what are the must-see places to visit in Kyoto? As the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto has extremely rich scenic resources. If you are traveling to Kyoto, you must not miss Kiyomizau-dera, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kinkaku-ji, Gion, Nijo Castle, and other attractions to experience the city's long history. If you have a chance, you should experience Kyoto's splendid culture through its festivals, such as Gion Matsuri, Aoi Matsuri, and Jidai Matsuri. In addition, the cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, the Kyoto Nishiki Market, Kyoto Sake Brewery, and the Kyoto nightlife will allow you to experience and see the different unique charms of the city. In this article, we introduce you to Kyoto's top attractions and recommended activities to do.
Kyoto Top Attractions
Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion is a Zen temple located in northern Kyoto. It is one of the most famous temples in Japan and a must-see in Kyoto. The structure is built overlooking a large mirror pond, with the top two floors completely covered in gold leaf.
Gion, located around Shijo Avenue, is the most famous geisha district in Kyoto. Gion is a traditional entertainment district filled with townhouses, shops, restaurants and teahouses serving traditional Kyoto cuisine, along with temples and shrines.
Kiyomizu-dera is a temple that was founded around 780 CE located on the site of Otowa Waterfall in the hills of Kyoto. The temple gets its name from Otowa-no-Taki, also known as Otowa Falls with the pure water of the falls, translating the name to "pure water".
Fushimi Inari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in southern Kyoto famous for its path of over 5000 vibrant orange torii gates. Founded in 711, it makes the shrine one of the oldest and most historic landmarks in Kyoto. The main structure was built in 1499 containing five shrines.
Arashiyama is a popular tourist spot well known for its natural beauty. Additional to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Togetuskyo Bridge is also not to be missed during your trip to Kyoto. While walking across the bridge, visitors can capture an impressive view of the Arashiyama Mountain, which is especially pretty during the cherry blossom and the maple leaves fall seasons.
Located in the northern part of Kyoto by the Arashiyama Park, the Togetuskyo Bridge was built across the the Katsura River, which flows to the south and converges with the Uji River and Kizu River before eventually discharging to the Osaka Bay.
Nijo Castle is the largest and most known castle in Kyoto. The castle is a popular sightseeing spot and is especially more popular among those that are interested in Japanese history. The main fortification and attraction of the castle is called the Ninomaru Palace and the second fortification is the ruins of the Honmaru Palace.
Day Trips from Kyoto
Kyoto is a place full of Japanese flavor, and at the same time, it is also the flourishing place of the Japanese flower ceremony and tea ceremony, which is called "Real Japan". It is not difficult to see from the map that Kyoto can be said to be a hub city connecting the eastern and western parts of Japan.
When traveling to Kyoto, shopping is not to be missed in additional to visiting popular historical sites. What are some classical local souvenirs to shop for? What is the best shopping district in Kyoto? In fact, you can find a lot of shops selling traditional souvenirs near tourist attractions.
Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto
Kyoto is one of the best cherry blossom viewing cities in Japan. The cherry blossom viewing in Japan can be said to be a national event. The large-scale Kyoto cherry blossom at the end of March to early April is really beautiful. A large number of Japanese and foreign tourists come to Kyoto to see the cherry blossoms.
Museums in Kyoto
Kyoto is a city with ancient charm, and when it comes to the capital of Kyoto the city itself is a museum. In addition to the shrines and temples, there are many art galleries and museums in Kyoto that are worth seeing. If you want to experience the Kyoto culture up close, you must visit Kyoto's museums.
Night life in Kyoto
Other than shrines and river views, what else does Kyoto offer at night? Kyoto provide diverse night experience, from night scenery to night market, bar to theater, you can almost choose from any activities you can possibly imagine.
Tea Ceremony Experience in Kyoto
Kyoto is the birthplace of the tea ceremony and the spiritual center of the tea ceremony. If you want to experience a tea ceremony, Kyoto is a great location choice. A Japanese tea ceremony is not only for material enjoyment, but through the tea ceremony, you will be learning about the experience, cultivating people's aesthetic and moral concepts.
Learn to Cook Japanese Cuisine in Kyoto
As the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is a very charming city used to be the imperial kitchen. Thus, you may find the most authentic Japanese dishes in Kyoto. Kyoto is a very pleasant place to travel to as there are different sceneries at different seasons, leaving unique impression to travelers regardless when they travel.
Geisha Culture in Kyoto
Many foreign tourists come to Kyoto to explore the famous traditional Japanese Geisha culture, watch a Geisha show, or even meet with an elaborately costumed Giesha on streets. As the ancient capital, Kyoto has over a thousand years of history and preserves the most authentic Japanese culture.
Sake Brewery Tours in Kyoto
The origin of sake, Kyoto demonstrates the importance of sake, an iconic alcohol made from fermented rice, in Japanese culture. Fushimi has been a famous sake district in Kyoto for a long history. A lot of high quality sake is born in this place.
What to Eat in Kyoto
Kyoto has historically been the imperial dining room of the imperial court, but unlike what we know about Japanese cuisine, Kyoto's local cuisine has its own characteristics. As an inland city, Kyoto is not popular for seafood but is famous for Matcha, Kaiseki, Kawadoko ryori, and their tofu dish.