Whoever you ask, where and what to go and see in Japan, KYOTO will be mentioned at least once. And in most cases they will tell you that you have to go there, or even say that it is the most beautiful city in the world. Well, we tried to have a look from a more neutral perspective. And at the end we have to say – they are all right. Kyoto is a must see, must do. And indeed, you will count this city into your list of one of the most beautiful cities. Kyoto is where modern Japan clashes with history –  well, it’s not a clash, it is a unique setting of how Japan appreciate history and live advancement. Technology is next to ancient temples. Innovative buildings next to Japanese gardens. Natural settings in a big city. It is a city with a lot of contrasts, but they don’t contradict each other. This is where history, present and the future lives next to each other in harmony.

Kyoto has a lot to offer and you should plan at least 2 full days, but rather ideally 3 days minimum to discover the sights. Here is a top list of things to do in Kyoto.

– Golden Pavilion – Kinkakuji.
– Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Garden
– Ryoan-Ji – Dry Rock Japanese Garden.
– Gion – Geisha District.
– Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
– Kyomizu Temple
– Pontocho – ancient city
– Nishiki Market

And many more!

As said, plan at least 2-3 days so that you can enjoy this beautiful city. Even though it seems like a huge megapolis, Kyoto is more laid back and you can find a lot of quiet places where you can just relax. Lots of Japanese Gardens can be found here! One advice is also to rent a bike and try to focus on one are a day. You can just cruise down the streets and drop by shrines and temples, or gardens, grab some Japanese snacks and enjoy the view.

Kyoto is easily reached by train (shinkansen, 15min) from Osaka or Tokyo, and by metro from Osaka (1h). The very next airport is located in Osaka. People here in Kyoto seem to be more open and seem to have a better command of English, due to the tourists coming each year. Also make sure that you can enjoy very traditional Japanese food here best.


Check out our tripadvisor postings on accommodation recommendations!

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