data. The Get Your Data chance takes you to Kameoka on the basic put together, then once more to Arashiyama via a traditional boat journey on the Hozugawa River.
View from inside the Sagano Romantic Train

6. Play Samurais and Ninjas at Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Toei Uzumasa Eigamura is an energetic movie studio and theme park in western Kyoto. It incorporates a recreation of a small standard Edo interval metropolis that’s used as a backdrop for interval motion pictures and television dramas.

Park attendants are sporting historic costumes so it truly does actually really feel resembling you’ve been transported to Edo-period Kyoto. After we had been there in 2014, that they had been capturing scenes for a movie or TV current. It’s an energetic studio the place an estimated 200 interval motion pictures are shot yearly.

Aside from the movie models, the studio park moreover choices samurai- and ninja-themed factors of curiosity like mazes, thriller properties, performances, even a haunted residence. It makes for a pleasurable couple of hours when you occur to’re touring with youngsters or have a passion for samurais and ninjas. There’s an anime museum there as correctly.

Check out my article on Toei Kyoto Studio Park for additional pictures and information.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Japan

Urged Dimension of Go to: 2-Three hrs / Admission: JPY 2,400 (adults), JPY 1,200 (kids)

7. Uncover Kyoto with a Native

It goes with out saying that native information is important to having real experiences, significantly in relation to meals. A lot of the best meals experiences we’ve had on our travels usually come from native ideas – each from a buddy or tour data, even from a Seize or Uber driver.

If you want a Kyoto experience that goes previous the identical previous temples and shrines, then I counsel making an attempt out Magical Journey. They’re a pleasurable Japanese boutique tour agency that offers small group experiences led by locals.

We’ve been on two of their excursions so far – this Shinjuku meals tour in Tokyo and one different meals tour in Kyoto’s Gion district. Every had been wonderful. You probably can click on on on the hyperlinks for additional pictures and information.

Friends to Kyoto can e e book the equivalent Gion meals tour I did or check out this bar hopping tour in historic Pontocho Alley. There’s numerous attention-grabbing meals to be present in Gion so it truly helps to associate with a well informed native.
Hanging red paper lanterns

8. Take a Cooking Class

Ren’s an superior put together dinner so we benefit from taking cooking classes each time we journey. So far, we’ve taken classes in Hoi An, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Bali, and Tokyo. Merely put, there’s no increased approach to review native meals than by taking a cooking class.

Whenever you’re fascinated about taking a cooking class in Kyoto, then I counsel searching for one on airKitchen or Cookly. They’re on-line reserving platforms that offer cooking classes in Japan and in numerous totally different cities all around the world. Click on on on the hyperlinks to e e book a Kyoto cooking class on airKitchen or Cookly.
Home-cooked Japanese meal

Whenever you’re spending enough time in Kyoto, then you may have to transcend the city. Listed underneath are 5 of the popular and attention-grabbing day journeys you may also make from Kyoto. Be sure to check out our article on day journeys from Kyoto for additional ideas.

1. Kifune Shrine

Kifune Shrine is positioned merely previous the city in northern Kyoto nevertheless it’s far enough away to guidelines as a day journey. It’s in Kibune, a small metropolis that was constructed throughout the shrine.

Kifune Shrine is dedicated to the god of water and rain and is believed to be the protector of those touring by sea. It’s a most well-liked summer season retreat though it’s possibly biggest visited in autumn when the encircling forest explodes with color.

The shrine is well-known for its stone steps with purple lanterns on each facet. There are a few ryokans and consuming locations in Kibune, and a climbing path that takes you to Kurama-dera temple and Kurama Onsen which is believed to be most likely the best scorching springs in Kyoto.

It’s easy enough to go to Kifune Shrine by your self. Whenever you’d want to go climbing and soak at Kurama Onsen, then you may have an curiosity on this climbing and onsen tour.
Steps with red lanterns

2. Osaka

Vacationers who prefer to eat can’t go to Kyoto with out spending time in Osaka. Whenever you’ll be flying in to Japan, then chances are you’ll be landing at KIX anyway which is just open air Osaka.

Decrease than half an hour from Kyoto, Osaka is often known as the “nation’s kitchen” and regarded by many as most likely the best meals cities in Japan. Like Kyoto, we fully love Osaka. Check out our Osaka journey data that can aid you plan your journey.
The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Osaka, Japan

3. Nara

Nara is probably going one of many “huge three” hottest cities to go to inside the Kansai space. It has the second most number of temples and shrines in Japan, behind solely Kyoto. Whenever you haven’t had your fill of temples in Kyoto, then you may have to spend a day in Nara.

Aside from its temples, Nara’s biggest draw is the small army of tame Sika deer that freely roams its parks. You probably can feed them with sika senbei or “deer crackers”. Bow to the deer, and some will bow once more to you.

Check out our day tripper’s journey data to Nara that can aid you plan your journey. Whenever you’d favor to go to on a guided tour, then you can e e book one by the use of Klook or Get Your Data.
Nara, Japan

4. Kinosaki Onsen

I beloved this place. Onsen cities like Kinosaki and Kurokawa Onsen are among the many coolest places we’ve visited in Japan.

Whenever you’d want to go onsen-hopping in a traditional scorching spring metropolis, then Kinosaki Onsen is probably going one of many biggest places you can attain from Kyoto. It has seven soto-yus or public scorching spring baths, all of which you will go to for JPY 1,300. You probably can check out my article on Kinosaki Onsen for additional pictures and information.
Kinosaki Onsen, Hyōgo, Japan

5. Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate is probably going one of many three most scenic views in Japan. It’s an prolonged and slender pine-covered sandbar that spans Miyazu Bay in northern Kyoto prefecture.

Measuring merely 20 meters (66 ft) giant at its narrowest stage, Amanohashidate is dwelling to nearly 8,000 pine timber. There’s a strolling path on the sandbar that you must use to go from one facet of the bay to the alternative, each on foot or by bicycle.

The sandbar is the first draw nevertheless there are various temples, retailers, consuming locations, and cafes on each facet of the bay to make this an attention-grabbing day journey. You probably can study my submit on Amanohashidate for additional pictures and information.

Amamnohashidate is about two hours north of Kyoto Metropolis. It’s attainable to do on a day journey nevertheless when you occur to’d pretty go on a guided tour, then you can e e book one by the use of Klook.
Amanohashidate, Northern Kyoto, Japan

Japanese meals is my absolute favorite delicacies on the earth and a large objective why we love visiting this nation. Whenever you benefit from Japanese meals as so much as we do, you then may want to check out our Japanese Meals Data. It choices customary dishes all via Japan, along with regional specialties by prefecture.
Japanese Food Guide

Kyoto is dwelling to the second most number of Michelin Stars in Japan, behind solely Tokyo. There are various good consuming locations in Kyoto to have conventional Japanese dishes like ramen, sushi, tempura, and additional.

Whenever you’re questioning the place to eat on this metropolis, then check out our article on 14 of the best consuming locations in Kyoto.
Grilling smoked tuna jerky

Fourteen may be too many for a lot of vacationers so I’ve listed 5 of our favorites underneath. Be sure to click on on by the use of to your complete meals data for additional pictures and information.

1. Wajouryoumen Sugari

Wajouryoumen Sugari gave me most likely the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had in Japan. I had the motsu tsukemen which is kind of like a deconstructed ramen served with offal.

Tsukemen refers to a form of ramen the place the noodles and broth are served individually. That’s completed to keep up the noodles good and company all via your meal. To eat, you dip the noodles into the broth which is additional intensely flavorful than typical ramen broth.

Motsu refers to offal like beef intestine or pork tripe. It’s the equivalent form of organ meat utilized in motsunabe. Whenever you like offal, you then fully should try the motsu tsukemen at Wajouryoumen Sugari. I don’t know how frequent it is nevertheless that’s the one place I’ve seen it so far in Japan.
Bowl of motsu tsukemen at Wajouryoumen Sugari

Anticipate to Pay: About JPY 1,000 per bowl of ramen

2. Hachidaime Gihey

Kyoto is taken under consideration the birthplace of kaiseki, which is a multi-course Japanese dinner consisting of small artfully prepared dishes. You probably can think about it as a result of the Japanese mannequin of western haute delicacies.

Hachidaime Gihey is known for serving good kaiseki dinners at inexpensive prices. However, I was there for lunch to try thought-about one among their equally customary lunch models. I requested my server for ideas and he or she immediate I get the rooster karaage set. It received right here with an infinite amount of rice which I think about is customary for all their lunch models.

After you finish your rice, your server will ask when you occur to’d like a refill. Say positive and likewise you’ll get a second serving topped with a small portion of toasted rice seasoned with sesame and salt. It’s similar to the scorched socarrat rice in paella.

Hachidaime Gihey is known for his or her completely totally different preparations of rice which you will benefit from of their kaiseki meals.
Bowl of rice at Hacidaime Gihey

Anticipate to Pay: About JPY 1,700 for a lunch set

3. Unagi Hirokawa

We’ve eaten numerous good meals in Japan, nevertheless the one experience we had been dying to have was unagi or grilled freshwater eel at an unagi kabayaki restaurant. We purchased to do that at Hirokawa, a former Michelin-starred unagi restaurant in Arashiyama. It was among the many biggest unagi we’ve ever had.

After we had lunch at Hirokawa, that they had been the proud owners of 1 Michelin Star nevertheless they seem to have misplaced it since then. They did shut for lots of months to renovate so that can have one factor to do with it.

Whatever the objective, they’re nonetheless most likely the best unagi consuming locations in Kyoto. They’re immensely customary so superior reservations are extraordinarily actually useful.
Unagi Hirokawa, Kyoto, Japan

Anticipate to Pay: JPY 3,300 for the medium una jyu (pictured)

4. Gion Kappa Restaurant

Nestled inside the coronary coronary heart of the Gion leisure district, Gion Kappa restaurant is an izakaya and an space favorite. It was extraordinarily actually useful to us by a Japanese native for two causes: 1) they serve good, real Japanese meals; and a pair of) nearly each half on the menu goes for merely JPY 390.

Check out my article on Gion Kappa Restaurant for additional pictures and information.
Gion Kappa Restaurant, Kyoto, Japan

Anticipate to Pay: JPY 2,500-3,500 per explicit individual with drinks

5. Wadachi

I needed to find a very good sake bar the place we would unwind after a day of exploration in Kyoto and my evaluation led us to Wadachi, an izakaya inside the Gion District acknowledged for serving many different sorts of sake and bar meals at cheap prices. Whenever you benefit from sake, then Wadachi is an effective different for an evening out in Kyoto.
Wadachi, Kyoto, Japan

Anticipate to Pay: JPY 500 per small jar of sake (pictured), spherical JPY 400-500 per bar chow dish

To make it less complicated to be able to visualize the place each half is, I’ve pinned lots of the places actually useful on this data on a map. Click on on on the hyperlink for an interactive mannequin of the map.
Map with pins

Kyoto has an superior public transportation system. Chances are you’ll get nearly anyplace using the subway or bus. Be sure to bookmark hyperdia.com as a result of it’ll present you methods to navigate Japan’s surroundings pleasant nevertheless usually sophisticated rail system.

Personally, I favor using the subway as soon as we journey on account of I uncover buses to be additional sophisticated. Nevertheless in Kyoto, it may very well be biggest to utilize a mixture of every. It’s as a result of some factors of curiosity aren’t that near a subway station.

As an illustration, the closest MRT station to Kinkaku-ji is Kita-oji, nevertheless it’s nonetheless over Three km from the temple. One different occasion is Kiyomizu-dera. Kiyomizu-Gojo is the closest MRT station nevertheless it’s nonetheless just a few 20-minute stroll from the temple. Whenever you solely have just a few days in Kyoto, you then’ll be dropping numerous time strolling when you occur to try to get spherical fully by put together.

To maximise your time in Kyoto, then it may very well be a very good suggestion to get a transportation go. There are hundreds to pick from so I’ve narrowed it proper all the way down to most likely essentially the most pertinent ones underneath to hopefully make it a lot simpler.

Kansai By way of Go

Whenever you’ll be touring hundreds by put together throughout the Kansai space, then you may have to get a Kansai By way of Go. It’s on the market in 2- or 3-day variants and offers you limitless put together and bus rides in cities all via the Kansai house. In distinction to JR Passes, you don’t want to use it to consecutive days. It isn’t reputable for journey on JR trains nevertheless you must use it to go from KIX to Kyoto, as long as you journey solely on non-JR trains. You can purchase the Kansai By way of Go on Klook or KKday.

JR Kansai Area Go

JR Kansai Area Passes are similar to Kansai By way of Passes apart from they’re for use on JR trains (along with the Kansai Airport Categorical Haruka) and ought to be used on consecutive days. However, I be taught that there are only a few JR traces in Kyoto so this go might be not your solely possibility when you occur to plan on spending most of your time in Kyoto. Nevertheless when you occur to plan on exploring additional of the Kansai space, then this may be chance. You can purchase the JR Kansai Area Go on Klook (1-day | 2-day | 3-day | 4-day) or KKday.


One different transportation go you’ll get is the ICOCA IC Card. It gained’t entitle you to limitless rides nevertheless it’ll give you reductions on JR trains (along with the Kansai Airport Categorical Haruka), the subway, personal railways, and buses. Take into account it as a saved price card similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus Card.


Whenever you’re doing a nationwide tour of Japan, then a JR Go may be a worthwhile funding. It’ll give you limitless rides on all JR nationwide trains in Japan – along with the Kansai Airport Categorical Haruka, Shinkansen bullet trains, and the Narita Categorical – for a consecutive number of days. It’s on the market in 7-, 14-, or 21-day variants and will probably be purchased by the use of Japan Rail Go or Klook.

As described, there’s so much to see and do in Kyoto. It’s a such a beautiful and peaceful metropolis that it isn’t the kind of place you merely have to breeze by the use of. In case you’ve a complete week to spend proper right here, then that’s good. However when not, then it’s good to be succesful to see the foremost sights in about three days.

Proper right here’s a quick 3D/2N Kyoto itinerary that can aid you plan your journey. Be sure to click on on by the use of to our full 3-day Kyoto itinerary for additional particulars.


• Kiyomizu-dera
• Sannen-zaka / Ninen-zaka
• Yasaka Shrine
• Gion District
• Kamo River
• Nishiki Market


• Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
• Tenryu-ji
• Ryoan-ji
• Kinkaku-ji
• Pontocho Alley


• Fushimi Inari Taisha
• Nijo-jo
• Ginkaku-ji
• Gion District

Assuming you’ll be staying in Kyoto for Three full days and sharing modest lodging with one totally different explicit individual, then a daily funds of spherical JPY 8,000-8,500 per explicit individual must be heaps. This takes into consideration your lodging, transportation, meals, drinks, pocket wifi rental, and attraction entrance prices. Proper right here’s a quick breakdown of payments:


This varies from particular person to particular person. Whenever you’re not an expensive traveler, then you’ll get an superior room at a enterprise resort for spherical JPY 7,500 a night. Anticipate to pay so much a lot much less when you occur to’re staying at a hostel or capsule resort.


Kyoto is well-known for its kaiseki meals nevertheless these are usually pricey. Whenever you keep on with fairly priced meals like ramen, then I’d say spherical JPY 1,500-2,000 a day per explicit individual is enough. Should you want to spend considerably a lot much less, then low-cost nevertheless good meals will probably be had at consolation retailers like Family Mart, Lawson, or 7-Eleven.


Entrance to Toei Kyoto Studio Park is considerably better than all totally different factors of curiosity on this data. Whenever you’d pretty not go there, then your complete worth of admission minus Toei is JPY 2,670.


Whenever you’re sharing the worth with one totally different explicit individual, you then’ll each be paying spherical JPY 195 per day.


By all accounts, the Kansai By way of Go seems funding in Kyoto. The three-day go will run you JPY 5,097.


This comes out to about JPY 8,034 a day per explicit individual. For sure this baseline estimate is only for Kyoto and doesn’t embody any procuring. Ren and I are middle of the freeway vacationers who benefit from good meals and drinks, so the actually useful funds is an environment friendly baseline for vacationers like us. Modify accordingly based totally by your self journey habits.

1. Plan your Journey with Sygic Journey or ViaHero

SYGIC TRAVEL: Whenever you like creating your private journey itineraries, you then’re going to love Sygic Journey. I’ve been using this free journey planning app for a lot of years now. It permits me to pin all components of curiosity on a map then group them collectively by location so I can create an surroundings pleasant itinerary. It’s on the market with out price on iOS and Android.

VIAHERO: Whenever you don’t like journey planning or don’t have the time to do it, then you can have a trip spot educated do it for you. ViaHero is a journey planning service that hyperlinks vacationers with native consultants to create custom-made itineraries to completely totally different cities all around the world, along with Kyoto and the Kansai space. Whenever you’d want to try them out, then you’ll get a 5% low price on their firms when you occur to make use of our hyperlink.

2. Rent a Pocket Wifi System

Having a gradual wifi connection is a ought to when touring as of late, significantly in a country like Japan the place there’s an enormous language barrier. The rail system is extraordinarily surroundings pleasant nevertheless it’ll even be very sophisticated, which is why it’s so important to have uninterrupted entry to the net. You’ll need it to utilize Hyperdia which is essential to creating sense of Japan’s rail system.

Chances are you’ll get right of entry to the net by renting a pocket wifi machine or looking for a sim card. We favor pocket wifi devices on account of we uncover them simpler to utilize, nevertheless each is okay. You probably can set up for each one by the use of Klook (pocket wifi | sim card) or KKday (pocket wifi | sim card).
Pocket Wifi Rental, Japan

3. Bookmark Hyperdia or Get the App in your Mobile System

I can’t stress how helpful Hyperdia is when navigating by the use of Japan’s surroundings pleasant nevertheless confounding railway system. Not solely will it give you precise put together arrival and departure situations, nevertheless it’ll let exactly how one can go from one station to the next. It makes it so much less complicated so you will wish to acquire the app or bookmark the web page in your mobile machine. It’ll be you new biggest buddy in Japan.

WEBSITE: hyperdia.com | DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

4. Take a look at for Low price Passes

I buy low price vouchers from many internet sites, nevertheless for Japan, my favorites are Klook, Get Your Data, and KKday. They usually present the widest selection at probably the greatest prices.

Should you want to uncover presents on excursions, airport transfers, pocket wifi rental, and so forth, then you can study what’s on the market on Klook, Get Your Data, and KKday. I usually uncover cool actions that I wouldn’t think about myself so it’s on a regular basis worth a look.

5. Get Journey Insurance coverage protection

Of us have differing opinions in relation to journey insurance coverage protection. Many don’t assume they need it nevertheless for me, it’ll rely upon the place you’re going and what you’ll be doing. If we plan on doing one thing bodily like driving bikes or snowboarding, then I’ll undoubtedly get it. I don’t want to interrupt my leg on a mountain and by no means have insurance coverage protection! However when all we’ll be doing is consuming and visiting temples for a few days like we did in Kyoto, then I perhaps gained’t get it. The selection is yours.

After we do actually really feel the need for it, we get insurance coverage protection from World Nomads or SafetyWing. They’re every trusted journey medical insurance coverage protection suppliers utilized by many long-term vacationers. Check out my article on why we buy journey insurance coverage protection for a greater check out the two. You probably can observe the hyperlinks to get a free quote from World Nomads or SafetyWing.

6. Get Comfortable Footwear

This may increasingly often seem self-explanatory nevertheless you’ll be doing numerous strolling in Kyoto so cosy footwear are a ought to. A number of the web sites are big and unfold out, so comfort and help in your ft are paramount. For consolation, I counsel carrying slip-ons as correctly because you’ll be taking them off ceaselessly at temples.

7. Ship the Correct Vitality Adapter

Japan has Sort A or Sort B electrical retailers so you will wish to carry the becoming vitality adapters in your devices. Electrical voltage is 100V and the same old frequency is 50/60Hz.

8. Examine Main Japanese Etiquette

Japan is a country of many unwritten pointers. It’s easy to commit a cultural pretend pas proper right here so it’s biggest to familiarize your self with the basics. Sooner than your journey, I counsel making an attempt out this good overview on Japanese etiquette for vacationers.

Philippine passport holders should protected a vacationer visa to enter Japan. Capabilities are coursed by the use of accredited journey companies so that you simply don’t have to go to the Embassy of Japan. I utilized with Reli Excursions & Journey in 2016 and on the time, they charged PHP 950 when you occur to’re making use of as a vacationer, and PHP 2,000 when you occur to’ll be visiting buddies or relations. I was granted a 5-year a lot of entry visa.

Check out my submit on how one can apply for a Japan vacationer visa for a complete step-by-step course of.

I’m undoubtedly not an educated on Kyoto nevertheless I do hope that this data helps you propose your journey. I’m solely sharing among the many points that I’ve found from our visits there. In case you’ve any questions or suggestions, then please depart them inside the comment half underneath. You’re welcome to affix our Fb Journey Group as correctly.

Thanks for stopping by and have a very good time exploring the great thing about Kyoto!

These are among the many points we launched with us to Kyoto. For additional on our journey gear, check out our “What’s in Our Backpack?” submit. (NOTE: The following hyperlinks are Amazon affiliate hyperlinks.)


ViaHero was kind enough to create a Kyoto itinerary for us in commerce for an honest account of the experience. We had been in Osaka on {{a partially}} sponsored journey to Widespread Studios Japan, courtesy of our buddies at KKday. They provided us with a pocket wifi machine and a 4-day JR Kansai Area Go. As on a regular basis, all concepts and opinions expressed on this submit are mine and mine alone.

This textual content includes affiliate hyperlinks, meaning we’ll get a small price when you occur to make a reserving at no additional worth to you. We solely advocate companies and merchandise that we use ourselves and firmly think about in. We truly respect your help as this helps us make additional of these free journey guides. Thanks!

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