5 Must Do Things in Kyoto 2019
Kyoto is one of the most amazing places to travel in Japan, due to the fact that there is a strong sense of Japanese traditional culture there, still to this day! From the shrines and temples to the shops and geishas, Kyoto really will send you back years and make you feel like you’re back in traditional Japan. On top of this, the architecture is magnificent and one can experience many shows and activities that cannot be experience in other places in Japan!
For first time travelers to Kyoto it can be hard to know where to go and how to get there. There are so many things to do in Kyoto from the temples to shopping to amazing restaurants to eat at. That’s why we’ve compiled them all into this handy list of the top 5 must do things in Kyoto!
1. Visit Fushimi Inari-Taisha (伏見稲荷大社）
Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Japan known for it’s lines of red gates known as Torii in Japanese. The image of these Torii make everyone instantly think about Kyoto and it’s a great spot for any photographers wanting to get a great shot whilst in Japan.
This shrine was established in 711AD meaning that it has been established for over 1,300 years. ‘Inari’ is said to be the shinto God of rice and so people would go to pray here for a good harvest. The foxes are said to be messengers of the Inari god and so throughout the shrine you will find many fox statues and images.
The shrines grounds are huge and if you want to go all the way to the top of the mountain that it’s on make sure to wear comfy shoes! It’s quite a walk to the top and most people only make it halfway!
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882
24 hours. 7 days a week.
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2. Walk around Higashi Yama (東山)
For people wanting to feel traditional Japan…you HAVE to visit Higashi Yama! This district is full of traditional shops selling food, clothes, souvenirs and MORE! This is also where the famous ‘traditional Starbucks’ is located, where you can enjoy a Starbucks coffee in a traditional tatami room sat on the floor.
I would recommend eating at the food shops down these streets. The fresh dango and mochi is like no other and is absolutely delicious! You can also rent a kimono and walk around this area to make you really feel like you’ve gone back in time!
Whilst in this area, you can also view the famous Yasaka Pagoda. This is the most famous landmark in the area and is also one of the most photographed spots in Kyoto! Photos with this in the background are truly beautiful so anyone going to Kyoto and wanting to get a good photo…here’s your spot!
605-0862 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward
10:00AM – 16:00PM. Every day.
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3. Visit the Amazing Bamboo Forest (嵐山）
The bamboo forest located in Arashiyama, Kyoto is an extremely popular spot for tourists visiting Kyoto. It’s very large and there is tons to explore. If you don’t want to do it by foot you can be taken around the area in a rickshaw! This may however be quite expensive so make sure you search well before going in one!
Another tip is to make sure you go to this area as early as possible! It gets extremely busy and no one wants to take a photo with tons of people in the background! Many photographers visit this area around 6AM or 7AM in the morning to get the perfect shot. But if you’re not as committed, 9AM or 10AM should be fine!
61 Bunkicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0028
24 hours. 7 days a week
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4. Go Shopping in Gion （祇園）
Gion is an extremely popular area in Kyoto known as the shopping district! This is also where you can often see geisha or maiko walking around the area! Although there are some modern shops, the majority of the stores are traditional Japanese ones selling traditional Japanese food and souvenirs.
Gion is also where you’ll most likely end up at the end of the night due to the sheer amount of restaurants there! If you’re looking for something to eat in Kyoto, Gion is the place to head to!
570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0074
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5. Visit Kinkaku-ji （金閣寺）
Kinkakuji is hands down the most famous temple in Kyoto and possible even Japan! The temple is famous for being gold! It’s surroundings and the lake in front of it is gorgeous, you’ll never want to leave!
Due to this temple being so famous, it can get VERY busy so it’s best not to go at peak times if possible! Early in the morning is probably your best bet. But even if it’s busy you can still get amazing photos of the temple due to the positioning of the lake!
The history of this temple dates back to 1397 when it was bought by a shogun and turned into a temple.
1 Kinkakuji-cho Kita-ku, Kyoto City
9:00AM to 17:00PM. 7 days a week.
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