Kyoto attracts many with its hundreds of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, as well as pink cherry blossoms in spring. The city is bordered on 3 sides by mountain ranges and bisected by the tranquil Kamo River. Cobblestoned streets and centuries-old buildings in the eastern quarters complete the historical scenery.

    Culturally, the ancient city is known for its sophisticated cuisine, sensitivity to the seasons, and ancient traditions. In the famous Gion district, you’ll often see real geishas heading off to their tea house engagements in the early evenings, as well as locals in traditional fashion going about their day. Kyoto is famous for its stunning Japanese gardens, many with beautiful restaurants that serve traditional Kyo-ryori, the cuisine of the tea ceremony.

    What to see & do in Kyoto

    Featured stories & fun stuff

    Kyoto is an ancient city that has kept its roots and culture. You can still find many charming temples, palaces, and gardens spread out across the city. Exploring these fascinating bits of history is a real highlight of a visit to Kyoto. If you’re looking for more 21st-century fun, then head to the downtown area around Kawaramachi station. Here, you’ll find a bustling city scene with shopping malls, games... Read more

    Where & what to eat in Kyoto

    Kyoto is renowned for its fancy fine dining, known in Japanese as kaiseki. You will find a host of quaint restaurants serving dainty dishes and refined and painstakingly executed plates of food that balance taste, texture and presentation. Served by a kimono-clad waitress while sitting on a tatami, a fine dining experience in Kyoto can be a highlight of your trip. Another specialty of the region is tofu, no... Read more

    Where to shop & what to buy in Kyoto

    Shopping in Kyoto is a lot like the city itself, focused on heritage and history yet still embracing the current trends. While exploring the charms of Kyoto, you are almost guaranteed to stumble upon quaint boutiques selling anything from arts and crafts, fabrics, clothing, and souvenirs. For modern fashion, head to the central thoroughfare of Shijo Dori. Here, you’ll find a great variety of department stores and shopping malls as... Read more

    Where to go & what to do at night in Kyoto

    Kyoto nightlife is not as wild as you might find in bigger cities like Tokyo or Osaka, but the city has a great selection of bars and pubs clustered around Sanjo station. Head to streets like Kiyamachi to find friendly pubs and izakayas, while Pontocho is a beautifully maintained alleyway that is lined with demure jazz bars and cocktail lounges. For a more cultural night out, cross the river and... Read more

    Useful information

    • Kyoto Travel Essentials

      Our Kyoto Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help you plan your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Japan. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from Kansai International Airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do...

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