You may be wondering what are the top 10 things to do in Kyoto, Japan? Then You’re in the right place.
Kyoto is a city with a vibrant history, and there are many things to do in Kyoto that reflect this.
There are endless opportunities to learn about Japanese culture and religion, from Buddhist temples to Shinto shrines. Additionally, Kyoto is renowned for its beautiful gardens, perfect for relaxation or picnicking.
And of course, no trip to Kyoto would be complete without trying some of the delicious local cuisines! Here are 10 of the top things to do in Kyoto, Japan.
1. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist destinations for a good reason!
The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, and is famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates.
The shrine grounds are massive, and there are plenty of exploring trails.
Be sure to try the kitsune udon while you’re here – it’s a local favorite!
How to Get to Fushimi Inari Shrine:
The shrine is located a walk from Fushimi Inari Station on the JR Nara Line.
2. View the Cherry Blossoms at Maruyama Park
Cherry blossoms are an iconic part of Japanese culture, and Maruyama Park is one of the best places to view them in Kyoto.
The park is also home to several other attractions, including a teahouse and a statue of the famous 17th-century poet Matsuo Basho.
How to Get to Maruyama Park:
The park is located a walking distance from Maruyama Koen Station on the Kyoto City Subway.
3. Take a Stroll through Gion
Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, and strolling through its narrow streets is a must-do while in the city.
Gion is also home to some of Kyoto’s best restaurants, so grab a bite to eat while you’re there.
How to get Gion:
Gion is located a short walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Kyoto City Suwbatse.
4. Visit Kinkaku-Ji
Kinkaku-Ji, or the Golden Pavilion, is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions.
The pavilion is covered in gold leaf and is set amidst a beautiful pond and gardens.
Be sure to walk around the grounds and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
How to Get to Kinkaku-Ji:
The temple is a bus ride from the Kinkakuji-mae bus stop.
5. Explore Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle was built in 1603 and was the official residence of the Tokugawa shoguns.
The castle is famous for its beautiful architecture and nightingale floors, designed to squeak and warn off intruders.
The castle grounds are also home to a lovely garden, and the castle itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get to Nijo Castle:
The castle is located a short walk from Nijo Castle-Mae Station on the Kyoto City Subway.
6. Admire the view from Kiyomizu-Dera
Kiyomizu-Dera is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 780 AD. The temple is set atop a hill with stunning views of Kyoto and is especially beautiful during cherry blossom season.
Try the temple’s signature dish, Koyo-zushi, while you’re here!
How to Get to Kiyomizu-Dera:
The temple is located a walking distance from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station on the Kyoto City Subway.
7. Shop at Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market is Kyoto’s largest and most famous market and is a great place to grab a bite to eat or pick up some souvenirs.
The market is especially well-known for its fresh seafood, and you can find everything from sushi to grilled squid here.
How to Get to Nishiki Market:
The market is located a quick walk from Shijo Station on the Kyoto City Subway.
8. Relax in Nanzen-Ji
Nansen-Ji is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1291. The temple complex is massive and includes several gardens and a teahouse.
It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Kyoto and relax for a while.
How to Get There:
Nanzenji Temple is located a few minutes’ walk from Nanzen-Ji Exit A4 of Keage Station on the Tozai Subway Line.
9. Take a walk through Philosopher’s Path
The Philosopher’s Path is a scenic walking path that follows a canal lined with cherry trees.
The path gets its name from renowned philosopher Nishida Kitaro used to walk here to meditate. The path is stunning when the cherry blossoms are in bloom in the spring.
How to Get to Philosopher’s Path:
The path is a walk from Ginkaku-Ji-Mae Bus Stop.
10. Visit Arashiyama
Arashiyama is a scenic area on the outskirts of Kyoto that is famous for its bamboo forest and Monkey Park.
The area is also home to several temples and shrines, including Tenryu-Ji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Arashiyama is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy some of nature’s beauty.
How to Get to Arashiyama:
The area is located a quick train ride from Kyoto Station.
Thoughts and Conclusion
There are many beautiful things to do in Kyoto, Japan. There is something for everyone, from exploring ancient temples to scenic views. Be sure to add these top 10 things to your list when visiting Kyoto!