The following is a suggested half day itinerary for northern Kyoto, including the popular temples Kinkakuji and Ryoanji. This itinerary can be easily extended to a full day plan with a few additions.

Start at Kinkakuji
Golden pavilion 45 minutes
Start at Kinkakuji. Go early in the day when it is less crowded.
Walk to Ryoanji
20 minutes
Zen temple famous for its stone garden 60 minutes
Spend some time in contemplation at Japan's most famous Zen garden at Ryoanji.
Walk to Ninnaji
15 minutes
A spacious temple with imperial connections 60 minutes
Check out Ninnaji's interesting temple grounds. The temple is also famous for its locally cultivated cherry trees called Omuro Cherries and is a good place to visit during the cherry blossom season. Afterwards, consider continuing on to Arashiyama from nearby Omuro-Ninnaji Station.

Recommended Additions


Daitokuji is a large temple complex with many smaller subtemples and an excellent variety of Zen gardens. Consider visiting Daitokuji on your way to Kinkakuji if you do not mind a temple-heavy morning.

Hotels around Kyoto

Recommended Hotels
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
Agoda Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
Agoda Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Agoda Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Agoda Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Agoda Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Agoda Booking