Kyoto

Image for Heian Shrine which includes a temple or place of worship, religious aspects and heritage architecture

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in autumn, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 100 metres (330 feet) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Kyoto Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Kyoto

Gion featuring street scenes, night scenes and cycling

Gion

5/5Exceptional!(46 area reviews)

Gion
Sannenzaka Ninenzaka featuring a small town or village and street scenes as well as a large group of people

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

5/5Exceptional!(5 area reviews)

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Top hotels in Kyoto

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
SG$96
per night
Feb 26 - Feb 27

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Toji Temple and Shijo Omiya are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (3,695 reviews)

"Everything was just as expected. Check in/out went very smooth. Cleanliness was okay, however the restroom smelled a bit once we entered. Other than that, the hotel was worth staying in."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb,2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
SG$125
per night
Mar 5 - Mar 6

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,167 reviews)

"Wonderful hotel will definitely stay again if We come back to kyoto"…"

Reviewed on 20 Feb,2020

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 
Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 
4 out of 5
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
SG$129
per night
Feb 27 - Feb 28

Located in Minami, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto TERRSA and Kyoto Tower. Kyoto Aquarium and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (505 reviews)

"very good location and cleanliness. I will be back again."…"

Reviewed on 21 Feb,2020

Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 

Popular things to do in Kyoto

Kyoto Tower
Image for Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

4/5(116 reviews)

In a city known for its temples and other ancient relics, this observation point catches the eye as an example of 20th-century innovation.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Image for Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

4.5/5(246 reviews)

This shrine at the base of Inari Mountain is dedicated to the goddess of rice and prosperity. See its thousands of red gates around a network of beautiful trails.

Kiyomizu Temple
Image for Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple

4.5/5(156 reviews)

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Nishiki Market
Image for Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

4.5/5(50 reviews)

Come to this market in the heart of the city to experience the authentic sights, smells and sounds of the bartering vendors and their traditional food.

Nijō Castle
Image for Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle

4.5/5(81 reviews)

Visit the world of a wealthy and powerful shogun in this opulent 17th-century castle complex.

Yasaka Shrine
Image for Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Observe traditional Shinto architecture, pretty lanterns and sacred rituals at this historic shrine, home of the annual Gion Festival and Kyoto’s favorite cherry blossom park.

Top activities in Kyoto

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour
Image for Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

96% of travellers recommend
SG$177
Per adult
Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour
Image for Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

96% of travellers recommend
SG$198
Per adult
Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe
Image for Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

82% of travellers recommend
SG$94
Per adult
Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
Image for Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

98% of travellers recommend
SG$228
Per adult
Kyoto Full-Day Tour
Image for Kyoto Full-Day Tour

Kyoto Full-Day Tour

86% of travellers recommend
SG$177
Per adult
Ikebana Workshop in a 200 Year Old Ryokan
Image for Ikebana Workshop in a 200 Year Old Ryokan

Ikebana Workshop in a 200 Year Old Ryokan

SG$75
Per adult

Reviews of Kyoto

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
273
5 - Excellent 73.19034852546918%
4 - Good
87
4 - Good 23.324396782841823%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 1.876675603217158%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 1.6085790884718498%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 5, 2020

Kyoto has the best of both worlds...modern and traditional. Close to Osaka,Nara. Easy to get around.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 2, 2020

Nice city and nice people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 26, 2020

Everything that Tokyo is missing.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 19, 2020

Plan carefully as many places seemed to be under restoration. Also, it was considerably mor crowded with ( mainly mainland Chinese) tourists than our last visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Dec 13, 2019

We purchased a JR rail pass so visited Mount Fuji from Kyoto. Also visited Tokyo by train, long but comfortable journey. Now in Tokyo but hotels not of high quality.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Dec 7, 2019

Had a wonderful time exploring this city.

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