KYOTO

Golden Temple

KYOTO

Kyoto was Japan’s capital for over a thousand years. As such, it is synonymous with traditional culture and cuisine. Due to its significance, Kyoto was thankfully spared from the bombings of World War II. Consequently, there are now over 2,000 shrines and temples to explore, including UNESCO World Heritage sites. The historic sites and peaceful gardens are a window into Japan’s past. Situated in a basin of picturesque mountains, Kyoto is also an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are plenty of excellent hiking trails and several designated National Parks. For the lowdown on the best things to do in Kyoto, check out our articles below.

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Contemplating the Mysterious Rock Garden of Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple is a UNESCO listed Zen Buddhist Temple home to Japan’s most...

Shimogamo Shrine: One of Kyoto’s Oldest Shrines

Ask anyone where to go for the “really old stuff” in Japan, and...
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Backpacking Through Japan – An Overview

In the spring of 2019, my fiancée and I spent three weeks backpacking...

How to Ride the Bullet Train in Japan

Riding the bullet train (also known as Shinkansen) is easily the most convenient...

Visiting Koke-Dera, Kyoto’s Moss Temple

Formally known as Koinzan Saiho-ji, or Saihoji for...

Beat The Heat With These Three Kawadoko River Dining Spots in Kyoto

Summers in Kyoto can be surprisingly hot and humid. Luckily, the pragmatic ancient...

The Opposite of Chaos at Khaos Spice Diner in Kyoto

There are few things more delicious and comforting than a plate of curry...

Suiba – A Standing Izakaya in Kyoto for Solo Diners

In many places, there's often a little stigma attached to dining alone. Not...

Down the Rabbit Hole to Kyoto’s Okazaki Jinja!

When Kyoto feels more than ever like a cedar-floored theme park, it's good...

Delicious Yakiniku at Hiro Beef, Pontocho

The Pontocho area is one of Kyoto’s go-to spots for food, drink and...

A Great Half-Day Hike Near Kyoto: the Kibune – Kurama Hike

Looking for a way to enjoy nature, soak up culture and get some...

Kyoto After Dark: An Evening Stroll through Pontocho and Gion

Kyoto is the gently lit canal to Tokyo’s fit-inducing neon—part of its charm...

Anonymous pleasures at No Name Ramen in Kyoto

Superlative ramen restaurants are a dime a dozen in Japan. Standing out from...

Ryozen Kannon Temple: One of Kyoto’s Best Kept Secrets

Kyoto’s Higashiyama district may be jam-packed with countless temples and shrines, but in...

Ichikawaya Coffee is A Stylish Machiya Cafe in Kyoto

Kyoto seems to excel at cafes in all their variants, ranging from the...
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Café Hassui, Arashiyama’s Luxury Teahouse

Arashiyama is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist...

Livin’ It Up at Hotel Intergate Kyoto

Touring Kyoto can be tiring business, which is why you need a comfortable...

Monkeying Around at Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

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Fresh Matcha and Garden Strolls at Okochi Sanso Garden

For those who enjoy a peaceful garden stroll, Japan is certainly the country...

Strolling Arashiyama’s Shopping Strip Like a Pro

With gorgeous scenery and impressive temples, shrines and gardens, it’s no wonder Arashiyama...

Half-day Kyoto Walking Tour Part 1: Gion to Kodaiji Temple

Looking for a short walking route in Kyoto that will give you real...

Nature’s Air-Con: Nagashi Sōmen Flowing Noodles Kawadoko Style at Hirobun, Kibune

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A Tranquil Tea Ceremony at Uji’s Taihoan Tea House

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Exploring The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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Chion-ji Handicraft Market Kyoto: Handmade Craft Heaven

Love handmade goods? Have a taste for local crafts? If you’re looking to...

Kiyomizudera: Beyond The Main Hall

As I lower my camera amidst a sea of temple goers at Kiyomizudera,...

Fabulous Kyoto-style Okonomiyaki at Oagari in Gion

Local and authentic—these are the qualities typically associated with restaurants people want to...

Check out Asahiyaki: Hidden Gem Pottery Class in Kyoto

As I stared over the Asahiyaki instructor’s shoulder during the pottery wheel demonstration,...

Kyoto City Walking Tour – Gardens, Gates and Geiko.

View Full Tour on Google Maps As tourism in...

Where to watch the AFL Grand Final in Japan

Traveling around Japan this finals season? Missing the echo of the siren, the...

Bib Gourmand Zen Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine: Shigetsu in Arashiyama

As I swept aside Shigetsu’s entrance curtain an hour ahead of my reservation,...

Dive Into Kyoto Tower’s Secret Bath House

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Daihikaku Senkoji: The Best Views in Arashiyama!

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Green Tea Lovers Should Make a Pilgrimage To Uji… Right Now

Listen up green tea lovers! It’s time to get yourself down to Uji,...

The Kyoto Scramble: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 3

With approximately 1600 temples (Silver Pavilion etc), 400 shrines (Yasaka Shrine), 5 castles...

The 10 Best Foods to Eat at Nishiki Market, Kyoto

Food lovers rejoice, the Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto is a mecca for...

Nison-in: Busy Arashiyama’s Secret Mountain of Fire

Visiting Arashiyama in autumn will be one of two things: incredible, or infuriating....

Kyoto’s Botanical Greenhouse: The Perfect Winter Warmer

Kyoto city sees its highest visitor numbers in spring, at the peak of...

Kyoto Rurikoin Temple’s Green Maple Leaves Are Stunning in the Rain

The Rurikoin Temple Green Maple Leaves June has arrived, and...

Tofuku-ji Temple: Mirei’s Modernism in the Heart of Kyoto

Japan's abundance of breathtaking gardens makes it a promised land for plant lovers...
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Behind the Scenes at the Silver Pavilion

Colloquially known as the Silver Pavilion or Ginkaku-ji, Jisho-ji is one of Kyoto’s...
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Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery Tours

Whiskey. Ireland and Scotland both claim to have first created it—in fact the...

Spice Chamber Serves Keema Curry with a Kick in Kyoto

Japanese curry tends not to be spicy. It’s unsurprising, when most Japanese people...

Kifune Shrine: One of Kyoto’s Most Instagrammable Shrines

In a stroke of genius, I decided to make the journey into the...
Shoden-ji Temple

Beloved by David Bowie: Why Shoden-ji Temple is One of Kyoto’s Hidden Gems

Kyoto is the land of limitless temples and shines. That said, many of...

Bathing in the Buff At Kurama Onsen’s Open-Air Bath

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Tenju-an: Lost in Reflection in Nanzen-ji’s Hidden Garden

Kyoto is awash with picturesque gardens and ponds. Be they dry-stone, botanical or...

Half-day Kyoto Walking Tour Part 2: Kodaiji Temple to Kiyomizudera

This Kyoto walking tour brings you from the Kodaiji complex to Kiyomizudera. An...

Bib Gourmand Ramen at Kyoto’s Menya Inoichi Hanare

Walking past long queues in front of shops and restaurants, my herd mentality...

Kyoto City Walking Tour: Zen, Books, and Coffee.

View This Walking Tour on Google Maps The historical...

Love Yokai? Ge-ge-get Yourself to Kitano Ichijo-dori!

Ghosts, monsters and mischievous spirits are a staple of every single human culture...

Arashiyama’s Luxury Tofu Kaiseki at Shoraian

Arashiyama is one of the most popular sightseeing areas in Kyoto. The wide,...

Kyoto’s Most Instagrammable Temple: Yasaka Koshindo

It’s easy to forget what century you’re in as you explore the cobbled,...

Kyoto City Walking Tour: Concrete, Jungles and Kyoto’s Oldest Shrine.

View This Tour on Google Maps If you're looking...

A Thousand Glittering Treasures at Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo Temple

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A Fancy Cocktail (Or Two) At Finlandia Bar, Kyoto

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Choraku-ji and Anyo-ji: Hidden in the Hills, Lost in Time.

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Ancient Treasures at the World Heritage Byodoin Temple

Of all the beautiful and historic temples in Kyoto, there is only one...

Matcha Pancakes at ‘A Happy Pancake’ Kyoto

Anyone in Japan (or surveying it via Instagram) knows that pancakes are it...

Strolling Around the Famed Tenryuji Temple Grounds in Arashiyama

The Bamboo Grove may be the most Instagrammed attraction in Arashiyama, but Tenryuji...
Egg sandwiches at Smart Coffee

Perfect Egg Sandwiches at Smart Coffee in Kyoto

Japan seems to have perfected the art of great egg sandwiches. Even the...

Heat, culture, chaos: the real Gion Matsuri.

Kyoto is a city that many consider to be the perfect embodiment of the truest 'Japanese sensibilities.' Refinement, subtlety and a restrained aesthetic create a type of harmony that permeates all facets of life in Japan. Minimalism, restraint and the beloved 'wabi-sabi' are all forms of a distinctly Kyoto-esque identity. Enter the Gion Matsuri: a night of hot air, cold beer and a touch of ancestral transcendence.
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Ise to Kyoto in the Cheap Seats: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 2

After a night in the tea fields, our party rose at dawn and...

Exploring the Oldest Shrine in Japan: Ujigami Shrine

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Ine Village, Kyoto’s Rustic Fishing Town

The town of Ine is located approximately 130km north of Kyoto, on the coast of...

Cool Down With Green Tea Soba, Perched Over A Flowing River

Uji is all about green tea; it's past, present and future are deeply...

Myoshin-ji Temple and Taizo-in’s Garden: Kyoto’s Past, Perfectly Preserved.

Although much of Kyoto city's architectural and cultural history has skyrocketed in popularity...
At the entrance to Kawai Kanjiro's House

Kawai Kanjiro’s House: Joy Found in All of Life

One of the most underrated places in Kyoto...

The Tranquil Gardens of Kodaiji Temple: A Higashiyama Must

Kyoto’s eastern Higashiyama area is positively packed with beautiful historic temples, shrines, statues,...
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Trekking Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the most globally recognised...

A Charming Kyoto Lunch Course at Tsuburano in Higashiyama

The rickshaw driver pants as he passes by, breathlessly regaling the couple in...

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