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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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 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.
Kyoto Imperial Palace Park
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.
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
Kyoto National Museum
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
Address: 527 Chayacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0931, Japan
Kyoto International Manga Museum
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
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
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.
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.
Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0882, Japan
Hours: Open 24/7
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.
Address: Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8341, Japan
Hours: 6AM – 5:30PM
Phone: +81 75-761-0221
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
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.
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.
Admire cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, red leaves
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.
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.
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.
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.
Try Matcha Latte
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.
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.
Kyoto travel blog: What to eat in Kyoto?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Kyohakusai: Phone number: 075 365 8733, the opening time is from 11am to 9.30pm. The special dish of this restaurant is Obanzai-ryori.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Wagashi (Traditional Japanese Sweets)
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.
Some large, reputable, quality shopping centers in Kyoto you should visit:
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.
Kyoto travel guide blog: Some useful tips and notes when visiting Kyoto
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.
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
- Hankyu Tourist Pass
- Kyoto and Nara Day Tour from Osaka/Kyoto
- Sagano Romantic Train One-Way Ticket (Saga or Kameoka Departure)
- Kimono Rental and Photoshoot in Kyoto by Ouka Kimono
- Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train Day Tour
- Kyoto Temples & Shrines Day Tour from Kyoto: Fushimi Inari-taisha, Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-dera & More
- Amanohashidate & Miyama One Day Tour from Osaka/Kyoto
- JR Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
- Kimono Rental in Kyoto Kiyomizu Temple
- One Day Kimono Rental
- Kyoto Temples & Shrines Day Tour from Osaka
- Kimono and Yukata Rental at Kimono Miyabi Kyoto
- 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?