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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Kyoto 
# 2   of 177 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

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.

Attractions
Central Kyoto
 1  Nijo Castle
Former Kyoto residence of the shogun.
User rating: 86/100 (1240 votes)
Visited by: 2304 users
 2  Nishiki Market
Fresh food market street in central Kyoto.
User rating: 82/100 (586 votes)
Visited by: 1133 users
 3  Kyoto Imperial Palace
The Imperial Family's residence until 1868.
User rating: 82/100 (841 votes)
Visited by: 1660 users
View more sights in Central Kyoto
 
Eastern Kyoto
 1  Kiyomizudera
Temple famous for its large wooden terrace.
User rating: 95/100 (1679 votes)
Visited by: 3005 users
 2  Ginkakuji
Beautiful temple not actually covered in silver.
User rating: 87/100 (1251 votes)
Visited by: 2426 users
 3  Higashiyama
Preserved historic district around Kiyomizudera.
User rating: 86/100 (334 votes)
Visited by: 669 users
 4  Sanjusangendo
Temple with 1001 human sized statues.
User rating: 88/100 (636 votes)
Visited by: 1145 users
 5  Nanzenji Temple
Zen temple with beautiful stone garden.
User rating: 82/100 (446 votes)
Visited by: 889 users
 6  Gion
Kyoto's most famous geisha district.
User rating: 85/100 (1520 votes)
Visited by: 2768 users
View more sights in Eastern Kyoto
 
Northern Kyoto
 1  Kinkakuji
Temple building covered in gold.
User rating: 92/100 (1904 votes)
Visited by: 3429 users
 2  Shugakuin Villa
Imperial villa at the outskirts of Kyoto.
User rating: 89/100 (75 votes)
Visited by: 166 users
 3  Ninnaji Temple
Temple turned former imperial residence.
User rating: 82/100 (314 votes)
Visited by: 659 users
 4  Kibune
Town with shrine in the northern mountains.
User rating: 88/100 (31 votes)
Visited by: 79 users
 5  Kurama
Rural town with temple and hot spring.
User rating: 87/100 (160 votes)
Visited by: 337 users
 6  Ryoanji Temple
Zen Temple with famous rock garden.
User rating: 86/100 (827 votes)
Visited by: 1537 users
View more sights in Northern Kyoto
 
Western Kyoto
 1  Arashiyama
Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
User rating: 90/100 (902 votes)
Visited by: 1748 users
 2  Kokedera
Called moss temple because of its garden.
User rating: 89/100 (100 votes)
Visited by: 255 users
 3  Katsura Villa
Imperial villa with stunning landscape garden.
User rating: 87/100 (123 votes)
Visited by: 278 users
View more sights in Western Kyoto
 
Southern Kyoto
 1  Fushimi Inari Shrine
The ultimate torii gate experience.
User rating: 95/100 (1053 votes)
Visited by: 1796 users
 2  Byodoin Temple
Temple with a beautiful Pure Land Garden.
User rating: 86/100 (436 votes)
Visited by: 947 users
 3  Tofukuji Temple
Temple with spectacular autumn leaves.
User rating: 83/100 (355 votes)
Visited by: 701 users
View more sights in Southern Kyoto
 
Events
 1  Gion Matsuri
The most famous festival of Japan.
User rating: 89/100 (346 votes)
Visited by: 696 users
 2  Hanatoro
Twice annual light up event.
User rating: 87/100 (76 votes)
Visited by: 166 users
 3  Aoi Matsuri
Historical parade from the Heian Period.
User rating: 84/100 (81 votes)
Visited by: 187 users
 4  Jidai Matsuri
Historical parade covering an entire millenium.
User rating: 79/100 (58 votes)
Visited by: 142 users
  
Side Trips from Kyoto
 1  Mount Koya
Atmospheric temple mountain.
User rating: 93/100 (353 votes)
Visited by: 652 users
 2  Nara
Japan's first permanent capital.
User rating: 91/100 (2075 votes)
Visited by: 4203 users
 3  Osaka
Largest city of the Kinki Region.
User rating: 86/100 (2600 votes)
Visited by: 5284 users
 4  Kinosaki
Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
User rating: 86/100 (138 votes)
Visited by: 300 users
 5  Himeji
Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
User rating: 85/100 (1005 votes)
Visited by: 2063 users
 6  Miho Museum
Unique art museum in the mountains.
User rating: 89/100 (41 votes)
Visited by: 75 users
 7  Amanohashidate
One of Japan's three most scenic views.
User rating: 83/100 (188 votes)
Visited by: 380 users
 8  Kobe
Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
User rating: 81/100 (1196 votes)
Visited by: 2621 users
 9  Iga Ueno
Former castle town famous for ninja.
User rating: 76/100 (196 votes)
Visited by: 459 users
 10  Asuka
The cradle of the Japanese civilization.
User rating: 79/100 (98 votes)
Visited by: 275 users
 11  Miyama
Rural town with lots of thatched roof houses.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 8 users
 
Special Interest Guides
  Kyoto Hotel Guide
  Guide on where to stay in Kyoto.
  Kyoto Shopping Guide
  Guide to Kyoto's shopping districts.
  Kyoto Food Guide
  Guide to Kyoto's local cuisine.
  Kyoto Museum Guide
  A list of some of Kyoto's best museums.
  Kyoto Cherry Blossom Spots
  A list of popular cherry blossom spots in Kyoto.
  Kyoto Autumn Color Spots
  A list of popular autumn color spots in Kyoto.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Kyoto.

Suggestions
Suggested day schedules and side trips.

About transportation in Japan

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Japanese hotel, Ryokan Nishiyama
Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. Close to major tourist spots in Kyoto.
Backpackers Hostel K's House Kyoto
Voted No.1 hostel chain worldwide for 2010&2011 by Hostelworld.com customers. 9 min. walk from JR Kyoto Station. Beds from 2,300 yen.
Gion Hatanaka
A real Japanese inn in a quiet area of Gion, famous for Geisha. 15min walk to Kiyomizu-dera. 5min to Yasaka-jinja.
Recommended Hotels around Kyoto - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
JR Tokai Tours
Your Shinkansen and hotel package professional. Fantastic Kyoto tours from Tokyo at excellent prices!
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.
Kyoto Kamo River Terrace Dining
Easy online reservations through Japanican.

User Ratings
Ratings for Kyoto:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of the best  
User Rating (by 3466 users):
97/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 162):
1.  Kyoto   97/100
2.  Yaeyama Islands   97/100
3.  Yakushima   96/100
4.  Miyajima   96/100
5.  Tokyo   95/100
6.  Mount Fuji   95/100
7.  Ogasawara Islands   95/100
8.  Mount Koya   93/100
9.  Okinawa Island   93/100
10.  Alpine Route   93/100
Most visited destinations (out of 177):
1.  Tokyo   8846
2.  Kyoto   6816
3.  Osaka   5284
4.  Nara   4203
5.  Yokohama   3617
6.  Hiroshima   3313
7.  Kamakura   3085
8.  Kobe   2621
9.  Nagoya   2617
10.  Hakone   2419

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Kyoto Official Travel Guide
Official website of the Kyoto Tourism Council.
Kyoto City Web
Official website of the city of Kyoto.
Cycle Kyoto
Practical information on how to explore Kyoto by bicycle.
Kyoto Zigzag Tour
Walking tours around Kyoto by a volunteer group.
Johnnie's Kyoto Walking
Popular walking tour of Kyoto by Johnnie Hillwalker.
Atsuko's TeQTeQ Kyoto Walking Tour
Professional tour guide offering not expensive, not major, but amazing Kyoto walking tours.
Cool Kyoto Walking Tour
Walking tours with Joe Okada, known as the Last Samurai.
Trippy AnGya
The Trippy AnGya website invites you to experience a Kyoto only the locals know.
Nagomi Visit
Offering hands-on experiences for tourists, such as home visits and cooking lessons.

Japanese Links
Kyoto City Web
Official website of Kyoto City.

Online Reservations
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