Planning a little or long trip to Japan? But wandering where to go? No problem. Your destination depends on what you want. If you want to see the great metropolitan area, national museum, skyscrapers or amazing festivals, you will get a great experience visiting Tokyo. But if you are the traditional type who loves diverse cultures and shrines, Kyoto should be your best destination. Well if you still have some doubts, in the other sections, I will recommend you 10+ Best Places you need to visit in Kyoto. But first of all, let’s have a small history.
Officially Kyōto City is the capital city of Kyōto Prefecture in Japan. It was previously Japan’s capital from 794 to 1868. It’s considered one of the country’s largest cities with about 1.5 million people.
In the past, Kyoto was destroyed by wars and fires, but due to its historical values, the city was saved from large-scale destruction during World War II.
Today the city has grown and become a destination for many tourists. Some of these destinations are shrines, Buddhist temples, palaces and gardens. In the next sections of this article, I will list out different attractions and places you need to visit when going on a trip in Kyoto or while in Kyoto.
10+ Top places you need to visit in Kyoto
Places to visit in Central Kyoto.
These are totally outstanding places you need to visit in Kyoto’s central
If it’s your first visit to Kyoto, you should consider starting in the central parts. Some attractions you ought to visit are:
The Nijo Castle. It’s one of the former Kyoto residences of the shogun. Tourists usually enter the castle’s grounds through a large gate in the east.
Kyoto Station. It was constructed on the 1200th anniversary of the capital’s foundation in Kyoto. As of 1997, it was opened to the public and tourists.
The Sento Palace. Visiting this place in Kyoto requires joining a free tour by the Imperial Household Agency. The Imperial Household Agency mainly manages all the imperial properties.
Kyoto Railway Museum. Opened in 2016, April the museum displays railway uniforms, tools and an abundance of appurtenances from past eras. The museum exhibits a total of 53 retired trains, from steam locomotives to electric trains.
Nishiki Market. It has more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Basically, you can find many of your needs during your stay.
Pontocho. It’s considered one of Kyoto’s most atmospheric dining.
Kyoto Imperial Palace. If you are visiting Kyoto, I highly recommend this palace which was the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family.
The Honganji Temple and Kyoto Tower are also placed you need to visit in Kyoto
Other places you need to visit in central Kyoto
Kyoto Manga Museum. One of these museum attractions is browsing massive manga collections. This museum also features temporary exhibitions, artworks of international artists and many others. You really need to visit this place in Kyoto especially if you are a fan of anime collections and manga. If you are a true Otaku, manga museums are not only places you need to visit in Kyoto but places you must visit.
You should also consider adding the Kyoto Aquarium and The Nijo Jinya to places you need to visit in Kyoto
13 Areas to visit in Eastern Kyoto
These are some places you need to visit in Kyoto east if you want to know more about shrines and temples.
Next, you should move to the Eastern part where you can visit areas like:
Ginkakuji. It’s a Zen temple along Kyoto’s eastern Higashiyama. Ginkakuji is the centre of contemporary culture. Nowadays, it consists of a beautiful moss garden, a unique dry sand garden and dozens of other temple buildings.
Nanzenji Temple. The central temple is open to the public and it’s free of charge. However, some fees apply for entering sub-temples and temple buildings.
The Kyoto National Museum
The Kenninji Temple
And lastly the Maruyama Park
5 top places you need to visit in Southern Kyoto
There are many other places but these are 5 places you absolutely need to in Kyoto south before taking your leave.
If you are aiming for the southern part of Kyoto, add these 5 top places to your visit plan.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Daigoji Temple and finally,
Fushimi Sake District.
10 amazing places you should visit in Northern Kyoto.
You need to visit at least 3 places in this part of Kyoto.
Are you more interested to visit the Northern part temples or shrines, I guess you will like:
But not least, Hieizan.
All these are great places you really need to visit in Kyoto.
10 other places you need to visit in Kyoto
If you are not too interested in visiting either central, southern, eastern or northern Kyoto, then you should opt for the West part with its incredible villas, temples, and railways. Henceforth you may be interested in these 10 other places to visit in Kyoto.
On the other side, you should equally aim to visit or participate in events in order to get a great experience during your stay.
Top events you need to attend in Kyoto
Many cultural and entertainment events take place periodically in Kyoto. Depending on your visiting period in Kyoto, you can add this event to your calendar trip.
Gion Matsuri. It is the festival of the Yasaka Shrine which is the most famous in Japan. It usually takes place the entire month of July.
Aoi Matsuri. This is one of the most three famous festivals in Japan and it usually takes place every May 15. Its main attraction is the large parade in Kyoto, where over 500 people dressed in the aristocratic style of the Heian Period. You definitely need to visit these amazing attractions in Kyoto during your stay.
Hanatoro. Hantoro, meaning “Flower and Light road”, is a set of illumination events that takes place in March in the Higashiyama District of Kyoto. During this event, the streets are illuminated by lanterns combined with flowers and light displays.
And finally but not least, the Jidai Matsuri. This is a festival that takes place every year on October 22. The event consists of a large parade that travels from the Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine.
Where can you Stay during your trip to Kyoto?
Some of the best hotels with high standards and good services with affordable prices you can stay during your visit in Kyoto are:
Sancoinin Kyoto Hachijoguchi
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Backpackers Hotel Ks House Kyoto
Hotel Sunroute Kyoto
Saka Hotel Kyoto.
If not for resting, some of these hotels are wonderful places to visit in Kyoto.
Where can I Eat during my Stay in Kyoto?
Restaurants are not only places to dine but equally excellent places you need to visit in Kyoto. Some of which are:
Rai Rai Tei in 〒604-8031 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward
Menya Inoichi Hanare in 〒600-8076 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Senshojicho, 463
Wajouryoumen Sugari in 471-1 Kannondocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8222
Kura Sushi in 4 Hirano Miyashikicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8365
Musashi Sushi in 440 Ebisucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8005
Gion Kappa in 〒605-0085 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Sueyoshicho, 77
Hachidaime Gihey in 〒605-0073 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Gionmachi Kitagawa
Donguri in 〒600-8217 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward,
There are not only places in Kyoto that you need to visit. You may also like to know about different tourist attractions in Osaka and Hokkaido or great museums on Naoshima Island.