Kyoto travel tips

Kyoto travel tips

Kyoto is a city that offers a perfect blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern lifestyle. It is the perfect destination for anyone who loves exploring unique places, from stunning temples to beautiful gardens, and exciting shopping districts. Here are some tips for making the most of your trip to Kyoto:

  1. Get an IC card

One of the essential things you need to do when you arrive in Kyoto is to get an IC card. These cards are rechargeable and can be used to pay for transportation, food, and even shopping. The most popular IC card in Kyoto is the ICOCA card. This card can be purchased at most train stations and convenience stores, and it can save you time and hassle when traveling around the city.

  1. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Kyoto is a city that requires a lot of walking. The best way to explore the city is on foot, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking on uneven surfaces, so choose shoes that offer good support and are easy to walk in.

  1. Visit the temples early in the morning

Kyoto is famous for its temples, and there are over 1,600 of them in the city. To avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit the temples early in the morning. You’ll have a better chance to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the temples without the crowds.

  1. Respect the Culture and Customs

Kyoto is a city with a rich history and culture, and it’s important to respect the local customs. Bowing is a common greeting in Japan, and it’s a sign of respect. When visiting temples, remove your shoes, and dress modestly. Respect the quiet atmosphere in the temples by speaking softly and not using your phone.

  1. Try local food

Kyoto is famous for its local cuisine, and you can find a variety of unique dishes. Don’t be afraid to try new things and explore the local food scene. Kyoto is particularly famous for its kaiseki cuisine, which is a multi-course meal that features local and seasonal ingredients.

In conclusion, Kyoto is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. By following these simple tips, you can make the most of your trip and enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.


Throughout the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its exceptional historical value, the city was removed from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II.

Kyoto is dedicated to preserving Japan’s oldest traditions, but it’s also a dynamic, contemporary city. Modern conveniences are readily available, making Kyoto a perfect destination for visitors who want to explore Japan’s past without sacrificing the comforts of today. Kyoto is known as a national food mecca and proudly serves traditional Japanese dishes such as sushi, tofu, and obanzai (home-cooked dishes in Kyoto). Additionally, a variety of restaurants serve different cuisines, from Korean barbecue to French cuisine. Shopping is also a unique experience in Kyoto, with merchandise ranging from traditional Japanese crafts made by local artisans to high-end couture. Among Japan’s many assets, Kyoto is one of the most treasured, comparable only to the world’s most awe-inspiring places.

How much time should I spend in Kyoto?

The amount of time you should spend in Kyoto depends on your interests and what you want to see and do. However, a minimum of three days is recommended to experience the highlights of Kyoto. If you have more time, you can explore more of the city and surrounding areas.

Here are some recommended itineraries for different lengths of stay in Kyoto:

  1. 2-3 days in Kyoto If you only have a few days in Kyoto, you can visit the must-see attractions such as Kinkaku-ji, Fushimi Inari-taisha, and Kiyomizu-dera. You can also explore the Gion district and enjoy local food and shopping.
  2. 4-5 days in Kyoto With four to five days in Kyoto, you can visit the above attractions, plus explore more temples and shrines, such as Ryoan-ji and Sanjusangendo. You can also take a day trip to Nara, which is only an hour away by train and is home to many beautiful temples and deer.
  3. 6-7 days in Kyoto With six to seven days in Kyoto, you can do all of the above and also take day trips to nearby areas such as Osaka, Kobe, and Hiroshima. You can also enjoy more local experiences such as visiting an onsen (hot spring) or taking a cooking class.

The more time you can spend in Kyoto, the better. The city has so much to offer, and there are always new things to discover. If possible, try to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

What should I see in Kyoto? What are Kyoto’s must-see attractions?

Kyoto is a beautiful city full of history and culture, with many temples, shrines, gardens, and museums to explore. Here are some must-see attractions in Kyoto:

  1. Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is one of the most famous sights in Kyoto. It’s a Zen temple with a beautiful golden building that reflects on a pond. It’s a spectacular sight, especially if you visit the pavilion in the morning or during the autumn sunset.

  1. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari-taisha is one of the most iconic shrines in Kyoto. It’s famous for its thousands of torii gates that stretch along a hiking trail through the forest. This shrine is an important pilgrimage site for the Shinto god of rice and is considered by many to be one of the most magical places in Japan.

  1. Arashiyama

Arashiyama is a popular tourist destination in Kyoto due to its beautiful bamboo forest and the Togetsukyo Bridge that crosses the Katsura River. You can also visit the Tenryu-ji Temple and the Okochi-Sanso Villa for fantastic views of the area.

  1. Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera is a famous Buddhist temple in Kyoto, built on a hill overlooking the city. It has a beautiful wooden veranda that hangs over the hill, offering stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

  1. Gion District

Gion is one of the most famous districts in Kyoto and is known for its geishas and traditional tea houses. It’s a beautiful place to walk around and admire the traditional Japanese architecture.

In addition to these must-see attractions, Kyoto has much more to offer. It’s a city full of history, culture, and beautiful places to explore. Don’t forget to enjoy the local cuisine, such as kaiseki-ryori, sushi, and tempura.


When is the best time of year to visit Kyoto?

Kyoto is a city that can be enjoyed throughout the year, as it has its own unique charm and beauty in every season. However, the best time to visit Kyoto depends on what you want to do and see. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons in Kyoto:

  1. Spring (March to May) Spring is a beautiful time to visit Kyoto, with the blooming of cherry blossoms (sakura) in late March to early April. The weather is mild, and there are many outdoor festivals and events, including the popular Arashiyama Hanatouro illumination event in March.
  2. Summer (June to August) Summer in Kyoto is hot and humid, but it’s also the season for some of the city’s most exciting festivals, such as the Gion Matsuri in July and the Daimonji Gozan Okuribi fire festival in August. You can also enjoy the outdoor beer gardens and swimming pools during the summer months.
  3. Autumn (September to November) Autumn is a popular time to visit Kyoto, as the leaves change color, and the weather is cool and pleasant. The autumn foliage peaks around late November, and there are many events and festivals, including the Jidai Matsuri historical parade in October.
  4. Winter (December to February) Winter in Kyoto is cold, but the city has a unique charm during this season. The temples and shrines are less crowded, and you can enjoy the beautiful winter illuminations, such as the Arashiyama Hanatouro in December and the Kobe Luminarie in January.

The best time to visit Kyoto depends on what you want to do and see. The city has something to offer in every season, whether it’s the cherry blossoms in the spring or the autumn foliage in the fall.





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