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Top Activities in Kyoto

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What to Do in Kyoto: Must See Attractions

Kyoto Attractions

Kyoto is one of Japan’s most enchanting cities. Located on the island of Honshu, this wondrous city is a mixture of old-world charm and modern progression. It is easy to find an abundance of fun things to do in Kyoto, and it is simple to get a map of the city to find out where the best Kyoto activities are located. You can find terrific deals on Kyoto travel packages including flights, hotel rooms, and Kyoto tours on Expedia.

While visiting Kyoto, you can immerse yourself in the local history with sites such as Shimogamo Shrine, To-ji, and the iconic Nijo Castle. You can also learn more about Japanese history as well as the histories of other countries while visiting museums like the Kyoto National Museum and the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

A visit to the Iwatayama Monkey Park will give you the chance to see some of the region’s most charming creatures. This park is home to numerous snow monkeys and is a must-see attraction in Kyoto. You can even feed and interact with the monkeys while visiting this top tourist destination.

If you are coming to Kyoto in the spring, you will be treated to the sight of beautiful cherry blossoms throughout the city. The magnificent pink and white blossoms seen on the cherry trees create a picturesque setting reminiscent of a storybook theme. Tourists from places all around the world frequently take Kyoto excursions during this time of year to witness this marvelous display of nature.

You also must see the Kyoto Botanical Garden while visiting the city. In addition to being one of the area’s best tourist spots, the garden also gives you the opportunity to escape into a peaceful natural wonderland. You can take a stroll along the paved walking paths as well as through the conservatory. Tourists can see the vibrant flowers and lush green vegetation throughout the garden.

You can save big on your travels by booking through Expedia. The deals featured on Expedia give you the chance to save some money, so you can enjoy all of the attractions in Kyoto to the fullest.

Free Things to Do in Kyoto

There's no need to endlessly reach for your wallet in Kyoto. The following won't even cost a penny.

Zohiko Urushi Art Museum - Wander around and appreciate the fascinating exhibits and collections at this popular museum.

Kyoto Art Center - Spend a few hours here and discover the cultural and artistic side of the area.

Gion Tatsumi Bridge - Get to grips with some of the interesting history of the area through this site.

Okazaki-kōen Area - Sit for a while in this buzzing place and experience life as a local.

Takaragaike Park - Find a nice place to sit and appreciate the calmness that goes hand in hand with being around water.

Nishiki Market - If you're eager to check out some of the more important or interesting places in the community, this place is worth a visit.

Honnoji Temple - Spend a bit of time in meditation or prayer at this respected holy site.

Keage Incline - You're sure to reconnect with Mother Nature at this magnificent place.

Murin-an - Develop your green thumb and be wowed by the many and varied plants on display.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Kyoto

Central Kyoto

Ancient temples blend with modern architectural treasures while markets, museums, dining and shopping streets showcase thousands of years of Japanese traditions. 

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Gion

Experience a traditional tea ceremony or a night of cultural entertainment within the historic wooden teahouses of this well-preserved Kyoto district.

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Arashiyama

You might enjoy the river views while in Arashiyama. Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Museum is a notable sight, and you can get around town at Saga-Arashiyama Station or Torokko Arashiyama Station to see more of the city.

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Karasuma

Experience sensory delights at the Kitchen of Kyoto, shop for souvenirs, take an art class and visit a sacred temple in this central neighborhood. 

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Higashiyama

Consider a visit to Kiyomizu Temple and take some time to enjoy the abundant dining options during your time in Higashiyama. If you want to see more of the city, jump on the metro at Tofukuji Station or Higashiyama Station.

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Sakyo Ward

Noted for its gardens and mountain views, there's plenty to explore in Sakyo Ward. Top attractions like Kyoto International Conference Centre and Heian Shrine are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Kokusaikaikan Station or Matsugasaki Station to see more of the city.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Kyoto on a sunny day?

Soak up the fine weather (and stretch those legs as well) with some of these top outdoor activities:

What to do in Kyoto on a rainy day?

What is Kyoto famous for?

Decisions, decisions — you'll have plenty to make in Kyoto, such as which of these noteworthy attractions to check out first:

  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Nijō Castle

What should I not miss in Kyoto?

Don't return home without ticking off the following list of fantastic attractions:

  • Kyoto Tower
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Toji Temple
  • Heian Shrine

Are there cheap things to do in Kyoto?

What can you do in Kyoto for free?

Your escape to Kyoto needn't blow the budget with free things like these to keep you busy:

  • Nishiki Market
  • Kifune Shrine
  • Philosopher's Walk
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove