Must-see attractions in Kyoto

  • Vendors prepare chestnuts to sell at Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan on 22 November 2016.
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    Nishiki Market

    Downtown Kyoto

    The covered Nishiki Market (Nishiki-kōji Ichiba) is one of Kyoto’s real highlights, especially if you have an interest in cooking and dining. Commonly…

  • ktoyo,japan - May 21,2018 : Mt.Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple in Kyoto,Japan.Enryaku-ji Temple was founded by the priest Saicho In 788.



    Located atop 848m-high Hiei-zan (the mountain that dominates the skyline in the northeast of the city), the Enryaku-ji complex is an entire world of…

  • Kiyomizu or Kiyomizu-dera temple in autum season at Kyoto Japan
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    Southern Higashiyama

    A buzzing hive of activity perched on a hill overlooking the basin of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is one of Kyoto's most popular and most enjoyable temples. It…

  • People walking under thousands of Torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine.
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    Fushimi Inari-Taisha

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    With seemingly endless arcades of vermilion torii (shrine gates) spread across a thickly wooded mountain, this vast shrine complex is a world unto its own…

  • (GERMANY OUT) The bell at the Chion-inTemple in the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan  (Photo by Forster/ullstein bild via Getty Images)


    Southern Higashiyama

    A collection of soaring buildings, spacious courtyards and gardens, Chion-in serves as the headquarters of the Jōdo sect, the largest school of Buddhism…

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The photo shows autumn foliage around Aizendo Hall (Octagonal Hall)of Tofuku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan.


    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    Home to a spectacular garden, several superb structures and beautiful precincts, Tōfuku-ji is one of the best temples in Kyoto. It is linked to Fushimi…

  • Full length of young maikos holding red umbrellas during rainy season. Beautiful geisha girls wearing traditional dress called kimono. They are walking on wet street.


    Southern Higashiyama

    Gion is the famous entertainment and geisha quarter on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa. While Gion’s true origins were in teahouses catering to weary…

  • KYOTO, JAPAN - March 27, 2014: The Nijo-jo Castle on March 27, 2014 in Kyoto, Japan. The Nijo-jo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns in Kyoto, who had been ruling Japan for over 260 years
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    Downtown Kyoto

    The military might of Japan's great warlord generals, the Tokugawa shoguns, is amply demonstrated by the imposing stone walls and ramparts of their great…

  • Kyoto, Japan - November 23 2015: Koto-in Temple is one of Daitokuji sub temples, founded in 1601 and it's probably the most popular temple in Daitokuji
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    Imperial Palace & Around

    For anyone with the slightest fondness for Japanese gardens, don't miss this network of lanes dotted with atmospheric Zen temples. Daitoku-ji, the main…

  • Kyoto, Japan - November 22 2015: Eikando (View of Eternity Hall) Zenrinji (Temple of Forest of Zen), founded in 853, houses a famous Amida statue which a Japanese important Cultural Property
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    Northern Higashiyama

    Perhaps Kyoto’s most famous (and most crowded) autumn-foliage destination, Eikan-dō is a superb temple just a short walk south of the famous Path of…

  • 500px Photo ID: 72932487 - Ginkaku-ji Temple or the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan..Three exposures blending into 32-bit HDR and processed in Lightroom


    Northern Higashiyama

    Home to a sumptuous garden and elegant structures, Ginkaku-ji is one of Kyoto's premier sites. The temple started its life in 1482 as a retirement villa…

  • Leaping Tiger Garden at Nanzen-ji Temple.


    Northern Higashiyama

    This is one of the most rewarding temples in Kyoto, with its expansive grounds and numerous subtemples. At its entrance stands the massive San-mon. Steps…

  • Kinka-kuji (Golden Pavillion).


    Northwest Kyoto

    Kyoto's famed 'Golden Pavilion', Kinkaku-ji is one of Japan's best-known sights. The main hall, covered in brilliant gold leaf, shining above its…

  • Meditation room, Shoren-in temple.


    Southern Higashiyama

    This temple is hard to miss, with its giant camphor trees growing just outside the walls. Fortunately, most tourists march right on past, heading to the…

  • Byodo-In or Byodoin Temple Buddhist temple, Unesco World Heritage Site, Phoenix Hall building, Uji, Kyoto, Japan.; Shutterstock ID 763950445; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update



    Byōdō-in is home to one of the loveliest Buddhist structures in Japan: the Hōō-dō hall (Phoenix Hall), which is depicted on the back of the Japanese ¥10…

  • Kyoto Station building.

    Kyoto Station

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    The Kyoto Station building is a striking steel-and-glass structure – a kind of futuristic cathedral for the transport age – with a tremendous space that…

  • Kōdai-ji

    Southern Higashiyama

    This exquisite temple was founded in 1605 by Kita-no-Mandokoro in memory of her late husband, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The extensive grounds include gardens…

  • Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi)

    Northern Higashiyama

    The Tetsugaku-no-Michi is one of the most pleasant walks in Kyoto. Lined with a great variety of flowering plants, bushes and trees, it is a corridor of…

  • Kōtō-in

    Imperial Palace & Around

    On the far western edge of the Daitoku-ji complex, the sublime garden of this subtemple is one of the best in Kyoto and worth a special trip. It’s located…

  • Autumn at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto, Japan



    Daigo-ji is a World Heritage–listed sprawling temple complex located in the Daigo district of Kyoto, which lies on the east side of the Higashiyama…

  • Higashi Hongan-ji

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    Higashi Hongan-ji is the last word in all things grand and gaudy. Considering its proximity to the station, the free admission, the awesome structures and…

  • KYOTO, JAPAN - 2012/04/09: Nishi Hongan-ji or the "Western Temple of the Original Vow" is one of two temple complexes of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Kyoto, the other being Higashi Honganji (or "The Eastern Temple of the Original Vow". Today it serves as the head temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect.  Nish Honganji is older than the Higashi Honganji and has more integral architecture. Together they are listed as Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto as also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.. (Photo by John S. Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    Nishi Hongan-ji

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    A vast temple complex, Nishi Hongan-ji comprises several buildings that feature some of the finest examples of architecture and artistic achievement from…

  • Ryoan-ji rock garden.


    Northwest Kyoto

    You’ve probably seen a picture of the rock garden here – it’s one of the symbols of Kyoto and one of Japan’s better-known sights. Ryōan-ji belongs to the…

  • KYOTO, JAPAN - 2016/07/19: Yasaka Shrine or in Japanese Yasaka Jinja was once called Gion Shrine includes several buildings, a main hall and a stage on which kendo and noh performances are held.   The shrine was constructed in the year 656 and was under imperial patronage during the early Heian period.   In the year 869 the mikoshi portable shrines or divine palanquins of Gion Shrine were paraded through Kyoto to help ward off an epidemic  which was the beginning of the Gion Matsuri, an annual festival which has become an intangible UNESCO world heritage artifact. (Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)


    Southern Higashiyama

    This colourful and spacious shrine is considered the guardian shrine of the Gion entertainment district. It's a bustling place that is well worth a visit…

  • KYOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 3, 2014: Crowds enjoy the spring cherry blossoms by partaking in seasonal nighttime Hanami festivals in Maruyama Park.


    Southern Higashiyama

    Maruyama-kōen is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. This park is the place to come to escape the bustle of the city centre and amble around gardens…

  • Colorful photo of tree blossoms

    Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

    Imperial Palace & Around

    The Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) and Sentō Imperial Palace (Sentō Gosho) are surrounded by the spacious Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, which is…

  • Thatched gate at Kyoto's Honen-in Temple


    Northern Higashiyama

    Founded in 1680 to honour the priest Hōnen, this is a lovely, secluded temple with carefully raked gardens set back in the woods. The temple buildings…

  • Sanjūsangen-dō Temple

    Southern Higashiyama

    This superb temple’s name refers to the 33 sanjūsan (bays) between the pillars of this long, narrow edifice. The building houses 1001 wooden statues of…

  • Japan, Kinki Region, Kyoto Prefecture, Shimogyo-ku, View of Kyoto Tower in city at night. (Photo by: JTB/UIG via Getty Images)

    Kyoto Tower Observation Deck

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    Located opposite Kyoto Station, this retro tower (1964) looks like a rocket perched atop the Kyoto Tower Hotel. The observation deck provides excellent…

  • Heian-jingū

    Northern Higashiyama

    One of Kyoto’s more popular sights, this shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the city. The shrine buildings…

  • Tō-ji

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    One of the sights south of Kyoto Station, Tō-ji is an appealing complex of halls and a fantastic pagoda that makes a fine backdrop for the monthly flea…

  • KYOTO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 22: Municipal Museum of Art in Kyoto, Japan on October 22, 2014. One of the oldest art museums, opened in 1928 as a commemoration of the Showa emperor's coronation ceremony; Shutterstock ID 245174173; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

    Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

    Northern Higashiyama

    This fine museum holds several major exhibitions a year, as well as a variety of free shows. It’s always worth stopping by to see if something is on while…

  • Shūgaku-in Rikyū Imperial Villa

    Northern Higashiyama

    One of the highlights of northeast Kyoto, this superb imperial villa was designed as a lavish summer retreat for the imperial family. Its gardens, with…

  • Kitano Tenman-gū

    Northwest Kyoto

    The most atmospheric Shintō shrine in northwest Kyoto, Kitano Tenman-gū is also the site of Tenjin-San Market, one of Kyoto’s most popular flea markets…

  • Myōshin-ji

    Northwest Kyoto

    Myōshin-ji is a separate world within Kyoto, a walled-off complex of temples and subtemples that invites lazy strolling. The subtemple of Taizō-in here…

  • Sentō Imperial Palace

    Imperial Palace & Around

    The Sentō Gosho is the second imperial property located within the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park (the other one is the Imperial Palace itself). The…

  • Kōryū-ji

    Northwest Kyoto

    Kōryū-ji, one of the oldest temples in Japan, was founded in 622 to honour Prince Shōtoku, who was an enthusiastic promoter of Buddhism. It’s notable…

  • Jingo-ji

    Northwest Kyoto

    This mountaintop temple sits at the summit of a long flight of stairs that stretches from the Kiyotaki-gawa to the temple’s main gate. The Kondō (Gold…

  • Gekkeikan Sake Ōkura Museum


    The largest of Fushimi’s sake breweries is Gekkeikan, the world’s leading producer of sake. Although most of the sake is now made in a modern facility in…

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace

    Imperial Palace & Around

    The Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as the Gosho in Japanese, is a walled complex that sits in the middle of the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park. While no longer…

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