Unfolding the Mystical Kyoto

Kyoto is previously the city capital of Japan before Tokyo. Located in the west part of Honshu Island, Kyoto has a wide-range of attractions to offer for tourists and even locals. Known for its mystic vibe, you might want to walk through thousands of temples and shrines, from blissful zen gardens, vibrant shrines, and mysterious temples.

Kyoto’s Tourist Attractions

If you are up for unfolding the cultural and historical heart of Japan, here are some of the attractions you can include on your Japan travel dream. 

Kiyomizu Dera Temple Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

One of the famous Buddhist Temple, known as “Temple of Pure Water Spring”. This temple is packed by tourist during spring and autumn season as the temple is surrounded by numerous cherry blossom trees and maple trees. The temple’s main hall is also known for a structure that was built with no nails used. 

Along the streets going to this temple, expect to see a lot of shops for traditional Japanese souvenirs, there are also Kimono-wearing services being offered in this area that you might want to experience while roaming around the temple, be sure to doll up in a kimono before taking those IG-worthy pictures. Isn’t this exciting?

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

We’re sure that you have seen this somewhere or probably, it is one of your bucket list but unfamiliar with the name yet. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is a shrine dedicated to God of Rice and Sake and is located at the foot of Mount Inari. The shrine is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates which stretched for a few kilometers and is one of the most important Shinto shrine dedicated for Inari. Most people visit this place to walk through wooded mountain path. You will also encounter some statues of foxes across the shrine as they are said to be Inari’s messengers. 


Kinkakuji Temple Kyoto

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

The Golden Pavilion is one of Kyoto’s iconic sight. The temple is completely covered in gold leaf and the large pond that surrounds it gives a perfect shimmering reflection of the temple during sunshine. The stunning structure of the Golden Pavilion is a must see when you go to Kyoto, it is a two story pavilion that has two (2) different styles each floor, namely – Shinden Style which is used in palace buildings during Heian Period and Bukke Style used in samurai residences. 

The Kinkakuji Temple was once a retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yashimitsu, and according to his will, it will become a Zen Temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. 

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove & Togetsukyo Bridge

Located in the western outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is not your ordinary bamboo grove. Standing in between those tall bamboo stalks will give you chills and the feel of being one with nature, you can stroll or ride a bicycle exploring this place, and it is best when there is light wind where you can witness how these incredible bamboos sway. An unparalleled beauty of nature that is worth sharing, try exploring this place with a walking tour to make the most out of it. Aside from strolling in this IG-worthy place, you may also visit a nearby place – Togetsukyo Bridge, this place is best to experience during cherry blossoms and autumn season,  which offers a panoramic view of the surrounding covered in the colorful magic of nature.

How to get there?

From Tokyo to Kyoto

Tokyo and Kyoto is connected by JR Tokaido Shinkasen, so if you are coming from Tokyo and done exploring the bustling city, one option is to hop in a 2 hours and 20 minutes train ride, this option is a bit expensive if you will only go to one place. There is also a local trains, but you have to transfer train to train for about four (4) times, cheaper than a shinkansen but takes 9 hours before you reach Kyoto. You can also reach Kyoto from Tokyo with a highway bus which will take you at around 7 to 8 hours of travel time, there are daytime and overnight buses that offers a variety of comfort levels, this is much cheaper option than that of shinkansen and local trains. 

From Manila to Kyoto

If you’re coming from Manila, book a flight going to Kansai International Airport as this is the main airport closest to Kyoto, but if you will be coming within Japan, book a domestic flight going to Itami Airport which is closer to Osaka City compared to Kansai International Airport. 

From Kansai International Airport (KIX), there are a few options to choose from on how to reach Kyoto City.

First option is by train, travelling by train in Japan is one of the most efficient and fastest means of transportation. From Kansai International Airport, you can take Kansai Airport express “Haruka” to Kyoto and this train will take one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes of travel time only.

Your second option is to travel by bus, there is an airport limousine buses that regularly run from the airport to Kyoto, and however, this ride would make few stops, as it works like a point to point bus, before finally reaching your destination.  Travel time for this option would be approximately one (1) hour and thirty (30) minutes depending on the traffic situation in the area. 

Lastly, there is an option to ride a taxi, this is by far the most expensive mode of transfer from the airport going to your destination since it is technically a private transfer. The rate of the taxi might be triple than what you usually pay if you would ride a train to your destination. What is good on this options is that, if you want a direct ride from the airport straight to your accommodation’s door step, this is for you. The travel time from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto is approximately two (2) hours and (30) minutes.

Kyoto is considered as the Cultural Capital of Japan. It has also more to offer aside from the listed places above which we can arrange for your next trip to Kyoto. Send us an email at inquire@universalholidays.com and let’s work on that Kyoto trip you know you’ve been craving for.

Kyoto tourist attractions | things to do in Kyoto | best shrines and temples in Japan
Click here to see your activities