Scattered with temples and shrines, Kyoto hosts a rich history of Japan. Not to be missed on your travels, be sure to stop by these show stopping sights.
Temples and Shrines
Fushimi Inari Taisha
A well recognised location, Fushimi Inari Taisha is a popular shrine to visit in Kyoto. With as many as 32,000 red torii gates lining the trail up the mountain, it surely is a sight to see. I recommend getting there early in the morning, as it can get crowded. The gates can get busy, but the further you go up the trail, the crowds tend to thin out and you can enjoy the shrine. There are also food stalls and souvenir shops to enjoy. You can easily get there as it has a train station close by.
This impressive structure is a buddhist temple which overlooks Kyoto. A wooden temple built with no nails, it is magnificent as it is old (1200 years!). While it is very popular and busy with tourists, its worth visiting. I recommend going early in the morning to best the crowds. The building is surrounded by pagodas, shrines, and a three-stream waterfall which grants powers of love longevity and knowledge. Be sure to walk through the historical streets on your way there, and don’t miss some yummy local sweets. You can get here by bus and a small walk.
If you only go to 1 or 2 temples in Japan, then Kinkakuji surely shouldn’t be missed. Named the Golden Pavilion, and rightly so, the small building is covered in gold. It’s situated on a lake, so you can’t go inside. After enjoying the pavilion, tour through the gardens. Again, go early to beat the crowds, it was really busy when I went, and the viewing area can get very crowded. Theres a small fee of 400 yen, but worth it in my opinion. It’s accessible by bus with a small walk or taxi.
Strolling along the Philosopher’s path will brighten your day. A 2km canal close by Kiyomizudera, the beautiful stone path is lined with cherry blossom trees. Named after a 20th century Japanese philosopher who would walk the path everyday. While the walk itself is quite short, the path in surrounded by temples, small shops and cafes. Spring time would be beautiful to go see the cherry blossoms.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
This bamboo grove is so popular in Kyoto, it has to be on the list. A small walking trail with both sides seeming with bamboo, its a scenic and very pretty walk. Its nestled on the western outskirts of Kyoto in Arashiyama, which hosts plenty of temples, pretty mountain and river views and nearby Iwatayama monkey park. Arashiyama plays host to my favourite coffee shop, % Arabica Arashiyama, which you can read about below.
A girl’s gotta eat
% Arabica Arashiyama
Coffee can be a hit and miss in Japan, we normally went to starbucks, but I was really excited to go to % Arabica Arashiyama. This very small and coffee shop makes excellent coffee and the windows which line the wall give a beautiful view of the mountains and river. This place is extremely popular, but luckily when we went it was very hot so there weren’t many people. Also the heat was a perfect excuse for an iced coffee.
3-47, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku Kyoto 616-8385 Japan
Gyoza Chao chao
This place may be small and like any other small business, but we were on the hunt for some gyoza and you will not be disappointed at Gyoza Chao Chao. Cheap beer and countless gyoza await you in this haven, my personal favourite is the pork gyoza, but the chocolate gyoza was a surprising second. All the dishes are made right in front of you. All the dishes are really cheap, so theres no excuse to not order one of everything.
117 Ishiyacho, Kiya-Machi Sanjo Kudaru, Nakagyo, Kyoto
Wendy’s reminds me of Hungry Jack’s, but better. An American burger chain, for those who aren’t too keen on seafood or had too much ramen. The extensive menu can cater for everyone. Gotta say, you have to try the chips. There are only two in Kyoto, one located near Nishiki Market, which I recommend checking out.
What are you favourite places to go in Kyoto? I’d love to hear from you
Thanks for reading,
Have you seen my Tokyo Travel guide? Be sure to check it out!