Kyoto Tourism: Best of Kyoto
Kyoto Is Great For
Major matcha sweets
Sleek and modern capsule hotels
Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Kyoto
Kyoto is a wonderful walking city. But plan carefully. Kyoto is also a large city and you will want to work out what areas you will want to visit and when. You may also want to consider changing accommodations based on the areas you want to explore. For example, if you are intending to spend a day in Arashiyama, why not find a nice hotel there, as opposed to staying in Gion and making the long journey back and forth. Hoteliers in Japan are very used to guests staying only one or two nights.
Kyoto is extremely popular with tourists so if you are hoping to get that perfect selfie, plan ahead. You won’t be able to visit destinations like Fushimi Inari or the Bamboo Forest during peak hours and expect to have no one appearing in your photographs. Research what are the best hours to visit if you want to avoid other tourists in the Kyoto forums here.
While touristy, Kyoto is still conservative and outside of the main tourist areas. If you are not or don’t speak Japanese, you might be turned away from some restaurants. This is because owners don’t want to embarrass themselves due to their inability to communicate with you. Try to book restaurants in advance if possible. Or stick to dining in tourist areas.
This page also has very useful research links to enable your trip planning.
In the words of those who've been there before ...
What is the best way to get there?
The closest airport to Kyoto is Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport), although Kansai International Airport is just a few minutes further. From the airport, there are various ways to get to Kyoto. The quickest is by train, but you can also consider bus, taxi and shared shuttles.
If arriving by train from other cities in Japan, Kyoto Station is well located in the southern part of the city. There is always an abundance of taxis at the station. The local subway is also convenient.
For detailed train information, read here.
Do I need a visa?
Currently, citizens from 68 countries can travel into Japan visa free. Please check on your eligibility and visa information here.
When is the best time to visit?
One of the best times to visit Kyoto, and Japan for that matter, is in the fall during the foliage season. On average, the leaves in the Kyoto area start to change colors at the end of October and the middle of November. It is truly amazing to see Japanese temples, many of which are set in the lush foresty hills, in the kaleidoscope of fall colors. The contrast of the bright yellow and scarlet leaves and the blue sky just adds to the romance. Average daily temperatures this time of year are highs around 73° F (23° C) and lows near 56° F (13° C).
Similarly, springtime, especially the period coinciding with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees, is equally beautiful, with cool temperatures and usually clear skies. Note though that cherry blossom period is peak season and you may find the city uncomfortably crowded. Temperatures in spring are generally highs of 67° F (19° C) and lows around 48° F (9° C).
Are there local customs I should know?
- We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Kyoto, which include:
- We recommend checking out these popular tours when looking for something to do in Kyoto:
- If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Kyoto between December and February, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.