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Kyoto

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in autumn, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 100 metres (330 feet) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Kyoto Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Kyoto

Gion which includes night scenes, street scenes and cycling

Gion

5/5Exceptional!(46 area reviews)

Unique features of Gion include the monuments and shopping. Make a stop by Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre or Yasaka Shrine while you're exploring the area.

Gion
Sannenzaka Ninenzaka featuring a small town or village and street scenes as well as a large group of people

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

5/5Exceptional!(5 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the gardens and monuments in Sannenzaka Ninenzaka. You might want to make time for a stop at Sannenzaka Museum or Hokanji Temple.

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Top hotels in Kyoto

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
4 out of 5
The price is RM257 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nijō Castle and Shijo Omiya. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 1 mile ...

4.3/5Excellent! (988 reviews)

"Low season, good price, excellent view of nijojo Castle."…"

Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020

ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
3 out of 5
The price is RM161 per night

Located in Gion, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gion Corner, Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within ...

4/5Very Good! (856 reviews)
Great location - would stay again for location

"This is our second APA hotel that we've stayed at so far. Nothing that really caught my attention honestly other than the amazing location. I'd stay at this hotel again especially for the location. Literally, the Yasaka shrine is less than a block away. One tiny thing was that it felt a little dusty ..."…"

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2020

APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is RM320 per night

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (3,023 reviews)

"Muy buen hotel, cuartos bastantes amplios, todos equipados. Desayuno bastante completo y bueno"…"

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

Popular places to visit in Kyoto

Kyoto Tower
Image for Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

4/5(117 reviews)

In a city known for its temples and other ancient relics, this observation point catches the eye as an example of 20th-century innovation.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Image for Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

4.5/5(249 reviews)

This shrine at the base of Inari Mountain is dedicated to the goddess of rice and prosperity. See its thousands of red gates around a network of beautiful trails.

Kiyomizu Temple
Image for Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple

4.5/5(157 reviews)

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Nishiki Market
Image for Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

4.5/5(50 reviews)

Come to this market in the heart of the city to experience the authentic sights, smells and sounds of the bartering vendors and their traditional food.

Nijō Castle
Image for Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle

4.5/5(81 reviews)

Visit the world of a wealthy and powerful shogun in this opulent 17th-century castle complex.

Yasaka Shrine
Image for Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Observe traditional Shinto architecture, pretty lanterns and sacred rituals at this historic shrine, home of the annual Gion Festival and Kyoto’s favorite cherry blossom park.

Top things to do in Kyoto

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
Image for Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

98% of travellers recommend
RM726
Per adult
Ninja Experience for Kids and Families in Kyoto
Image for Ninja Experience for Kids and Families in Kyoto

Ninja Experience for Kids and Families in Kyoto

100% of travellers recommend
RM121
Per adult
Kyoto: Small Group History & Cultural Walking Tour
Image for Kyoto: Small Group History & Cultural Walking Tour

Kyoto: Small Group History & Cultural Walking Tour

100% of travellers recommend
RM341
Per adult
Nighttime Local Eats and Streets in Old Kyoto
Image for Nighttime Local Eats and Streets in Old Kyoto

Nighttime Local Eats and Streets in Old Kyoto

98% of travellers recommend
RM557
Per adult
Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package
Image for Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package

Sightseeing Day with Kimono Rental Package

92% of travellers recommend
RM121
Per adult
Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour
Image for Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour

Small-Group Kyoto Cycling Tour

88% of travellers recommend
RM374
Per adult

Reviews of Kyoto

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
278
5 - Excellent 73.54497354497354%
4 - Good
87
4 - Good 23.015873015873016%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 1.8518518518518519%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 1.5873015873015872%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Apr 2020

Third time visiting Kyoto. Will definitely be back again

5/5 - Excellent

Di

21 Mar 2020

A fantastic place to visit. So much history and the temples are just awesome. Recommend a day tour if visiting for a short time but I am looking forward to exploring on my own and spending more time at some sites next time.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Feb 2020

Kyoto has the best of both worlds...modern and traditional. Close to Osaka,Nara. Easy to get around.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Feb 2020

Nice city and nice people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Jan 2020

Everything that Tokyo is missing.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

19 Jan 2020

Plan carefully as many places seemed to be under restoration. Also, it was considerably mor crowded with ( mainly mainland Chinese) tourists than our last visit

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