Reasons to Visit Kyoto

Many people visit Kyoto for a variety of reasons, including the colorful temples, maiko and geisha culture, and the multi-course kaiseki ryori feasts. But if you’re still on the fence about booking a trip to Japan’s ancient capital, we’ve got many more reasons to Visit Kyoto.

Explore over 400 colorful shrines

More than 400 colorful temples linked to Japan’s traditional religion may be found throughout Kyoto. Fushimi Inari Taisha, Heian Jingu, and Yasaka Jinja are among the most well-known.

Reasons to Visit Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Collection of World Heritage Sites

Kyoto boasts the most Unesco World Heritage Sites on the planet, with 12 Buddhist temples, three Shinto shrines, and one ancient castle. No vacation to Kyoto is complete unless you see at least some of these wonderful landmarks.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) – Credit: Wikipedia

More than 1,600 Buddhist temples

Kyoto is home to over 1,600 historic Buddhist temples, many of which date back millennia. Higashiyama is Japan’s most famous temple area, home to some of the greatest and oldest temples in the country, including the legendary Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Women exploring a japanese village in yukata. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Take a stroll through beautiful gardens

Take a stroll around one of Kyoto’s many beautiful gardens, which were intended for feudal lords and samurai shoguns to enjoy as pleasure. There are several sites in Kyoto to enjoy these tranquil gardens, ranging from temples and shrines to public parks and ryokan (traditional inns).

Credit: Flickr

Zen gardens are peaceful places to unwind

Relax and reflect on the world at one of Kyoto’s dry stone Zen gardens. The Zen Garden of Ryoan-ji Temple, which has 15 mysterious rocks floating in a sea of pristine white sand, is one of the greatest and most famous.

Discover the origins of geisha and maiko culture

Kyoto is the spiritual home of maiko and geisha (geiko in the local dialect) culture, with the Gion area serving as its origin. The wooden teahouses and traditional eateries in well-preserved locations like Hanami-koji Street and Pontocho provide the best opportunity to catch a geisha gracefully scurrying to their next appointment.

Stay at a traditional ryokan or machiya

Kyoto has several ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) and machiya (traditional Kyoto townhouses) that provide an insight into the city’s past. They are an excellent location to stay if you want to experience traditional Japanese lodging and culture.

Try some Kyoto food

Kyoto has a rich and ancient cuisine culture, with a variety of culinary traditions dating back centuries. Enjoy the luxury of multi-course kaiseki ryori feasts, or just unwind and absorb the health benefits of shojin Buddhist cuisine.

Try matcha-flavored treats

If you enjoy green tea, you will be in matcha nirvana in Kyoto. Matcha sweets are available everywhere and include ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cream puffs, cakes, and traditional yatsuhashi confectionery.

Consume traditional sake

Sake has been produced in Kyoto since the 16th century, with the Fushimi district housing several of Japan’s most famous sake distilleries. Most destinations give the opportunity to try some of their finest, with a wide range of flavours available.

Matsumoto Sake Brewing in Fushimi, Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture, Japan

Explore samurai castles

Kyoto is home to a number of historically significant samurai castles. Nijo Castle is most known as the old official Kyoto residence of Japan’s strong Tokugawa Shoguns, who governed the country for about 250 years. It was built to show off their wealth and prestige, and it’s a must-see for its ninja-proof chirping nightingale floors.

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is a must-see

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is Japan’s largest manga museum, displaying the country’s history of manga and manga publication. With over 300,000 comics and manga-related exhibitions, it’s a must-see for every pop culture aficionado. If you’re tired of temples and shrines, pay a visit to this manga shrine.

Japan, 2008

Kyoto Matsuri

This is all about commemorating Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital. The Gion Matsuri is Kyoto’s largest yearly celebration, and the Jidai Matsuri Festival, held every October 22nd, is the festival of the ages. The event comprises over 2500 persons dressed in clothes ranging from the 8th to the 19th centuries. The parade begins at the Imperial Palace and ends at the Heian-jingu temple. Regardless of the celebration, you must see the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

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