Fun things to do in Kyoto

  • Ryoanji Temple
    by Ewingjr98
  • The Moss Garden (Koke-dera)
    The Moss Garden (Koke-dera)
    by shrimp56
  • Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple
    Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple
    by Rabbityama

Most Viewed Things to Do in Kyoto

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Shijo Street (Shijodori)

    by Ewingjr98 Written Oct 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shijo Street, literally translating to mean "Fourth Street," is the main commercial thoroughfare of Kyoto. This busy street stretched about 5.5 miles from Yasaka Shrine in Gion to Matsunoo Shrine in Ayashiyama. The eastern end of the street passes through the busy commercial area of Gion, before crossing the Kama River to Central Tokyo. From here, the Hankyo Subway Line follows Shijodori all the way to Ayashiyama, where it crosses the Katsura/Oi River via the Togetsukyo Bridge.

    Was this review helpful?

  • nathasha's Profile Photo

    get dressed up as geisha/maiko!!!!!

    by nathasha Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    yes a truly wonderful memory for a lifetime!!!! there are many places to do this, but i love the area of kiyomizudera as it is so historical and beautiful place, truly the old japan!!!

    read my step-by-step guide on how to do it in my kyoto travelogue :))))

    thank you - arigatou gozaimasu!!!!

    nathasha in kimono!!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • A volunteer tour group: Japan Space Kyoto

    by cwmdavis Written Jun 7, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "Japan Space Kyoto" is a volunteer group in Kyoto that promotes Japanese culture. On Wednesdays, only, they take a small group of visitors and give them a 1 hour lesson in Japanese language, followed by a walking tour and a visit to a Japanese home. They are wonderfully warm people who offer a truly unique experience, one we recommend highly.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    Rickshaw

    by bladedragon Written Aug 5, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Originally, this is a human powered transport, however nowadays it has become tourist attraction.
    You can find rickshaws everywhere in Kyoto and some major temples in Tokyo (such as Asakusa).
    Anyway the word "rickshaw" originated from a japanese word of "jinrikisha" (l—ÍŽÔ: l jin = human, —Í riki = power or force, ŽÔ sha = vehicle)

    Jinrikisha (Rickshaw)

    Was this review helpful?

  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo

    Kobo-San Market

    by dancinbudgie Written Aug 1, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This market is held on the 21st of each month. There are all kinds of things to be found here, food, clothing (even beautiful second hand kimono), homewares, ceramics...you name it, it's probably here some-where.
    The stall holders are very friendly...especially the gentleman pictured...he was selling the most delicious dried strawberries (he made me eat a handful before I bought some), as well as other wonderful dried fruits.
    We were so happy that our visit coincided with the market....even the rain didn't dampen our enthusiasm! if you aren't around on the 21st, there is another market held here on the 1st Sunday of each month. That one is an antique market...so I'm sure it would also be worth a look.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    Ishibe Koji Street

    by bladedragon Written Feb 26, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of a very interesting traditional street in Kyoto.
    It is lined with ryotei (restaurants) and ryokan (Japanese-style inns), is permeated with the romance of the Taisho Period.
    Ishibei-koji was originally developed as an area for rooms for rent, and luxurious rental homes.
    Its stone-paved streets add to the feeling of luxury.

    Ishibe Koji Street Ishibe Koji Street Geisha at Ishibe Koji Street

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Funny, but there's Las Vegas building in Kyoto!

    by joiwatani Written Nov 22, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our way to the Toji Temple, we had to take two trains although we can even see the temple from a distance. So, my sisters and I decided to walk instead of taking another bus leading us to the temple. About four-five blocks away from the temple, we saw a building with a huge logo on it Las Vegas My sisters who has never been to Las Vegas asked to take a picture of them so we can send them to our friends!

    We found out that the building houses some game stations and flinco machines! That made sense because Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world!

    %cbThe Las Vegas building in Kyoto%c* %cbAT the local Las Vegas%c*
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo

    Slow down

    by trvlrtom Written May 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Kyoto, you may feel rushed to see the many gardens, temples and shrines. Together they all make Kyoto the enchanting world attraction that draws visitors from all over. But try not to get caught in a rush to see everything. At some of the sites it seems like there are lines of people simply moving along pathways and scanning what they see without taking it in. Remember that these places have been here for centuries, and many took generations to build or create. When looking at a shrine, temple or garden, try to pause and look for the unexpected delights of beauty in nature. The gardens were made for contemplation, which isn't an easy habit for one to practice these days when media images are rushing at us 24 hours a day.

    lone camelia blossom, fallen onto the moss.
    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Arts and Culture
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • WStat's Profile Photo

    Don't forget to have a drink !

    by WStat Updated Apr 26, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Especially in Kyoto the weather can be extremely hot, humid and taking all of your condition.
    Because one tends to exaggerate ones performance without thinking of health-issues, I recommend to take a rest from time to time and, above all, to have a drink (no alcohol, of course, except a sundowner after the days work has been done !)

    complicated choice !
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kevin407's Profile Photo

    Take your time

    by kevin407 Written Sep 23, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My time in Kyoto was short and I had just enough time to take in a sight close to the train station. I found the tourist information office (always located in the Railroad station) and got myself a city map. I picked a temple that looked close and began walking (not wishing to learn the bus system). I was betrayed of course by the map. The temple was much farther than I had anticipated.

    Running short of time my visit of the temple was rushed and I would not have the leisure to return. I quickly walked the site taking in as much as possible and snapping some pictures. That was a mistake.

    The temple is beautiful, detailed and complex. I could easily have spent the day walking all the paths and exploring the detail.

    On my next trip I’ll return and give it the time it deserves.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Fan throwing festival

    by SLLiew Updated Aug 27, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every temple has its own special festival annually. Check what is going on when you are in Kyoto.

    Took a bus outside Kyoto to this fan-throwing festival.

    The priests will throw fans into the crowd below. I caught one and took it home. Suppose to bring good fortune and good health, I suppose.

    Also round rice cakes, like "mochi" are thrown. I also got one but did not know what to do with it and gave it to a grateful local Japanese.

    Was this review helpful?

  • vic&michael's Profile Photo

    Market Madness

    by vic&michael Written Mar 29, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are 2 big markets held every month in Kyoto.
    Biggest, is the Toji-Temple Markets, held on the 21st of every month.
    Next, is the Tenjin-san Markets (at Kitano-Tenmangu shrine), held on the 25th of every month.

    I always enjoy going to markets, they have such a lively athmosphere, and there are so many traditional foods to eat here. You can buy antiques (pottery, paintings, furniture) or 2nd Hand Kimonos and Obi, or good-luck charms to hang off your bag...etc. This is a great opportunity to do people watching, shopping, and visit a temple!

    The markets can get really really crowded, so if you are crowd-phobic, go very early in the morning, like 7-9am, around lunchtime, till 4pm, it can be a little chlosterphobic. But, you gotta weigh up what's important to you..a sleep-in? Or peaceful shopping? I take the sleep-in every time! :-)

    Tenjin-san markets lots of things to see! Dried fish
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo

    Walk in KYOTO talk in ENGLISH

    by cheesecake17 Updated Feb 23, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    The web link has a walking tour of Kyoto for a small fee

    This walk has been privately operated since 1996 by Mr. Hajime Hirooka, better known as Johnnie Hillwalker, one of the best tour guides in Japan, with 43 years of tour guide experience

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • konniemario's Profile Photo

    Check out the Tourist information Centers!

    by konniemario Written Oct 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Once you arrive in Kansai International Airport or in Kyoto Station, don't forget to to ask for help or directions in one of those tourist info centers. Personnel there are very helpful and most can speak decent English. You'll be surprised at how much Japanese tourists flock to these places as well! Don't forget to grab some of the walking tours like for Kyoto, Nara, Arashiyama, etc. These would detail the route you can take if you want to walk. You can also get Bus Maps or other Transportation Maps. Better yet, they will be very helpful in pointing out what itinerary to do depending your number of days in the city.

    Was this review helpful?

  • vic&michael's Profile Photo

    Come in Spring!

    by vic&michael Updated Apr 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kyoto is so crowded at cherry blossom time! It's no wonder though! I have seen more cherry blossoms here than anywhere else! Most people go for 'hanami' in Maruyama park. They pack a picnic and eat and drink and even sing karaoke all day and night under the blossoms. This year, I went to Nara park for a more quiet hanami. But on sunday I was in Kyoto city and walked past Marutamachi street and saw these beautiful cherry blossom trees dropping their petals in the wind. The petals were falling into the stream and were being carried along like a flowing pink carpet. It was beautiful. Michael and I felt like we were in a wedding. Petals were drifting around everywhere and settling on the ground and in the stream.

    If you are in Kyoto during the spring, (early April) you will see many many cherry blossoms everywhere, even if you are not looking for them! My photos just come from walking around in the main city area of Kyoto.

    Cherry Blossoms over (& in!) a stream.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Kyoto Hotels

See all 385 Hotels in Kyoto

Latest Kyoto Hotel Reviews

New Miyako Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 9 Reviews
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 5 Reviews
Ana Hotel Kyoto
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Nishiyama Ryokan
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Yuzuya Ryokan
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Matsubaya Inn
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Super Hotel Kyoto shijokawaramachi
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Tomato Guest House
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review

Instant Answers: Kyoto

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

30 travelers online now

Comments

Kyoto Things to Do

Rabbityama's Profile Photo

As the capital for much of Japan's history, Kyoto flourished for centuries with many important temples and shrines being built around the imperial city.

While many of the nation's great...

Map of Kyoto