Kyoto-fu Things to Do

  • 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-fu Things to Do

  • Gion (Geisha district)

    Kyoto Things to Do

    For the most part our “Essential Honshu” tour, booked through Inside Japan, didn’t include any extras, leaving us free to explore with the group or alone. But an exception to this was the Walking Tour of Gion that had been arranged for us in Kyoto. Gion is one of the main Geisha districts in Kyoto, and arguably its most famous. Our tour was led...

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  • Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Some sights are so much talked about and so often visited that you wonder if they can really be that wonderful. The Golden Pavilion is one such sight – and yes, it really is that wonderful. You will have to share it with many other people, but don’t let the thought of the crowds that flock here put you off. This place is a stunner and popular for...

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  • Kiyomizu Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This Buddhist temple is possibly the most visited in Kyoto – it is certainly up there in the top five. And it’s easy to see why it draws the crowds. It has a lovely hillside setting with views of the town and several other nearby pagodas and temples. It is near enough the centre of town and those other temples to be easily accessible. And it has a...

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  • Fushimi Inari Shrine

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This is actually the main Inari shrine in Japan (which is a shrine dedicated to the fox spirit). Seemingly endless rows of red torii line the pathway up along the hilly trail of Mount Inari (stands about 233m). The toriis are mainly donated by individuals or companies to the shrine for blessings or thanksgiving. The entire gentle hike is really...

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  • Arashiyama

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The picturesque Hozu River (Hozugawa) flows through Arashiyama. The Hozu was in the past used to transport logs for the construction of many of Kyoto’s temples, and for Osaka’s castle. During the Edo Period it also carried grain, firewood and other cargo, but trains and road haulage made river transport obsolete, and operations ceased after...

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  • Nijo Castle

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Nijo Castle is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The castle was begin in 1603 under Tokugawa Ieyasu, and completed in 1626 during the reign of his grandson Tokugawa Iemitsu.This stage of construction included a five-story castle yhat was built in the center of the fortress. The large castle, the...

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  • Philosopher's Path

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The Philosopher's Walk is a pleasant stroll path that runs alongside a canal in the shadow of the eastern mountains between Ginkaku-ji Temple (the Silver Pavilion) and the Nyakuoji Bridge. It passes very close to Anraku-ji Temple and Honen-in Temple, two quiet and picturesque temples that are less visited than Ginkaku-ji Temple. The Walk is...

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  • Ryoanji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    I am fascinated by the different forms of Japanese garden design and wanted to see as varied a sample as possible in our limited time in Kyoto. I read about the famous Zen garden at Ryoan-ji Temple and knew it would give us a different perspective on this ancient art. And so it did. This style of garden dates from a period in Japanese history...

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  • Kyoto Station

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Not sure if this is a site that one must come to see but if you spend any time in Kyoto you'll eventually come thru here .... We got a huge introduction into this place as we came from Osaka during the AM rush hour !!!! This place was packed beyond belief ... and everyone is in a hurry so be careful to stay out of everyone's way .... but once you...

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  • Kyoto Imperial Palace

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the residence of the Imperial Family until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1869, is located in Kyoto Gyoen Park. Within the Imperial Palace grounds, which are enclosed by a roofed earthen wall, are the Seiryo-den (Palace Hall) and the Kyogosho (Minor Palace), which are highly reminiscent of this dynastic...

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  • Heian Shrine

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Heian Shrine is a big temple (colour is striking red) near the Kyoto Modern Art Museum and Kyoto National Art Museum. The whole environment at Heian Shrine was very zen, meaning, empty spaces are all covered with stones. There is a very nice garden, the Shin-en Garden. There are 2 ponds with lilies and plants and there is even a pavilion where you...

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  • Pontocho

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Pontocho is the most centrally located of Kyoto's Hanamachi, or geisha districts. Unlike Gion, which seems pretty boring, Pontocho has a thriving nightlife area which attracts both Japanese and Westerners alike. Similar to Gion, the traditional houses are well preserved in Pontocho, giving visitors a glimpse of the past. While the area has many...

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  • Toji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Every month on the 21st Toji Temple hosts a huge flea market! The market is full of things from antiques to modern items and of course, many food options! As far as what you can buy, there is a wide variety: pottery, Buddhist statues, clothes, shoes, bags, plants, handicrafts, furniture, and lots of knickknacks. The size of the market is...

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  • Nanzenji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Standing in the foothills of the eastern hills, Nanzen-ji Temple is one of Kyoto's most important temples. Its massive front gate drives this point home yet the structures and gardens on the grounds contain much that is sublime and beautiful. It is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, and although it was originally built as an...

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  • Sanjuusangen-do

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This temple, also known as Rengeo-in, was a complete contrast to Kiyomizu-dera (which we had visited just prior to coming here) but no less impressive in its way. The main hall is all that remains here, having been rebuilt in 1266 after a fire destroyed the temple 17 years before that. The hall is 120 metres long and is Japan's longest wooden...

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  • Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) is the more common name for Jisho-ji Temple, a temple belonging to the Buddhist Shokoku School of the Rinzai Zen sect. Ginkaku-ji Temple (The Silver Pavilion) is an elegant temple set in beautiful grounds at the foot of Kyoto's eastern mountains. Its grounds are an outstanding example of Japanese...

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  • Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are two historic streets located at the far eastern edge of Kyoto in the Higashiyama area. The area is filed with traditional wooden houses, now mostly shops and ryokan (Japanese-style inns). The streets are mostly closed to traffic, partly beacuse each features a set of steep stairs. These streets are surround by some of...

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  • Nishiki Market

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Nishiki Market is a traditional shopping street in Central Kyoto, that has been here for centuries. It is said that the first shop here opened in 1311, and the area became a fish market in the 16th Century. This street, stretching 390 meters from Teramachi Street to Takakura Street, has over 120 small shops and restaurants selling mostly foods,...

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  • Kyoto National Museum

    Kyoto Things to Do

    These rooms are my favorites. The paintings are huge. Some paintings were taken from walls of individual Japanese houses before. In these rooms, you see the Buddhist paintings, ink paintings, and handscrolls, as well as screen paintings from the Momoyama to Edo periods (late 16th-19th c.). Also, on display are the early Chinese and Korean...

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  • Maruyama Park

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Maruyama Park is a park on the eastern side of Kyoto, near Gion, and behind Yasaka Temple. This is known as Kyoto's best place to view cherry blossoms in the spring, with attention especially focused on its huge weeping cherry tree. The park also has paths, playgrounds, and koi ponds. Besides Yasaka Temple to the west, the park is surrounded by...

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  • Kamo-gawa River

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Kamogawa (Kamo = wild duck, Gawa = river) was the eastern limit of Heiankyō, and had a significant meaning according to fengshui. Since the route of the river is highly linear, some people believe it was artificial, though no record of massive construction exists. The riverbanks are popular walks for residents and tourists. In summer,...

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  • Kyoto Tower

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Kyoto Tower is one of the modern landmarks in a city filled with ancient temples and traditional streets. This structure, the tallest building in Tokyo, stands 430 feet from base to tip. The massive structure weighs 800 tons, and it sits atop a nine story building. The tower was opened in December 1964, just after the Tokyo Olympics. The tower is...

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  • Toei Movie Village

    Kyoto Things to Do

    A film-culture hall with a western-style, academic appearance is a genuine museum of Japanese cinema. Here you can review the careers of the great actors, actresses and directors of Japanese cinema, and trace the history of Japanese film through clips and photos.

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  • Food Specialties

    Kyoto Things to Do

    I have to say at first it didn't appeal to me, but as soon as I had one I was upset that I didn't have one before !!!! wow they are soooooo good !!!!! and they are sold everywhere ..... they usually cost from 250 yens to 400 yens ..... I'm glad I tried it the second day we were in Kyoto ... after that I had one every day we were there !!!!!

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  • Nishi Honganji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Nishi Honganji is the older of Kyoto's Honganji temples, built in 1591. It is also the head temple of the Honganji sect of the Jodo sect of Buddhism. The main draw of the temple is simply its size. The hondo is huge; one of the largest temples in the nation! It is also one of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites. The temple is free to enter.

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  • Yasaka Shrine

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) is located in Kyoto's Gion district, and is perhaps the most easily accessible shrine in the city for tourists. This shrine is known for it's large orange gate overlooking Shijo, the main avenue through Gion. The shrine is impressive at night, when most buildings are lit with large, white paper...

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  • Cities Outside of Kyoto

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Kyoto has a central location in Japan. If you will not stay only in one city, but travel to a few cities in Japan like we did, you can choose Kyoto as your base. You can reach Nara in half an hour with JR Nara line. You can visit Inari in 15 minutes with the same train. For JR Pass holders, Osaka is half an hour away with Shinkansen while Hiroshima...

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  • Iwatayama Monkey Park

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Monkey Park Iwatayama is home to about 200 Japanese macaque monkeys, and it has a fantastic view over Arashiyama and the rest of Kyoto. The trial to the Monkey Park begins just west of the southern end of the Togetsukyo Bridge. After walking up a short flight of stairs, you will come to a small shrine and the ticket window. After getting a ticket,...

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  • Tenryuji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Tenryu-ji Temple is one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji, who dedicated it to his predecessor, the Emperor Go-Daigo. These two were formerly allies but Takauji turned against the emperor in his struggle for supremacy over Japan....

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  • Jishu Shrine

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This tiny temple enshrines one of the gods of love and marriage, Okuninushi-no-mikoto. If you're single, come here to see if you'll be lucky at love! There are two stones at the shrine located a distance apart from one another. Stand at one of the stones and close your eyes. If you can successfully make it to the other stone without peeking, you...

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  • Ryozen Kannon

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The Ryozen Kannon is easily recognizable for the large statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, atop its temple. The temple was built as a memorial for all the Japanese who died in World War II. The statue itself is large and impressive and the temple grounds are beautiful. There is actually quite a bit to see. Aside from the main temple (where the...

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  • Higashi Honganji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The Higashi Honganji complex is the head temple of the Otani-ha branch of the Jodo Shin denomination of Buddhism, which is popularly known as Ohigashi-san. This was built on donated land, which the 12th abbot, Kyonyo, received from Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period (1603-1868). While the Founder's Gate (Goei-do) is one of the...

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  • Chion-in Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Chion-in was founded in1234 as the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect) of Buddhism. The main gate, called Sanmon, was constructed in 1621, and it stands the 79 feet tall and 164 feet wide, making it one of the largest wooden tower gates remaining in Japan. Other important buildings include the Seishidō (Seishi Hall), built...

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  • Kenninji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This is Japan's oldest Zen temple, having been founded in 1202 by the monk Eisai who is credited with introducing Zen to Japan. He is buried on the temple grounds. We didn’t have time to go inside here on our tour of Gion but were able to admire the setting among the “cloud-pruned” trees or niwaki. The temple buildings you see today date from...

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  • Katsura Imperial Villa

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Built in the 17th century as a villa for Prince Hachijo Toshihito, Katsura Imperial Villa is considered to be of a purely Japanese design. It is often said to be among the best Japanese architectural and landscaping treasures. The villa features a few teahouses, both with spectacular views of the garden, bridges, a central pond, and a few other...

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  • Kodaiji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Kodaiji (高台寺) was established in 1606, and is located in Kyoto's Higashiyama area. The temple was built for Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified most of Honshu in the late 1500s and built Osaka Castle. Kodaiji is famous for its rock garden and its green garden. Most buildings in this temple have been destroyed and rebuilt. Nearby...

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  • Daitokuji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Koto-in is a subtemple of Daitokuji Temple, and it's one of Kyoto's famous places to enjoy the autumn foliage! The walkway leading up to the temple is lined on both sides by deciduous trees and there are more inside the temple grounds. You can walk through the temple and then through parts of the garden, as well. The grave site along the pathway...

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  • Shoren-in Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Shoren-in Temple is a delightful and quiet temple that exudes a palpable feeling of tranquility. It is only steps away from the bustling streets of the Higashiyama District, yet when one crosses the threshold of the temple's front gate it is as though one has stepped back into simpler, more peaceful times. You can sit and sip green tea while...

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  • Saihoji Temple (Koke-dera)

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The temple is reported as founded during the Nara Period (710 - 794 A.D.) It was later restored in the 12th century. There is both the moss garden and a dry garden. There are supposed to be about 120 kinds of moss here! . The number of visitors is strictly limited to protect the moss underfoot. Before entering the garden you join the other visitors...

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  • Gion Matsuri

    Kyoto Things to Do

    The Gion Festival is one of Kyoto's top three festivals (along with the Aoi Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri) as well as one of the top three in the nation (along with Osaka's Tenjin Festival and Tokyo's Kanda Matsuri). It has this designation because of its long history in the former capital along with the fact that it is a fun and popular festival. The...

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  • Tofukuji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Tofukuji Temple is one of the Five Great Zen Temples in Kyoto. It has many subtemples, but the main part of the temple is around the famous Tsutenkyo Bridge, which is one of the most scenic places to visit in the fall to see the autumn foliage. Even here there are a few buildings. The Sanmon Gate was built in the Muromachi Period. There is a...

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  • Shosei-en Garden

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Shosei-en was created in 1653 by a priest from Higashi Honganji Temple and belonged to the temple and was used as a detached residence. It was originally quite vast, extending all the way to the Kamo-gawa River. Today it is much smaller, but still remains quite sizable. The garden has a lot of trees, so it makes a nice visit in the autumn. There is...

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  • Ninnaji Temple

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Ninnaji Temple is a historically important temple in northwest Kyoto. The temple was founded in 888 AD, but was destroyed during the Onin War in 1467. The temple was rebuild in the early 1600s, and most of the current buildings date from this period, including the Golden Hall, a National Treasure of Japan. For nearly 1,000 years, Emperors of Japan...

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  • Kyoto International Manga Museum

    Kyoto Things to Do

    This museum houses a collection of manga (comic books) not only by Japanese authors/illustrators but international artists as well. Found TinTin comic books in French too! A good opportunity for kids to interact with locals in the museum or at least be within sitting distance from each other. There is a cafe within the museum for the adults to...

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  • Yasaka Pagoda (Hokanji)

    Kyoto Things to Do

    Yasaka Pagoda, located at the south end of Higashiyama is part fo Hokanji Temple, and belongs to the Kenninji Buddhist sect, named after the nearby Kenninji Temple. The 46 meter tall tower is six meters wide on each side. While the original pagoda was constructed earlier, the present structure is ancient, constructed in 1440. Inside of the pagoda...

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Kyoto-fu Things to Do

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