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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#1 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 90474 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Outdoors, Trail, Historical Site, Monument, Family And Kids
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Japan
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 unique thing about this shrine is the thousands of vermillion coloured gateways. A lot of small shrines and stone monuments are spread across the shrine’s precinct. The shrine is situated on a hillside and hence many people visiting the shrine end up going on a hiking expedition or two (or vice versa!).
#2 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 82977 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Family And Kids, Architecture
1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 603-8361, Japan
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 as Rokuonji, the building the temple is housed in was the retirement villa of the shogun (military leader) Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. As per his will, the villa was converted into a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in the year 1408. Kinkaku-ji is an architecturally stunning and impressive structure which overlooks a pond. Having a turbulent history, the temple complex has burned down numerous times throughout history including twice during the Onin War. In the year 1950, the temple was set on fire by a fanatic monk! The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.
#3 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 72182 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Landmark, Tourist Center, Family And Kids
294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan
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 buildings were rebuilt by the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the early 1630s. The Main Hall (Hondo) of the temple is designated as a national treasure. It holds the temple's primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon Bodhisattva. The Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. In the year 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
#4 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 55263 times in trip plans
Castle, Historical Site, Tourist Center, Family And Kids, Architecture
541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8301, Japan
08:45 am - 05:00 pm
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 Ninomaru (secondary circle of defence) and the gardens that surround the Honmaru and Ninomaru. The architecturally gorgeous Ninomaru Palace has beautiful paintings on its walls and sliding doors. Located at the site of the former Honmaru Palace, destroyed by fire in the 18th century, is the current Honmaru Palace. It is an important Cultural Property of Japan. In the gardens, you will find Cherry trees, around 400 of them! During the Cherry blossom season, the Castle is a must visit. The Nijo Castle was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1994.
Nijo Castle defines the historical grandeur of Kyoto, a city known for is royal history. The castle looks resplendent when enveloped by cherry trees and offers you the most exquisite view ever. Being one of the most historical structures of the city, Nijo CastleTickets are always in demand by tourists who visit Kyoto. Tickets for Nijo Castlecan easily be obtained from the counter, however, if you wish to take up history from a close, you can buy tickets for Nijo Castletours to have an insightful session. Along with offering you an easy access and guided session, the tour also offers you Nijo Castle ticket prices at slashed prices.
#5 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 82543 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Restaurant, Entertainment, Family And Kids, Town, Neighborhoods
Gion, Kyoto, Japan
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 the west, is also well known for its collection of old school streets defined by their old wooden buildings, teahouses and exclusive Japanese restaurants. Many of the restaurants and ochaya (teahouses) in Gion have Geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and Maiko (geiko apprentices) entertaining the guests. Another scenic part of Gion is the Shirakawa Area which runs along the Shirakawa Canal. The canal is lined by willow trees, high class restaurants and ochaya.
#6 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 74223 times in trip plans
Temple, Outdoors, Park, Entertainment, Family And Kids, Neighborhoods
Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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 (Storm Mountains) and is a nationally-designated Historic Site. It is popular with tourists as well as locals. The must visit places while in Arashiyama are the Bamboo Grove, the Tenryu-ji Temple, the Kameyama-koen Park, Okochi-Sanso Villa and Adashino-Nembutsu-ji Temple. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall colour seasons. One of the must do things in Arashiyama is rent a boat and row down the Hozu-gawa area, especially when it’s cherry blossom season.
#7 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 49771 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Landmark, Family And Kids
2 Ginkakujicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8402, Japan
08:30 am - 05:00 pm
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 Pavilion, it does not have a trace of silver on it! In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today's temple, modelling it after the Kinkaku ji. Researchers and scholars believe that he ran out of money before he could cover the top floor with silver leaves. The villa was converted into a Zen temple after Yoshimasa's death in 1490. Today, the Ginkaku ji consists of the Silver Pavilion, a few other temple buildings, a moss garden and a dry sand garden.
#8 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 56837 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Historical Site, Statue, Family And Kids
657 Sanjusangendomawari, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0941, Japan
08:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 the statues of the Kannon are placed. These were carved in the 12th and 13th centuries. The temple is a designated National Treasure and is situated in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. The original temple building was lost in a fire. It was reconstructed in the year 1266. Since then, the structure has remained unchanged only with a few renovations.
#9 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 66970 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Restaurant, Entertainment, Market, Street Market, Shopping Center, Fam...
Nishikikoji-dori, Nakagyo-ku (between Teramachi and Takakura), Kyoto
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 products. On sale are fresh seafood, poultry produce, knives, cookware, Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. While modern food shops and new souvenir shops have found an abode in this market, there are still enough traditional shops to give you a glimpse of what a traditional shotengai (shopping street) must have looked like.
#10 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 60338 times in trip plans
Off Beaten Path, Walking Area, Family And Kids, Nature
Higashiyama, between Ginkaku-ji and Nyakuoji-jinja, Kyoto, Japan
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 of cherry trees. Usually in early April these cherry trees explode with colour. The path is every nature lover’s, every romantic’s and every photographer’s dream. It is Kyoto’s most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spot. The path begins around Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) and ends in the neighbourhood of Nanzenji.
#11 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 47246 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Garden, Family And Kids
13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001, Japan
08:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 visitors every day. Originally an aristocrat's villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450. Two decades later, the temple was burnt down during the Onin war. It was rebuilt by the year 1499.
#12 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 37266 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Tourist Center, Family And Kids
Nanzenji-Fukuchi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city
08:45 am - 05:00 pm
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 the Rinzai sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Emperor Kameyama established it in 1291 on the site of his palace. Spread across a large area, the temple premises also includes multiple sub temples. One of the things to see in the temple premises is the Sanmon (Triple Gate). The grand wooden structure was built in 1628 by Todo Takatora. You get to see Kyoto spread out below from the top floor of the gate.
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 being burnt down and moved around a lot over the decades, the current Imperial Palace was reconstructed in 1855. Rich in tradition, the Kyoto Imperial Palace preserves the look and ambiance of the Palace as it had been during Japan's ancient imperial dynasties. The palace grounds can be entered only on guided tours (in English or Japanese) held by the Imperial Household Agency.
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 can be found just south of the Togetsukyo Bridge. After hiking uphill for about ten minutes, visitors find an open area where the monkeys roam around freely. From the top, you get beautiful panoramic views of the city. During spring, the park turns into a wonderful cherry blossom viewing spot.
#15 of 125 Things to do in Kyoto | Added 37263 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Garden, Family And Kids
15 Hon-machi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
08:30 am - 04:30 pm
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 Tofukuji Temple, we recommend you to buy tickets for Tofukuji Temple from our tours & tickets section as it includes a local tour guide who will bring in the true essence of the temple with his impeccable in-detailed explanation on the temple history. Tofukuji Temple ticket prices is available for you to check and make sure to book tickets without further adieu.
Tofukuji is a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism. It was founded in the year 1236 at the behest of the Fujiwara clan. The magnificently large temple gate (called the Sammon Gate) which stands at the entrance is the oldest in Japan and is designated as a National Treasure. There are gardens on the north, south, east and west sides of the temple, each of which was created to have its own atmosphere. The four gardens are collectively known as the Hasso Garden. The main temple enshrines the seated image of the Fudo Myo-o (the Buddha who protects the laws of Buddhism). Several parts of Tofukuji temple’s grounds are free to enter. However, entrance fees apply to the Tsutenkyo Bridge, Kaisando Hall, Hojo and the gardens. Trivia-In autumn, people come from all over the world to see Tofukuji's autumn colours.
During the time of winter, Tofukuji temple lights up and the Tofukuji temple night illumination looks totally magical like any other.