Kyoto

2 of 179 destinations
in Japan
97% 3704
votes
× How was it?

Kyoto (京都, Kyōto) served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is now the country's seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people and a modern face.

Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.

What To See

Central Kyoto

1

Nijo Castle

Former Kyoto residence of the shogun.

86
1313
votes
Visited by
2445 users
2

Nishiki Market

Fresh food market street in central Kyoto.

82
628
votes
Visited by
1217 users
4

Sento Palace

Imperial palace with beautiful gardens.

81
95
votes
Visited by
194 users
5

Nijo Jinya

Former inn for visiting feudal lords.

80
181
votes
Visited by
438 users
6

Pontocho

Narrow lane offering atmospheric dining.

79
452
votes
Visited by
840 users
9

Kyoto Station

Kyoto's futuristic railway station building.

73
1952
votes
Visited by
3721 users

Eastern Kyoto

1

Kiyomizudera

Temple famous for its large wooden terrace.

95
1788
votes
Visited by
3204 users
2

Ginkakuji

Beautiful temple not actually covered in silver.

87
1322
votes
Visited by
2587 users
3

Higashiyama

Preserved historic district around Kiyomizudera.

86
386
votes
Visited by
769 users
7

Gion

Kyoto's most famous geisha district.

85
1626
votes
Visited by
2967 users
11

Heian Shrine

Modeled after the ancient Imperial Palace.

81
813
votes
Visited by
1621 users
16

Maruyama Park

Kyoto's most popular park for cherry blossoms.

75
210
votes
Visited by
460 users

Southern Kyoto

4

Toji Temple

Large temple with Japan's tallest pagoda.

81
518
votes
Visited by
1041 users

Northern Kyoto

1

Kinkakuji

Temple building covered in gold.

92
2007
votes
Visited by
3627 users
4

Kibune

Town with shrine in the northern mountains.

89
41
votes
Visited by
98 users
5

Kurama

Rural town with temple and hot spring.

86
170
votes
Visited by
363 users
7

Ohara

Rural area famous for Sanzenin Temple.

85
146
votes
Visited by
356 users
9

Hieizan

Mountain temple complex of the Tendai sect.

83
173
votes
Visited by
427 users
10

Takao

Wooded valley with temples north of Kyoto.

82
62
votes
Visited by
158 users

Western Kyoto

1

Arashiyama

Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.

90
977
votes
Visited by
1890 users
2

Kokedera

Called moss temple because of its garden.

88
104
votes
Visited by
271 users
3

Katsura Villa

Imperial villa with stunning landscape garden.

87
128
votes
Visited by
289 users
9

Hozugawa Cruise

Scenic boat ride down a river towards Arashiyama.

84
16
votes
Visited by
51 users
10

Sagano Railway

Nostalgic sightseeing train through a scenic valley.

83
62
votes
Visited by
158 users

Events

2

Hanatoro

Twice annual light up event.

87
81
votes
Visited by
172 users
3

Aoi Matsuri

Historical parade from the Heian Period.

84
85
votes
Visited by
192 users
4

Jidai Matsuri

Historical parade covering an entire millenium.

79
62
votes
Visited by
150 users

Side Trips from Kyoto

1

Mount Koya

Atmospheric temple mountain.

93
376
votes
Visited by
705 users
2

Nara

Japan's first permanent capital.

91
2214
votes
Visited by
4493 users
3

Osaka

Largest city of the Kinki Region.

86
2790
votes
Visited by
5644 users
4

Kinosaki

Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.

86
151
votes
Visited by
327 users
5

Himeji

Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.

85
1060
votes
Visited by
2173 users
7

Kobe

Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.

81
1284
votes
Visited by
2805 users
8

Iga Ueno

Former castle town famous for ninja.

76
205
votes
Visited by
485 users
9

Miyama

Rural town with lots of thatched roof houses.

90
6
votes
Visited by
13 users
10

Asuka

The cradle of the Japanese civilization.

80
103
votes
Visited by
309 users
11

Koka

Rural city known as a homeland of the ninja.

72
12
votes
Visited by
101 users
Last updated: December 31, 2014
Anything we can improve?  Let us know
We strive to keep Japan Guide up-to-date and accurate, and we're always looking for ways to improve. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:
Thank you for your feedback.

Hotels around Kyoto

Find a hotel:

  • Kyoto
  • Fukuoka
  • Hakone
  • Hiroshima
  • Hokkaido
  • Kamakura
  • Kanazawa
  • Kansai Airport
  • Kyoto
  • Mount Fuji
  • Nagasaki
  • Nagoya
  • Narita Airport
  • Nikko
  • Niigata
  • Okinawa
  • Osaka
  • Sapporo
  • Sendai
  • Shima Peninsula
  • Takayama
  • Tokyo
  • 1 night
  • 2 nights
  • 3 nights
  • 4 nights
  • 5 nights
  • 6 nights
  • 7 nights
with:
  • JAPANiCAN
  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Agoda
  • Hostel World
  • Japanese Guest Houses
  • Rakuten Travel
Sponsored

Gion Hatanaka

A real Japanese inn in a quiet area of Gion, famous for Geisha. 15min walk to Kiyomizu-dera. 5min to Yasaka-jinja.

Japan Guide Recommends:

Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto

One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel

Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Khaosan Kyoto Guest House

Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

New Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.

Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Packages