Kyoto 4 Day Itinerary – What to do in the Traditional Japanese City

Kyoto 4 Day Itinerary – What to do in the Traditional Japanese City

Hey travellers to Japan, check out this in-depth guide to the cultural Japanese city and begin planning your Kyoto Itinerary for your visit to the expansive region.

 

Download the PDF version of the top things to see in Kyoto – Japan!

 

Four Days in Kyoto, it hardly seems enough. Therefore, I can only cringe when I see travellers’ itineraries of Japan that only include a day in Kyoto.

Can you imagine trying to fill in the Fushimi Irani Shrine, Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Nijo Castle, Kiyomizudera, Arashiyami and other must-see attractions in about 12-hours? It’s not possible because these fantastic places need valuable time and energy to appreciate the beauty of each attraction.

A Kyoto 4 day Itinerary requires careful planning. In this article, I hope to assist you in managing your time in one of Japan’s most popular cities with an abundance of unique places to see.

My own time in Kyoto required long days travelling by the magnificent public transportation system or wandering through the region by foot and taking everything in as slowly as possible.

I enjoyed visiting eye-catching temples, historic landmarks and exploring the great outdoors with splendid scenery against the mountains in the background.

For now, let’s prepare the itinerary and get your trip to Kyoto off to a positive start with a rough plan of what to do and where to go when visiting Kyoto.

You’ll soon realise that Kyoto in 4 days is the absolute minimum amount of time you’ll need to spend in the expansive region of Japan.

 

Get prepared for your 4 days in Kyoto with a Kintetsu Rail Pass with Klook!

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Kyoto 4 Day Itinerary

Kyoto 4 Day Itinerary – What to do in the Traditional Japanese City.

 

 

 

Kyoto 4 Day Itinerary – What to do in the Traditional Japanese City

 

 

Getting to Kyoto From Osaka or Kansai International Airport

Because transportation in Japan is right, you can get into Kyoto from anywhere, with a train or bus the ideal transportation, or arriving by car on the fantastic roads that are in excellent condition.

Generally, people travel from Osaka to Kyoto or even Kansai International Airport, which is about half an hour out of Osaka. However, there are several ways into the city, including getting there from Tokyo.

Many train lines run to Kyoto from Osaka, whether it’s direct or through the metro lines that require changing trains on alternate routes.

If you are travelling from Kansai Airport, the quickest way to Kyoto is to catch the JR Haruka 20 line, which is almost direct and includes a stop at Osaka Station. The trip takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes and cost around 3400-yen.

Taking other routes to Kyoto from the airport usually takes around 40-minutes longer, but it can save you 1000-yen in price if money is an issue.

If your Kyoto trip does begin from Osaka, the metro lines will do the trick with many avenues getting you to Kyoto city, and it can take approximately one hour to get there with the cost ranging from 400-yen to 1300-yen.

The best way to travel the metro lines in the Osaka and Kyoto regions, including other nearby cities, is to purchase an ICOCA card from train stations ticketing machines or Japan Rail Office. There is one located at the Kansai Airport.

 

Related Article – check out this essential 2-week Itinerary for your next trip to Japan!

 

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JR Pass

Get around Osaka and Kyoto with ease with your handy ICOCA card.

 

 

Where to stay in Kyoto

There is plenty of options in Kyoto for places to visit with accommodation available for all budgets.

Although you will be hard-pressed to find many hotels available for under $80 a night unless you are willing to stay in a guest house or backpackers, the prices can skyrocket if travelling with a family.

I highly recommend the Mitsui Garden Hotel, which I stayed in during my time in Kyoto as a solo traveller that cost around $110 per night. However, prices can vary depending on the season you travel.

The Mitsui Garden Hotel is conveniently located, clean, comfortable and will do the job for a low to a mid-priced hotel in Kyoto.

 

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Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo.

 

 

Day 1 – Settling in Kyoto

I am sure long before you arrive in the city; you have been planning your own Kyoto Itinerary, no matter how many days you are staying in the city.

At least with four days available to you, there is time to settle into your trip, instead of trying to visit Kyoto in a day and get to as many attractions as possible.

On day one, I suggest you get to know the area where you are staying, visit a temple, go to a nearby market/street thoroughfare or take in a city walk to get to know the local area around you.

Before enjoying a comfortable night relaxing in your hotel and heading off an epic adventure on day two in Kyoto.

Now let’s check out these suggestions below for your first day in Kyoto, which is hopefully an excellent start to your trip:

 

City Walks in Kyoto

Start your journey off with a personal Kyoto City Tour. I am not telling you to go everywhere, but take a glimpse of the city by walking the streets and getting to know your surroundings and familiarising yourself a little.

Please have a look at the stunning Kyoto Station, which alone can take hours of your time with fancy restaurants, an underground shopping mall chaotic scenes inside the station itself (there are many platforms).

The backstreets are unique and quiet. I suggest you walk down a quiet alleyway and look at the different housing, restaurants, and businesses set up on Kyoto’s backstreets. It is fascinating.

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Kyoto 4 day Itinerary

Enjoy the backstreets in the city.

 

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market is a lively place with many tourists and locals with a real positive and loud atmosphere.

In areas of the markets, it’s populated with tourists and locals, and it can make moving about quite tricky, but that happens in most tourist zones in Japan.

For sale, there is a range of Japanese foods of either grilled meats, sushi, crepes, ramen and plenty of other tasty eats with lots of green tea ice-cream situated in several locations throughout the markets.

Tasty foods are not the only thing to get excited about inside Nishiki Markets; many Japanese style souvenirs stalls sell stylish chopsticks, unique arts, men’s/women’s clothing and other goods you may get tempted to buy for a souvenir of your holiday in Kyoto.

 

Nishiki Market

Great food in Nishiki Market.

 

Kamo River

You can take a picturesque Kamo Riverwalk whenever you have spare time in Kyoto Itinerary.

For myself, it happened to be on day one (and day two, for that matter) where I had a little free time, and I wanted to take a stroll in the fresh air in a city that offers modern facilities and stunning nature in the outdoors.

Kamo River is a favourite spot for those who want a casual stroll, go exercising with a long run, or sit on the banks of the river and take it easy for a while by gazing at the picturesque surroundings in front of your admiring eyes.

It’s a majestic river that runs through the whole city and further on again, but you only need to see a small part to get your slice of the Kamo River.

 

Things to do in Kyoto

Kamo River in Kyoto Japan.

Day 2 – The Eastern part of Kyoto City

On the second day, things really begin to heat up as the feet get moving to many different places inside Kyoto.

During the second day of my Kyoto tour, I headed to the Eastern part of Kyoto, only a little distance from the city centre, where many historical attractions awaited to be seen and it was magnificent.

 

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Heian Shrine

The key to most attractions in Kyoto is to get in early and attempt to beat the crowds, which is clearly hard to do if have a Kyoto day trip is planned and visiting many attractions. You can try your best to beat the crowds, but eventually, it proves to be fruitless because the crowds will come.

Heian Shrine is a decorated Japanese structure that has a splendid appeal in both texture and colour. The Shrine was built a relatively short time ago, regarding history, in 1895 and was dedicated to the emperors who reigned supreme in Kyoto, Japan.

Inside the main grounds are four main buildings which are separated and sit horizontal to one another, and the white limestone flooring creates a great shuffling noise while taking a stroll across the grounds of Heian Shrine.

A must when visiting Heian Shrine is to visit the gardens around the back. While the Shrine is free of charge, the gardens do require a small entrance fee of 600-yen. It’s certainly worth the price to wander the stunning gardens and gaze through beautifully landscaped gardens, lakes and well-designed Japanese structures located throughout the gardens.

The ideal time to spend at Heian Shrine: 1-2 hours.

 

Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine.

 

Yasaka Shrine

Free entry, Yasaka shrine is another stunning Japanese building that is worth your attention when visiting Kyoto. it’s a shrine full of colour, amazing structures and Japanese culture on display, especially with many locals and foreigners wandering around in their Kimono dresses.

The excitement levels go up another level at Yasaka Shrine, with the atmosphere getting louder as a guest to the shrine scramble to ring the sacred bells and partake in the special water, which is commonly seen during your Kyoto travel experience.

Inside is also a few market stalls and street foods readily available for purchase to get a much-needed energy boost. The day has just begun, so why not stock up.

The ideal time to spend at Yasaka Shrine: 1-hour.

 

The Yasaka Shrine

Kyoto Sightseeing at its best – Yasaka Shrine.

 

 

Kodai-Ji temple

More tradition, more history and this time, it’s Kodai-Ji Temple that gets worthy attention as the beauty goes up another level with this breathtaking temple.

The Kodai-Ji is mesmerising with many Japanese buildings, each with unique structures and is blended in beautifully with the mountains in the backdrop and the landscaped gardens that add to the pristine setting.

Established in 1606, in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, there is a lot of history inside Kodai-Ji, and it’s a privilege to be on the grounds of something so wonderful and ancient, with the old Sony Mirrorless camera getting a solid workout while taking many pictures of the temples, gardens and its very own bamboo grove.

A side-note, Kodai-Ji was undoubtedly my favourite temple to visit in Kyoto.

The Ideal Time to spend at Kodai-Ji Temple: 1-hour.

 

Kodai-ji

The picturesque Kodai-Ji Temple.

 

 

Ninenzaka

Another busy tourist attraction in the form of a street thoroughfare, Ninenzaka adds incredible culture and tradition that fits into the scene perfectly. The streets are buzzing with tourists, geishas and other locals that make moving along the busy strip near on impossible. The popular thoroughfare is made up of many shops, tea houses and food outlets that are decorated with amazing Japanese style housing and at the end of the road is the next tourist attraction, Kiyomizu-Dera.

 

Ninenzaka Street.

Ninenzaka Street.

 

 

Kiyomizu-Dera

Kiyomizu-Dera temple means “pure water” and is said to be the most attended temple in Kyoto. Judging by the crowds that gathered during my trip to the temple, there is no disputing that call.

The most popular thing to do at Kiyomizu-Dera is to go to one of the three waterfalls and touch the special water; by doing that, it’s believed it can give you magical powers, no wonder there is quite a queue.

It’s easy to see why the much-celebrated Kiyomizu-Dera temple is a popular choice for all visitors to Kyoto, not only for the wonderfully designed temple structures that are situated on the ground of Kiyomizu-Dera but the stunning backdrop of the mountains in the background helps create a picturesque setting making for terrific photos.

The temple was first founded in 778, with its present buildings being constructed in 1633, and it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1994.

The Ideal time to spend at Kiyomizue-Dera: 1-2 hours.

 

Kyoto City

The Kyoto Temple Tour includes Kiyomizuedera.

 

Kennin-Ji temple

Kennin-Ji Temple has a lot of history associated with it being founded in 1202. This fine temple is one of the oldest in Kyoto and is located in the Gion Geisha District, which means more women dressed in the traditional kimono dress.

Like most temples, it comes with a mixture of fine traditional Japanese structured buildings and is mixed in with a short garden walk that is quite popular in most attractions in the region.

The Ideal time to spend at Kennin-Ji temple: 30-mins to 1-hour.

 

Kennin-Ji Temple

Kennin-Ji Temple

 

Gion

Gion is known as the motherland of Geishas and is a Ninenzaka type street thoroughfare set-up, with plenty of souvenir shopping, tea houses and Japanese food outlets for a traditional Japanese experience through your travels.

Time to spend in Gion: 1-hour, perhaps longer if you want to chill for a while.

 

Gion

The streets of Gion.

Day 3 – Visit the biggest tourist hotspots in Kyoto

Without question, on day three of the Kyoto trip, I saw two of the biggest tourist attractions that there is to do in the region – Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Because 4 days in Kyoto is a hectic schedule, I recommend that you do the same thing.

Arashiyama is a little out of Kyoto and will take approximately 30-minutes to get there from the city centre, while Inari Shrine is situated closer to the city. It’s situated on the opposite side to Arashiyama and will take a good 40-minutes to get there by rail, depending on wait times for the train and changeover at Kyoto Station.

Let’s get into it, day three of your Kyoto trip Itinerary.

 

Arashiyama

Picturesque Arashiyama.

 

 

Arashiyama

Arashiyama is simply breathtaking. From the moment you get off the light train at Arashiyama, the natural beauty is there for all to see. In fact, you could easily spend a few days in the popular region rather than a few hours and create an Arashiyama Itinerary on top of your own Kyoto travel guide.

For the Arashiyama segment, as there are so many places to see, let’s go over a few of the noted highlights for your time in the picturesque area. As a side note, I only mention one temple below, but there are many others to see.

The Bamboo Forest Walk: The Bamboo Forest Walk is the first to mind when visiting Arashiyama. It’s a beautiful yet sometimes crowded walk depending on the time of day that you get there.

Many Bamboo trees are lined up on either side of the path as an entrance into the forest and create a beautiful sight that needs to be seen for yourself.

The Bamboo Forest Walk is free entry, one of the few attractions in Arashiyama, that is. No matter how large the crowds are during the day, a stroll through the Bamboo forest is unforgettable.

 

unforgettable jounrey in Kyoto.

An unforgettable journey in Arashiyama.

 

Tenryu-Ji Temple: The Tenryu-Ji Temple is one of the most popular temples in Arashiyama (naturally, there are many). It starts with a beautiful garden walk before arriving at the major temple building, which has unbelievable scenery surrounding it.

The temple was built in the year 1339 by the ruling leader Ashikaga Takauji. The main building itself overlooks a gorgeous lake with the gardens surrounding the main water feature. The mountains blend in perfectly in the background, and as I mentioned, it’s stunning.

 

Arashiyama

Tenryu Temple.

 

Okochi Sanso Garden: It cost a 1000-yen to enter the picturesque Okochi Sanso garden, but you won’t have any regrets once you hand the money over. The gardens were designed by a Japanese actor who created them specifically to be a film set in the picturesque settings on his own estate.

Not only is it a garden walk with plenty of nice Japanese buildings, but you also get a complimentary Green-tea cake and tea that is appreciated inside a boutique tea house surrounded by large bamboo trees.

It’s a relaxing atmosphere and one of my favourite attractions in Arashiyama; I could only imagine being so much better during the cherry blossom season when everything looks much prettier.

 

Okochi Sanso Garden

A Japanese house inside Okochi Sanso Garden.

 

Katsura River: The attractive Katsura River is full of activity, with many tourist boats flowing through the water and showing the tourists the surrounding areas of Arashiyama.

It’s a great time to get your camera out to click away while taking a gentle stroll along the banks of the river.

The Katsura River is the ideal location to have a bite to eat for lunch at a riverside restaurant and enjoy a bowl of ramen or other selections of Japanese food.

It’s even better unwinding with a glass of cold beer and enjoying the sounds of the Katsura River, which is in full view from where you are dining.

 

Katsura River

Katsura River.

 

Arashiyama Monkey Park: Who knew entering a monkey park would require some form of fitness, and that is exactly what you get when you enter the gates of the Iwatayama Monkey Park.

Before you even see a monkey for the first time, you need to hike up a hill for 20-minutes, and it will test your fitness out in the process.

The Monkey Park is a tad overrated; while there are a few large and tamed monkeys at the peak of the hill once you have completed the hike, I find that you get more distracted by the nice views of Kyoto City out in the distance.

 

Iwatayama Monkey Park.

Iwatayama Monkey Park.

 

Arashiyama back streets and town-centre walk: Wandering through Arashiyama is not only about the pleasant attractions or breathtaking temples, but a quiet walk along the backroads is also compulsory to view the unique township.

During your walk away from the crowds, you can witness many Japanese style housing with a few selling unique souvenirs of fine art or jewellery and stop in for a tea, coffee or a bite to eat at a selection of cafés along the streets.

The town centre of Arashiyama is packed with tourists, and plenty is going on in terms of retail shopping and restaurants. It’s the perfect time to treat yourself to the ever-popular green tea ice cream sold in many locations throughout Arashiyama.

Time to spend in Arashiyama: Depending on your schedule, anything from a few hours to a couple of days.

 

Arashiyama

A traditional carriage is on one way to view the back streets of Arashiyama.

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Getting off the train at Inari station, the festival begins on the street with a range of expensive markets and food outlets available where ever you look. It won’t stop the tourists from getting their coins out for a bite of the expensive Japanese street food.

The main Shrine is a stunning feature with beautiful looking Japanese-style buildings with tourists gathering for the best possible photo shoot.

Good luck capturing a photo without a random stranger getting in the way of the picture, especially during the middle part of the day when people are everywhere.

After the main buildings, you ascend further into the shrine and into the area that makes Fushimi Inari Shrine popular for what it is.

I speak of the orange torii gates, the unique orange figures that are rowed in many numbers. You may have seen the famous gates in the hit movie “Memoirs of a Geisha,” during the scene when the young girl is running through gates before the movie moves into her adult years.

The orange Torii gates represent the staple of all holy Shinto sites. The Fushimi Inari Shrine has thousands of them on its grounds and eventually will turn into a large hike.

The hike through the gates takes around 2.4km kilometre in total, bypassing many gravesites and ringing bells, before walking ascending the hill to find more stunning views of Kyoto.

It’s an exhausting hike, and I encourage you to carry plenty of water throughout your hike. If you don’t, there are vending machines available throughout, but it does come at an excessive price for a 600ml bottle of water.

The admittance price for the shrine is complimentary.

Time to spend at the Fushimi Inari Shrine: 1-3 hours.

 

 

 

Fushimi Irani Shrine

    Fushimi Irani Shrine is popular for its Orange Torri Gates.
 

Day 4 – Historical attractions with a large presence

After a crazy amount of time exploring the region on days two and three, a laid-back approach is required on the fourth day of your Kyoto day trip out and about in the city, which is about avoiding the trains and using the bus services to get to Kyoto attractions, again using the same ICOCA Card you used for trains.

Kyoto sightseeing goes up another level on this occasion with the famous Kinkaku-Ji temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace the centre of the attention for day four.

 

Kyoto 4 day itinerary

Finishing up in Kyoto.

 

Kinkaku-Ji temple

A day in Kyoto is once again started with a temple visit, but you haven’t been to Kyoto unless you have seen Kinkaku-Ji.

The Kinkaku-Ji Temple is the number-one-rated temple in Kyoto, according to TripAdvisor, and when it comes to appearance, the Golden structure of the Temple is tucked away behind the picturesque lake and pleasant viewing of the mountains in the background, is certainly nothing short than spectacular.

You don’t need to be a world-class photographer to take a good photo of the Kinkaku-Ji, because this temple originally built in 1397 will take care of the rest for you.

In terms of other attractions to do around Kinkaku-Ji, there isn’t a great deal more to do there than to gaze your eyes at a delightful golden temple that is a must-see and worth the admittance price alone.

Soon enough, you’ll be back on the number-bus, which takes you directly to the next attraction in Nijo Castle.

The ideal time to spend at Kinkaku-Ji temple: 1-hour. 

 

Kinkaku-Ji temple

Kinkaku-Ji temple.

 

Nijo Castle

Castles in Japan!!! There are a few, and Nijo Castle situated in Central Kyoto is a must-see attraction for all tourists.

There is plenty to see inside and outside the castle, whether it’s the stunning design of the buildings, the moat surrounding the castle, the lookout towers on each corner of the castle, the beautifully landscaped gardens and the amazing artwork inside of the main building.

It’s an educated day out visiting the centuries-old Nijo Castle, which has an entrance fee of 600-yen.

It’s another reason to fall in love with Kyoto, as there is lots of history to gain knowledge of inside the castle, with various types of artwork throughout different rooms.

For example, the fine paintings of tigers used in the waiting room, which in the 1600s were used to intimidate the guests of usually Korean or Chinese origins, found those animals most fearsome. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed to be taken inside the main halls.

The ideal time to spend in Nijo Castle: 2-3 hours.

 

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle.

 

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Last but not least, because there are many things to explore, is the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Another attraction that contains more tradition, more history and more splendid buildings that were reconstructed at these grounds of Imperial Park in 1865.

The Palace, which is free to enter and comes with complimentary guided tours in both Japanese or English, is situated on the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Park, which contains views of well-landscaped gardens and the buildings of the Imperial Palace.

There is plenty of places to see inside a four-day trip to Kyoto, and even on this list of places, it would be ideally covered over five days because there is not a lot of time for rest.

Often in travels, time is not always on our side unless you’re staying at a luxury resort that is made for relaxing. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this detailed itinerary of Kyoto and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

 

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace.

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One Day in Kyoto – Top Tourist Attractions you Must Visit in a Day

One Day in Kyoto – Top Tourist Attractions you Must Visit in a Day

During your hectic Japan Itinerary, you may only have time for one day in Kyoto, it’s not enough, but here are the attractions you must visit on a day trip.

 

Download the PDF version of the top things to see in Kyoto – Japan!

 

One day in Kyoto, I can’t fathom why you’d want to have a single day Kyoto tour, but in a world where we are rushed and continuously on the move, these things are hard to avoid during a hectic Japan trip.

My Kyoto Itinerary consisted of four days, I wish it were longer to be truthful, but I can tell you this, I chalked up around one-hundred-thousand steps on the old Fitbit because I didn’t want to miss a beat of all the things to do in Kyoto.

I saw many amazing Kyoto attractions, most were mesmerising and even inspiring to be in the vicinity of such history. It was apparent from the get-go why a Kyoto trip comes highly recommended for all tourist visiting the country, it is one beautiful city.

It also made me realise why many travellers are rushing around the country to catch a glimpse of everything because this incredible country is one big tourist attraction after another.

If I had to spend one day in Kyoto, what would be the must-see attractions to visit in such a short amount of time? This list is hard to do because quite honestly, you will miss out on a fair bit if you don’t spread out the Kyoto sightseeing tour a little further. However, I gave it my best shot for those crazy enough to be here for a single day.  

 

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Iwatayama Monkey Park.

Get excited about your one day in Kyoto.

 

 

One Day in Kyoto – Top Tourist Attractions You Must Visit in a Day

 

Enjoy a Kyoto City Tour with Klook

Travel tour company Klook has an awesome Kyoto Day Tour Package, where you can get picked up from Osaka, or Kyoto, and enjoy a scenic Kyoto Sightseeing Tour in a single day.

In the package, you’ll see the best temples and shrines including Kiyomizudera, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kinkakuji Temple. You’ll stop by at plenty of the best landmarks and discover the famous ancient sites in Kyoto. You’ll also visit Arashiyama and the renowned Bamboo Grove, meaning, you are not missing on any of the best bits during your brief Kyoto tour.  

 

You can click here to check out the prices and conditions of a Kyoto Day Tour Package with Klook!

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Gion

The streets of Gion in your Kyoto Day tour.

 

Transportation in Kyoto

As one would expect, transport in Kyoto is well-organised and runs like clockwork. Not only that, it’s a terrific walking city with plenty of footpaths and crossing lights to get from point A to point B.

Walking won’t suffice during your one-day tour in Kyoto, the city is too large and spread out for that, but with affordable trains and buses to catch using your ICOCA card, you’ll get to most attraction in quick time with minimal spend. If all else fails, you can catch a taxi which is everywhere. However, that’ll hurt your budget a lot more.  

 

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Start the Kyoto Day Trip with Higashiyama District in Eastern Kyoto

There is a whole line of Kyoto attractions that make up the Higashiyama District, and the famous area has many tourists and locals out and about for sightseeing.

It is an excellent area to try fabulous Japanese cuisines, drink your favourite tea from a fancy Japanese tea house and to admire the many temples and shrines associated with the District.

Let’s have a look at the must-see attractions in the Higashiyama District of Eastern Kyoto and get your single day Kyoto Itinerary off on the right foot.

Yasaka Shrine: Yasaka shrine is worth your attention and the first place to start when visiting Eastern Kyoto. Yasaka shrine has dazzling colour, impressive structures, and the culture is alive with many people wandering around in their Kimono dress and creating a vibrant atmosphere.  

 

The Yasaka Shrine

Kyoto Sightseeing at its best – Yasaka Shrine.

 

  Kodai-Ji Temple: The picturesque Kodai-Ji Temple, established in 1606, will grab your attention during your Kyoto one day tour as the beauty of the temple rises to breathtaking levels.

The temple has unique structures which blend in perfectly with the gorgeous landscapes that shadow the temple grounds.

Check out my main feature on the Kodai-Ji Temple with this link here!  

 

Visiting Japan Kyoto

The Kodai-ji temple.

 

  Ninenzaka: A Popular street thoroughfare, Ninenzaka is full of culture, tradition and many Japanese style housing containing retail outlets, tea houses and restaurants.

Like any attraction in Kyoto, the crowds gather along the main street with people enjoying the vibrancy of the area and taking in a positive atmosphere.  

 

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Ninenzaka Street.

Ninenzaka.

 

Kiyomizudera: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizudera is a wonderfully structured temple, which in translation, means “pure water” and is said to be the most attended temple in Kyoto.

The common thing to do at Kiyomizudera, besides admiring the surrounding beauty, is to go to touch the special water at one of the waterfalls. It’s meant to give you magical powers by contacting the water, so what have you got to lose.  

 

kyoto

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple.

 

Move on Quickly to Kinkakuji Temple

You don’t have to spend a significant amount of time at Kinkakuji Temple, but it’s a must-see tourist place you need to check out when you are visiting Kyoto.

The Golden structure of the Kinkakuji Temple is nothing short of spectacular with the mountains appearing in the backdrop. All in all, there isn’t much else to do at Kinkakuji other than to gaze your eyes over the incredible golden structure, which is worth the admittance price alone.  

 

Enjoy an Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and Fushimi tour with Klook!

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Kinkaku-Ji temple

Kinkaku-Ji temple.

A trip to Arashiyama is compulsory

Arashiyama is a gold mine for tourist and any trip to Japan is not complete without a visit to the popular tourist spot situated a little outside of Kyoto.

There are tons of attractions to visit with an abundance of temples, gardens, tea houses, a monkey park, and of course, the world-famous Bamboo Grove walk, which is a real hit for all visitors.

However, the big appeal of Arashiyama is its natural beauty; it’s gorgeous to walk through the breathtaking attractions and take in the surrounds and nature around you.

Main attractions to quickly squeeze in at Arashiyama:  

 

The Bamboo Grove: Thousands of bamboo trees lined up as far as the eye can see, as you walk down the path through the middle of the Bamboo tree. It certainly is a captivating place, even with all the crowds hanging around.  

 

The Bamboo Forest Walk

The Bamboo Grove.

 

  Ten-Ryu Temple: A stunning temple of Arashiyama, but the big eye-opener off the attraction will be the abundance of natural beauty that surrounds the temple.

It makes for a great photo opportunity at the picturesque temple.  

 

Arashiyama

Tenryu Temple.

 

Okochi Sanso Garden: It’s the best walk in Arashiyama, with beautiful gardens, Japanese buildings and mesmerising views over Kyoto seen from some amazing vantage points on the hills.

It’s quite an admission fee for entry into the garden but more than worth it once you try the Green Tea and sweet cake in the picturesque tea house.  

 

Okochi Sanso Garden

A Japanese house inside Okochi Sanso Garden.

 

  A quick stroll down Katsura River: A beautiful riverside walk down the Katsura River is the tonic you need. It makes for an ideal chance to enjoy ramen at a riverside restaurant, or enjoy a boat ride in the river.

Before making your way back to the bustling town centre and catch a train to the next major attraction in your Kyoto Day Trip.  

 

Arashiyama in Kyoto

View the stunning Katsura River of Arashiyama in Kyoto.

 

The Fushimi Inari Shrine

The very last stop of the Kyoto places of interest during your one day trip is the world-famous Fushimi Inari Shrine.

The main Shrine of the Fushimi is a stunning feature with beautiful Japanese decorated buildings in splendid bright colours that have all tourists gathering for the best possible photo shoot in amongst the large crowds.

Once you disperse from the crowds at the main buildings of the entrance, you go further into the Shrine until you reach the famous orange torii gates, which is the number reason you visit the iconic attraction.

The Torii gates are meant to represent the staple of all holy Shinto sites, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine has thousands of them, which ultimately leads to a short hike through the bushlands as you follow the row of Torii Gates.

The length to hike through the Torii gates is approximately 2.4km kilometres in total, and in the process, you’ll pass through grave sites and religious relics, before walking down the hill and finding more incredible views that overlook Kyoto City. One final look over the region before you depart the city.  

 

 

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

The Orange Torri Gates at Fushimi Irani Shrine.

 

If time remains, explore the city area

You would have exhausted all your energy before you finally head back by train to your hotel in Osaka, or even Tokyo. Perhaps you are catching the overnight bus to another destination in Japan, for another busy day tomorrow.

With that in mind, you may have a little extra time to explore the area near Kyoto Station and relax in a café for coffee, eat a delicious Japanese meal for dinner or unwind with a cold beer at a nearby bar.

Whether the energy levels allow you to keep moving, I am not quite sure; one thing is for certain, your one day in Kyoto would have been a day full of fond memories that you’ll never forget.

I do not doubt for a moment that you’ll be coming back for a more extended stay, someday in the future.  

 

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Wandering through Nishiki Market in Kyoto City.

 

 

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Kyoto Temple Guide – The Picturesque Kodaiji Temple in Japan

Kyoto Temple Guide – The Picturesque Kodaiji Temple in Japan

It’s an unheralded temple in Kyoto; however, the Kodai-Ji temple is one of the most beautiful attractions you’ll visit in the famous tourist city of Japan.

 

Download the PDF version of the top things to see in Kyoto – Japan!

 

Whenever the question arises, what is my favourite Kyoto temple? The answer is simple and always Kodaiji Temple.

It happened during my trip, in what is easily my favourite Japanese city, when I saw many beautiful temples, such as Kinkakuji in Western Kyoto and the Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama. However, Kodaiji is what brings back the fondest of memories from my trip to Japan.

Why? The answer is quite easy to be truthful, inside, I felt most at peace, with the splendid structures and the magnificent scenery throughout the grounds at Kodai-Ji, it was beautiful, and I could have stayed for hours to view what is a Kyoto must-see attraction.

Let’s take a further look inside an incredible Kyoto Temple walk, and get you inspired, as I was when I first stepped inside this exquisite Kyoto Buddhist Temple.

 

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kodaiji temple

The very picturesque and stunning Kodaiji Temple Kyoto.

 

 

 

 

Kyoto Temple Guide – The Picturesque Kodaiji Temple

It’s a temple of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism and was established in the year 1606.  The temple was designed by Nene, who made the temple in honour of deceased husband in the name of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Like many historic structures throughout the world, the Kodaiji has needed re-construction due to past devastations.

When it comes to the temple for what it is today, for whatever reason, it’s often underrated for tourists who are visiting the popular Japanese City, which is a little confusing, because this impressive attraction of scenic beauty and is easily one the most beautiful temples which I visited during my stay in Japan.

I must admit! I didn’t get to them all of course.

 

kyoto temple

The Kangetsu-Dai, a closed roof bridge in Kodai.

 

Where is Kodaiji Temple Kyoto?

For tourists visiting the region, a trip to Kodaiji is hardly out of the way, for it is situated in the Southern Higashiyama District in the Eastern Part of Kyoto Japan, meaning it’s not too far from central part of the city and is located amongst many other tourist attractions such as Yasaka Shrine, Tenninji Temple, Ninenzaka, Gion and Kiyomizu-Dera.

Perhaps being surrounded by so many amazing places, it can get a little neglected by mistake, however, for an entrance fee of 600-Yen, there is no excuse to skip what I think is one of the finest temples in Kyoto.

Kyoto Temple Entrance Fees – 600 Yen
Kyoto Temple Opening Hours – 9 am – 5:30 pm

 

kodai temple kyoto

Entering into Kodaiji.

The stunning Architectural Buildings of Kodaiji Temple

I am not the most excellent architectural writer known to man, so I can only give it my best in this department. So, bear with me a little. Although, you can let the pictures do the talking for you.

Getting into it, I loved everything about the structures and design of the Kodaiji buildings. The primary colour that stood out within the main buildings was white panelled walls mixed in with the brown framework. If you looked closely within the temple structures, you’d notice original artist work paintings within the frames of the buildings.

Inside the grounds of the temple, you’ll come across the elegant structure, such as the Kangetsu-Dai, which is a roofed bridge, that leads into another beautiful building and with the surrounding scenery in the background, it looks incredible. Throughout your journey, there are also several tea houses that add to the glamour of the Kodaiji Temple.

 

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kodaiji

The brilliant design of one of the buildings in Kodaiji.

The Picturesque Scenery in and around the Kodai Temple

The buildings are significant, of course, but the delightful landscape designs do take this temple to another, and it is a privilege to take your time to walk through the temple and marvel at the gardens and the impressive highlands that is the backdrop to the temple.

You’ll be mesmerised by the lovely colours that are rife in the great outdoors, no matter which time of the season you may be visiting Kyoto.

Once you ascend further in, you’ll notice Kodaiji’s great outdoors includes its very own Bamboo Zen Garden, while not quite to the hype of Arashiyama’s version, you’ll still love a gentle walk through the Bamboo Grove, and you’ll discover there are a heck of a lot fewer crowds in this specific bamboo walk.

 

Kodaiji

Kodaiji’s very own Bamboo Walk.

It all blends in Perfectly to be an incredible Kyoto Japan Temple

One plus one equals two, and if that is the case, beautiful buildings plus gorgeous landscapes with astonishing scenery equals a stunning temple design that any tourists would love to be a part of during their Japan trip.

With that being the case, if you are in the Eastern Part of Kyoto visiting the Shrines, the street thoroughfares and other incredible temples in the region, make sure that you add Kodaiji Temple to the list of attractions, because in doing so, you’ll only add in what is going to be a positive Kyoto trip during your travels.

 

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Don’t forget to visit Kodaiji in Kyoto.

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A Few Wisdom Points from My Trip to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan

A Few Wisdom Points from My Trip to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan

I am not an expert on travelling in Japan, let me make that clear from the outset. I am however an enthusiast traveller and therefore a student of travel, and that means whenever I travel to new destinations for the first time, like was the case during my trip to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan, I try to soak up as much knowledge as possible and learn on the go.

The outcome is to give me a chance to share whatever knowledge I have obtained, as minor or as detailed it may be, with my readers. So if you are travelling to the region and anywhere in-between anytime soon, I may be able to assist for your upcoming Japanese experience, which promises to be a beauty, especially if my trip is a reflection on what is in store for you.

Some of this knowledge in this article will not only help you with your adventures into the neighbouring cities, but some of it will also be useful through your travels in other areas in Japan. So, sit back, get yourself a coffee and have a read through a few of the things I learnt from my brief trip to Osaka and Kyoto.

 

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Enjoy scenic attractions during your trip to Osaka and Kyoto – Kinkaku-Ji temple in Kyoto.

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A Few Wisdom Points from My Trip to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan

 

Smooth Sailing at the Airport

The Kansai International Airport just a little out of Osaka is one of the most proficient airports I have seen. The urgency and professionalism showed by the staff to get you through customs and the rest of the airport standout above most airports I have seen in my time of travelling the world.

While it’s not a pretty airport by any stretch of the imagination, that’s never important when at the end of the day when all you want to do is get through the arrival area of Kansai Airport quickly and begin your adventure in Japan with the trains or buses to other cities at your mercy.

Kansai International Airport

Arriving at a wet Kansai International Airport.

 

 

Purchase your Sim or Pocket WIFI at the Airport

Sim cards or pocket WIFI’s at Kansai International Airport are expensive, although finding an outlet outside the KIX airport is difficult, and that is precisely what a staff member selling the sim cards told me before I ignorantly ignored her and exited the airport without a SIM.

Because Kyoto was the first city I visited in Japan, I ended buying a sim card at half of the price at BIC Camera, a mega electronic store near Kyoto Station which was put together by a friendly staff member because installing a SIM card is a complicated process in Japan compared to other countries. It’s not as easy putting a SIM card in the slot and turning the phone on. Believe me when I say that.

Check out the range of Pocket WIFI’s you can order at Kansai International Airport on this link.

 

 

Public Transport is Phenomenal

It’s no surprise that the public transport in Japan, specifically around the Osaka and Kyoto area, is phenomenal, albeit a little complicated especially when you don’t understand a word of Japanese. Let Google Maps be your navigator and get around the country either by train, bus or taxi and maybe get lost once or twice, as I did on a couple of occasions.

In a nutshell, the Japan rail pass system (JR Pass) runs like clockwork throughout the whole country, with the likes of bullet trains to get you where you need to go at quicker speeds, when travelling to faraway cities like Tokyo, or using the Osaka to Kyoto train that has several lines available to get you there, which usually takes you around an hour to travel between the two cities.

 

JR Pass

Get around Osaka and Kyoto with ease with your handy ICOCA card.

 

 

In saying that, Purchase your ICOCA Card To Get Around with Ease

The ICOCA Card is a necessary purchase and can be used on all local railways, buses and even shopping with some retail outlets accepting the card.

Where to buy ICOCA Card? You can purchase the ICOCA card from allocated ticketed machines at JR West train stations or the Japan Rail West office (JR Office) with an office situated right outside the central train station at Kansai Airport for easy convenience, no need to pre-order. Top up your funds to the sufficient amount required and scan the card at railway stations when entering through the gates or on buses upon getting on or off the relevant transportation.

Don’t be afraid to up your card too much either, if you still have an outstanding balance on your ICOCA Card after your Japan trip; you can refund any exceptional credit and even get a 500-yen deposit back on your ICOCA card upon handing it back in if you wish. Some conditions do apply.

Check out this handy website on purchase and details out the ICOCA Card.

 

 

Don’t be a J-walker; you could look like a fool

One thing that surprised me through my adventures through my travels in Osaka and Kyoto was how little the Japanese people J-walked at pedestrian crossings. You know what I mean, people who don’t cross the road on a red light. While it did happen on a few occasions, more often it didn’t occur.

It didn’t matter if the pedestrian crossing was on a quiet street with no cars around; most locals would wait until the light turned green before crossing the road. It astounded me really to see a calm intersection and about four-metres to get to the other side, and no one would cross, they would wait patiently until the light turned green. That kind of patience wouldn’t happen where I am from in Australia.

The bottom line is, J-walking is frowned upon in Japan, and you can be given a fine for crossing on a red light. A friend in Japan did tell me that the police are stricter on such rules to the locals than foreigners, but it’s the best advice to do the right and wait for the light to turn green before crossing, you may look back to find that you were the only fool to cross at the wrong time.

 

Osaka and Kyoto

The streets are easy to walk in Jan, don’t J-walk.

 

Don’t place your rubbish on the ground

Not to litter is a no brainer of course, but don’t litter on the streets because you will get fined by police for throwing your rubbish on the ground, as you should. The roads in Japanese cities are mainly clean of waste, and it’s advised that you follow suit and keep your rubbish on you until you can find a bin to place your trash and sometimes it can be a while, as public rubbish bins are far and few between in Osaka and Kyoto. But still, don’t litter.

 

Bicycles are everywhere and usually on the footpath

The locals love to ride bikes but instead of riding their bike on the side of the road, they travel along the path with pedestrians, and it can create a hazardous environment, especially when it goes all wrong. The best practice is to walk in a straight line and try and not veer off to the side if it can be helped because you never know what is coming up behind you.

Once I did veer off that straight line and almost got in a tangle. Naturally, a few choice words were coming right back at me (I didn’t understand them). I soon learnt that being all over the place is not a safe practice and usually if you do the right thing, you won’t get tangled up with a cyclist. Although when you are a tourist in another country, a lot of things can distract you.

 

Locals will dress in a Kimono, ask politely if you want a photo

Just because the locals like to dress up in their traditional kimono dress, especially in Kyoto, it doesn’t mean they are tourist attractions, where it is safe to assume you have permission to have photos with them as you feel. They are just everyday people, dressing up in their Kimono and sightseeing the lovely attractions just like yourself.

Naturally, it’s fine to ask and more often or not they will give permission to have a photo with them, just like I did in the picture below. At times, they may even refuse, say thank you and walk away, there is no need to be offended. On another note, you will encounter times where high school students in large groups will ask for a photo with a Western foreigner, it did happen to me a few times, and I was more than happy to oblige.

 

kimono japan

A photo with a couple of locals ina kimono in front of Heian Shrine in kyoto.

 

 

Don’t panic in the event of an earthquake

In my brief time travelling in Osaka and Kyoto, an earthquake happened while I was catching a train out to Nara. At the moment of the earthquake hitting, all phones were alerted with a loud tone to state that there was an emergency and in no time, the authorities were around to help to make sure everyone was safe.

Earthquakes are unfortunately frequent in Japan, and the best advice is just to follow the local’s routine and do as they do. Any announcements going over the loudspeaker above are all in Japanese, and at times you will feel helpless at what to do in that moment of crisis, or indeed what is happening next. The locals will know what to do in the event of an earthquake, and usually, they are calm and measured during the process, and it’s best to follow their lead.

If you do need to reach out to anyone in Japan during any crisis, the best advice is to find University, aged students, the chances are they may be able to assist in some way with basic English grammar. That is indeed how I got my information during the four-hour delay during the earthquake in Osaka.

 

Overkill Friendly – Get used to it

The Japanese are friendly folk, and that is indeed a great thing, I wish a lot of other countries could embrace the customer like the Japanese do when doing something simple and purchasing a coffee at a Starbucks store. Their customer service is top notch.

At times you may think it is overkill friendly, because anyone who enters a shop, restaurant, café, will be thanked for coming into their store and again upon exiting the shop. It could be five people arriving or exiting at the same time, but the friendly staff will do their best to shout out a thank you very much (in Japanese) to every individual. I loved the cheerful greetings and found it fascinating, but then again, I am a massive fan of using your manner and the Japanese people get it right.

 

Katsura River

Be prepared for friendly service when sitting down for a meal.

 

Lots of coins – Be ready for it

Carrying a large number of Coins in Japan is common, and you’ll always need to be prepared to have a large wallet or a convenient travel bag with you. The bottom line is, you will get an annoying amount of loose change during your travels, and that won’t be helped, because at times you’ll think it gets shovelled out to you.

You could hand over a sizeable ten-thousand-yen note at a retail outlet and coming back at you in change will be several coins of different numeracies, especially those annoying one-yen coins, which at times are useless and hardly ever accepted at vending machines, but you’ll work it out.

Another essential detail to note, when purchasing any product in Japan, they have coin tray in front of you on the counter. Usually, you don’t hand it over to them by hand to hand, you place your notes or coins in the tray in front of you. Sometimes the shop assistant will even point to the plate when you attempt to hand it over directly. Although I will admit, the plate is a useful way to get rid of your small change as it allows you time to get it right.

 

Vending Machines are everywhere – You probably knew that already

Put those coins to good use, because just about every street corner you go to in Osaka and Kyoto, you are bound to find a stack of vending machines rowed together. It’s not always drinks you’ll find in those handy vending machines either, because you’ll often find a variety of vending machines full of either ice-creams, snacks, coffee, beer and even cigarettes, because that is just how they roll in Japan, but at least you’ll get rid of those frustrating coins that seriously mount up.

 

Divulge in Green-Tea Soft-Served ice-cream

During your Osaka Itinerary, adventures in Kyoto or anywhere in Japan for that matter, you are bound to find many boutique ice-cream shops that serve the ever popular green-tea ice-cream cones that people queue up to purchase the delicious sweet.

If the green-tea flavour is not your thing, you should find the other popular flavours in vanilla or chocolate as another choice, or why not combine a couple and have several options.

There you have it, some of the practical wisdom I gained through my adventures in Osaka and Kyoto. Two genuinely unique cities that need your attention and one thing is for sure; you’ll love your time travelling in Japan.

Hey! Check out a four-day Itinerary to Kyoto, right here.

 

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Green-tea ice-cream, Japan style.

Delicious Green-tea ice-cream, Japan style.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle.

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Incredible Things to do in Kyoto That Won’t Break the Bank – Japan

Incredible Things to do in Kyoto That Won’t Break the Bank – Japan

Kyoto in Japan is full of amazing places and attractions that must be seen, check out these list of things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank.

 

Download the PDF version of the top things to see in Kyoto – Japan!

 

Do you need to prepare for an upcoming trip to Japan by knowing a list of things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank, you have come to the right place in search of a few activities, attractions and beautiful places that can be ideal for any traveller who visits the picturesque city of Japan.

We all know that travelling in Japan can be somewhat costly, that’s not to say that there aren’t amazing things to do in the country that won’t hurt your wallet too much.

The same can be said about the popular tourist city in Kyoto, which is one attraction rolled into another, with the hectic city often keeping you on your feet as you rush around to visit all the amazing places to visit in the region.

Kyoto is a stunning location full of amazing scenery, particularly in the cherry blossom season, there are eye-catching temples that have the incredible infrastructure and a vibrant city centre with a mixture of culture, tradition and modern entity.

Let’s check it out without wasting a further moment of your time, a list of the best things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank.

 

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Kyoto Japan

Incredible Things to do in Kyoto That Won’t Break the Bank.

 

 

Incredible Things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank

 

Visit unbelievable Temples

Many temples are situated in and around Kyoto, and often they are located in beautiful locations that are tucked away near unbelievable scenery and highlands.

Many tourists make their way to the temples to catch a glimpse of the incredible infrastructure and designs of the stylish buildings, with each temple visited having their own unique appeal.

Cost: Most temples in Kyoto come with a small entrance fee with the price ranging from 300-600 yen, the admission price is always worth it.

Temples of note to visit in Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji Temple
Kodai-Ji Temple
Tenryu-Ji Temple
Ryoan-Ji Temple

 

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The Tenryu-Ji Temple

The Tenryu-Ji Temple in Arashiyama.

 

 

Be mesmerised by Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizudera may be another temple, but this stunning attraction offers so much more than its amazing buildings that captivate this specific area of Kyoto. In the lead up to Kiyomizudera.

In the lead up, there is a busy pedestrian thoroughfare where many tourists and locals are dressed up as Geisha’s in their fine traditional kimono dress, with plenty of markets and food outlets situated along the busy street.

Further, in the Kiyomizudera temple, you’ll find sensational views that overlook the whole Kyoto region.

Cost: Entry to into the main Kiyomizudera temple with the sacred water will cost 300-yen, however, if you want to roam about the temples and witness the stunning views, that will cost you nothing.

 

Related Article: Check out the best things to do in Japan during your adventures!

Kyoto City

Kiyomizudera and Beautiful Kyoto City in Japan.

 

 

Explore Arashiyama on the outskirts of Kyoto

Arashiyama is one of the hottest spots to visit in Kyoto or Japan for that matter with amazing scenery, temples, a bamboo forest, beautiful gardens, a monkey forest and a unique township that offers extra vibrancy to the area.

You can make sure to check it out when on vacation in Kyoto and go exploring the picturesque area of Arashiyama.

Cost: Free to roam about the area, but many attractions will cost between 300-600 yen to enter. Find hotels in Arashiyama on Booking.com.

 

Places of Interest to visit in Arashiyama

Bamboo Grove
Okochi Sanso Garden
Monkey Park
Iwatayama
Tenryu-Ji Temple

 

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Arashiyama in Kyoto

View the stunning scenery of Arashiyama in Kyoto.

 

 

Wander the grounds of Heian and Yasaka Shrine

The Heian and Yasaka Shrines offer more incredible snap-worthy infrastructure which can be visited one after the other, being located only 15-minutes apart by foot.

The Heian Shrine is a quieter attraction that comes with a sensation garden that is compulsory viewing, while the Yasaka Shrine offers vibrancy with many tourists due to its central area to other nearby attractions in Kyoto which include Kodaiji and Kiyomizudera.

Cost: Both shrines are free to roam about at will, however, it will cost 600-yen to enter the delightful Heian Shrine Gardens. Absolutely worth it and a must do in Kyoto.

 

the Heian Jingu Shrine

The Heian Shrine Garden.

 

 

Explore the city streets of Kyoto

The city streets of Kyoto can be fascinating, to say the least, in areas you have modern style areas with flush shopping malls, modern business districts and fine-dining restaurants.

Then, there are the quiet back streets that have a real Japanese feel about it, with traditional housing, restaurants and local business set-up throughout back streets. the best part about the whole of Kyoto city is its cleanliness, but that is a common trait in Japan.

Cost: Free to explore and roam the city streets to see the top things to do in Kyoto.

Best Places to go in Kyoto City

Kyoto Station
Nijo Castle
Nishiki Market
Downtown Kyoto (for shopping)
Kyoto Tower

 

Kyoto Japan

Walk the streets of Kyoto.

 

 

Visit Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is a popular attraction for tourist with its central location to the city which is easily accessible by train and bus.

It’s a must to add Nijo Castle to the list and view the classic architecture of the buildings, the surrounding gardens and the fine artwork on display inside the main castle.

Cost: It cost 600-yen to enter the gates of Nijo Castle.

 

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Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle.

 

Check out the Kyoto Imperial Palace

Located in the Imperial Park and only a stone throw from Nijo Castle, the Kyoto Imperial Palace is another historic attraction that was once used to house the Emperor of Japan.

In this Palace, you can view more unique structures and beautiful gardens during you walk through a kingdom fit for an Emperor.

Cost: Free entry and includes an optional free tour with an English guide through the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

 

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace.

 

 

Go for a stroll along Kamo River

If you are someone who loves to take a relaxing stroll in the great outdoors, you’ll love to wander the banks of the Kamo River and admire the picturesque scenery that surrounds you and traditional Japanese restaurants on the other side.

It’s a popular spot to relax at the river side, listen to music from your smartphone and chill in Kyoto for a little while.

Cost: It’s absolutely nothing to lose a few calories and enjoy a relaxing stroll on the banks of Kamo River.

 

Things to do in Kyoto

Kamo River in Kyoto Japan, all those structures on the left are famous Japanese restaurants that will cost a bit.

 

Get cultural in a variety of Pedestrian Thoroughfares

Tourist and locals saturate the popular pedestrian thoroughfares that are located in the Kyoto city and create a lively atmosphere on the streets.

Whether you are roaming about during the day or making the most of the popular nightlife, these thoroughfares offers marketplaces, street food, tea houses and a cultural dining experience to give the tourist a real Japanese treat.

Cost: free to lose yourself in a wave of people and explore the popular tourist streets of Kyoto.

Pedestrian thoroughfares to visit

Gion
Ninenzaka

Visiting Japan

Wander Ninenzaka, a popular pedestrian thoroughfare.

 

 

Divulge in Delicious Japanese Food

Japanese food, that’s right, delicious Japanese food, Kyoto Style. Who doesn’t love to try a variety of food in a range of budgets at stylish restaurants, street food or lavish food courts and divulge in tasty local foods.

Get those noodles, soup and sushi into you and enjoy nice cold Asahi beer while your at it. Why not? You’re on holidays.

Cost: Choose your own budget on this one, the prices can vary.

 

City of Perth

Try various Japanese foods at different budgets.

 

 

Get lost inside Fushimi Inari Taisha

One of the most visited attractions in Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine mesmerises with it elegantly designed structures and the famous Orange Torii Gates that creates a walk to remember.

In Fushimi, there is over 10K gates to walk through inside several kilometres of track to conquer to see them all, that is if you have the stamina of course.

Cost: Free to wander and take an incredible walk through the famous Torii Gates that is seen in the 2005 movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

 

There you have it, incredible things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank, because even in Japan, you can enjoy a fantastic adventure without spending too much money.

Related Article: Check out this four day Kyoto Itinerary, right here. 

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

The Orange Torri Gates at Fushimi Irani Shrine.

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Japan Travel Advice – How to Tackle A Cultural and Busy Country Like Japan

Japan Travel Advice – How to Tackle A Cultural and Busy Country Like Japan

Contributor

Heading to Japan is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do because it gives you the chance to see a part of the world that’s probably very unfamiliar to you.

Even if you’ve travelled a lot in other parts of the world, you’ve almost certainly never seen anywhere like Japan because there is nowhere else like this stunning country. 

The one thing you may need to decide while preparing the plans for your trip, when is the best time to visit Japan? 

Therefore, how do you tackle it when you head there for the first time? Read on to learn about some tips that’ll help you to do just that when you are travelling the fascinating country of Japan.

 

like Japan

How to tackle a country like Japan – Image Source. 

 

How to Tackle The Cultural and Busy Country Like Japan

 

Decide on Your Own Priorities

Everyone has their own priorities and things they want to do most when they head to Japan, and that’s actually a good thing.

You need to make sure that your priorities are sorted so that you know what you want to do first. One thing’s for sure; you won’t have time to do everything you want to do and that’s why it’s so important to do the most important stuff first.

 

Don’t Confine Yourself to Tokyo, as Tempting as it Might Be

There’s always that temptation to fly to Tokyo and then to stay there for the entirety of your trip.

That’s certainly an understandable way of thinking because Tokyo is one of the biggest and most impressive cities on the face of the earth, but there is so much more out there.

Places like Kyoto and Osaka deserve to be explored, so don’t be scared to branch out a little further and see other sides of Japan.

 

Explore the Back Alleys of Japanese Cities

One of the great things about exploring Japan is the things you find when you go down the side streets and the back alleys.

This is where you find the tiny bars and restaurants where the local people relax at the end of the day.

That’s the real face of Japan, and it’s where you should spend a lot of your time when you’re there.

 

Arashiyama

A traditional carriage is on one way to view the back streets of Arashiyama.

 

Invest in a Japan Rail Pass

Japan Rail passes are fantastic for tourists, and if you want to get around easily, you will definitely want to use these for the duration of your stay.

The best thing about them is that you will get discounts on trains, making the whole trip a lot more affordable than it might otherwise be and you can’t go wrong with that.

 

Make the Most of Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are Japanese staples, and they sell all the little things that you might want and need while you’re over there.

You should make the most of them because they can really save you when you need something quick and cheap to eat when you’re travelling on the go.

Japan is a vast country, and if you’ve never been there before, it can be overwhelming when you first visit it.

Don’t try to pack every little activity into your stay because that’s simply not going to happen. Focus on doing the things hat you really want to do and then worry about the other stuff on your second trip.

 

Kyoto City

Beautiful Kyoto in Japan.

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