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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 Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre or Yasaka Shrine 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 Sannenzaka Museum or Hokanji Temple.

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Top Hotels in Kyoto

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
4 out of 5
The price is CA $82 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 1 mile ...

4.3/5Excellent! (988 reviews)

"Low season, good price, excellent view of nijojo Castle."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 25, 2020

ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
3 out of 5
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $51 per night

Located in Gion, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gion Corner, Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within ...

4/5Very Good! (853 reviews)
Great location - would stay again for location

"This is our second APA hotel that we've stayed at so far. Nothing that really caught my attention honestly other than the amazing location. I'd stay at this hotel again especially for the location. Literally, the Yasaka shrine is less than a block away. One tiny thing was that it felt a little dusty ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 28, 2020

APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
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 $105 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! (3,021 reviews)

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

Reviewed on Mar. 25, 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel 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.

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.

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.

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

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
Image for Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

98% of travellers recommend
CA $230
Per adult
Private Japanese Sword Forge Visit & Lesson
Image for Private Japanese Sword Forge Visit & Lesson

Private Japanese Sword Forge Visit & Lesson

92% of travellers recommend
CA $276
Per adult
Traditional Tea Ceremony with Kimono Rental
Image for Traditional Tea Ceremony with Kimono Rental

Traditional Tea Ceremony with Kimono Rental

100% of travellers recommend
CA $434
Per adult
Nishiki Market Food Tour
Image for Nishiki Market Food Tour

Nishiki Market Food Tour

100% of travellers recommend
CA $105
Per adult
Kimono Wearing Experience
Image for Kimono Wearing Experience

Kimono Wearing Experience

CA $49
Per adult
Authentic Japanese Cooking Class in Central Kyoto
Image for Authentic Japanese Cooking Class in Central Kyoto

Authentic Japanese Cooking Class in Central Kyoto

100% of travellers recommend
CA $102
Per adult

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

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

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