When you travel to Kyoto, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Kyoto, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Kyoto to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Kyoto things to do can include exploring Kyoto attractions and visiting the places of interest.
The Japanese wooden architecture, especially the religious ones, the art of the Japanese gardens are all illustrated in this beautiful city but the historic monuments of historic Kyoto have outstanding universal value.
The 17 buildings that are recognized by UNESCO forming the center of Japanese culture:
Kamigamo Shrine, Shimogamo Shrine, Toji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, Hieizan, Enryakuji Temple, Daigoji Temple, Ninnaji Temple, Byodoin Temple, Ujigami Shrine, Kozanji Temple, Kokedera/Moss Temple, Tenryuji Temple, Kinkakuji Temple/Golden Pavilion, Ginkakuji Temple/Silver Pavilion, Ryoanji Temple, Nishi-Hongwanji Temple and Nijo Castle.
Begin your day at this green island located in the middle of Southern Higashiyama Sightseeing District. In the park, enjoy looking at the turtles and carps in the pond and walk up to the greener sections at the ascending end. When the hike tires you relax with drinks and snacks in the cafeteria.
Another day can be started at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the most amusing temple for children and adults too. It’s effortless to get here. At the temple, you must visit the Tainai-Meguri, Jishu-jinja and Otowa-no-taki Spring.
Sannen-Zaka/ Ninen Zaka: when you exit this temple and make your way downhill to Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka slopes, the scenic lanes are filled with restaurants, souvenir stores and teahouses and most of it will be of some interest to children, particularly the teenagers.
The Silver Pavilion Temple was intended to be covered in silver and thus the name but it is made of plain wood. Therefore though the building was intended to be a monument to pretension, at present it exemplifies Japanese enhancement and self-control.
Established by Emperor Kameyama in 1291, this is a Zen Buddhist Temple, later became the most important of the Rinzai temples of Japan.
Mainly focuses on the traditional art of Japan featuring a permanent collection and many temporary special exhibits too.
Museum of Modern Art: here the works on display in the permanent collection changes every two months. The building itself is a modern edifice and was completed in 1986.
There is a very attractive permanent exhibition about the history of the city.
In the hills north of Kinkakuji Temple is this private garden well known for its cherry blossoms in spring drawing thousands of visitors. Other plants and flowers that can be seen are apple, azaleas, dogwood, and rhododendron.
It’s the oldest botanical garden in the entire country and houses more than 12,000 plants. The Garden has both European and Japanese styles incorporated and the cherry trees in full bloom during spring are an awesome sight. The glass houses contain orchids, cacti, tropical and carnivorous ad tropical plants.
Located behind the Yasaka shrine this again is a very popular place for cherry blossom viewing or “hanami” and is a lovely place to take a casual stroll. Maruyama Koen became a public park in 1871.
A must see in Kyoto, it is a lovely spot that includes a nice walk uphill and the Tori Gates which is very unique and special.
When you want to take a break from temples viewing do visit this art complex for a local performance which is breathtaking. Since its a silent but an energetic performance, it touches the hearts of people who don’t understand Japanese as well.
If you want a view of the autumn foliage, you must see this place at night for a magnificent look. There is also a statue of Amida Buddha and it’s an amazing place with great history.
An unimaginably beautiful walk through the way to Kiyomizu-dera where you catch a glimpse of the cultural heritage of Kyoto. There a traditional wooden houses on the sides of the streets and quaint restaurants and coffee shops. If you find fun in aimlessly wandering and getting lost then this is the place for you.
The tickets for this magnificent journey can be pre-booked and you get to witness the lovely autumn colours in an entertaining 25 minutes journey costing 620 yen one way.
The cable car starts from the Yase Station to Hiei and the thrilling journey begins when you overlook the Ohara West Hiei top.
In the months September to November, there is a bus service from Kyoto City to Miyama Village is there on weekends and holidays and the bus is named “Miyama-Nature”. The journey time is ine and a half hours nd the cost is 2800 yen. Once you reach the destination you are completely transported to a different world where the pastoral wonderland will bring in peace and tranquillity to your mind and bring you closer to nature. This therefore is the “Green Tour of Kyoto”.
For a lovely and relaxing time, head 30 minutes from Kyoto to the Kurama Onsen Hot Spring which is very beautiful and well maintained. The bathing experience is in the outdoor bath is very relaxing.
Otsuka: when you are on your way to the monkey park this place is a must stop for an authentic meal. The price is reasonable and the beef here is mouth-watering. Ribs and steaks are also a hit here.
Hafuu Honten: the location is a little offbeat where and is a 10-minute walk from the Jingumarutamachi train station. The wagyu sirloin is much talked about and boasts of a cosy and intimate ambience.
Kyo Chabana Kyotoekimae: right outside the Kyoto station is this restaurant for authentic Japanese food and a very friendly staff to serve you.
A very rich culinary tradition is maintained in Kyoto and the local food culture is very diverse and aristocratic ranging from kaiseki riyori course dinners to the vegetarian shojin ryori or the simple obanzai riyori home style cooking. Ramen, sushi and udon though not typically from Kyoto is also a favourite dish.
Nega Posi is a venue for live music, a great place to get a flavour of the local music scene.
The ING Bar: Smoking Hell is small and traditional with a limited seating of 30, hence little cramped. But you get beer here at a cheap rate, therefore, pulls a crowd of all kinds. The location is also very convenient.
Hub Bar: It’s a kind of a relaxed bar mostly frequented by foreigners. The drinks are reasonably priced and their Caesar salad, salmon, and chips are also much talked about.
Pig & Whistle is a popular Irish pub located in Eastern Kyoto and is very huge catering to around 100 customers at a time.
Club Metro is an underground disco and music club where all kinds of music re played to tap along.
Club World is the biggest in town and ideal for dancing the whole night. You will get to meet many rich and famous here.
At night when the temples are closed you can head towards this place to watch the cultural shows of geishas and maikos, an introduction of Japanese culture which must be seen at least once.
This is a shopper’s paradise and a great place to mix around with the local Japanese crowd. With colourful stores decking the street it’s a good place for an early morning stroll.
Le Marche at Institute Franco-Japonais du Kansai is held once a month.
Kyoto City Hall Flea Market is held every Sunday from 10 am -4 pm.
There’s an antique market called Kobo-San at To-Ji temple on the 21st of every month.
Chion-Ji Tezukuri Ichi is an open-air handmade market held on the 15th of every month.
It’s a huge and mind boggling store spread across floor and is a tourist attraction in itself. Here you get laquerware, ceramics and don’t miss out on the lovely kimonos.
It is a smaller store but very popular with the local ladies who go there for the latest fashion jewellery.
This store also has a book shop in the 6th floor and a supermarket and a food court in the B1 floor.
It is very elegant located near the Station building for last minute shopping for the tourists and then hopping off to catch the train.
Nishiki Market is a five-block-long narrow market with more than 100 shops lined up on either side of the street. It is a very lively marketplace specializing mainly in food-related products like seafood, cookware, seasonal foods, sweets, pickle etc.