With a staggering number of ancient Buddhist temples, impeccable gardens and majestic palaces, Kyoto is Japan's most culturally rich city. Home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and some 400 Shinto shrines dedicated to Japan's indigenous faith, Kyoto is home to the country's most important works of art and can keep visitors busy for days. It's also an evocative portrait of old Japan, unsurprising given the fact that Kyoto was the capital city for more than a thousand years. Traditional wooden houses line neatly paved streets where colourful geisha girls gently patter along whilst ancient specialty shops sell local delicacies much as they have done for centuries.Read More
Estimates have Kyoto as containing over 1,600 Buddhist temples, which creates a mind-boggling choice for first-time visitors. Top of any list should be the brilliant gold-leaf temple of Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto's famed 'Golden Pavilion'. Standing above water, its shimmering reflection creates a perfect mirror-image that transforms with the changing seasons. The magical Kurama-dera enjoys a scenic setting on a thickly wooded mountain with wonderful views across the valley whilst the grand Chion-in serves as Kyoto's most popular temple of pilgrimage.
For those that enjoy scenic walks Kyoto is bound to delight with the extremely photogenic bamboo grove of Arashiyama, an endless sea of thick bamboo stalks rising up to create a blanket of green across the sky. A man-made equivalent is the arcade of bright vermilion torii that lead to the temple complex of Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Surrounded by ancient trees the walkway is both eerie and mystical, a similarly unforgettable experience.
FROM USD $83.09
The true magic of Kyoto comes alive at the end of the day, when the to...
FROM USD $42.07
Step into an authentic Japanese rickshaw for the ride of a lifetime, a...
FROM USD $700.21
View the awe-inspiring sites of Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple, by the...
FROM USD $1,125.00
While in Kyoto, enjoy this 2.5-hour cultural visit to an ochaya tea to...
Planning a longer visit to Japan?
Browse some of our popular multi-day trips that spend a day or more in Kyoto. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Kyoto on a bespoke touring itinerary to Japan, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.
Japan Day Tours and Excursions
Experience the best that Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima have to offer on our wide selection of day trips and excursions from watching Sumo practice, visiting Mt Fuji, walking tours of the best sites and lots more.