Kyoto – City of Ten Thousand Shrines


Kyoto – City of Ten Thousand Shrines

Welcome to Kyoto

Kyoto is an incredible travel destination for those interested in Japanese culture and history. It was the imperial capital of Japan for over 1,000 years and had numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, temples, and shrines. It is also known for preserving traditional Japanese culture, including tea ceremonies and crafts, which include pottery, textiles, and tea ceremony. These ceremonies in traditional tea houses leave you with a meditative and spiritual experience. We enjoyed matcha (powdered green tea), which is good for your health and mind. The majestic natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and forests around Kyoto are breathtaking and will enrich your travel experience leaving a lasting impression.

How To Get There

There are several ways to reach the city, easily accessible by train and bus, but there are many opportunities for day trips to nearby destinations such as Nara and Arashiyama. Here are some of the most common methods of transportation:

By airThe nearest international airport to Kyoto is Kansai International Airport (KIX), located about 100 km southwest of the city. Take a direct train (Haruka Express) or bus to Kyoto from the airport. Alternatively, travellers can fly into Osaka International Airport (ITM), located about 50 km north of Kyoto, offering more domestic flights.

By train: Kyoto is well-connected to other major cities in Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima. The town has two main train stations: Kyoto Station and the smaller, more centrally located Kawaramachi Station. The Shinkansen (bullet train) also stops at Kyoto Station, making it a convenient option for travellers from Tokyo or other major cities.

By bus: Buses can often be cheaper than trains for long-distance travel. Buses from major cities in Japan, such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima, arrive at Kyoto Station or the city’s bus terminal.

By car: Hiring a rental car is a good option for independence and freedom; however, driving in Japan can be challenging due to the country’s unique traffic rules and narrow roads.

Places Of Interest

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

This is a famous Shinto shrine in Kyoto, known for its thousands of torii gates that form winding paths up the mountain. It is a beautiful and spiritual experience and one of the most popular destinations in Kyoto. Book tickets here.

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a famous landmark in Kyoto. It is perched on a hillside overlooking the city and features a beautiful wooden veranda that offers spectacular views. Book tickets here.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

This bamboo grove is a magical and peaceful place to visit, with towering bamboo stalks that create a serene atmosphere. It is in the western part of the city, near the Tenryu-ji Temple.

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle

It is a historic castle built in the 17th century and was once the shogun’s residence. It features beautiful gardens, a moat, and stunning interior decorations.

Book tickets here.

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji)

This iconic temple is covered in gold leaf and sits in a beautiful garden. Walk around the park and admire the reflection of the pavilion in the pond. 

Book tickets here.

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace

This palace was once the residence of the Emperor and featured beautiful gardens, traditional architecture, and exhibits on the history of Kyoto and the Imperial Family. Book tickets here.

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

It is a 131-meter tall tower in the heart of Kyoto. You can enjoy stunning city views from its observation deck, and it also features a shopping mall, hotel, and restaurant.

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto: 

This elegant hotel is in a 19th-century building near the Kamogawa River. It features a traditional Japanese garden, a spa, and several restaurants.

Mid-Range Hotels

Kyoto Century Hotel:

This hotel is near Kyoto Station and features several dining options, a spa, and comfortable rooms with modern amenities.


Budget Hotels 

Hotel M’s Plus Shijo Omiya:

Omiya is a budget-friendly hotel near Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace in the city centre. The hotel offers comfortable and compact rooms with modern amenities.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto:

Set in a 12th-century Japanese garden will take you back in time and capture a traditional feeling. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, with traditional Japanese design elements.

FUGASTAY Shijo Omiya:

FUGASTAY Shijo Omiya is a modern hotel located in Kyoto, Japan, offering comfortable and affordable accommodation options for business and leisure travelers.

The Millennials Kyoto:

This hostel is near Kyoto Station and offers dormitory and private rooms. It features a communal kitchen, lounge area, and co-working space. Great place to meet many people!

Where To Eat

Kyoto is famous for its traditional cuisine and many excellent places to eat various traditional and modern cuisine. Some must-try dishes include Kyoto-style sushi, tofu dishes, and matcha desserts. Here are some of the top dining spots to explore in Kyoto:

Kikunoi: This Michelin-starred restaurant serves traditional Kyoto kaiseki cuisine using local ingredients. It offers a refined dining experience in a beautiful setting.

Sushisei Downtown Kyoto is a popular sushi restaurant in the city centre. It offers a variety of sushi and sashimi dishes made with fresh seafood and traditional Japanese techniques.

Café Bibliotic Hello! Central KyotoThis is a cosy café in the city centre, offering a variety of coffee, tea, and light meals and a selection of books to read or purchase.

Gyoza Hohei Southern Higashiyama: For a casual eatery, try Gyoza Hohei in the Southern Higashiyama district. It specializes in gyoza, a famous Japanese dumpling dish, and offers a variety of flavours and fillings. It’s an excellent spot for a quick and tasty meal.

Final Thoughts

Kyoto is a truly magical destination that offers visitors a glimpse into Japan’s rich history and culture. From the city’s ancient temples and shrines to its beautiful gardens and traditional cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Kyoto that will leave a lasting memorable impression.

Recommended Tours

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