Sagano Bamboo Forest (The Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama)

Arashiyama Momiji Festival
Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama where Arashiyama Momiji Festival is held. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Sagano bamboo forest is located in Arashiyama district – in the northwest of Kyoto, is one of the most beautiful natural sceneries in Japan. Sagano not only attracts tourists because of the magnificent beauty of immense, straight bamboo forests but also because of the sound of the wind blowing through the bamboos, creating melodious nature music.

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Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan

Sagano Bamboo Forest In Arashiyama japan

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Picture: kyoto city guide blog.

Tenryū-ji Temple

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Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Covering the temple yard is the beautiful Sogenchi Teien (Sogen Pond Garden) garden. Especially in the fall, the garden becomes more and more attracted by the romantic red color of maple leaves. The highlight of Tenryū-ji Temple is on the ceiling has the painting “Cloud Dragon Painting” painted by talented artist Kayama Hatazo in 1997.

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tenryuji-temple kyoto (2)
Picture: kyoto city guide blog.

tenryuji-temple kyoto (2)

tenryuji-temple kyoto (2)
Picture: kyoto city guide blog.
Tenryu-ji, Kyoto, Japan
Tenryu-ji garden. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

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... The Tenryu-ji Cloud Dragon Painting
The Cloud Dragon Painting

Tenryū-ji Temple
Address: 68 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8385, Japan
Hours: 8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March)
Entrance fee: 500 yen.

Gion District

geisha-gion district
Geisha at Gion district

Gion is one of the most famous districts of Geisha in Kyoto and has a long history. Visiting Gion, you will see firsthand the Geisha with white all over face, red lips, flowing in traditional kimono, slowly walking on the road. Walking along the main streets, you can easily see the Ochayas (tea room where the Geisha relax), restaurants and shopping areas. Restaurant prices here are quite expensive. Therefore, the best way is that you should only enjoy the space here, while dinning should be considered elsewhere.

gion district geisha kyoto (1)

gion district geisha kyoto (1)

Picture: kyoto city guide blog.
Picture: kyoto city guide blog.

Geisha, Hanami-koji Street, Gion, Kyoto
Geisha, Hanami-koji Street, Gion, Kyoto

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Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

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Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyōto Gosho) was once the residence of the Japanese Imperial Family until the emperor moved the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo (in 1868). The imperial palace is an architectural complex that is limited by a rectangular shape wall, with 2.5m height, 1.300m long, 700m wide, spread along the North-South direction. Inside the palace, there are about 48 buildings including palaces and magnificent mansions, connected by the lobbies and halls and the small and large yards. There is also a royal garden with many ponds, small islands, and beautiful curved bridges.

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Credit: kyoto travel blog

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)
Picture: kyoto city guide blog.
kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)
The main entrance

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)
Credit: kyoto travel blog

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)

kyoto gosho kyoto imperial palace and park (1)
The park. Picture: kyoto city guide blog.
Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto temples, Japan
Kyoto Imperial Palace. Credit: kyoto travel guide blog

Kyoto Imperial Palace
Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881, Japan
Phone: +81 75-211-1215
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Admission: Free

Kyoto National Museum

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The museum exhibits a myriad of artifacts, ceramics and fine arts. You will probably have to spend all day for sightseeing here because there are more than 200 artworks that are considered national heritage. Admission fees vary according to the content of the exhibition, but average about 520-1.500 JPY.

kyoto national museum japan (1)

kyoto national museum japan (1)
Credit: kyoto travel blog

kyoto national museum japan (1)

Kyoto National Museum
Address: 527 Chayacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0931, Japan
Hours: 9:30AM–5PM
Url: https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum
Picture: kyoto city guide blog.

For comic lovers, the Kyoto manga museum is a magical world with more than 300,000 manga collections. Entrance fee of 800 JPY for adults, 300 JPY for students.

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum
Address: Japan, 〒604-0846 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 御池上ル (元龍池小学校 Karasuma Dori
Phone: +81 75-254-7414
Url: https://www.kyotomm.jp/en/

Nara

Credit: kyoto travel guide blog

Nara – the capital of Nara Prefecture, in the Kansai region, only 45 minutes from Kyoto by train – is the first capital of the country of the land of the rising sun. Nara is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, a center of culture, history and art of Japan. The extremely interesting point in this city is that we can look and touch the deers that are roamed everywhere because the deer here are considered messengers of the gods, the embodiment of good sacred things.

Credit: kyoto travel guide blog
Credit: kyoto travel guide blog

nara japan

nara japan

Nara Park in cherry blossoms season
Nara Park in cherry blossoms season. Picture: kyoto travel blog.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine - One of most famous shrine in Japan (2)

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is one of the most beautiful Shinto shrines in Japan – Shinto is long-standing religion of Japanese people. The most unique feature of the shrine is the thousands of red Torri gates extending from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain.

Fushimi Inari Shrine - One of most famous shrine in Japan (1)

Fushimi Inari Shrine - One of most famous shrine in Japan (14)

Hatsumode
Praying on Hatsumode (First Visit of the New Year) at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Credit: kyoto blog.

Read more: Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine — One of the most famous shrine in Japan.

Fushimi Inari-taisha
Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0882, Japan
Hours: Open 24/7
Admission: Free

Heian Shrine

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Heian Shrine was built in 1895 to celebrate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the ancient capital of Kyoto. You’ll see this shrine’s huge Torri gate, which is one of the largest Torri gates in Japan. Not only is the place of worship, Heian Shrine is also an important cultural property of the land of the rising sun.

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69802-Heian-Shrine

69802-Heian-Shrine

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Torii Gate

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Heian Shrine
Address: Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8341, Japan
Hours: 6AM – 5:30PM
Phone: +81 75-761-0221
Admission: Free

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto, Japan

We only summarize some outstanding attractions in Kyoto for you refer to. Because if we talk about temples, pagodas, museums, gardens in Kyoto, we can’t count them all. The good point is that every garden is beautiful, every temple is ancient, every museum has its own unique features. Therefore, do not worry if you cannot visit all the above places because in Japan everywhere is beautiful.

Kyoto travel blog: Top experiences you have to do in Kyoto

Onsen bathing

Kinugawa Onsen Hotel, Nikko winter

There are more than 140 onsen baths in Kyoto. The bathroom is divided into separate male and female areas. You definitely must try onsen bathing experience when you visiting to Japan. It is the most wonderful relaxing time in hot mineral water, helping the circulatory system work better, more relaxed spirit. You should note that some baths prohibit visitors from having tattoos on them, so let’s check the rules before buying tickets.

Nikko Chuzenji-ko Onsen Hotel Hana-An

Nikko Chuzenji-ko Onsen Hotel Hana-An
Picture: kyoto travel blog.

Kinugawa Onsen Hotel, Nikko winter

Climbing

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The endless hills in Kyoto are a good opportunity for you to go hiking, immerse yourself in nature and temporarily leave the busy urban life. Besides, along the hills, you will easily encounter countless shrines and temples, comfortably to visit the beautiful scenery, discover your spirituality.

fushimi inari hiking

hiking kyoto

Admire cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, red leaves

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Kiyomizu-dera in cherry-blossoms season

The peak tourist season in Japan is in spring (February – April) and autumn (September – November). You will be ecstatic about the vivid beauty of the cherry blossoms or drop souls into dreamy red maple leaves. Kyoto is one of the most famous attractions of cherry blossoms and red leaves season in Japan.

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Kyoto cherry blossom
Cherry blossoms season in Kyoto
Cherry blossoms season in Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of the best places to see autumn leaves in Kyoto, Japan. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.
Hozu-gawa River Boat Ride
Boat riding on Hozu-gawa river, Kyoto.
Daigo-Ji Temple2
Daigo-Ji Temple. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Especially in the middle of February – March, you also have the opportunity to see the blooming plum blossom season. Although not as famous as the cherry blossoms season but the scenery of plum flowers will make you ecstatic. You can admire plum blossoms in Kitano Tenmangu and Kyoto Botanical Gardens – Northern Kyoto. The entry fee at Kitano Tenmangu is 600 JPY, while the other gardens are 200 JPY.

Stone lanterns and pink plum blossom
Stone lanterns and pink plum blossom. Credit: Kyoto travel guide blog.

Enjoy specialties

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Mochi cake

Sushi, ramen noodles, mochi cakes … are famous Japanese specialties. Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy these fascinating specialties in Kyoto. You do not need to try at luxury restaurants. Small local eateries along the streets and convenience stores all sell these specialties, the taste is delicious but the price is reasonable.

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Grilled octopus. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Nishiki-Market-Street-kyoto-things to do in nishiki market kyoto (25)

kyoto ramen
Kyoto ramen

Kimono

Kyoto, Japan Credit: Kyoto travel guide blog.
Credit: Kyoto travel guide blog.

In Kyoto, especially in Gion and Arashiyama area, you can rent kimono for both men and women with the full day rental price of about 3000 yen and if you want to make-up, the price is 5000 yen. The price is a bit high, but if you want to have beautiful memories, try it out.

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Credit: kyoto travel guide blog

ac99be45-One-Day-Kyoto-Kimono-Rental

Try Matcha Latte

matcha kyoto
Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Matcha latte in Kyoto is famous for its deliciousness, nothing better than sipping matcha latte and eating a cool red bean cake. If you want to buy Matcha latte tea powder, you should buy it in Kyoto because there is no better place here.

matcha kyoto

Tea ceremony

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Tea ceremony is a wonderful traditional beauty of Japan that you should not ignore. In Kyoto there are many tea ceremony classes you can experience.

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Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Kyoto travel blog: What to eat in Kyoto?

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Japan’s ancient capital also preserves the traditional cuisine of hundreds of years ago, with extremely unique and exquisite delicacies. A few famous delicious dishes in Kyoto that you can not be ignored below.

Kyoto grilled skewers
Kyoto grilled skewers

Tofu

kyoto tofu Picture: kyoto travel blog.
Picture: kyoto travel blog.

Kyoto is famous for being a city with clean water to create a particularly delicious and attractive tofu. Here, tofu made by hand from the traditional recipe that kept from 1897. Visitors can enjoy fresh tofu for lunch, but if you are not a tofu fanatic then there is a special dish of fried tofu with butter with special and strange taste, but make sure that you can not guess them made from tofu.

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Tofu, must eat food in Kyoto
Yudofu (boiled tofu) Pot
Yudofu (boiled tofu) Pot. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Kushikatsu

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This is a skewered barbecue that includes meat and vegetables of the Kansai region. With extremely fresh and delicious ingredients with special spices and dipping with a unique sauce … This dish is served with rice, miso soup and tea.

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Nama-fu

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Picture: kyoto travel blog.

This is one of the most attractive traditional dishes in Kyoto. They are decorated in the form of cherry blossoms or maple leaves, when eating and enjoying with herbs vegetable or pork, chicken is extremely delicious.

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Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Kyoto Sushi

kyoto sushi

The traditional Kyoto sushi is often made with mackerel and eel. One of the most popular sushi is sabazushi, made with mackerel soaked in sauce and rolled in rice, then wrapped in kombu seaweed. While Hakozushi sushi is made from rice, eel or mackerel and put in a rectangular or circle wooden box and cut into small pieces.

kyoto sushi

sabazushi
sabazushi
Hakozushi osaka
Hakozushi

In order to enjoy the specialties in Kyoto in particular and the delicious foods when traveling here in general, we suggest you some reputable, quality, good priced, eateries, restaurants in Kyoto:

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Kyoto Kaiseki

Yaoya No Nikai: Phone number: 075 221 0089, the opening hour is from 11am, the main dish of the restaurant is Japanese set meal for 2100 yen and the ingredients changes every day.

Yaoya no Nikai
Yaoya no Nikai. Picture: kyoto travel blog.

Kyohakusai: Phone number: 075 365 8733, the opening time is from 11am to 9.30pm. The special dish of this restaurant is Obanzai-ryori.

Kyohakusai
Kyohakusai. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Donguri: Phone number 075 223 1555, opening time on weekdays from 5 pm to 2 pm, holidays from 11am to 2am, special dish of the restaurant is yakisoba noodles.

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Donguri

Kyoto travel blog: What to buy in Kyoto?

If you travel to Kyoto, remember to buy souvenirs for relatives and friends. Below is a list of things that you must buy when visiting Kyoto.

Torii gate

Fushimi-Inari-Shrine torii gate souvenir

A symbol of luck in Kyoto is the wooden gate (Torii gate) of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Most visitors choose this cute souvenir to pray for peace, fortune and gifts for relatives and friends.

Oil absorbing sheets

Oil absorbing sheets

One of the typical items in Kyoto that you must buy is oil absorbing sheets. This paper is made from washi, which removes oil from the face quickly and without burning the skin. You can buy this item from the oldest store in Kyoto, Yo-jiya.

Oil-paper umbrella

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Bangasa (Oil-paper umbrella) is a type of Japanese umbrella made from bamboo and the best washi paper. The umbrella looks very slender but extremely durable. This is also the ideal souvenir in Kyoto.

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Wagashi (Traditional Japanese Sweets)

Wagashi

Wagashi cake will be the best choice for those who are passionate about food of Japan. This type of cake is not only delicious but also beautifully decorated and art. We believe everyone who gets this gift will be happy and amazed.

Wagashi, one of the most traditional sweets in Japan. Credit: Kyoto blog.

Some large, reputable, quality shopping centers in Kyoto you should visit:

Nishiki market

Ninja Dojo and Store: Address: 528 Hakurakuten-cho, Shimogyo-ku | 2F, Kyoto 600-8422, Kyoto Prefecture (Formerly 528), contact phone number: +81 7064018076).
Kyoto Station Building: Address: Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8212.
Nishiki Market: Address: Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, contact phone number: 81 752214003.
JR Kyoto Isetan: Address: Higashishiokojicho, Shiokoji-kudaru, Karasumadori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8555, contact phone number: 81.075.352.1111.
Teramachi Street: Address: Uematsu-cho, Shimogyuo-ku, Kyoto 600-8028.

Ninja Dojo and Store
Ninja Dojo and Store

Kyoto travel guide blog: Some useful tips and notes when visiting Kyoto

People bow outside of a shrine in Kyoto. Credit: Kyoto blog.

When traveling to Kyoto or any city in Japan, you should keep in mind the following things to make the trip more smooth:

  • Bow your head to show respect for others.
  • At the dining table when served with towels, wipe your hands and fold them neatly to the side as well as politely say “itadakimasu” (I ask) before eating.
  • Do not drink water, wash your hands from fountains at temples and shrines in Kyoto.
  • Do not give tips, because most eateries, large restaurants in Japan or Kyoto in the invoice have included 10-15% service charge. Say “Ookini” instead of giving tips: Japanese people do not have the habit of giving – receiving tips. If you want to thank the service staff, you can say thank you in the local words in Kyoto: “Ookini”
  • Do not take photos near the railway: many tourists will enjoy taking photos before the subway in Kyoto. But this should not be because it can be occured accident.
  • Do not touch the architectures, ancient artifacts: Everywhere in Kyoto are long-standing and valuable architectural works. Most are made of wood, so they are also easy to damage. Therefore, visitors should only watch and take photos, not touch.
  • No smoking outside: If anyone smokes outside the area specified will be fined 1000 yen.
  • Be polite when taking photos with Maiko: there are always many Maiko girls wearing the traditional Kimono costumes on Kyoto streets. Tourists stop trying to force them to take photos because they may be busy at work.
  • Taxi doors close and open automatically: Japanese taxis have automatic doors that open and close automatically. So when the taxi stops, stay far away so it won’t hit the door.
  • Remove shoes before walking on Tatami carpet: at some restaurants, traditional Kyoto inns are always lined with Tatami mats. So, remember to remove your shoes before entering.
  • No cancellation at the last minute: if you have reserve a table at a restaurant while traveling to Kyoto, try to come. Do not for any reason cancel the reservation.
  • Leave room for others: streets in Kyoto are quite narrow. So when going for a walk, visitors should go close inside to leave room for visitors to pass through.
  • Line up in order: it is a cultural beauty not only in Kyoto but also throughout Japan. Be patient, don’t interrupt and will be your turn.
kyoto etiquette guide
Kyoto teahouse. Picture: kyoto travel blog.

Read more: 

Arashiyama Bamboo momiji bridge
Arashiyama Bamboo momiji bridge. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Are you looking for more Kyoto travel guide and top things to do in Kyoto: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Kyoto 3 day itinerary — How to visit Kyoto in 3 days & what to do in Kyoto in 3 days perfectly?

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Living Nomads celebrates and is inspired by explorers and their passion for travel, curiosity about the world and unique points of view. Travel is eye-opening. Curious. Daring. Fun. We are here to help you travel better, cheaper & longer! Discover the art of traveling anywhere you want.

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