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10 best places to visit in Kyoto
10 best places to visit in Kyoto

There are so many things to do in Kyoto that it would take a month even to scratch the surface. Here’s a list of the best temples, shrines, museums, activities, shopping, hikes and green spaces. 

Kinka-ju Temple - The Golden Pavilion - Kyoto

Kyoto is world famous for its wonderful temples and shrines. But that’s only the beginning of the story. There’s also incrediblekyo shopping, bicycling, hiking, museums, galleries and green spaces. 

This page is a directory of all the essential things to see and do in Kyoto. There’s also my recommended Kyoto itineraries listed below the activities. 

Tofuku-ji Temple Hojo Garden

  • Kyoto’s Best Temples

    There are over 1000 temples in Kyoto, so choosing a few to see on a short visit to the city can be a daunting task. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the best temples in Kyoto, divided into different categories.

Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine

  • Kyoto’s Best Shrines

    With over 400 Shinto shrines in Kyoto, choosing the best shrine to visit in Kyoto can be a daunting task. I’ve made a list of the best shrines in Kyoto to help you make the most of your time.

Best Restaurants In Kyoto - image copyright Jeffrey Friedl

image © Jeffrey Friedl

Ryoan-ji temple, probably the most famous zen garden in Japan. Very simple but beautiful.

Ryoan-ji temple © eliazar

  • Kyoto’s Best Gardens

    Kyoto is a garden lover’s paradise. It is the best place in all of Japan to immerse yourself in the wonders of the Japanese garden. Here are my favorite gardens in Kyoto, organized by type.

Maiko at Kyoto Gion Corner

Maiko at Kyoto Gion Corner © Michael Elleray

Shop Ippodo Downtown Kyoto

  • Kyoto Shopping – The Best Shops And Gifts

    Kyoto is famous for temples, but it’s also a shopper’s paradise. Here’s some Kyoto shopping tips and a list of the best shops in Kyoto, both traditional and modern.

march 026 washi paper

washi paper © apium

  • Kyoto Souvenirs – What To Buy

    Kyoto is the best place in Japan to buy authentic Japanese goods. Here’s a handy list of some great Kyoto souvenirs and the best place to buy them.

Honen-in Temple image copyright Jeffrey Friedl

image © Jeffrey Friedl

  • Kyoto’s Secret Spots

    One of the great joys of sightseeing in Kyoto is finding a quiet temple or shrine and having it all to yourself for an hour or two. Here’s my pick of Kyoto’s secret spots

Konchi-in Temple image copyright Damien Douxchamps

image © Damien Douxchamps

  • Off The Beaten Track Kyoto

    Want to wander through Kyoto rarely seen by tourists and really get off the beaten track? Here are two half-day long Hidden Kyoto itineraries to show you some of the other faces of the city

Kiyotaki-Gawa - Kyoto Hikes

  • The Best Kyoto Hikes

    Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Kyoto has some brilliant hiking. There are good hikes right in the city and others just a short train or bus trip away. Here are my five favorite hikes in and near Kyoto

Cycling around Kyoto

Cycling around Kyoto © Gavin Anderson

  • Best Bicycle Rides In Kyoto

    Kyoto is regularly voted one of the best bicycle cities in Asia, and for good reason: The city is largely flat, roads are well maintained, drivers are sane and Kyoto looks fabulous from the vantage point of a bike!

Moss Garden Gio-ji Temple Arashiyama image copyright Jeffrey Friedl

image © Jeffrey Friedl

  • Kyoto’s Best Green Spaces

    Kyoto is filled with green spaces – in addition to parks, you’ll find greenery and open space in most temples and shrines. And don’t miss the Kyoto Gyoen – it’s Kyoto’s Central Park.

Perfect Stays in Kyoto

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