Kyoto

Travel Guide
Heian Shrine showing 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 the fall, 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 330 feet (100 meters) 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

Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto, Kyoto, 604-8161
The price is $40 per night from Oct 2 to Oct 3
Stay at this 3.5-star spa hotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,002 reviews)
"Good location. Close to subway. Nice and clean room. Nice interior. Nice hospitality."

Reviewed on Apr 22, 2022

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8237
The price is $73 per night from Oct 2 to Oct 3
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 6 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,356 reviews)
"Great quality Hotel and Breakfast Buffet is tasty!"

Reviewed on Sep 4, 2022

Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
4.5 out of 5
JR Kyoto Station, Karasuma Chuo-guchi, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8216
The price is $95 per night from Sep 28 to Sep 29
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the property condition ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (1,001 reviews)
Recommend
"Great hotel"

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2022

Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Mimaru Kyoto Nishinotoin Takatsuji
Mimaru Kyoto Nishinotoin Takatsuji
2.5 out of 5
782 Honryusuicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8462
Stay at this aparthotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, daily housekeeping, and laundry facilities. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the overall value in our ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (195 reviews)
"As new property, extremely clean and plenty of room for family. Very comfortable and handy to all amenities. Very enjoyable stay."

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2020

Mimaru Kyoto Station
Mimaru Kyoto Station
2.5 out of 5
15-1, Higashikujyo Higashisannocho, Kyoto, Kyoto, 601-8004
Stay at this aparthotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace, and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the spacious rooms in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (71 reviews)
"Clean and nice property. Kind of hard to find the proper. Too new even for a taxi driver."

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2022

Mimaru Kyoto Shinmachi Sanjo
Mimaru Kyoto Shinmachi Sanjo
3.5 out of 5
105, Machigashiracho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8206
Stay at this 3.5-star aparthotel in Kyoto. Enjoy free WiFi, laundry facilities, and a flat-screen TV. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the property condition ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (258 reviews)
"大変清潔な部屋で大満足です。スタッフの皆様も非常に親切で有り難かったです。また利用させていただきます"

Reviewed on Jul 23, 2022

Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Kyoto

Devote plenty of time to explore the ancient cobbled streets, teahouses and temples of Kyoto, so walk wherever possible. You’ll never traverse the whole city on foot, of course, so use the modern, efficient public transit network, which comprises subway, train and bus networks. Kyoto is also beautiful to cycle around, with bike rental shops everywhere. Visit the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau website.Browse Kyoto rental cars.

Best time to visit

Kyoto is a fantastic destination year round, never getting too hot or cold. Its ancient streets can be wonderfully atmospheric in winter, while spring is the time for the beautiful cherry blossoms. Summers can be hot, humid and rainy, with average high temperatures in August in the low 90s F (low 30s C); visit in fall for optimum sightseeing weather.

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