There are many good reasons to visit Kyoto – colourful shrines, maiko and geisha culture, and the multi-course kaiseki ryori meals are top of the list for many. But if you’re still hovering over the Book Now button, we’ve plenty more reasons why the ancient capital of Japan should be on your travel bucket list.
A trip to Kyoto is included as part of our carefully planned 12-day tour of Japan. Led by a local insider, you’ll get expert insight into Kyoto’s attractions and everywhere beyond.
Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 historic Buddhist temples with many dating back more than a millennium. The most famous temple district is Higashiyama, where you can find some of the best and oldest temples in Japan such as the celebrated Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Kyoto is home to more than 400 colourful shrines dedicated to the ancient religion of Japan. Some of the most famous include Fushimi Inari Taisha, Heian Jingu and Yasaka Jinja.
Kyoto has one of the largest collections of Unesco World Heritage Sites on the plant, which includes 12 Buddhist temples, three Shinto shrines and one historic castle. No trip to Kyoto is complete, without visiting at least some of these amazing sites.
Take a stroll in one of the many gorgeous gardens in Kyoto, designed to be enjoyed as recreation by feudal lords and samurai shoguns. There are many places around Kyoto to enjoy these peaceful gardens from temples and shrines to public parks and ryokan (traditional inns).
Relax and contemplate the world at one of the dry stone Zen gardens in Kyoto. One of the best and most famous is the Zen Garden at Ryoan-ji Temple, which features 15 mystical rocks floating in a sea of pure white sand.
Kyoto is the birthplace of maiko and geisha (geiko in the local dialect) culture with the Gion district its spiritual home. The wooden teahouses and traditional restaurants of well preserved areas such as Hanami-koji Street and Pontocho offer the best chance to spot a geisha elegantly scurrying to their next appointment.
Kyoto is home to many ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) and machiya (traditional Kyoto townhouses) that offer a glimpse into old Kyoto. They are a fantastic place to stay to experience authentic Japanese accommodation and lifestyle.
Kyoto has a rich and historic food tradition with various culinary styles that have been around for centuries. Enjoy the luxury of carefully prepared multi-course kaiseki ryori meals, or simply relax and reap the health benefits of shojin Buddhist cuisine.
If you are a green tea lover, then you will be in matcha heaven in Kyoto. Matcha goodies can be found everywhere and include treats such as as ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cream puffs, cakes and traditional yatsuhashi confectionary.
Sake has been made in Kyoto since the 16th century with the Fushimi area home to many of the most famous sake breweries in Japan. Most places offer a chance to sample some of their finest with a great variety of tastes available.
We all love cute monkeys and the Arashiyama Monkey Park is home to around 130 wild monkeys. The park aims to replicate the wild habitat of the monkeys, so the adorable creatures roam free and hang out with the tourists who visit the park.