Located in the Yamashiro Basin involving three majestic mountains on the Japanese island of Honshu is your city of Kyoto, an ancient town that beckons and entices curious travelers from around the globe with its glorious homes of worship, conventional meals, and also a rich history that dates as far back as the sixth century. With at least two thousand Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in its limits, a wide variety of attractions, and innumerable food stores and stalls along its historical roads, there’s no lack of things to see and do in Kyoto.
The low-slung buildings and houses of worship that form the town, in addition to the hints of tradition around every corner along with its overall quieter atmosphere make Kyoto, that was the Japanese capital community for over a thousand decades, a far cry from the bustling metal-and-concrete along with neon-illuminated cityscape of their current funding, Tokyo.
That is a town whose thousands of years of history and tradition could be felt in the moment you step foot within its boundaries and time again throughout your stay and one that will bewitch you with its culture time. When visiting a town that provides as much as Kyoto will, figuring out how your itinerary can be intimidating, and I want to help you out by discussing the things that caught my heart there. These are the top 10 things to see and do in Kyoto!
The initial structure is an observation tower that rises high above the city’s rest, Kyoto Tower. Located directly across from Kyoto Station, the tower stands atop a nine-story building that houses a three-star resort and retail area. In stark contrast, this metal observation tower stands In 430 feet tall to the other buildings.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
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Among my favourite things to do if I travel is to find a bird’s-eye view of the areas I visit, so I highly recommend purchasing a ticket to Kyoto Tower’s observation deck, and this provides the best views in the city from 330 feet above the earth. The tower is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. however, the last admission is at 8:40 p.m., so be sure to bear that in mind if you’re trying to go to the tower through the night.
Ticket prices vary to high school students, elementary school students, preschool-age children, and people with disabilities, but mine price 770 Yen, or roughly $6.93 U.S. It’s well worth the price, as the observation deck remains pristine; it is nice and clean, provides breathtaking views that it is possible to inspect more closely against the binocular stands, and also each of the deck’s windows have labels on them that tell you which attractions could be viewed from that window. Do not miss out on your chance to get a look that is special in Kyoto that you can not find anywhere else!
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Situated halfway up the mountainside of Mount Otowa in Kyoto is one of the 1,600 Buddhist temples of the city and also one of its most popular attractions. The temple was set as a place dedicated to the deity Senju-Kannon through the early Heian period in 778 AD.
Kyoto Street Food in Fushimi Inari Shrine
Though many travelers choose to skip Kiyomizu-dera Temple because it is always packed with tourists, so I believe that it’s still well worth a visit, because this enormous, 130,000-square-meter temple complex consists of a whopping half dozen buildings, including a grand main hall, which includes some of their most amazing woodwork I’ve seen in my entire life; a beautiful, towering pagoda; the Otowa-no-taki waterfall; a matchmaking shrine and Torii terrace; and much more. The temple provides views of the town!
Otag Nenbutsu-Ji Temple
A number of the complex’s buildings have been rebuilt many times in its history, and most of those that endure today were built in 1633. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is an architectural marvel, because it was assembled with no nails, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a few of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Tokyo. A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple is definitely one of the best things to see and do in Kyoto, if you’re interested in learning about Japanese Buddhist culture! Just be advised: there are so many stairs, touring it is a tiny work out and that the temple is so expansive!
Eat Tofu at Okabeya
Among the most effective methods to get a taste of the mouthwatering flavors of Japanese cuisine would be to visit one of the nation’s many markets, and there is none better in Kyoto compared to Nishiki Market, a slim, five-block-long shopping street and historical market in the Caribbean area that saw its original store available in 1310. Nowadays, the road is lined with souvenir stores, food stores, a few restaurants, and a fish market!
BONUS: Higashi-dori Honganji Temple
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As you wander through into the narrow street, affectionately called”Kyoto’s Kitchen” by natives, you will see lots of curious items and delicious foods on either side of you, like live fish, totes of bonito flakes, white strawberries, sparrow beef, enormous oysters, hundreds of varieties of fascination, sashimi, yakitori, broccoli, particular kinds of mochi, and even cooked baby octopus that have been stuffed with quail eggs! Do not be bashful –stores and many stalls provide free samples. Try as many as you can!
The ideal thing about the current market is that nearly all of the food is produced, and that means you know that it’s refreshing and authentic. And even though the sector is simply 1,200 feet long from start to end, it is a constant feast for the eyes and your belly –and a treat for your taste buds!
No visit to Kyoto is complete without spending a while in the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a sprawling and serene bamboo woods that boasts a scenic main path that’s lined with thousands of bamboo shoots on that tower above it. While the bamboo shoots may seem like human crops, my guide Kosuke (who I highly suggest that you hire to show you around the city) explained to me that they are all one organism using a shared root system, and also that the bamboo from the forest will grow up to 60 feet per month!
It still retains a peaceful setting that no photograph could ever truly depict Although the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the most popular and most photographed places of Kyoto. It’s one of those areas you need to experience for yourself to truly understand its own magic. It’s calm and beautiful and the air smells so pure and refreshing. It seems otherworldly and very religious and is certainly one of the top 10 things to see and do in Kyoto.
Since Kyoto doesn’t have its own airport, you arrive in the city by train. If you do, then you might have the great chance of passing one of the most transit hubs of Japan, through Kyoto Station. The channel is placed in one the most significant buildings of the country, also a 15-story behemoth that can be found throughout the road from the famous Kyoto Tower from the downtown region of the city. The Kyoto Station was developed in 1997, although the roots of the station date back to February of 1877.
Along with housing a railway station, the Kyoto Station building is also home to a department store, a hotel, government centers, a shopping mall, restaurants, and just a movie theater! The technologically-advanced building was one of the earliest of its type from the tradition-driven town of Kyoto as it was constructed from the 1990s, but other buildings were built soon after its construction has been complete.
Head up to the station floor to have some excellent views of the town and don’t miss out to the show that plays on the staircases of the station! There’s no better location than Kyoto Station if you want to have a look at a modern marvel in the middle of thousands of years old and cultural heritage!
If you’re trying to experience an ancient temple but would rather avoid the stream of tourists in Kiyomizu-dera Temple, then K?my? -ward is the perfect alternative. K?my? -in Temple is a sub-temple of the T?fuku-ji Temple, which has been founded in 1236 and is considered one of the”five great Zen temples of Kyoto.”
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-Temple has been set in 1391 and is famed for its conventional landscape garden in, Hashin-no-Niwa, moss and a environment that consists organized atop gravel. The gravel is raked from the head monk and signifies the sea. You can not step in the backyard, and that means you’re going to need to enjoy it. Overlooking the backyard is a teahouse named Ragetsu.
Keep in mind, when visiting wineries in Japan, it is customary to take your shoes off before you input. Inside, you will get a magnificent praying hall containing a Buddha statue, in addition to some other rooms with photos of the temple on the walls. K?my? -in Temple is a location, and easily one of the very best things to see and do in Kyoto!
At the bottom of Mount Inari would be one of the most photographed and most popular attractions in Kyoto, that the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Prior to the shrine has been shrouded in 816 this Shinto shrine’s first structures were built from the year 711 on Inariyama Hill.
The shrine, which will be dedicated to the rice god Inari (and also the patron of business), also includes the magnificent Romon Gate in its entrance and a main hall, or hoden, however the quality that attracts visitors from around the globe will be the 10,000 vermilion torii gates that straddle a network of paths that that go up the mountain beneath the key buildings and also choose at least two hours to fully investigate.
Every one of those gates, also known as torii, has been donated by a Japanese businessman and is inscribed with the title of the businessman’s company along with the date it was contributed. Is meant to have a desire to be granted by Inari , or to invite him for a fantasy that came true.
If you have multiple days in Kyoto, I recommend the hike, but even just a partial exploration of these gates would be still an amazing experience if you’re crunched for time as I was. Check out the miniature torii gates that are stacked in front of the rock that is sacred. Estimate how heavy you think then and it’ll be pick up this to find out what sort of luck you will have moving ahead!
Among the things I wished to perform in Kyoto was attempt some of the famous road meals of Japan, and when I visited the marketplace near Fushimi Inari Shrine, I wasn’t disappointed in any way from the incredible choice there. Before my guide Kosuke and I entered the industry properly, the aroma of food wafted us around and had me pumped to test as much as I could!
I suggest starting off with takoyaki, a tiny ball-shaped fritter that has succulent parts of octopus, cabbage, and red ginger, and are topped with bonito flakes and a delicious takoyaki sauce. It is possible to get six to 500 Yen, or roughly $4.46 U.S. Just don’t burn your mouth on them! Let them cool off a little ; they are hot!
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Additionally, I highly recommend looking for some skewered tofu beef (400 Ranked /$3.57 U.S.), that comes with ponzu sauce, sriracha, and ginger, and is garnished with shredded seaweed and bonito flakes. It’s out of this world!
The concluding food you should try is your chicken skin gyoza (300 Ranked /$2.68 for 3 gyozas), which is a potsticker that’s wrapped in crispy, fatty chicken skin that’s browned on a barbecue. The chicken skin affects the texture and flavor profile of the gyoza. It! It’s extraordinary, as is. Trying Japanese street food is definitely one of the greatest things to see and do in Kyoto!
With at least 2,000 homes of worship it can be overwhelming to figure out when you have a limited amount of time in the city, which ones to visit. One you must visit is Otag Nenbutsu-Ji Temple, which you’ll discover in the Arashiyama area and is a wonderful spot to enjoy on your way to or in.
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This Buddhist temple’s roots date back to the year 766, but after many all-natural disasters ruined or damaged it including floods and typhoons , the temple was destroyed, repaired, and restored starting in 1981.
Among the key projects in this recovery period–and one of the greatest reasons to go to Otag Nenbutsu-Ji Temple–would be that the 1,200 rock statues of rakan, along with the followers of Buddha, that pay the neighboring hillside. Each statue is exceptional, and while some of them depict the rakan deep in prayer, others are far more entertaining and whimsical and show that the rakan smiling, laughing, or perhaps holding modern items like baseball bats, tennis racquets, along with surfboards!
Because it is quite far from the city Otag Nenbutsu-Ji Temple skips, but I highly recommend taking the time to check it out for its uniqueness. Seeing hillside and also this temple is a absolute must if you visit Kyoto!
Tofu is a food, even among foodies, but I totally love it. Once I snapped Kiyomizu-dera Temple, I did a quick look for a location where I might have an authentic Japanese dinner and came across Okabeya, a excellent restaurant that specializes in tofu hotpot!
I cannot recommend their Yudofu tofu hot pot meal ! This tofu-based meal is a small but deliciously filling spread that is composed of yudofu (spicy tofu that’s boiled into a simmering pot right in your desk ) that you may add flavorful soy sauce and wasabi tosome sweet and garlicky sesame tofu; skewered fried tofu with an amazing, cheese-like miso at the high; a nice variety of lightly-battered tempura veggies; a sour shrimp; sticky rice; and pickles.
I washed it all down with an arrangement of sake, and the whole meal came to 2,830 Yen, or about $25.40 U.S.. It was worth every dime
During my two weeks in Kyoto, I remained at an Airbnb that was in walking distance of several vital places, including Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower, along with the stunning Higashi-dori Honganji Temple complex, also known as the Eastern Temple of the Original Vow. Higashi-dori Honganji Temple was originally built following the Japanese shogun worried that the first Honganji temple, that promoted the monk Shinran’s Pure Land Buddhist teachings, would turn out to be too strong in 1604.
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The Honganji sect has been split, and also Higashi-dori Honganji Temple was built a few blocks away from the temple, which took the Western Temple of the Original Vow, along with the title Nishi Honganji. Collectively, they are the two head temples of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Pure Land Buddhism. The Hall of Founder, or higashi-dori Honganji Temple’s Goei-do, is now the largest building from the city, and a statue of Amida Buddha can be found in Amida Hall.
The temple’s grounds also boast several elaborate gates, also a reception hall, a pub, an audio-visual hall, and displays connected to the temple’s rebuilding from the 19th century. Best of all is absolutely totally free of charge, so be sure to include Higashi-dori Honganji Temple to your list of items to see and do in Kyoto!
The city of Kyoto is a history enthusiast’s dream. Here, the city’s components are remnants of the past, they are also a renowned part of the present and future of the city. From magnificent shrines to temples, and meals to modern interpretations of favorites, this town is a seemingly endless source of interest to world travelers. Reserve a visit to Kyoto today!
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