Kyoto (s, Kyōto) served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is one of the country's ten largest cities with a population of 1.5 million people and a modern face.

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

Top attractions in Kyoto

Central Kyoto
3
Garden

Sento Palace

Imperial palace with beautiful gardens.
3.9 / 5
240
4
Shopping

Nishiki Market

Fresh food market street in central Kyoto.
3.8 / 5
1,622
6
Food and Drink

Pontocho

Narrow lane offering atmospheric dining.
3.7 / 5
1,100
7
Historic Site

Nijo Jinya

Former inn for visiting feudal lords.
3.7 / 5
514
10
Zoo/Wildlife

Kyoto Aquarium

Modern aquarium west of Kyoto Station.
3.4 / 5
107
11
Shopping

Kyoto Station

Kyoto's futuristic railway station building.
3.3 / 5
4,588
12
Viewpoint/Tower

Kyoto Tower

Modern landmark of Kyoto.
3.0 / 5
1,845
Show All Central Kyoto
Eastern Kyoto
2
Town/Neighborhood

Higashiyama•••

Preserved historic district around Kiyomizudera.
4.1 / 5
1,246
3
Temple

Ginkakuji•••

Beautiful temple not actually covered in silver.
4.1 / 5
3,214
7
Historic Site

Gion

Kyoto's most famous geisha district.
4.0 / 5
3,728
12
Shrine

Heian Shrine

Modeled after the ancient Imperial Palace.
3.8 / 5
1,951
13
Temple

Chionin Temple

Head temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism.
3.7 / 5
1,021
14
Temple

Eikando Temple

One of Kyoto's most famous autumn color spots.
4.0 / 5
462
15
Temple

Shinnyodo Temple

Less famous temple known for its autumn colors.
3.7 / 5
70
16
Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

Popular shrine hosting the Gion Festival.
3.6 / 5
1,594
17
Park

Maruyama Park

Kyoto's most popular park for cherry blossoms.
3.4 / 5
678
Show All Eastern Kyoto
Southern Kyoto
4
Temple

Toji Temple

Large temple with Japan's tallest pagoda.
3.8 / 5
1,224
Northern Kyoto
4
Shrine

Kibune

Town with shrine in the northern mountains.
4.3 / 5
205
5
Temple

Kurama

Rural town with temple and hot spring.
4.1 / 5
466
7
Town/Neighborhood

Ohara

Rural area famous for Sanzenin Temple.
4.0 / 5
420
9
Temple

Takao

Wooded valley with temples north of Kyoto.
3.9 / 5
196
10
Temple

Hieizan

Mountain temple complex of the Tendai sect.
3.8 / 5
498
13
Shrine

Kamo Shrines

Two of Kyoto's most important shrines.
3.7 / 5
638
14
Temple

Enkoji Temple

Nice Zen temple known for its autumn colors.
4.0 / 5
157
15
Temple

Manshuin Temple

Important temple near Shugakuin Imperial Villa.
4.0 / 5
63
Show All Northern Kyoto
Western Kyoto
1
Town/Neighborhood

Arashiyama••

Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
4.4 / 5
2,575
2
Temple

Kokedera••

Called moss temple because of its garden.
4.2 / 5
350
8
Amusement Park

Toei Eigamura

Theme park and film set combined.
3.6 / 5
466
9
Scenic Ride

Sagano Railway

Nostalgic sightseeing train through a scenic valley.
3.9 / 5
304
10
Scenic Ride

Hozugawa Cruise

Scenic boat ride down a river towards Arashiyama.
3.8 / 5
83
Show All Western Kyoto
Events
2
Festival

Hanatoro

Twice annual light up event.
4.1 / 5
219
3
Festival

Aoi Matsuri

Historical parade from the Heian Period.
3.9 / 5
244
4
Festival

Jidai Matsuri

Historical parade covering an entire millenium.
3.7 / 5
196
Side Trips from Kyoto
3

Osaka••

Largest city of the Kinki Region.
4.1 / 5
7,078
4

Kinosaki••

Pleasant, old-fashioned hot spring resort.
4.1 / 5
439
5

Himeji••

Site of Japan's most beautiful feudal castle.
4.1 / 5
2,766
6

Uji

City south of Kyoto known for its temple and tea.
4.0 / 5
1,347
8

Kobe

Harbor city, recovered from 1995 earthquake.
3.8 / 5
3,423
9

Iga Ueno

Former castle town famous for ninja.
3.4 / 5
558
10

Miyama

Rural town with lots of thatched roof houses.
4.0 / 5
35
12

Koka

Rural city known as a homeland of the ninja.
3.2 / 5
119
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 travel services