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22 “Must see” classic Kyoto tourist destinations!

Many of the monuments, statues, shrines, and old town scenery of Kyoto (京都) survived the intense destruction of World War II. As a result, Kyoto is a popular tourist destination rich in Japanese culture and history that can be enjoyed any season.
It is a place where ordinary people’s lives transform a town into a fascinating sightseeing location that you will enjoy spending time in.


The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine area has over 1000 Torii shrines.

Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is known as the place of 1000 mystical Toriis.
It was selected “Japan’s most popular tourist spot” for the last two years and is now drawing attention from all over the world.
A large number of pilgrims visit the shrine each year to pay tribute to the gods of prosperity, good harvest, and home safety.
It is also the No.1spot in Western Japan for starting out the new year.
It is considered the main shrine of the more than 30000 Inari shrines across the country.
It is around 1,300-years-old from the Nara period and is said to have many power spots scattered around it throughout the mountainside.
【Spot name】Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine
【Address】68 Fukakusabunoochi-cho Fushimi-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. (available day and night visits)
【Closed on Mondays】Open every day

Built 300 feet above the ground, the Kyoto Tower’s observatory provides a 360-degree view of the city of Kyoto.

Made in the Imagine of a lighthouse illuminating the sea, Kyoto City’s Kyoto Tower (京都タワー) in front of JR Kyoto central station was built in 1964.
It was built on the roof of Kyoto Tower building. At nearly 400 feet to the tip, it is Kyoto’s tallest building and just comes in under the city’s building height restriction.
Kyoto Tower is nice from the outside but with its 285 spiral step staircase, it is even more fun on the inside. It has a 360-degree observation deck with panoramic views, a nice lounge, and an amazing public bath. It is a fully-equipped tourist destination.
【Spot name】Kyoto Tower
721-1 Touenkoji-cho Torimaru-doori Nanajo-kudaru Shimogyo-Ku Kyoto-City Kyoto
【Hours of operation】
9:00a.m. to 9:00p.m. (last admission 8:40p.m.)
* Opening hours can change depending on the season.
【Closed on Mondays】Open every day

The Okazaki area is creating a new standard of sightseeing with the Kyoto Municipal Museum of art!

When speaking of this area more people refer to it as the area around the Heian Shrine. But more and more because of the many new cafes, grocery stores, and galleries the Okazaki area is becoming well know.
With all the famous museums and galleries clustered around, they say it is an art-lovers must-see tourist destination. The most famous spot being the Kyoto Municipal Museum(京都市美術館). Its eye-catching retro-style architecture attracts many visitors each year.
【Spot name】Kyoto Municipal Museum of art
【Address】124 Okazaki enshouji-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】
Kyoto Municipal Museum of art 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. (entrance closes at 4:30 p.m.)
【Closed on MondayS】
Mondays (open if national holiday), year-end and new year holidays (12/28-1/2)

The philosopher’s walk is an ideal way to experience Kyoto sightseeing!

The philosopher’s walk is located in Kyoto at the foot of the Higashiyama (東山). It begins at Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) and extends approximately 1 mile to the Kamo River.
This beautiful walkway has been selected as one of the top 100 roads in Japan.
On the road, you can walk North to the Ginkaku Temple and South to the Nyakuouji shrine. If you continue walking further South you will come to the Nanzen Temple.
This recommended tourist destination is a great way of exploring these famous temples.
【Spot name】The philosopher’s walk
【Address】Ginkaku-ji Temple near Kyoto from sakyo-Ku Kyoto-City Youth bridge

The Sagano bamboo forest is a tunnel of green created during the Heian period.

The path of the Sagano bamboo forest is a walkway that has a bamboo fence surrounded by bamboo on both sides of the road.
It creates a cool path shielded from the hot sun in the summer and a milder climate that is blocked from the cold winter winds.
Every step along the way you will be soothed with the sounds of nature and beautiful scenery. It is truly a wonderful tourist destination.
The Sagano bamboo forest can also be experienced by riding in a rickshaw.
The bamboo forest along with the Togetsu bridge are the 2 most popular tourists destinations of the Kyoto Arashiyama area.
【Spot name】The Sagano bamboo forest
【Address】Saga Nomiya-cho Ukyo-Ku Kyoto-city

This garden oasis is a popular spot for locals and tourists all year round!

The Botanical Garden’s springtime cherry blossoms, summer roses and camellia, fall foliage, and winter scenes make this a year round garden oasis.
It has over 450 cherry trees, including the very popular someiyoshino, yaebenishidare and satozakura varieties.
At the Botanical Gardens, you can even eat lunch while enjoying the cherry blossoms!
The Hydrangea Garden is very popular during the rainy season. Seeing the colorful hydrangeas that bloom are well worth a look at this beautiful tourist destination.
【Spot name】Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Garden
【Address】Shimogamohanki-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-City
【Hours of operation】9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.
            * Entrance closes 5:00p.m.
【Closed on Mondays】12/28-1/4

Springtime cherry blossoms and fall leaves make sightseeing very popular at this Kyoto’s Arashiyama scenic spot.

Extending nearly 475 feet over the Katsura River, the Togetsu bridge (渡月橋) is a symbol of sightseeing in Kyoto, Arashiyama.
The bridge was initiated in the Heian period at the hand of a monk (Doujyou) (道昌).
Togetsu bridge washed away several times and was destroyed during war time but it was always rebuilt.
The last time it was rebuilt was under the supervision Ryori Suminokura during the Edo period.
The beautiful atmosphere surrounding the bridge has been the subject of many drawings utilizing the ukiyoe style and has also appeared in a variety of other mediums.
It is a popular tourist destination that is crowded with many tourists from home and abroad every day. It is considered an icon representing Kyoto, Japan.
【Spot name】Togetsu Bridge
【Address】 Saga nakanoshima-cho Ukyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto near

Nishiki market has provided for Kyoko for over 400 years!

The Nishiki Market (錦市場) is located in North Kyoko on Yonjo street. It runs East to West on Yonjo Street and is about 400 yards long and ranges from only 9 to 15 feet wide.
The market has approximately 130 retail shops that jostle for space along the narrow street.
It is a popular tourist destination.
Th Nishi Market was originally established in the reign of Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉) as the Gyocho market. It recently celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2015.
The market offers a variety of foods and other seasonal goods in an atmosphere rich in a feeling of Kyoto’s history. It continues to attract more and more visitors from home and abroad.
【Spot name】Nishiki market
【Address】609 Tomishoujitsuu Yonjo agaru Daimonji-cho Nakagyo-Ku Kyoto-City
【Hours of operation】varies by location
【Closed 】varies by Store

A symbol of Kyoto, the Kamo River flows through some of the most beautiful scenery in Japan.

The Kamo river (鴨川) said to be one of the symbols of Kyoto is actually two famous rivers that join together.
The Shimogamo shrine is a world site located where the Kamouji and Takano Rivers come together to form the Kamo river.
The Kamo river flows through Kyoto City and has been the center of people’s lives there for more than 1,000 years.
This old River continues today as one of Kyoto’s top sightseeing spots.
So if you are in the area visiting the many shrines and temples be sure and make some time to rest at the river’s side and enjoy the healing powers of nature.
【Spot name】Kamo river
【Address】Kamigyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto

This World Heritage site has one of the largest temples in Japan

To-ji temple (東寺) is close to JR Kyoto station, it is about a 15-minute walk.
To-ji Temple is a world Heritage site and is considered a symbol of Kyoto.
It is a five-story tower that reaches a height of about 170 feet. It is the tallest wooden building in Japan.
Kobo Daishi brought Buddha’s ashes from China and enshrined them here.
The tower burnt down several times over the years and was rebuilt for the fifth and final time by Iemitsu Tokugawa
This temple is considered the starting point of the esoteric Buddhism in Japan.
【Spot name】To-ji Temple (kyouougokokuji)
【Address】1 Kyujo-Cho Minami-ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 To-ji Temple (kyouougokokuji)
              Summer 3/20-9/19
              5:00a.m.to 5:30p.m.
              Winter 9/20-3/19
              5:00a.m. to 4:30p.m.
             Opening hours
              Summer 3/20-9/19
              8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m.
              Winter 9/20-3/19
              8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.
【Closed】Open every day

A popular Kyoto tourist destination!

This new Aquarium opened in 2012. It is surrounded by Umekoji Park (梅小路公園) and is located in a front of the world heritage site To-ji temple.
It is close to JR Kyoto station and is easily accessible.
It is divided into zones. The most popular being the penguin and dolphin areas.
You can find a wide variety of aquatic species here.
It is a great tourist destination to enjoy.
【Spot name】Kyoto Aquarium
【Address】35-1 Kankiji-cho Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto City Kyoto(inside Umekoji Park)
【Hours of operation】 Kyoto Aquarium
             10:00a.m. to 8:00p.m.

Kiyomizu Temple has attracted visitors for more than 1,200 years!

Kiyomizu-dera temple (清水寺) was built by Enchinshyonin, a priest from the Nara period.
This is considered the main temple with more than 778 branches around Japan.
The fall foliage and springtime cherry blossoms make for beautiful sightseeing and it is described as one of the best views of Kyoto City.
One of the attractions is that there are small statues everywhere along the roadside.
This has been a very popular spot for sightseeing in Kyoto for more than 1,200 years. It has been enjoyed by aristocrats, Samurai, and commoners.
【Spot name】Kiyomizu-dera Temple
【Address】1-294 Shimizu Higashiyama-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】6:00a.m. opening
* Closing time varies depending on the time
【Closed】Open every day

This birthplace of Kabuki preserves the tradition of the performing arts.

Kyoto Shijou Minamiza was built between 1615 to 1623. It was one of the seven theaters that was allowed to have Kabuki performed there.
In 1893 they closed down the North side of the theater and started using only the south side for seating.
In1906 the management company, Shochiku took over the theater and continues to provide Kabuki classics as well as colorful new style performances.
【Spot name】Kyoto Shijou Minamiza
【Address】Yonjou Ohhashi-higashidume Higashiyama-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】Varies depending on performances
【Closed】Varies depending on performances

Shimogamo shrine is a mystic power spot destination that has a beauty God Kawai shrine that is not to be missed!

Shimogamo shrine in Kyoto is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto. It is located within Tadasu forest. This is a mysterious forest famous from the Jomon era. It has appeared in many literary works, such as the tale of Genji.
You can have a pleasant walk along the entrance path to the shrine that is surrounded by trees.
The shrine is dedicated to two Gods “Kamotaketsunuminomikoto” (The god of peace and national security, and traffic safety) and Tamayoribime (the god of marriage, new babies and child care)
【Spot name】Shimogamo shrine
【Address】59 Shimoganoizumikawa-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】6:00a.m. to 5::30p.m. * varies depending on the time of year
【Closed】Open all year round.

This huge shrine, reminiscent of the Heian Era is a popular tourist attraction.

Heian Jingu shrine (平安神宮) was founded in the Heian capital over 1100 years ago.
It consists of three eye-catching buildings that include the tori, the tori gate and the Palace, all painted in the beautiful traditional red color of the Meiji era.
The Japanese garden is also a famous tourist destination.
This Cherry Blossom viewing spot is among the largest in the Okazaki area.
【Spot name】Heian Jingu Shrine
【Address】Okazaki Nishi Tenno-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 3/1-3/14
              8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m.
              8:30a.m. to 5: 30p.m.
              8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m.
              8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.
             * 10/22 9:30a.m. to 11:30a.m.
【Closed】Open every day

The Byodoin Temple looks like a temple you would see in a dream of paradise!

This beautiful temple is reproduced on the10 yen coin and the 10000 Yen bill.
It is a world heritage site and quite simply one of the most beautiful temples in Japan.
In September of 2014, it was reopened after being closed for two years for repair.
It is a very high profile tourist destinations that we highly recommend.
【Spot name】Byodoin Temple
【Address】116 Ujirenge Uji-City Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Byodoin Temple
              8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. (entrance closes at 5:15p.m.)
             Equality houshoukan Museum
              9:00a.m. to- 5:00p.m. (entrance closes at 4:45p.m.)
             Phoenix Temple,
              9:10a.m. to -4:10p.m.
             *If terminated ago final acceptance.
             *To rest the internal admission due to memorial services and events.
【Closed 】Open every day

Enjoy Kyoto culture in the new addition of the Kyoto National Museum!

The National Museum opened in 1897.
It houses a collection of approximately 12,500 pieces, many of which are special cultural properties of Kyoto which originated from the Edo period thru the Heian period.
The building is modeled from the red brick buildings of the Meiji period.
In 2014 they had a grand opening for the new addition (the Heiseichishikan building).
It is a recommended tourist destination where you can learn the history of Kyoto.
【Spot name】Kyoto National Museum
【Address】527 chayamachi-cho Higashiyama-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Fire-day
              9:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. (admission until 30 minutes before closing)
             * During special exhibition periods hours are extended.
【Closed 】Closed every Sunday and the end of the year holidays,
      * When holidays come on Monday, closed on the following Tuesday.

Traveling in Autumn from the Todai and Kōfuku Temples to the Tofuku Temple is a wonderful way to see the fall foliage.

This temple was built in the first half of the Kamakura era. It was named by combining the names of two already existing temples in the area, the Todai and Tofuku Temples.
Another famous landmark in the area is the Daigaran (the oldest and largest Cathedral in Japan). It was designed by Mirei Shigemori.
These sights will definitely give you a feel for the ancient history of Japan.
【Spot name】Tofuku Temple
【Address】1-4 Fukakusahonjiyama-cho Fushimi-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Tofuku-ji Temple
             April-end of October
              9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.
             11 May until the beginning of December
              8:30a.m. to -4:00p.m.
             Beginning of December to end of March
              9:00a.m. to 3:30p.m.
【Closed 】Open every day

Charge up with the energy from heaven and Earth at this shrine dedicated to the god of water and marriage.

Kibune shrine is located upstream on the vessel River. Its natural green environment radiates with the power of both heaven and the Earth.
The Hongu shrine (dedicated to the god of water) and the Yuinoyashiro shrine, (dedicated to the god of marriage) are both nearby.
This is an especially nice place to visit during the Tanabata celebration in July and in the fall during the changing foliage.
They light up the area with special lights and create a very quaint atmosphere for the tourists.
【Spot name】Kibune shrine
【Address】180 Kuramakibune-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Kibune shrine
              6:00a.m. to 8:00p.m.
              6:00a.m. to-6:00p.m

This is a Zen Temple of the highest level.

This temple was built by Daming Kokushi for Emperor Kameyama.
It is the Chief Temple of the Zen Rinzai sect.
It is a popular tourist destination packed with many attractions such as paintings by Kano and a large garden.
【Spot name】Nanzen-JI
【Address】Nanzenji Fukuchi-cho Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Nanzen-JI
             * Opening reception opening time ends 20 minutes before
             * End of the year (12/28-31) are non-General admission
【Closed on Mondays】Without

Yasaka Shrine, dedicated to beauty and matchmaking is a tourist destination full of blessings!

The Gion Festival that is held at the Yasaka Temple is one of the 3 biggest festivals in Japan.
The red-painted gate that marks the entrance to the shrine on Shijo street is a familiar symbol to visitors to Kyoto.
The Yasaka Shrine is also referred to as “Gion-san” and is loved by the locals. Many visitors come here to see the beautiful maiko (performers) of the Gion shrine. It has been a popular tourist destination for a very long time.
【Spot name】Yasaka-Jinja shrine
【Address】625 Kitagawa Gion-cho Higashiyama-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 Yasaka-Jinja shrine
              24-hour admission
             * Prayer for 9:00a.m .to 4:30p.m.
【Closed】Open every day

This famous Tenman-gu shrine is the headquarters for learning “Kitano Tenjin.”

Kitano Tenman-gu shrine was erected as the final resting place of the famous teacher of the Tenjin faith, Michizane Sugawara(菅原道真).
This shrine is considered the headquarters of theTenjin faith. It has an additional 12,000 shrines spread across Japan.
It gives tribute to the god of learning. Many students come here to receive blessings while preparing for their entrance exams.
【Spot name】Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (Tenjin)
【Address】Kitano tenmangu shrine Office Bakuro-cho Kamikyo-Ku Kyoto-city Kyoto
【Hours of operation】 April-September
              5:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.
              5:30a.m. to 5:30p.m.
             Office-conferring Institute
              Hours9:00a.m to 5:00p.m.