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Explore Kyoto, Japan

At the back are the Senbon Torii, donated by owners of businesses in Japan hoping for good fortunes. Their names are inscribed in black, and they cover a hiking trail. For tourists looking to experience authentic Japanese food, the busy 5-block long market is an excellent place to check out. There are approximately stalls, each of which is selling some form of Japanese delicacy. One can also get specialty items that are only locally available in Japan.

Despite how huge it is and the possible language barrier, one of the best things to do in Kyoto is to check out the Nishiki Market. For those who have no experience with Japanese flavors, try some green tea.

18 Unusual, Non-Touristy Things to do in Kyoto - Destination>Differentville

Be adventurous as there are many delicacies to choose from. It is a mile-long path that the Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro, used when he walked to Kyoto University in the early 20th century. It is next to the Biwa Canal with cherry blossoms along the path.


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It takes about an hour to walk across the whole length of the trail. Visitors can start the path at Ginkaku-ji, heading south along the path until the end of the path in Nanzenji. There are shops, restaurants, and even vending machines along the path although there are no restrooms. One of the most notable fashion items from Japan has to be the Kimono. It is a beautiful traditional dress that women still wear to this day.

During festivals and other occasions such as autumn and cherry blossom seasons, one can notice most women are dressed in Kimonos and Yakata. The best place to see the Kimono styled and worn is the Nishijin textile centre.

Here, they offer a kimono fashion parade several times a day. There is the display of silkworms that produce silk that are used as textiles. There are also weaving demonstrations that explain how they make more complex fabrics and wall hangings. A visitor on a budget with limited things to do in Kyoto may enjoy free festivals and events as they get to interact with the locals and learn more about their culture. Such festivals include Aoi, Jidai and Gion festivals, Setsubun, and New Year celebrations among other seasonal events.


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The underground springs provide soft and clean water that is good for brewing sake. Fushimi is located between two rivers with a strategic shipping position. All these contributed to the growth of the town to a leading sake-brewing district with the popular Gekkeikan Brewery being founded in For those wondering what to do in Kyoto, they can take a wooden boat for a sightseeing cruise from Gekkeikan Brewery and the Teradaya Inn up the Uji River for about 55 and 40 minutes respectively.

One of the most important things to do in Kyoto is to visit a real-life Samurai Temple. There is a single room museum in Sengakuji where visitors get to see samurai relics, such as letters and armor connected to the 47 samurais. Kyoto is a modern and equally traditional city that is magnificent to any tourist that visits it.

There are many things that one can do when in Kyoto that will be memorable for years to come. Whether it be visiting the historic temples and shrines or the Manga art museum, there is something for everybody. There are expensive options and affordable options for those on a budget. Kyoto is a city that is warm and welcoming to visitors and encourages everyone to have a good time. With many things to do in Kyoto, plan a trip there and enjoy the best of both worlds. In order to help you make the most of all the awesome Kyoto attractions and activities, you need to have somewhere great to use as a base.

They have awesome chilling out areas, including a fantastic rooftop garden and a cool lounge. The dorms are great, clean and cheap. And best of all, they offer free laundry! Book it on Hostelworld. It may have a long name, but this is one of the nicest mid-range hotels in all of Kyoto! Book it on Agoda. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Read our Privacy Policy. Exploring the unique flora of this region is just one of the best things to do in Kyoto!

Table of Contents. Geishas walking through Gion. Snow monkey. Nijo Castle. Famous Pontocho Alley. Hi, just wanted to let you know that your blog post is informative and insightful, helping a budget traveller like me out a lot.

17 Epic Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan (12222 Guide)

Thanks Steve. It will depend on what your plans are and if you already will have an active JR pass while you are there? Where you are staying might also make a difference to the value you get from it. Thanks for the reply.

9 unusual things to do in Kyoto

The places I plan to is probably fushima inari, arashimaya and higashima. Mind if you give an opinion? The hyperdia. I would love to see what you end up doing in Kyoto. We are there 4 nights and I have two day trips scheduled one to Nara and one to Enryakuji which might be one day trip too many. I have to keep Nara because my daughter is super excited about the deer. Hi Toni, Could you suggest on which place to go to in Kyoto if i only have 1 day, arriving in the morning from Nara but staying overnight in Kyoto to depart early morning to Tokyo. Maybe sannenzaka and ninnenzaka if possible.

Also which is better to take bus to visit those places or can train access it? Hi Catrina. However they are also quite slow as they stop often and are cramped.

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With only one day that would be a lot of places to get through so you may want to consider which are most important to you but I have a few suggestions to fit in as much as you can. It may also depend when you are going, days are short in winter and in spring you have the lightups which can extend your visiting time to places such as Kiyomizudera into the evening. Continue on the train back to Kyoto station and then getting on the next one out to Arashiyama would make the most sense next, what do you want to do there?

There is a lot but it is like a beautiful suburb of Kyoto so things are spread out and you could easily spend a day there alone. These are some of our favourite spots in Arashiyama. Take the train back to Kyoto station and go to the bus station outside the main doors, catch the next bus to Kinkakuji. The info centre staff speak good English and will point you in the direction of the best bus, it may not always be the tourist circuit bus. When leaving Kinkakuji the bus will likely come back via the centre of Kyoto and would be best to get off there to continue on with the rest of your stops, there is no need to go right back to the station.

If you want to save time here and budget is less of a concern you may consider a taxi from Kinkakuji to Kiyomizudera or the next stop, the bus will eat into the available time. Kiyomizudera,Gion, Sannenzaka, Ninnenzaka and to some degree Nishiki Market are fairly close together, walking distance, and can be done later afternoon. Evening is good too but the experience is different after dark but it may be an option if you are struggling to fit the other places in.


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If you plan to have a wifi then Google Maps and Hyperdia will be very useful on your day in Kyoto. Hi Toni, Thank you for your reply and explanation it really help with my route. I will be going to kyoto on 13 April. So i can stop directly to Fushimi Inari woth train from Nara, can i know the station name to stop in Fushimi Inari from Kintetsu Nara station the closest from my hostel.

Thank you. Thanks for your advice.