Highlights include the Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Jingu, the Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle with its nightingale floors. Not forgetting the less-visited temples, such as Ryoan-ji with its stone garden and the villas of Manpuku-ji, Shisen-do and Ginkaku-ji, offering moments of peace among their small courtyards and traditional architecture.
A stroll through the central parts of Kyoto is the best way to see the bustling marketplace in Nishiki-koji, the picturesque neighbourhoods of Kiyamachi and the famous Geisha quarters of Gion and Pontocho.
Unlike most other Japanese cities, Kyoto is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. The city is planned according to Chinese models, with streets running perpendicular to each other. Kyoto was burned and pillaged many times during the Middle Ages, but is the only major Japanese city which was not bombed during WWII.
Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese food. The special circumstances of Kyoto as a city away from the sea and home to many Buddhist temples resulted in the development of a rich vegetable-based cuisine peculiar to the Kyoto area.
- From Tokyo to Kyoto by Bullet train (2h30)
- From Osaka to Kyoto by train (30min)
Kyoto on our Google map