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KyotoJapan

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in the fall, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 330 feet (100 meters) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Kyoto Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Kyoto

Top Hotels in Kyoto

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
15 Nishi-Iwamotocho, Higashi-kujo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥4,473 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower, and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,324 reviews)

"Good location just 5 minutes from Kyoto station. As a Gold member of Expedia, we received a really nice upgrade of room and free executive lounge perks. Of course the staff were accommodating and the hotel was spotless too. Would love to stay here again next time we're in Kyoto."…"

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2020

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥5,015 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Nishiki Market are also within 2 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,790 reviews)

"Close to train station, shuttle to train station, clean all throughout"…"

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
3 out of 5
535 Karatsuya-cho, Shijo Horikawa Nishiiru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥1,197 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mibu-dera, Shinsenen, and Nijō Castle. Nishihonganji Temple and Kyoto International Manga ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (255 reviews)

"Excellent condition, spacious room for a business/tourist hotel, peaceful. Expedia's strict cancellation/change rules almost forced my colleagues to pay for 10 nights even the business meeting schedule had changed for shorter two stays. Luckily the hotel was flexible and accepted the change against ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2020

The OneFive Kyoto Shijo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Kyoto

MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
3.5 out of 5
105, Machigashiracho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥6,039 per night from Dec 16 to Dec 17

Located in Central Kyoto, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mikane Shrine, Nishiki Market, and Shijo Omiya. Nijō Castle and Kawaramachi are also ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (241 reviews)

"This property was so well designed and built and we really loved staying here with our family of 5. From the sliding doors that cover the windows and the kitchenette to the toys and play area in the lobby for our kids, we will absolutely be staying at Mimaru properties any time we can. My kids loved ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2020

MIMARU KYOTO SHINMACHI SANJO
Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites
Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites
3.5 out of 5
38-1 Higashikujo Kitamatsunokicho, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥4,990 per night from Nov 30 to Dec 1

Located in Minami, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower, and Sanjusangendo Temple. Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kawaramachi are also ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (120 reviews)

"Beautiful, clean and comfy accommodation! We loved it!"…"

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2020

Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites
RESI STAY Andon
RESI STAY Andon
3 out of 5
173-6 Sanjoaburanokojicho, Sanjo Aburanokojicho, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥5,616 per night from Dec 1 to Dec 2

Located in Central Kyoto, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Shijo Omiya, Nijō Castle, and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Kyoto International ...

5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)

"清潔な点はよかった.火災時に避難経路が安全なのか不安に感じたので,窓から逃げることを考えましたが,窓が全開にできませんでした.改善してもらいたいと思いました."…"

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2020

RESI STAY Andon
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kyoto

Top things to do in Kyoto

Reviews of Kyoto

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1580
5 - Excellent 78.41191066997519%
4 - Good
398
4 - Good 19.751861042183624%
3 - Okay
31
3 - Okay 1.5384615384615385%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.19851116625310175%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.09925558312655088%

5/5 - Excellent

Jennie

Jun 6, 2020

Love Kyoto!! Definitely recommend fir first time Japan travelers.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 3, 2020

very easy to get around and visit all the sites in the area, trains and buses run regularly throughout the day, so you never have very long to wait for one to come along

4/5 - Good

RB

Mar 26, 2020

Quiet at the time of visit. A beautiful place.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 20, 2020

I would love to live here.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

The city itself is great unfortunately didn't have enough time to explore the entire city. There are a TON of temples and shrines to visit in Kyoto, kind of off putting when most of the good ones are "Pay to enter," when others in the country are not

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

Kyoto was a lovely place to visit. There is so much to see here. The traditional neighborhoods and bamboo homes are scenic. The city is safe and pleasant.

Cities near Kyoto