The Coolest Neighborhoods in Kyoto

HRPER8 Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan
HRPER8 Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan | © Juri Pozzi / Alamy Stock Photo

Kyoto is an easy city to navigate and explore – by foot or public transportation, which is truly fantastic. Many attractions in Kyoto are within a comfortable walking distance from each other, which makes the journey very convenient. If you want to discover Kyoto’s history, culture and amazing cuisine and yet experience a unique atmosphere and charm, get ready to stroll among the most intriguing neighborhoods of this city. Join us as we take a look at the coolest neighborhoods in Kyoto.

Loved by over 40s

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.


Arashiyama is a cool district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, which offers the chance to experience the traditional charms of the ancient city with its well preserved historic streets. You can walk through a vibrant bamboo grove, eat a traditional Zen Buddhist meal and get up close and personal with some cute local monkeys.


Gion is Kyoto’s most famous neighbourhood and is the best place in the city to spot an elusive geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha). Located in the heart of Kyoto, it is a place where the traditional charms and mysterious allure of old Kyoto still remain. Walk in Pontocho Alley in the evening and you just might hear the distinctive clip clop sound of geta (wooden sandals) as a geisha hurries down the street on the way to her evening appointment. There are also a fantastic range of traditional Japanese restaurants, bars and teahouses to be found down some of the many side streets and alleyways of Gion.


The Higashiyama district of Kyoto is famous for its many beautiful and historic temples all located within easy walking distance of each other. The most famous is Kiyomizu-dera Temple which you can walk to in around 20 minutes from Yasaka Shrine in Gion. The journey to the ancient temple is all part of the charm and experience of Higashiyama with the narrow lanes lined with traditional wooden buildings and merchant shops selling all kinds of local crafts and souvenirs.


Head to The Nishijin Textile Centre to see how Nishijin textiles are created using traditional skills and techniques

The Nishijin district located in the northwest of central Kyoto is the city’s famed weaving district, the source of all those stunning kimono fabrics and obi (kimono sashes). It is one of Kyoto’s most traditional neighborhoods with machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses), well-preserved streets and impressive wooden architecture. It is home to numerous clothing factories, including HOSOO, a super innovative textile company and showroom founded way back in 1688. Check out the Nishijin Textile Center for a free kimono show and a spot of shopping.


Fushimi is located in southern Kyoto and is most famous for one of Kyoto’s biggest tourist attractions, Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is, quite simply, one of the most impressive and memorable sights in all of Japan. An entire world of shrines and torii shrine gates wind their way up an entire mountain creating one of the most magical experiences in the world. Thousands of vermilion shrine gates create a visually stunning tunnel-effect, lining several paths which snake up the forested mountain to the summit. Whatever you do, don’t miss it!

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.