If Kyoto is not the top destination on your list, you should add it now. This ancient capital of Japan is one of the rare destinations that you can count on advertisements. The streets here tell you more than a thousand years of the country’s history, most of which is evidence that Kyoto was once the capital of Japan. And when you explore the options below (all mentioned as The 10 best things to do in Kyoto), you’ll find the city is not really a tourist trap because it is a traveling paradise, a place where you will want to stay more than the time your airline ticket allows.
List of 10 best things to do in Kyoto in 2021
10. Discover Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station is one of the most modern places on the list of 10 destinations in Kyoto with most of the architecture that has been built since 1877 And surprisingly, the great view from the 15th floor of The station will show you that this building is more modern than you expect at the gateway to an ancient city like Kyoto. Kyoto Station is a unique architecture. There are also many souvenir shops you can buy before you go to other locations.
9. Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle is the least noticeable spot on the list, as it doesn’t take beautiful photos like Fushimi Inari Shrine or Arashiyma, nor is it a scenic spot like Philosopher’s Walk or Kiyomizu-dera Temple. However, Nijo Castle is an important picture of history. It was built in the early 17th century to house the first Shogun house of the Edo period (and ironically led to the Japanese capital being moved to Tokyo as it is today). Like the Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle is also very convenient on the way so there is no reason you should ignore it.
Open: 8:45 – 16:00
Location: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8301, Japan
8. View the city from above at Kyoto tower
Most of the top 10 destinations in Kyoto are ancient and will shock you to know the thickness of its history. And of course, you should go to Kyoto Tower once for a panoramic view of all the famous places in the city. Even if you just stand to see the Kyoto Tower from afar (preferably from the observation point at Kiyomizu-dera temple), the Kyoto Tower is completely not to be missed by its 134m height – the tallest building in Kyoto.
Open: 9:00 – 21:20
Location: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan
7. Visit Kyoto Imperial Palace
Despite being a big and important place, the Kyoto Imperial Palace is not often listed in the top destinations in Kyoto as other places you have seen above and will see below. However, it is a necessary addition to any Kyoto itinerary, both because it has served the residents of the Japanese royal family for over 1,000 years and because it is located in the middle of the way of the sights of other attractions will you go.
Open: 9:00 – 15:20
Location: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-0881, Japan
6. Take time to go to Gion, Geisha’ of Kyoto
Gion is a famous Geisha district of Kyoto because it has a lot of restaurants and tea houses that have Geiko and Maiko performing to entertain guests. When you wander the Hanami-koji or Shirakawa streets, it’s easy for you to see Geiko in person when they are moving to their workplace. However, note that you will not be allowed to touch them or block their way to ask for a selfie. You can only stand from afar to take photos of them.
If you want to experience Maiko / Geisha’s costumes, makeup, hair and take virtual souvenir photos, you can sign up via https://www.kkday.com/en/product/1704?cid=4248If you are not eligible to spend at least more than $ 900 to watch them perform at tea houses then you can spend about $ 30 to buy tickets to watch them perform at Gion Corner (http://www.kyoto- gioncorner.com/global/en.html#performanceGuide) – please note that they will only accept cash but not cards, remember to bring enough money. The time that you can easily see Geiko on the street is around 5:45 p.m – 6:00 p.m
Location: Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto, Kyōto, 605-0073, Japan
5. Experience street food at Nishiki Market
This market is also known as the “kitchen of Kyoto”. In the days when there was no cooling technology, people in this area only used groundwater to store fish for the Kyoto palace, gradually becoming a big fish and seafood market here at that time. Now, the fresh seafood stalls have gradually moved and replaced with more “new” shops, however, there are still many shops selling traditional Kyoto food such as tsukemono ( Japanese pickles), fresh tofu, Kyo-yasai (Kyoto vegetables), wagashi (Japanese sweets), tea, … and there are also many stalls that sell instant food like yakitori, sashimi, …
Open: 9:00 – 17:30
Location: 609 Nishidaimonjicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8054, Japan
See also:15 Best Things To Do in Tokyo
4. Journey to the top of the famous Fushimi Inari temple
One of the most iconic images of Kyoto is the orange gates that seem to extend endlessly to the mountain. It was Fushimi Inari Shrine. And in case you are thinking that you must climb all that endless distance, it is less than 3km long. This temple is famous for the path of a series of Torii gates to the sacred Inari mountain. Torii Gate is also a symbolic symbol for you to recognize which is Shinto shrine (Shinto) and which is Pagoda.
Torii is usually painted red and is made of wood. And this is also the transition between the mundane world and the divine world. When you come here, you can ask for ringing the bell to pray for something. However, this is a sacred place, so you must wash your hands and mouth thoroughly before praying. And of course, if you are just a hunter of beautiful photos of Kyoto then you will not need to go too far from Inari station. After only a few minutes you will realize why this is one of the 10 most beautiful scenes in Kyoto!
Open: 24 hours
Location: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan
3. Mingle with nature at Arashiyama bamboo forest
Do you believe that one of Japan’s most beautiful bamboo forests is located in the city of Kyoto? You will probably arrive in Arashiyama once, less than half an hour from Kyoto station by train or bus. And furthermore, go to the forest from the entrance of Tenryuji Temple, this is a very beautiful temple entrance.
This is the legendary bamboo forest that many people talk about and you can also see many pictures of it when learning about Kyoto. This bamboo forest is about 500 meters long, planted straight on both sides of the road in a dense way between Tenryuji Temple and Nonomiya Temple.
In the middle is a small dirt road, slightly sloping upwards, suitable for you to walk or bike across this bamboo forest to get here, follow the main road in Arashiyama and you will immediately see the signboard on this bamboo forest. Or you can cross the temple Tenryuji and Nonomiya to come to this bamboo forest.
At the end of the bamboo forest, you’ll find the entrance to the Okochi-sanso villa. This is the house where the famous movie actor Denjiro Okochi from the 1920s lived until his death in 1962…..It took him about 30 years to make this villa with many traditional Japanese houses, 4-season gardens with cherry blossoms, lavender, maple leaves, and pine trees. After exploring, you can visit the tea house at the end of the road to enjoy a cup of delicious green tea and cakes
Open: 5:30 – 23:30
Location: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0007, Japan
2. Visit Kinkaku-Ji Temple
The Kinkaku-Ji temple appeared in the mid-15th century Kinkaku-Ji, but the architecture on the water you see today is less than 100 years old and dates back to 1955 when the temple was rebuilt after it was burned by fanatic monks. Like most of Kyoto’s top 10 attractive destinations, the Golden Pavilion is always beautiful no matter what time you visit. The snow-covered winter is probably the best time of the temple’s reflective architecture.
Open: 9:00 – 17:00
Location: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan
1. Admire Kiyommizu-dera
You might feel nervous walking on the hill up Kiyomizu-Dera, an eighth-century Buddhist temple on a hill east of Kyoto. It is always crowded whether it is clear or rainy, sunny or snowy days and most of the time. However when you reach the important point inside the temple especially if you come here at sunset then you will understand why this is one of Kyoto’s top tourist attractions. And it totally deserves the road to the temple of tourists.
Tip: Although Kiyomizu-Dera is always beautiful for 365 days, it is especially beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossom is blooming.
Open: 6:00 – 18:00
Location: 294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan
When people think of Japan, most people think of life bustling with shimmering lights, vibrant modern music, and tower buildings. However, through The 10 best things to do in Kyoto, you will see that part of Kyoto has some modern features, but most of you will encounter unique features that only found in Kyoto. If you are planning to come to Kyoto but are not sure what you will do there, being rest assured! The list of The 10 best things to do in Kyoto that I wrote above will help you experience the most memorable trip