Kyoto is an indispensable destination when you travel to Japan. Especially, it is very suitable for those who want to explore the rich and subtle cultural heritage of this cherry blossom country. Let’s discover top 10 fun, unique & cool things to do in Kyoto, Japan below.
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- Visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine — One of the most famous shrines in Japan
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Shopping at the oldest outdoor market in Japan inside Toji Temple
Toji Temple, which is located in the south of Kyoto Station, established in 796. It is the gateway to the ancient capital of Japan. The place is also one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. It also has the tallest 5-storey Japanese temple with 57 meters.
Today, the Toji Temple is most famous for the oldest outdoor market in the country, held on the 21st of each month from early morning to late afternoon. The guests will find everything in this busy and bustling market.
Address: 1 Kujocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-8473, Japan
Phone: +81 75-691-3325
Opening Hours: 08:30 am –5:30 pm
Price: 500 yen
Finding the monsters at Yokai Street
Yokai is a shopping street with old style. The owners of the shops and restaurants here create yokai which is supernatural monsters that appear in Japanese fairy tales to protect in front of the store. Some yokai are carefully sculpted, some made from recycled materials and rags, but they all have their own souls.
About 30 yokai hide on the street, challenging visitors to find it all. Legend has it that this area of northwestern Kyoto lies at the boundary between real life and the spiritual world. A ghost parade and bazaar are held each summer.
Seeing the bloody history at Fushimi Momoyama Castle
Fushimi Momoyama Castle mobilized 20,000 to 30,000 construction workers by the end of the sixteenth century.Unfortunately, only two years later it was destroyed by the earthquake. The modern version is now located in an upscale south of Kyoto, rebuilt by the samurai Torii Mototada. In 1600 he defended the castle to the last breath of an 11-day bloody siege.
Fushimi Momoyama Castle:
Address: Japan, 〒612-8051 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Fushimi Ward.
Phone: +81 75-602-0605
Opening Hours: 24/24
Being ecstatic with the sake wine in Fushimi district
Fushimi Prefecture is located in southern Kyoto, best known for its Fushimi Inari temple and a series of red gates. The area also has rich amounts of groundwater, rich in potassium and calcium, suitable for making sake. By the 1600s, more than 80 breweries operated in the area. Guests should take a boat ride down the river over the small town to visit the old factory and the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum.
Drinking beer with a geisha at Kamishichiken Beer Garden
With many visitors, joining the geisha-specific world is quite difficult. Usually, you need someone to invite or follow the tour. Kamishichiken District is one of the 5 neighborhoods the geisha live and work. They host a special beer garden in the Kaburenjo Theater from July to September each year. With only 2,000 yen (over 400,000), you will be the geisha pour beer, chat, treat as paying customers.
Kamishichiken Beer Garden:
Address: Japan, 〒602-8381 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Kamigyo Ward.
Phone: +81 75-461-0148
Opening Hours: 10:00 am –5:00pm.
Walking along the Kamogawa River
The peaceful Kamogawa Riverbank in Kyoto is frequented by tourists and locals, as well as by animal shelters. The river spreads along the east of the city and north of the city which is crowded. But just walk to the south, the visitors will discover a quieter area where flowers and weeds cover wide passages and wildlife.
Seeing the Wisteria flowers in Kamitoba Sewage Treatment Plant
The Wisteria flowers mark the transition from spring to summer, which often appears on dome-shaped tunnels in temples, shrines, parks and gardens throughout Japan. One of the most impressive places to see flowers is the Kamitoba Sewage Treatment Plant in the south of Kyoto. Here you will be able to admire the bouquets of purple flowers in a cozy atmosphere, immerse yourself in classical music, enjoy iced coffee and sake.
Touching the cows at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Built in 947, the Northwest Kyoto shrine is one of the city’s most complex buildings, but is often overlooked by the nearby Golden Pagoda. The Shrine is guardian spirits and calligraphy protections, popular with Japanese students who come to pray for the successful education.
Two cows at the entrance to the shrine have shiny heads and backs because those who hope to pass the exam rub into it. This is also the most beautiful place to see plum blossom and participate in the dream festival from February 25 to the end of March. On the 25th, the famous Tenjin-san outdoor market is held outside the temple from 6 -21h
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine:
Address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8386, Japan
Phone: +81 75-461-0005
Opening Hours: 5:00-18:00 (Apr.to Sep), 5:30-17:30 (Oct.to Mar.)
Seeing Kyoto Station Building
Many visitors go through Kyoto Station which is the busiest intersection in the area on the way to or from the city, but only a few stop to admire the unique design of the building. If you come here, linger for a minute to look up, then move up to the top for panoramic city views from the Sky Garden terrace.
Kyoto Station Building:
Address: 901 Higashishiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori, Shiokoji sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 8:30 am- 10:00pm
Making friends with locals at the Mosaic Hostel
Mosaic Hostel is clean, well-equipped, friendly staff, and has 2 addresses in Kyoto. The rooms are designed in Japanese aesthetics, with a common welcome area for guests to meet, a stylish bar for late local drinks. In particular, the hostel organizes regular events for guests and locals, providing opportunities to make friends and learn about Kyoto.
Address: Japan, 〒601-8413 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Minami Ward, Nishikujo Kasugacho, ４−１
Phone: +81 75-672-0511
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Kyoto you can refer to
- Private Kansai International Airport Transfers (KIX) for Kyoto
- Limousine Bus Transfers between Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka or Kyoto
- Shared Night Bus Transfers from Kyoto to Tokyo
- Private Kansai Airport (KIX) Transfers to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Uji, Kobe, or Arima
- Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass (1 Day/2 Days, Kyoto Pick Up)
- Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass 1 Day/2 Days (Pick up at Osaka)
- Randen + Subway 1 Day Pass
- Kyoto Temples & Shrines Day Tour from Osaka: Fushimi Inari-taisha, Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-dera & More
- Kyoto Perfect Day Tour from Osaka or Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari-taisha, Arashiyama & More
- Kyoto and Nara Day Tour from Osaka/Kyoto
- Kyoto Afternoon Tour from Osaka
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (Japan Pick Up) for Japan
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
Are you finding more top things to do in Kyoto: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here. And read more: Kyoto blog (Kyoto travel blog) — The fullest Kyoto travel guide blog for a budget trip to Kyoto, Japan for the first-timers. And Kyoto 3 day itinerary — How to visit Kyoto in 3 days & what to do in Kyoto in 3 days perfectly?