Discover Kyoto

For centuries the seat of the imperial court, Kyoto is the cultural capital, which means there are no lack of things you can do. With dozens of sights and monuments to be seen, many parks and gardens, as well as dozens of traditional Japanese experiences, Kyoto will keep you satisfied for days. 

Things to see and do

Tours and Activities

FAQs

Getting around in Kyoto

The best way to get around in Kyoto is by public transportation. Kyoto has a lot of options to get around by train or bus including discounted tickets for a specified duration. Alternatively, you can get to many sights on foot. 

 

The following passes are available to get around in Kyoto:

  • Sky Hop Bus 1-Day Pass

    • Coverage: most touristic attractions in Kyoto City

    • Duration: 1 day

    • Price: 3600 Yen

    • Where to buy: Kyoto Station

 

  • Sky Hop Bus 2-Day Pass

    • Coverage: most touristic attractions in Kyoto City

    • Duration: 2 day

    • Price: 6100 Yen

    • Where to buy: Kyoto Station

 

  • Kyoto Sightseeing Card 1-Day Pass

    • Coverage: all subway lines in Kyoto City

    • Duration: 1 day

    • Price: 900 Yen

    • Where to buy: subway stations in Kyoto City

 

  • Kyoto Sightseeing Card 2-Day Pass

    • Coverage:

      • all subway lines in Kyoto City

      • also covers subway stations in Takao and Ohara

    • Duration: 2 days

    • Price: 1700 Yen

    • Where to buy: subway stations in Kyoto City

 

  • Kyoto One Day Bus Card

    • Coverage: all Kyoto City Buses and Kyoto Buses in Kyoto City

    • Duration: 1 day

    • Price: 600 Yen

    • Where to buy: bus and subway ticket counters in Kyoto City

 

  • Kyoto Subway One Day Card

    • Coverage: all subway lines within Tokyo City

    • Duration: 1 day

    • Price: 600 Yen

    • Where to buy: subway station within Kyoto City

Getting to Kyoto

Public transportation:
Travelers who come by train or bullet-train usually get off at Kyoto station. From there they can easily transfer to the subway or bus network within the city. Though, considering the sights within the city are quite spread out, it can be a good idea to sync Google Maps with our customized map above (to do this: click the top right icon on the map to expand to full screen, and select a route between your destination and your current destination). 

 

Valid rail passes:

 

Nearest airport:
The nearest and most convenient airport is Kansai international airport. 

  • by car: approximately 2 hours

  • by public transport: approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes

 

Car rentals:

How long to stay in Kyoto

We recommend staying here between four and five days.
 

Hotels in Kyoto

Flights to Kyoto

The nearest and most convenient airport is Kansai international airport. 

  • by car: approximately 2 hours

  • by public transport: approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes

Seasonal information

Cherry blossoms:

The best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan is usually between late March and early April. Although the blooming period can vary slightly from year to year. 

 

Hiking:

The hiking season in this area typically runs from Spring until Autumn.

 

Scenic rides:

  • Hozugawa River Tour: click here to go to the official website

Festivals in Kyoto

There are several festivals here throughout the year. Please be advised that the following list is based upon previous entries of those festivals and that the dates might have changed slightly in the following year. It is also possible that the entire festival is cancelled in the case of heavy rainfall or a natural disaster. Please check with the official organisers' website for the most up-to-date information. 
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For the exact location of any of the festivals listed here, you can consult our map above by clicking on the icon in the upper most corner of the map to open the map legend. Festivals are hidden by default but can be made visible by clicking on the "Festivals" checkbox in the map legend.

 

  • Gion Festival

    • Date: July 1st until July 31st

 

  • Honganji Temple Summer Bon Odori

    • Date: July 31st until August 3rd

    • Time: 18:00 - 20:40
       

  • Kyoto Gozan no Okuribi Festival

    • Date: August 16th

    • Time: 20:00 - ???
       

  • Yase-Hieizan Craft Beer Festival

    • Date: August 24th

    • Time: 12:00 - 18:00
       

  • Eiden Festival

    • Date: October 26th

    • Time: 10:00 - 15:30

Getting mobile data in Japan

Day trips from Kyoto

Lake Biwa has something for everyone: swimming, kayaking, sailing, wind surfing or enjoying a boat cruise on the lake.  Visit the local shrines, temples and museums or go for a ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 11.65

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Kurama is famous for its temples, hot springs and abundance of nature. Some of the most impressive historical temples in all of Japan can be seen here. 

Travel time:

Distance, km: 12.49

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Uji has a vast array of ancient and religious temples worth visiting as well beautiful parks, local shopping streets and even a water park for you to cool off in. 

Travel time:

Distance, km: 13.50

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Ohara is just a little bit outside of Kyoto center, but offers several  impressive temples in a much more natural and serene setting.

Travel time:

Distance, km: 14.17

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Just a little outside Kyoto city, you will find Oyamazaki. Often overlooked because of its proximity to Kyoto, it offers several interesting sights and museums. 
 

Travel time:

Distance, km: 14.74

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Minoo is a city just north of Osaka which boasts one of the oldest parks in Japan. Minoo Park contains walking trails, temples and the famous Minoo Falls waterfall.  Along ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 32.15

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Most attractions in Ikoma center around Mount Ikoma. Start your journey by taking the cable-car up the mountain or opt to hike up. In the latter case, make sure to ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 35.41

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Less then an hour from Kyoto, you will find the historical city of Nara. When you arrive at the station you will almost immediately be greeted by the many deer ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 36.40

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For everyone interested in learning more about ninja's, Iga is the place to go. Home to the Iga-ryu ninja tradition, one of the two most well known ninja traditions in ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 41.92

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Osaka is one of the biggest metropolises in the world and the second largest city in Japan. A perfect place to do some quality shopping as eery street has something ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 44.64

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