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KyotoJapan

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 the fall, 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 330 feet (100 meters) 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 street scenes, cycling and night scenes

Gion

5/5Exceptional!(38 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 showing street scenes and a small town or village as well as a large group of people

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

5/5Exceptional!(6 area reviews)

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
The price is CA $119 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 25

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

4.4/5Excellent! (2,864 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
4 out of 5
245-2 Aneyakojidori, Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is CA $430 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 25

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

4.3/5Excellent! (18 reviews)

"初めてステイしましたが、ゆっくりできて良い時間を過ごせました。建物はもちろん、お部屋の内装などもおしゃれで可愛かったです。ただ、アメニティの歯磨きタブレットが慣れなくて使いにくかったです。。 ホテル内のレストランもテラス席があり気持ちよかったです。スタッフの方も皆さん気持ちの良い接客でした!京都に訪れる際には再訪したいと思います。"…"

Reviewed on Sep. 19, 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 CA $104 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 26

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

4.3/5Excellent! (981 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
Image for Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

4/5(102 reviews)

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

4.5/5(324 reviews)

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

4.5/5(182 reviews)

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
Image for Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle

4.5/5(146 reviews)

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

Nishiki Market
Image for Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

4.5/5(99 reviews)

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

4/5(12 reviews)

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

Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour
Image for Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour

Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour

CA $117
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package
Image for Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package

Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package

CA $38
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour
Image for Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

CA $109
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Kyoto

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
342
5 - Excellent 71.1018711018711%
4 - Good
113
4 - Good 23.492723492723492%
3 - Okay
18
3 - Okay 3.7422037422037424%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 1.0395010395010396%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.6237006237006237%

1/5 - Terrible

?

Apr 5, 2020

?

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Mar 1, 2020

Old and traditional city; smaller than Tokyo. Lovely architecture. Recommend the Sake Insider Experience!

5/5 - Excellent

Mei

Feb 28, 2020

So many places to visit, ensure to grab a transportation map and tourist map to arrange the route more efficient and also save money

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Jan 30, 2020

Kyoto is over rated Continuation of the hotel review: Upon checking out, the front desk did not even as why we are checking out early on as planned and why decided to forfeit our full payment.  There was no effort from her to inquire or make changes

5/5 - Excellent

Jack

Jan 18, 2020

continue the good work :D

4/5 - Good

Magda

Jan 9, 2020

Spend more time in Kyoto and visit around (Osaka, Nara..) We only stayed 2 nights which is not enough and spent most of our time in Tokyo and around Tokyo area which is expensive

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Kyoto

Image for An Introduction to Kyoto: Highlights for the First-Time Visitor

An Introduction to Kyoto: Highlights for the First-Time Visitor

An Introduction to Kyoto: Highlights for the First-Time Visitor

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