Kyoto Travel Guide
Synonymous with the word ‘sight seeing’ Kyoto is hands down the most visited city for tourism in Japan. This is to such an extreme that the Japanese themselves joke that the population of Kyoto is fifty percent kids on a school trip and fifty percent Buddha statues
Visitors come to Kyoto for its plethora of temples, shrines, gardens and scenic walks. The city also offers much in the way of authentic dining and traditional entertainment such as the beautiful and mysterious Geisha, whom you can see walking on the street.
Kyoto Restaurants & Food [VIEW ALL]
Experience Local dining
Yanaginobamba nishiki agaru, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Kyoto’s Gogyo has a reputation for the best Ramen in Japan, whether this is hype or not you’ll have to find out for yourself and try the shops specialty: burnt ramen. Yes, you ready that right! It comes in a variety of standard ramen flavors: miso, tonkotsu, shoyuu and others.
Travelers be warned however, a price comes with this sensational experience: the line is typically 30-40 minutes unless you get there right when the store opens.
Bowls of ramen go for 850 yen.
471-1 Sasayacho, Nakagyoku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-0983, Japan
Humorously, the term ‘hafu’ in Japanese typically means a person who is half Japanese and half of another ethnicity, but enough of that, let’s talk about Kyoto’s premiere steak house: Hafu.
While it is not Kobe beef (Grade 5 Wagyu), it is still ‘melt in your mouth delicious’ and you will NOT leave unsatisfied. Our recommendation is the sirloin medium rare. An added bonus is surprisingly affordable menu prices, with sets coming in at only 4,000 yen, which is pretty darn good for a steak house. However remember that these are Japanese sized portions, so expect a seven ounce steak.
Kyoto Sightseeing & Attractions [VIEW ALL]
Our top picks of things to see and do
16 Renge, Uji, Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture
Originally built as a luxury pavilion back in the days of extravagance, the Byodo-in Temple was converted into a temple in the year 1053.
The temple's design is a one of a kind, and further distinguishes itself from others with its garden and pond in front of the main hall (the Pheonix Hall, which is an original wood structure, making it one of the few in Japan still standing, as most of them have been rebuilt due to fires and earthquakes.
In the complex you can also find the Treasure House where you can admire the many artifacts and learn of the temple's history.
1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City
Like the Byodo-in, the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion) was also a former residence from the age of extravagance which was then converted into a temple. However as you may already know, the Kinkakuji has the unique feature of having the exterior of its two upper floors completely covered in gold leaf, and with the very top floor's interior completely gilded as well.
Unfortunately visitors are not allowed to enter nor even get close to the temple, you must stand far off at a considerable distance. This is due to tightened security.
The admission is 400 yen and there is a tea house where you can enjoy some macha (green tea) and a snack to add to the experience.
Kyoto Hotels & Accommodations [VIEW ALL]
Cheapest and best places to stay
Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto
432 Matsuyachō, Shimogyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan
One mile North of Kyoto station the Citadine Gojo is easily accessible directly from Kyoto Station via the Kyoto Subway. The hotel is a three minute walk from subway station Gojo.
Surprising are the extremely bright, modern, clean and smart rooms at the Citadine Kyoto, as you would not expect to get such quality with their low room fees. The rooms are all designed in the modern Asian minimalism.
Being a rather small hotel there is not much available in the realm of amenities and restaurants, however the breakfast is satisfying.
Single Occupant: $135
Double Occupant: $135
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
901 Higashi Shiokojicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8216, Japan
(JR Kyoto Station Karasuma-Central Entrance)
011 81 75-344-8888
If you’re quick you can make it from the Shinkansen platform to the doord of the Granvia in thirty seconds! Being a part of the JR Kyoto Station makes the Granvia a total delight. However unless you are staying above the eighth floor you will be slightly disturbed by noise of the trains.
The Standard Rooms are clean, modern and very spacious, but if you want to spend a few bucks more you can get more of a luxurious experience and get a Superior Room.
There are nearly a dozen different bars, restaurants and lounges to choose from, however, we suggest you hit the streets for some epicurean explorations.
Single Occupant: $150
Double Occupant: $190
Tokyo to Kyoto by Train
Depart from Tokyo Station, via the Shinkansen NOZOMI 125, bound for Kyoto Station.
Cost: 13,320 yen
Osaka to Kyoto by Train
Depart from Osaka Station (Umeda), via the JR Special Rapid Service, bound for Kyoto Station
Cost: 540 yen