Kyoto Travel Guide

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

Kyoto Things to Do

See all 926 Things to Do in Kyoto
  • Gion (Geisha District)

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    In the evening we had a quick stroll through the Gion area of the city. It was pretty with its wooden buildings and lamps. However, I do not feel we really did the area justice as we were exhausted, hungry and cold by the time we got here. Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district. It is located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the...

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  • Kiyomizu Temple

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Earlier morning I walked to the water temple from Apa hotel about 20 minutes, entrance fee 300 yen. Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage and The Otowa Waterfall located at the base of Kiyomizudera's main hall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. Each...

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  • Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    From Arashiyama I headed to Ktano-Hakubaicho. Note that you can pay 210 yen or you can use your Icoca card upon exit. From there, I stopped over a small restaurant and had a miso soup and rice toppings for $550 yen. After filling my tummy, I rode bus 201 (you can also ride 101, 102 or 204) and paid 230 yen. Prepare exact fare as the driver cannot...

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Kyoto Hotels

See all 385 Hotels in Kyoto

Kyoto Restaurants

See all 187 Restaurants in Kyoto
  • Kaiten zushi

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    One of the must-have eating experiences on any visit to Japan is a visit to a kaiten or conveyor- belt sushi restaurant, and this one in Kyoto is a great example. On the ground floor (or first floor I guess, since the Japanese follow the US convention in numbering floors) is a counter where diners perch on stools and choose from the plates that...

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  • Pontocho district

    5 out of 5 stars

    Cocoyanen is a restaurant on Kiyamachi Road in the Pontocho area of Kyoto. The small restaurant, part of a larger regional chain, specializes in okonomiyaki, and they have a few other local specialties like takoyaki and yakisoba. The most unique feature of the restaurant are the iron grills, called teppan, built into the tables where you complete...

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  • Yoshinoya

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    As soon as we arrived in Kyoto, my sisters and I were starving so we headed to Yoshinoya Restaurant where the locals go. It was early in the morning and there was nobody on the streets yet. Once and a while I see truck drivers making their first delivery- unloading products to stores. At other times, I see some early risers, biking. But, for the...

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Kyoto Nightlife

See all 62 Nightlife in Kyoto
  • Gion and Pontocho

    At night when the temples are closed, in Kyoto, one activity to do is to watch the Cultural Show of geishas and maikos, short displays of introduction Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku, puppet show, comedy, story telling and the tea ceremony. It is a all-in-one introduction of Japanese high culture which is worth seeing at least once. You can also take a lot of...

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  • "A" Bar

    A Bar is... A bar! It's one of the many hole-in-the-wall bars around the Gion area and it's popular among foreigners for some reason. There are a fair amount of drinking options and the menu is in both English and Japanese. Like many of the bars in the area, it is not very large and as more people enter, they are seated wherever there is room, so...

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  • ING Bar

    ING bar was defiantly a traditional small bar with seating for around 30 people (crammed) that has friendly staff/owners and tunes rocking out, cheap beer and a good singalong however if you are a non smoker run for the hills, within 10 mins of being there you will smell like an ash tray, and we were not there on a busy night, eventually this...

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Kyoto Transportation

  • Trains

    The easiest way to get from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is to take the JR Sagano Line to Saga-Arashiyama. This is a direct train taking only about 15 minutes, so it is easy, but the station is not centrally located in Arashiyama. It is on the northern side of Arashiyama, close to the bamboo forest and many temples, but a 10 minute walk to the...

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  • City Buses

    We used local buses to travel to some of the temples and sights in Kyoto. We found the buses from the Central Bus Station (right opposite the railway station) to be very convenient, and the terminal itself well-organised and signposted. We took a 73 from there to Arashiyama - the journey lasted about 45 minutes and cost 240¥ per person. You take a...

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  • Shinkansen

    We arrived in Kyoto on a bullet train from Osaka, a journey of just 15 minutes - but around an hour by regular train! The station is on the southern edge of the main downtown area and is very modern and very large. It is also very busy. It can therefore be a challenge to negotiate when carrying bags and newly arrived, but is impressive enough to...

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Kyoto Shopping

See all 83 Shopping in Kyoto
  • Chirimen Craft Museum

    The Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama is not a museum at all; it is a store that specializes in items made from chirimen (a special way of weaving that creates a textured fabric). Perhaps what makes it a "museum" is simply that it has greater selection than most other places that have chirimen items. The shop has a wide variety of mobiles,...

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  • Kyoto Handicraft Center

    The Kyoto Handicraft Center is one of the best places to see and to do shopping for art, cloths, souvenirs and of course all type of local handicraft items. It is like a big supermarket of 5 floors with all what you might be wish to bye while in Japan.

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  • Isetan Department Store

    This the food shop at the ground floor of Kyoto station departement store. After I understood that not many restaurants used toi have an english menu and anyway that prices were a bit high, I started buying food in the supermarket and I definitly enjoyed a lot. Opening time: 10 am untill 8 pm. Sushi and Sashimi, the quality is great and they are...

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Kyoto Local Customs

  • Visiting Temples and Shrines

    Kiyomize Temple (UNESCO's Cultural Heritage site) is one of the most frequently visited temples in Kyoto. The locals come here to enjoy the beauty the nature brings to the surroundings of the Temple. It was built in 793 and renovated in 1633, 30 years after the Tokugawa Shougun had started. Its a "must" place when you are in Kyoto. How to get...

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  • Geisha and Maiko

    Geisha, also known in Kyoto as Geiko, are traditional hostesses and entertainers for Japanese men. They are perhaps best known for their elaborate kimonos and white face paint, though geisha apprentices, called maiko, more commonly wear the bright white paint. While many observers believe geisha are prostitutes, traditionally geisha and prostitutes...

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  • Language

    The Kyoto dialect (Kyo-kotoba) is quite distinct from standard Japanese and other dialects. Because it developed in the ancient capital, the feeling it gives Japanese people when they hear it is one of beauty, class, elegance, and nostalgia. It is more polite than standard Japanese, and it is often seen as somewhat feminine (because it is so...

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Kyoto Warnings and Dangers

  • Scams

    At 650 yen a pop most people bought two or three of these "Johnny Jumpers". Hey, that seems like a bargain to the duped customers handing over the Yen. A couple of thousand Yen and they're already anticipating the laughs they'll get from the guys in the office (especially when their co-workers see them scratching their head in disbelief when the...

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  • Street Safety and Cautions

    As stated before, Japanese bike riders and pedestrains do get a little close to you when you transerse their sidewalks. What I find is that they are really just trying to second guess where you'll be when they intersect you. So pick a line of walking or a path if you will, and stick to it. If you stay on coarse, it doesn't matter whether they are...

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  • Weather

    May is lovely with spring blossoms and blue skies most of the time. October and November have the cool autumn air and red maple leaves. That aside, here are the seasons to avoid: June is the rainy season and while it can be pleasant for the first week or so, the rain and humidity arrive one day and then it's very oppressive. Even if it's not...

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Kyoto Tourist Traps

  • Gion (Geisha District)

    Ok ... sometimes tour books get a bit over excited on some must do's and recommendations ..... In Fodor's they go out of there way to make sure that if your in the Gion section of town to attend the Gion Corner show !!!! it states traditional Japanese show compacted into about 90 minutes from a Tea Ceremony to Geisha dancing to Imperial music show...

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  • Food and Dining

    If you are a picky eater, make sure to point the food at the window gallery if you wanted a particular food. Don't choose the food that you don't know how it looks like or taste like. The reason why? You end up wasting your money! I am not a picky eater but still, there are some food that are new to me especially when I am travelling. My stomach...

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  • Temples

    OK. I first heard about a guesthouse called Toji-an from a tip on VT. Then I saw the website - very cheap and looks nice. But when we arrived there, it was not like what I saw on the website... First impression: the noren (the cloth hung up in front of the door) was torn and dirty. The toilet stinks and the smell reached the hallway where the...

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Kyoto What to Pack

  • Nothing special needed here but

    Have good walking shoes or sandals in summer as you probably walk a lot. Light summer clothing during the summer months as it is very hot and in case you travel in the winter be aware it can get very cold. Obviously take a camera with you and if you have wide lens that can be useful for some temple architecture photos. Get the Kyoto guide when...

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  • Warm jackets and good pair of walking...

    Just a small backpack to carry your gloves and water and some gifts you bought from the different temples going back to your hotel room. Warm jackets, gloves and good pair of walking shoes if you are travelling in the winter of Fall season. Water. Make sure to take your vitamins before heading out to the temples Sony Cybershoot. Extra chip and...

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  • Shoes

    please wear shoes which are easy to take off and wear. You end up having to remove and put on yoru shoes each time you visit a temple or shrine as they don't allow footwear inside. It can get irritating when you go to a few temples in a day.

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Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

  • Ohara Area

    Ohara is a major stomping ground for Japanese 'aki-front' followers; when the nation gets bored of pining for cherry blossoms and instead glues its eyes to NHK for the first news reports of Kyoto's maple leaves turning autumn red.

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  • Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple

    Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, beautiful buddhist stone sculptures. In Arashiyama, go to Adashino Nenbutsu-ji, where one can walk the bamboo grove. pass this temple, follow the walking path north,till one reaches the orange torri, walk through it and continue walking for another 10 mins. the Otagi temple is on your left side, hill slope. the Otagi Nenbutsu-ji...

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  • Fushimi Inari Shrine

    Two train stops south out of Kyoto, a brilliant walk right from Fushimi station takes you to the temple of Fushimi-Inari, and continuing up the hill through 10,000 red torii dedicated by companies to the gods of business. Once you reach the top, the descent on the other (northern) side is much more wild and unkept, and the trail comes out by some...

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Kyoto Sports & Outdoors

  • Hanshin Tigers - Baseball

    History of the Tigers!The Hanshin Tigers baseball club is the second oldest pro baseball franchise in Japan, founded on December 10, 1935. The Tigers took part in the first professional baseball "season" in Japan the following year.From 1936 to 1938, the Tigers were arguably the best team in Japanese pro baseball. However, from 1939 the Tokyo-based...

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  • Sumo Baseball & Rickshaw Racing

    Sporting enthusists will be happy to know that Japan is big on sports. Some of my favorite Japanese sporting events would have to be Sumo wrestling which can been seen in Osaka or Tokyo during certain limited times during the year. I believe September is a big month for sumo. Baseball also draws large crowds and most major Japanese cities have a...

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  • Baseball

    Like other cities in Japan, baseball is the sport in Kyoto. When i was there, I saw a lot of merchandise of the Hanshin Tigers, one of the teams in the baseball league in Japan. Japanese love to watch baseball. Not only that, most of them love to play the sport too. There are quite a handful of baseball fields in Kyoto.

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Kyoto Favorites

See all 117 Favorites in Kyoto
  • Tourist Information Center

    The Kyoto SGG Club,Goodwill Guide Volunteer Services of Kyoto, and the Rotary International District 2650 Club of Kyoto are giving away free maps to tourists in Kyoto. The map is in black and white and back to back. The tourist map can be taken at the Information Center at the Kyoto Station where you buy the bus tickets. The front page of the map...

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  • Cherry Blossoms

    Cherry blossom viewing has been an important part of Japanese culture for hundreds of years, so naturally, many visitors to Japan want to experience this part of Japan and Kyoto is arguably the most popular place for foreigners to go! When the blossoms bloom always depends on the weather, but generally they begin to bloom around late March/early...

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  • City Districts

    Depending on how many days you are staying in Kyoto, map out the places you are going to see. The temples are located in different areas: 1. Higashiyama Area - The attractions around this area includes Chionin Temple, Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Kodaiji Temple, Ryozen Kannon Temple, Yasaka Pagoda, Jishu Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, Myohoin Temple,...

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Top 5 Cycling Cities: Kyoto

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Japan may be well-known for its high speed trains, but many residents and visitors of its cultural capital, Kyoto, prefer to travel within the city by bicycle. Exploring by bicycle in Kyoto allows tourists to circumvent the congested traffic, but also sneak onto back streets they wouldn't normally find when driving from site to site. Also, the city is quite spread out and much of the public transportation doesn't stop very close to all attractions, so it may actually be quicker to rent a bicycle. Many hotels rent bicycles to guests, but they are also readily available near Kyoto Station.

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Explore Deeper into Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Things to Do
Nijo Castle
Things to Do
Arashiyama
Things to Do
Philosopher's Path
Things to Do
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Things to Do
Ryoanji Temple
Things to Do
Taxis
Transportation
Pig and Whistle
Nightlife
Hub Bar
Nightlife
Subway
Transportation
Highway Bus
Transportation
Public Restrooms
Local Customs
Bicycle
Transportation
Tadg's Irish Bar (Formerly McLoughlin's)
Nightlife
Rickshaws
Transportation
Bar Isn't It?
Nightlife
General
Off The Beaten Path
Hozu River
Off The Beaten Path
Man in the Moon Pub
Nightlife
Club Metro
Nightlife
Air Travel
Transportation
Issen Yoshoku
Restaurants
Otsu City
Off The Beaten Path
Tsujiri Green Tea (Gion)
Restaurants
Arashiyama
Off The Beaten Path
Gardens
Local Customs
Child Safety and Cautions
Warnings and Dangers
Nanzenji Temple
Off The Beaten Path
Festivals
Local Customs
Isetan Eat Paradise
Restaurants
Restaurant Etiquette and Advice
Local Customs
Hyogo Prefecture
Off The Beaten Path
Happy Pie
Restaurants
Cafe Veloce
Restaurants
Ryomakan
Shopping
Kyoto Tower
Tourist Traps
Mos Burger
Restaurants
Shopping Etiquette and Advice
Local Customs
Ryokan Etiquette
Local Customs
Kyoto Station
Tourist Traps
Map of Kyoto

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