Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

by Amy - TripleLights travel specialist

Kyoto, the old capital of Japan, is a city rich in history. Famous for its temples and beautiful scenery it is no surprise that Kyoto is one of the most popular places in Japan for tourists. The top places to visit in Kyoto are Fushimi inari Taisha, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu dera, Sanjusangen-do, Nijo castle, gion, Arashiyama, Nishiki market, Ginkakuji and Ninna-ji temple.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

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

Top 10 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

Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

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

Top 10 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

Nijo Castle

Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

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

Gion

Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

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

Arashiyama

Top 10 Things to do in Kyoto

Photo by Planetyze

Arashiyama, a prominent tourist spot in Kyoto where you can enjoy the great outdoors
Tougetsukyo Bridge which evokes Arashiyama’s elegance. The trolley trains and the cruise down Hozu River where you can physically sense nature throughout the 4 seasons. This is the place where you can feel Kyoto’s grace unified with nature

A popular tourist spot Arashiyama is an area that includes Tougetsukyo Bridge which spans Katsura River and the mountain that soars up to command a view of the area. This is a quiet place that is surrounded by mountains which have had classic Japanese poems recited about them from long ago, and there are many various shrines and temples. Recently, along with the famous well-established dining establishments, there have also been Japanese-style cafes, souvenir shops selling miscellaneous goods from Kyoto, trolley trains, and river cruises down...

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Website
kyoto.travel

Nishiki Market

Top 10 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

Ginkakuji (Higashiyama Jisho-ji)

Top 10 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

Ninna-ji Temple

Top 10 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

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Richard took us on a 3 hour virtual tour as we “walked with him” through places or worship, spiritual sites, the historical district and more. He was engaging, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and fun. His ability to enable us to experience Kyoto like we were there was wonderful. The cultural insights fabulous. He surpassed our expectations of a virtual tour by a huge margin.
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