31 Oct 2016

Kyoto, one of the most popular places to visit Japan. You can enjoy the traditional culture, beautiful natural scenery and explore the city at all times of the year.

World heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Byodoin Temple are must see, but you will also be amazed by new incredible entertainment presented by Gear Theater Art Complex 1928. Now, Let’s check 20 things you can not miss when visiting Kyoto! 

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine


Fushimi Inari Shrine – A 1,300 years old shrine for the God of bountiful crops and prosperous business
Serving as a place of worship for commoners over 1,300 years, Fushimi Inari Shrine is the headquarters of inari shrines. The tunnel consisting of 10,000 torii gates is something to see. Enjoy a stroll through the gently rolling land of the spacious grounds of the shrine.

Red torii gates and white foxes – the symbols of Fushimi Inari Shrine For more than 1,300 years, people have come to Fushimi Inari Shrine to worship the Inari God that assures bountiful crops. The shrine is the headquarters of the more than 30,000 inari shrines across Japan. The red torii gates and white foxes are the symbols of Fushimi Inari Shrine. It is said that the red color of the torii gates and the shrine building has power against supernatural powers and that the color also indicates the bountifulness of the Inari God. Foxes are...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Shrine grounds are open 24 hours a day
Phone
075-641-7331
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Kinkakuji

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Kinkakuji – the World Heritage site of gold that glitters with nature in each season
Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The dazzling appearance of the reliquary hall on the temple grounds, which is decorated with gold leaf, is what Kinkakuji is known for.

Kinkaku glitters with gold Kinkaku is a three-story building made of wood. The first story is in the style of a Heian palace, the second story is in samurai-house style, and the third story is in the style of a Zen Buddhist temple. The second and third stories are covered in gold leaf, as is the inside of the third story, except for the floor. The Kinkakuji seen today was rebuilt in 1955 after the building was destroyed by fire in 1950. Major repairs were carried out in 1986, when the gold leaf was reapplied so as to achieve the appearance see...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-461-0013
Price
- Adult: 400 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Kiyomizu-dera


Kiyomizu-dera – Kyoto’s most popular tourist attraction
Kiyomizu-dera is a Kannon temple where the goddess Kannon is worshipped. Among Kyoto’s temples, Kiyomizu-dera has a particularly long history, and is a registered World Heritage site. It is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions.

Enjoy the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Kiyomizu-dera Kiyomizu-dera was constructed on Mt. Kiyomizu (Mt. Otowa). The main temple at Kiyomizu-dera, which is also referred to as the “Kiyomizu-dera stage,” was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1633. The main temple building, constructed early in the Edo period, is a National Treasure. It is supported by more than 100 keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) trees and not a single nail is used. Jojuin, in the northern area of the temple grounds, features the Moon Garden, which...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Phone
075-551-1234
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.kiyomizudera.or.jp

Sanjusangen-do

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

A museum of Buddhist statues – 1001 life-size statues of Senju Kannon
Sanjusangen-do, which was rebuilt in 1266, has been maintained for more than 700 years while repeatedly undergoing repairs. 1001 statues of Kannon are enshrined in the 120-meter long temple, which is made entirely of Japanese cypress.

1001 statues of the 1000-armed and 1000-bodied Kannon Higashiyama-ku is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a hub of historical buildings, including Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji, and Yasakajinja. Even among them, Sanjusangen-do is a popular destination for tourists that was given three stars in the Michelin guide. The sitting statue of Senju Kannon, which is the principal object of worship in Sanjusangen-do, is enshrined in the Buddhist temple. The statue, which is made of wood, is a designated National Treasure. On both s...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
075-561-0467
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Eikan-do


Eikan-do, where you can refresh your soul from the beautiful autumn leaves and the Mikaeri Amida
With the temple grounds colored by the autumn leaves, there is a wonderful harmony among the beautiful architecture, the pond and the garden, and so an elegant scene arises. Beautiful autumn leaves striving to be the best even in Kyoto can be seen.

When thinking of Eikan-do, the beauty of the autumn leaves comes to mind In 853, Shinjo, the student of the monk Kukai, established the temple. The official name is Zenrin-ji, but due to the deeds of helping out the disadvantaged by the 7th head monk Yokan, it started to be called Eikan-do. Since long ago, fall foliage that strives to become the best in Kyoto can be seen here to the extent that people say “Autumn means the maples in Eikan-do”. Passing through the main gate, the path lined with autumn trees continues on, and there i...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-761-0007
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 400 JPY
Website
www.eikando.or.jp

Shoren-in

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Shoren-in, associated with the Emperor. Its pond garden and fusuma (sliding doors) paintings are exquisite
Shoren-in was also used as a temporary Imperial Palace. The pond garden which can be viewed from the Kacho-den guesthouse has a beauty to warm the heart.

Lighting up of the bamboo forest and the garden in blue to signify the blue image of the Buddhist god of fire (Blue Cetaka) Shoren-in was built 850 years ago as a temple of the Tendai sect. In the Edo Era, the Imperial Palace had burned down and so the temple became the temporary palace, with many men in the Imperial family becoming chief priests so it became a temple with deepening connections with the Emperor. It has been said that the monk Shinran Shonin planted the now-800-year-old camphor trees which have become Natural Monuments in fron...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-561-2345
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.shorenin.com

Nijo Castle


A leisurely stroll through the site of the huge Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle, which was constructed in the Edo period, is a registered National Historic Site, while Ninomaru Palace is a designated National Treasure, and other buildings and wall panel paintings are designated as Important Cultural Properties. Nijo Castle is also a registered UN World Heritage site. (Ninomaru is the area that directly defended Honmaru, which was the control center in times of war.)

Nijo Castle – a World Heritage site Nijo Castle was constructed in 1603 as the Kyoto lodging place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had secured victory in the Battle of Sekigahara. It was later remodeled into the form of Nijo Castle that is seen today by Iemitsu, the third shogunate. As a flatland castle, the structure was built on a larger plot of land after the territory of the daimyo had increased. In the spacious castle grounds are Ninomaru Palace (National Treasure), Honmaru Palace (Important Cultural Property), and the Ninomaru Garden (Plac...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
075-841 -0096
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.city.kyoto.jp

Ninna-ji Temple

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Ninna-ji is recommended for the beautiful late-blooming cherry blossom season
The temple was built in 888 by Emperor Uda. An example of Heian Era palatial architecture that served as a residence for the nobles of that time, Ninna-ji was recognized as a National Treasure and has also been registered as a World Heritage site, famous for its cherry blossoms.

Enjoy the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Ninna-ji Temple There are many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties inside Ninna-ji. The Golden Hall that retains the notable atmosphere of a palace has been recognized as a National Treasure for its Heian Era style as it served as a residence for the Heian nobility. The Goei-do Hall which was constructed in the Momoyama style is an Important Cultural Property as is the temple’s five-storied pagoda, which, unlike other similar pagodas whose roofs usually g...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-461-4070
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.ninnaji.or.jp

Gion


Enjoy Kyoto at its Most “Kyoto-esque”: Gion
Gion is hugely popular with tourists for its bustling downtown streets.The famous Yasaka Shrine is on the outskirts of Gion. Maiko and geisha (known locally as geiko or geigi) entertain guests with songs and traditional Japanese dances, and the houses where one can enjoy the company of geisha, gathered together in the entertainment district, are well known.

Experience Japan’s Traditional Arts in Gion If you say “Kyoto-esque,”many tourists probably imagine maiko and geisha. Even though the figure of a geisha dressed in kimono dancing a traditional dance for a gathering in a tatami-roomed tea house can often be seen in movies and elsewhere, it is said that this image is uniquely representative of Kyoto.Gion preserves that image, and, even within Kyoto, is itself a popular sightseeing destination. To begin with, try walking down Gion’s main avenue, Hanamikoji Street. Hanamiko...

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Phone
075-561-1119
Website
kyoto.travel

Ginkakuji (Higashiyama Jisho-ji)

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Ginkakuji, or “Temple of the Silver Pavilion,” is representative of the Higashiyama Culture, which saw the blossoming traditional Japanese culture
Built in 1490, during Japan’s Muromachi shogunate, by Yoshimune Ashikaga, the Eighth shogun, who prospered in the Muromachi period, Ginkakuji is a structure in which the first floor section is built in a domestic style, and the second floor section is built in the style of a Buddhist temple.

The Appeal of the Ginkakuji Beyond the main gate of Ginkakuji, proceeding further inside is the Kannon-den, also called the Silver Pavilion. This has been designated a national treasure; the Silver Pavilion is also a building that preserves the hallmarks of the culture of the Muromachi Period. It is said that the Muromachi period, in which Ginkakuji was built, was an age that blended the aristocratic culture of samurai warriors, monks and court nobles.Much of the well-known Japanese traditional culture that came to be cherished by many people...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-771-5725
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Kyoto Imperial Palace

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Kyoto Imperial Palace is a building of much history with a beautiful garden
Generations of emperors up to the early Meiji Era once resided in Kyoto Imperial Palace. The Japanese garden within the expansive grounds is also elegant. In spring, it is known as a famous place for cherry blossoms which open wonderfully.

Touring Kyoto Imperial Palace Generations of emperors once lived in Kyoto Imperial Palace from the Kamakura Era to the Meiji Era in Kyoto in the center of the country. The buildings from that time were reconstructed due to fire, but currently, they are preserved as National Tangible Cultural Properties. Kyoto Imperial Palace has a huge area spreading about 110,000 sq. meters beginning with the main building of the Shishin-den (Hall for State Ceremonies) at the south end, the Seiryo-den (Emperor’s Habitual Residence), and other buildings...

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Phone
075-211-1215
Price
- Free
Website
sankan.kunaicho.go.jp

Kifune Shrine


The God of Water and The God of Marriage
Upstream from the Yodo and Kamo Rivers, it was said that the main building of the 1500-year-old Kifune Shrine had been built in an area gushing with water. It is a famous Shinto shrine which, as a shrine dedicated to marriage, has also been visited by historical figures.

A shrine whose god rules the water Kifune Shrine, which has a history of 1500 years and is surrounded by woods along the banks of the Kibune River, the source of the Kamo River, is a shrine that deifies the God of Water. It’s separated into 3 rear shrines: the main shrine devoted to the God of Water, an associated shrine devoted to the God of Marriage, and the site of the original main shrine. It is also said to be one of Japan’s three major marriage shrines and known as the place where Izumi Shikibu, one of the poets for the Hyaku...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-741-2016
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama


The world-class precious breed of Japanese macaque monkey (Nihon-zaru) is right at your fingertips!
A monkey park in the popular Kyoto tourist area?! Let’s introduce a hidden place where you won’t just be charmed by wild monkeys but will also enjoy hiking.

A wild monkey park with monkeys right up to you   “There is this sort of place in Kyoto?!” Yes, this is the spot. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama is a wild monkey park of 6000 sq. m. at Iwatayama in Arashiyama. Currently, there are 120 macaque monkeys residing here. The mountain top where the monkeys congregate is a 15-20 min. walk from the observation level. The path is beautifully maintained, so you can even climb up with your children. There is an exhilarating feeling hiking along the woods. One big difference with the usual...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-872-0950
Price
- Adult: 550 JPY
- Child: 250 JPY
Website
www.kmpi.co.jp

Nishiki Market

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Known as Kyoto’s kitchen, you can see, eat and enjoy the city’s seasonal foods at Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market has 400 years of history. There is a festive atmosphere as you walk and look around the market which has foods only found in Kyoto.

Nishiki Market with 126 shops Located right in the center of Kyoto, Nishiki Market is a shopping area which measures 390m and has 126 shops. It has a long history of 400 years. In long-ago Kyoto which had no refrigeration, the people used underground water to keep their foods cold. In 1615, when the area received its title to be a fish wholesaler from the Edo shogunate, it progressed as a fish market, and then with the creation of the Kyoto Central Wholesale Market in 1927, Nishiki Market evolved into its current form. At Nishiki Market, per...

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Website
en.wikipedia.org

Toei Kyoto Studio Park

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Get to know the attraction of a period drama, this is a large-scale theme park where you can meet samurai and ninja
You can observe the filming of movies on streets which have re-created the Edo Era. This is a theme park to be enjoyed by the whole family which is a must for period drama fans where you can try on genuine costumes of the era.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park where you can sample the world of the period drama The theme park was first opened in 1975 and is a place where you can experience the world of the period drama through its open sets, events and attractions. In a mock-up of an Edo town within the village, actual filming of movies and TV programs is done and it’s possible to observe the process. When you arrive in the village, there are staff walking around as samurai, townswomen and ninja, and one of the nice things is that you will be greeted openheartedly by the...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0570-064-349
Price
- Adult: 2200 JPY
- Child: 1100 JPY
Website
www.toei-eigamura.com

Nanzenji

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Kyoto’s foremost location for cherry blossoms and autumn colors – enjoy the Cultural Properties of Nanzenji
Nanzenji was built as a temple of prayer for the prosperity of the country. It was inaugurated by the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama in 1291 during the Kamakura period. It is one of the most popular locations for the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and autumn colors in the fall.

Enjoy the cultural properties at Nanzenji Nanzenji is a designated National Historic Site, and there are many Cultural Properties on the temple grounds. First of all, there is Sanmon, which is a National Important Cultural Property, and one of Japan’s three greatest gates (it is the entrance to the temple and one of the locations that must be passed through during Buddhist training). The view of northwest Kyoto from the upper floor of the gate (known as Gohoro) at a height of 22 meters is very popular. Hojo (meaning “room”) i...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-771-0365
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.nanzen.net

Ryōan-ji


Relax in the famous Ryōan-ji Rock Garden
Hosokawa Katsumoto established Ryōan-ji in 1450 during the Muromachi period, when Zen sects flourished. Without using water, karesansui, or dry landscape, gardens represent water using stones and sand, and “Ryōan-ji’s Rock Garden” is famous for this.The garden is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Enjoying the Rock Garden at Ryōan-ji The Rock Garden at Ryōan-ji is listed as both A National Site of Special Scenic Beauty and a National Historic Site.As a karesansui, or dry landscape, garden, sand is used to represent the sea, its waves represented by lines drawn in the sand using a rake. The stones are said to represent mountains and islands.Additionally, the Rock Garden’s meanings are interpreted variously as a “Garden of Tiger Cubs Crossing,” or as the shape of the Chinese character for “heart” or “mi...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-463-2216
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.ryoanji.jp

Tenryu-ji Temple


Tenryu-ji Temple, a World Heritage site with the spectacular Unryu-zu (image of the cloud dragon) and a garden from 700 years ago
Tenryu-ji Temple once contained all of the Arashiyama area. It has a garden whose view hasn’t changed in 700 years and an ink painting 9 meters in diameter titled “Unryu-zu” that is a splendid World Heritage asset.

The beauty of a Japanese painting Founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339, Arashiyama, Togetsukyo Bridge and Kameyama Park among other places were within the temple grounds. Burned down by fire 8 times, the buildings were mostly re-built in around 1900. However, the Sogenchi Pond Garden has retained its original form from 700 years ago, and was given Japan’s first designation as a Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. In 1994, it was registered as a World Cultural Property as a Historic Monument of Ancient Kyoto. For the...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
075-881-1235
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.tenryuji.com

Maruyama Park

20 things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

The oldest park in Kyoto. In spring, the sky is covered with cherry blossoms in full bloom
Maruyama Park is a famous place for sakura. It is a popular spot to take a stroll in the beautiful Japanese garden that has free admission. There are also teahouses and a ryotei restaurant recommended for Kyoto epicureans.

A magnificent park spreading out to the east of Yasaka Shrine Opened in 1886, it is the oldest park in Kyoto. In 1912, Jihei Ogawa created a garden centering on a pond making use of the natural hills which has contributed to its current appearance. The park has Yasaka Shrine to the west, Kodai-ji Temple to the south and Chion-in Temple to the north. You can enjoy the park’s beauty only found in Kyoto amid the temple roofs among the greenery of Higashiyama in the background. Within a garden that boasts an area of about 90,000㎡, you can...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Phone
075-561-1350
Price
- Free

GEAR THEATER ART COMPLEX 1928

20 things to do in Kyoto
Photo by Planetyze
Non-verbal performance that is the talk of the town which can only be viewed in Kyoto
World-class performances given in a retro building constructed 90 years ago merged with a production utilizing the latest techniques to form entertainment of a new sensation.

A Made-in-Japan first! Incredible entertainment found in Kyoto! The Gear Theater has become the newest landmark of Kyoto where Japan’s first and original non-verbal performance is held. First launching in 2012, this performance which even now continues to break records through its unprecedented long run achieved its 1000th show in June 2015 and has attracted more than 80,000 guests. The building that houses the theater was built as the Kyoto branch of Osaka Mainichi Newspaper in 1928 under the design of Goichi Takeda, and over its 90 ye...

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Business hours
- Wednesday (2:00 PM ~ 7:00 PM )
- Friday (2:00 PM ~ 7:00 PM )
- Weekends (12:00 PM ~ 5:00 PM )
- Holidays (12:00 PM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-254-6520
Price
- Adult: 3700 JPY
- Child: 1700 JPY
Website
www.gear.ac
 

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