The Best Things To Do In Kyoto

Being the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is populated with thousands of classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. One of the most sought after attraction of Kyoto is Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion) which is known for its golden reflection shimmering across the pond before it. There is also Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion) which calls for a must visit and a quaint reflection.

For those who wish to have a dash of fun and entertainment can visit Toei Kyoto Studio Park which is a theme parkwith actors wearing period costumes. Gion, a collection of streets defined by its old wooden buildings, teahouses and exclusive Japanese restaurants, is by far the most famous of attractions that you need to visit while being in Kyoto.

There are also museums that deserve attention in Kyoto, some of which are Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum and Kyoto International Manga Museum. People also visit Kyoto to see its various shrines such as Yasaka Shrine and Heian Shrine.

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kyoto, Japan

Must see places in Kyoto ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Kyoto and point of interests to visit.

  1. Fushimi Inari-taisha

    #1 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Fushimi Inari-taisha

    Tags: Religious Site, Outdoors, Trail, Historical Site

    Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Fushimi Inari-Taisha is an important Shinto shrine situated in southern Kyoto. It is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. A...Read more

  2. Kinkaku-ji

    #2 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Kinkaku-ji

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Architecture

    Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 603-8361, Japan

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Kinkaku-ji (aka Temple of Golden Pavilion) is a Zen temple situated in the northern part of Kyoto. The top two floors of the temple are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known a...Read more

  3. Kiyomizu-dera

    #3 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Kiyomizu-dera

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Landmark, Tourist Center

    Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan

    Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Established in the year 778, the Kiyomizu-dera is located halfway up the Otowa Mountain in eastern Kyoko. Having an intriguing history, the temple has burned down many times. Most of the current build...Read more

  4. Nijo Castle

    #4 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Nijo Castle

    Tags: Castle, Historical Site, Tourist Center, Architecture

    Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8301, Japan

    Timings: 08:45 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Nijo Castle was constructed in 1603 as the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first shogun of the Edo Period). The Castle is divided into three areas- the Honmaru (main circle of defence), the Nino...Read more

  5. Gion District

    #5 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Gion District

    Tags: Outdoors, Restaurant, Entertainment, Town

    Address: Gion, Kyoto, Japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district! There, as simple as that! However, this district, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in t...Read more

  6. Arashiyama

    #6 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Arashiyama

    Tags: Temple, Outdoors, Park, Entertainment

    Address: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated around 30 minutes drive from the city centre of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a district in Kyoto which is well known for its Bamboo Grove. It is situated along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains (S...Read more

  7. Ginkaku-ji

    #7 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Ginkaku-ji

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Landmark

    Address: 2 Ginkakujicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8402, Japan

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Ginkaku ji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, is a Zen temple situated along Kyoto's eastern mountains of Higashiyama. Here’s a trivia, although it is called the Silver Pavil...Read more

  8. Sanjusangen-do

    #8 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Sanjusangen-do

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Historical Site, Statue

    Address: 657 Sanjusangendomawari, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0941, Japan

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    More famous for its 1001 figures of Kannon, The Sanjusangen-do Temple was originally built by Taira no Kiyamori for retired emperor Go-Shirakawa in the year 1164. The temple features a huge hall where...Read more

  9. Nishiki Market

    #9 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Nishiki Market

    Tags: Outdoors, Restaurant, Entertainment, Market

    Address: Nishikikoji-dori, Nakagyo-ku (between Teramachi and Takakura), Kyoto

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Spread across 5 blocks, the Nishiki Market in Kyoto is a narrow shopping street lined with more than a hundred shops and restaurants. This lively retail market specializes in Japanese food related pro...Read more

  10. Philosophers Walk

    #10 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Philosophers Walk

    Tags: Off Beaten Path, Walking Area, Nature

    Address: Higashiyama, between Ginkaku-ji and Nyakuoji-jinja, Kyoto, Japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Philosopher's Walk is a stone path approximately 2 kilometres long, which runs through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district. The path follows a canal and, lining the path are hundreds...Read more

  11. Ryoan-ji

    #11 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Ryoan-ji

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Garden

    Address: 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001, Japan

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Ryoan ji Temple belongs to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. A distinct attraction within the temple premises is the famous rock garden which attracts hundreds of...Read more

  12. Nanzen-ji

    #12 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Nanzen-ji

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Tourist Center

    Address: Nanzenji-Fukuchi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city

    Timings: 08:45 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Nanzenji Temple is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan. It is located at the base of Kyoto's Higashiyama Mountain. It is the head temple of one of the schools within t...Read more

  13. Kyoto Imperial Palace

    #13 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Kyoto Imperial Palace

    Tags: Historical Site, Palace

    Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until the year 1868 after which the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. After bei...Read more

  14. Iwatayama Monkey Park

    #14 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Iwatayama Monkey Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Wildlife Sanctuary , Wildlife Park, View Point

    Address: 8, Arashiyama Genrokuzan-cho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Located in the Arashiyama Mountains, the Monkey Park is inhabited by around 120 wild monkeys. The breed of monkey is the Japanese macaque, also known as Snow monkey. The entrance to the monkey park ca...Read more

  15. Tofukuji Temple

    #15 of 1063 Things To Do in Kyoto
    Tofukuji Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Garden

    Address: 15 Hon-machi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

    Timings: 08:30 am - 04:30 pm Details

    Disconnect yourself from the hustle and the bustle of the city at the Zen Tofukuji Temple. While there is no need for you get the Tofukuji Temple tickets and there isn't actually any tickets for Tofuk...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Kyoto

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Top Kyoto Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Kyoto. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle
    Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle 191 Reviews

    Duration: 4 Hrs 30 Mins

    Soak up temple and palace sights on this half-day guided city tour, great for those who want to see Kyotos top attractions in...

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  • Kyoto Insider Sake Experience
    Kyoto Insider Sake Experience New on TripHobo

    Duration: 3 Hrs

    If you love sake but don't know what to select or want to know more about sake, join us and let's deep dive into the world of...

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  • Kyoto Samurai Show Sword Fighting
    Kyoto Samurai Show Sword Fighting New on TripHobo

    Duration: 2 Hrs

    Your trip to Japan cannot be complete without watching a samurai sword show in Kyoto. Many call this breath-taking ...

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  • Save 7% KYOTO: THE MAGIC AFTER DARK
    KYOTO: THE MAGIC AFTER DARK

    Duration: 4 Hrs

    Kyoto transforms into its most magical as dusk falls - so with a Local Host to navigate, explore the tiny back alleys of the ...

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What To Do in Kyoto: Day-Wise Ideas

Find what not to miss in Kyoto! Recommended Kyoto itineraries and vacation ideas created by travelers across the world.