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Kyoto (s, 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.

Top attractions in Kyoto

Central Kyoto
Food and Drink

Pontocho

Narrow lane offering atmospheric dining.
3.7 / 5
1,032
Historic Site

Nijo Jinya

Former inn for visiting feudal lords.
3.7 / 5
505
Shopping

Kyoto Station

Kyoto's futuristic railway station building.
3.3 / 5
4,426
Zoo/Wildlife

Kyoto Aquarium

Modern aquarium west of Kyoto Station.
3.3 / 5
95
Viewpoint/Tower

Kyoto Tower

Modern landmark of Kyoto.
3.0 / 5
1,778
Show All Central Kyoto
Eastern Kyoto
Historic Site

Gion

Kyoto's most famous geisha district.
4.0 / 5
3,567
Temple

Eikando Temple

One of Kyoto's most famous autumn color spots.
4.0 / 5
426
Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

Popular shrine hosting the Gion Festival.
3.6 / 5
1,528
Park

Maruyama Park

Kyoto's most popular park for cherry blossoms.
3.4 / 5
630
Show All Eastern Kyoto
Southern Kyoto
Temple

Toji Temple

Large temple with Japan's tallest pagoda.
3.8 / 5
1,180
Northern Kyoto
Shrine

Kibune

Town with shrine in the northern mountains.
4.3 / 5
172
Temple

Kurama

Rural town with temple and hot spring.
4.1 / 5
436
Town/Neighborhood

Ohara

Rural area famous for Sanzenin Temple.
4.0 / 5
406
Temple

Takao

Wooded valley with temples north of Kyoto.
3.8 / 5
184
Temple

Hieizan

Mountain temple complex of the Tendai sect.
3.8 / 5
483
Temple

Enkoji Temple

Nice Zen temple known for its autumn colors.
4.1 / 5
140
Temple

Manshuin Temple

Important temple near Shugakuin Imperial Villa.
3.9 / 5
56
Show All Northern Kyoto
Western Kyoto
Town/Neighborhood

Arashiyama••

Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
4.3 / 5
2,407
Temple

Kokedera••

Called moss temple because of its garden.
4.1 / 5
332
Scenic Ride

Hozugawa Cruise

Scenic boat ride down a river towards Arashiyama.
3.9 / 5
75
Scenic Ride

Sagano Railway

Nostalgic sightseeing train through a scenic valley.
3.8 / 5
261
Show All Western Kyoto
Events
Festival

Hanatoro

Twice annual light up event.
4.1 / 5
211
Festival

Aoi Matsuri

Historical parade from the Heian Period.
3.9 / 5
233
Festival

Jidai Matsuri

Historical parade covering an entire millenium.
3.7 / 5
188
Side Trips from Kyoto

Osaka••

Largest city of the Kinki Region.
4.1 / 5
6,811

Himeji••

Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
4.1 / 5
2,606

Uji

City south of Kyoto known for its temple and tea.
4.1 / 5
1,271

Kobe

Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
3.8 / 5
3,309

Iga Ueno

Former castle town famous for ninja.
3.4 / 5
547

Miyama

Rural town with lots of thatched roof houses.
4.1 / 5
29

Koka

Rural city known as a homeland of the ninja.
3.1 / 5
115
Show All Side Trips from Kyoto

Access and Orientation

Hotels around Kyoto

Recommended Hotels
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 Experiences

Page last updated: December 31, 2014