Kyoto Tourist Guide

Kyoto Tourist Guide - Destination Overview
  • Package Prices
    Kyoto Toursit Packages starting from $400 for 4 nights and 5 days Tokyo tour

Kyoto: The Japanese City of Ten Thousand Shrines

Package price: JPY 20,400- JPY 49,400/ $199.08- $ 482.10 per person

Standard price: JPY 34,900/ $340.59 per person

High rate price: JPY 53,000/ $517.23

Low rate price: JPY 18,500/ $180.54

Pin code: 6030000

Altitude: 86m / 282 ft

Longitude: 135°45′13″ E

Latitude: 35°01′15″ N

State: Kyoto Prefecture

Country: Japan

Nearest airport: Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport

Nearest train station: Kyoto station

How to reach: Kyoto, the former imperial city of Japan, can be accessed via airways, roadways and trains. Kyoto does not have its own airport but the nearest airport to the city is Kansai International Airport. Tourists can board Haruka Limited Express from Kansai to reach Kyoto. Kyoto can be reached from Tokyo via Shinkansen (bullet train).Comfortable limousine buses ply from Kansai airport to Kyoto twice an hour. You can reach Kyoto by car via Meishin Expressway between Nagoya and Osaka.

Season to visit: Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Kyoto. Spring season (last week of March-first two weeks of April), also known as the cherry blossom season, is one of the best time to visit Kyoto to see the city covered in crimson hue due to the cherry blossoms. The autumn foliage also attracts tourists in the month of November for autumn leaf-viewing or “Momiji-gari” in Japanese.

Kyoto, a province of the Kansai region and capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, is located in a valley bordered by Tamba highlands. Kyoto being the former imperial capital of Japan, still exudes its old-world charm with an urban tinge. Kyoto’s quite and serene temples; lush and sublime gardens; vibrant and historically-rich shrines, appeal to the tourists worldwide. The presence of thousands of shrines and temples in this city has earned it the reputation as the city of ten thousand shrines. The city is the 9th largest city of Japan which envelopes a population of about 1.474 million.

Kyoto with its regal imperial palaces and villas, sanctified shrines and temples has been the attraction of tourists around the globe. UNESCO has branded 17             historic sites of Kyoto as World Heritage Sites under the designation of ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto’. Kyoto with its lush valleys, rich culture, vibrant festivals, historic-monuments and shrines, picturesque landscapes, spring cherry tree blossoms and autumn foliage makes it a traveler’s dream land. People who wish to enjoy an old world charm along with the luxuries of the urban life; this city of Japan is the ultimate destination. You cannot miss to explore some of the tourist attractions in Kyoto if you are visiting the city. Here are the most-admired places of Kyoto which are worth visiting:

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace: This majestic imperial palace is unlocked for the tourists and Imperial Household Agency organizes public tours at many times of the day. The palace also has serene Sentō Imperial Palace garden.
  • Ginkaku-Ji: Ginkaku-Ji, the temple of the silver pavilion, along with its winding gardens is a place worth visiting in Kyoto. It is one of the 17 World Heritage Sites. Although Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa’s dream of covering the temple with silver was never realized, still the temple maintained its nickname “silver pavilion”.
  • Gion District: Gion District is famed for its Geisha culture and entertainment. The place looks dull during the day but has an extremely lively nightlife. Ancient houses, art galleries and shops selling antiques are predominant in the streets of this place. The place also harbors one of the best traditional restaurants.
  • Kiyomizu temple: This ancient temple is one of the 17 World Heritage sites of UNESCO. The temple is famed for the wonderful view of the whole Kyoto it offers along with a serene sunset. ‘Kiyomizu’ refers to the pure water which cascades down the hills into the temple and gets divided into three streams. The water is believed to have therapeutic properties.
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Groove: The extensive bamboo groove is like a world of its own with thick green bamboo stalks widespread endlessly. It is a delightful place for the lovers of photography and people obsessed with taking ‘selfies’.
  • Daitoku Ji: Daitoku Ji marks a complete different world with its Zen temples and meandering gardens. It is a place worth visiting in Kyoto.

Three Day Suggested Itinerary for 

  • Day 1

Explore the historically-rich city: Kyoto’s highlights- Golden and Silver pavilion, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nijo castle, Kyoto handicraft centre, Shimbashi in Gion.

  • Day 2

Sushi and Nara: a walk through the Nishiki food markets, the assorted back streets of Kyoto to imbibe the culture, a visit to the brewery museum, explore historic treasures of Nara, free-roaming deer in Deer Park, etc.

  • Day 3

Bamboo grooves and neon lights of the city: a stroll to the extensive and charming bamboo grooves, mountain temples of Arashiyama district, Jajakoji temple-a pagoda surrounded by Japanese maples(a major tourist attraction in autumn), explore Kyoto’s shopping district immersed in neon lights.

Inclusions of the package: Bus, train and entry fare along with lodging.


  • Gion Matsuri festival: This festival is celebrated in July and involves an ostentatious procession of portable shrines and floats, mikoshi. It is often called “mobite arts museum”. It is regarded as Kyoto’s liveliest gatherings.
  • Hana Touro Festivals: this festival celebrates the rich culture of Kyoto. Kyoto Arashiyama Hana Tuoro is celebrated during winter. The inhabitants of the city line up the central river with 2600 lanterns and ikebana flower displays. Kyoto Higashiyama Hana Touro is another festival celebrated in spring season. People line up the streets of Higashoji with illuminated lanterns and flowers while the visitors stroll past the neighborhood.

Other festivals of Kyoto include Daimon –Ji Gozan Okuribi, Kurama-no-hi Matsuri, Aoi Matsuri, Jidai Matsuri, and Setsubun Matsuri.

Things to do in Kyoto:

  • A panoramic journey in Japan’s famed bullet train connecting Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Sightseeing tours to the shrines and palaces spread across the city
  • Trip to Nara and Nijo Castle
  • Uzuki- a small cooking class of Japanese cuisine for culinary enthusiasts
  • Experiencing Japanese tea ceremony at a tea house in the Gion district
  • Undergoing ‘maiko-henshin’ (Geisha Transformation)

Popular hotels in Kyoto

  • The Ritz-Carlton(5 star)- $645
  • Kyoto Century hotel(4 star)- $304
  • Kyoto Brighton(4 star)- $304
  • Hyatt Regency Kyoto(4 star)- $391
  • Kyoto Tower Hotel Annex(3 star)- $181
  • Hotel Grand Bach(3 star)- $172
  • Oyama Guest House Kyoto(2 star)- $117
  • Nine Hours Kyoto(budget hotel)- $40

Some of the popular restaurants in Kyoto-

  • Gion Karyo- Japanese haute cuisine
  • Nakaichi- Sushi
  • Falafel Garden-vegetarian cuisine
  • Au Temps Perdu- French café
  • Cocohana-Korean cuisine
  • Yoshokunomise Hakubaichoitadaki- Continental cuisine

Three to four days are enough to imbibe the beauty and variety of Kyoto, the cultural cradle of Japan. Kyoto marks the amalgamation of both tradition and modernization. Both the glitzy concrete buildings and the colorful historical shrines coexist in this city of Japan.

How to get there?

Kyoto can be accessed by air, road and rail but tourists usually prefer to take a ride of the famous Japanese bullet train from Tokyo, which offers a panoramic view of the landscape. Kyoto’s nearest international airport is Kansai International Airport. You can take a luxurious limousine bus ride from Kansai to Kyoto or take Kansai Airport Express, Haruka to reach Kyoto. There are many bus routes connecting different parts of Japan to Kyoto. Kyoto can be reached by car via Meishin expressway.

Excursions from Kyoto

  • Nara- Nara is the hub for cultural riches like old temples, shrines and artworks.
  • Osaka- Osaka is a city of sky scrapers, neon-lit streets and futuristic buildings with all modern gizmos. It is a breakaway destination from the culture-imbibed city of Kyoto.