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Autumn Garden in Kyoto| © 
Autumn Garden in Kyoto| © mrhayata Flickr

A Couple’s Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Picture of John Asano
Updated: 27 October 2017

Kyoto’s unique mix of ancient history, traditional culture and natural beauty makes it a perfect spot for couples to visit. The city is full of romantic spots, picturesque attractions and beautiful paths to explore, with each season bringing its own blend of charm and colour. Here is our couples guide to Kyoto.

Stay at a romantic Ryokan

Ryokan are traditional Japanese inns that were the popular choice of travelers back in the day of the samurai. What more perfect way for a couple to relax than to enjoy an exquisite multi course kaiseki meal in a private tatami mat room followed by a soak in a private onsen (hot spring). You can even enjoy some quiet time together in your yukata robes while you gaze out at your own private garden.

Enjoy a romantic walk along the Philosopher’s Path

The Philosopher’s Path is a romantic 2 km walk along a cherry blossom lined canal south of Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion) to Nanzen-ji Temple. It is named after the famous Japanese philosopher, Kitaro Nishida, who like to stroll along this very path. The Philosopher’s Path is stunning in spring when the cherry blossoms bloom forming a tunnel of pink petals. The area around the path is dotted with cafes, making it a perfect spot for couples to sit and relax with a cup of coffee and admire the beautiful scenery.

Test your love at Jishu Shrine

Jishu Shine can be found in the grounds of Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto’s most famous temple. The shrine is dedicated to love and matchmaking and is Kyoto’s most famous spot for successful relationships. Test your match at the “Love Stones”, a pair of stones that legend states if you can walk successfully from one to the other with your eyes closed then your love will last forever. You can even buy a set of love charms for couples to seal the deal further.

1-317 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, +81 75-541-2097

Soak up the romantic atmosphere of the Kamo river

The banks of the Kamo River are a popular walking spot for residents, tourists and couples. The local date spot is very atmospheric at night when the lights come on and illuminate the surrounding buildings. In summer, you can enjoy some al fresco dining as many restaurants open their balconies out on to the river.

Be dazzled by the lights of Higashiyama Hanatoro

The Higashiyama Hanatoro event is held in the southern Higashiyama sightseeing area near Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The spring illumination is very romantic with lanterns placed along the paths and lanes of the historic district. The magical event culminates at Maruyama Park where various light sculptures and installations are displayed.

Relax in a spa at Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate is one of Japan’s three scenic views and is nicknamed the “Bridge to Heaven” because it looks just like a pathway from heaven to earth. You can spend the day admiring the pine covered sandbar and beaches, and the evening relaxing in one of the open air baths at Miyazu Royal Hotel.

Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, +81 772-22-8030

Indulge in Matcha and let the world go by at Ito Kyuemon

Ito Kyuemon is a Japanese café located in the historic city of Uji, Kyoto, where matcha green tea has been grown for over 500 years. Uji is regarded as the center of Japanese tea culture and is the perfect place to enjoy some matcha just as the shoguns of the past did many years ago. Here you can enjoy a traditional matcha green tea or modern matcha cappuccino, along with some matcha cheesecake and matcha nama chocolate. What could be better?

19-3 Todoaramaki, Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, +81 774-23-3955