Top 10 unforgettable things to do in Kyoto, Japan in the first time

Things to do in Kyoto, Japan.

Known as the greatest historic city in Japan, Here is currently one of the most visited tourist sites worldwide. Alongside Osaka and Nara, it is situated in Western Japan’s central Kansai Region.

From 794 to 1868, the city served as the nation’s capital. Today, the old town still has a picturesque streetscape and more than 4,000 historical monuments, including temples and shrines, that date back to that time. The city of Kyoto draws millions of tourists from Japan and throughout the world every year because of its well-preserved monuments and ancient town.

In contrast to the contemporary capital, Tokyo, every visitor to Japan should visit and find things to do in Kyoto to enjoy the traditional Japanese culture and old town atmosphere.

Planning your itinerary in advance is absolutely necessary if you just have a brief vacation to Kyoto in order to move quickly and effectively. You might be perplexed about what to see or where to go in Kyoto because it is a large city with a ton of tourist attractions. As a result, I’m offering my list of the top 10 things to do in Kyoto, especially if you’re visiting for the first time, in this article.

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto

1. Visit Arashiyama

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama’s bamboo forests make for an unusual environment when you walk through them. Arashiyama is a popular tourist destination in Kyoto because of the tall green stems that line the path.

Arashiyama’s bamboo forest is one of Kyoto’s most picturesque natural areas because as the wind blows, the bamboo stalks sway gracefully and romantically.

Arashiyama is best visited just before daybreak, when the sun’s gentle rays begin to slowly break through the dense forest.

2. Visit Fushimi Inari

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto
Woman in kimono stands at Red Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of Japan’s most popular shrines and was once a significant pilgrimage destination.

The Shinto god of rice is honored at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is noted for its vivid crimson gates.

All year long, a lot of people use the trail itself, but a savvy hiker can avoid the crowds by summiting the mountain right before sundown. The ideal place to pause for a breathtaking photo opportunity over Kyoto is Yotsutsuji Junction.

3. Eat at Shijo Dori

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto
Shijo Dori- A foodies’s paradise

Without indulging in plenty of regional specialties, a vacation to Kyoto is not complete.

Shijo Dori, a lengthy street dotted with restaurants and food stores, is the place to go for food connoisseurs.

The majority of visitors can also savor traditional foods including fruit mochi, charcoal ice cream, matcha items, and plum tea at Shijo Dori.

4. Temple jump and temple

Visit Kiyomizu- dera temple, Kyoto
Visit Kiyomizu- dera temple, Kyoto

With more than 2,000 shrines and temples, Kyoto continues to be the country’s spiritual center.

It’s difficult to envision seeing every religious site in Kyoto during a brief trip given the variety of alternatives. However, there are a few temples and shrines that should not be ignored, such as Ryan-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, and Kiyomizu-dera. The Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, a modest Buddhist temple tucked away just off the beaten path near the Arashiyama region, is one of Kyoto’s best kept secrets, despite the fact that very few people are aware of it.

5. Attend a tea ceremony

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto
The Japanese ‘s tea ceremony

The intriguing tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony dates back to the 15th century and was influenced by a Zen Buddhist monk.

Even though it is a very ancient custom that is thought to have originated in the Uji area, the tea ceremony is still practiced with great reverence today.

Many devote themselves to studying it in depth and are eager to impart their knowledge to tourists who can participate in a genuine tea ceremony in one of the many tea houses found throughout Kyoto.

6. Go Geisha Spotting

Geisha Spotting in Japan
Geisha Spotting in Japan

Kyoto continues to represent a romanticized version of Japan, with the geisha as its most captivating subject. Gion, also referred to as Kyoto’s entertainment district, is the greatest location to observe geishas.

Even today, the entire globe still has a deep admiration and idolization for these mysterious talents. Geisha exhibitions are organized by a number of businesses in Kyoto.

Usually, they involve taking part in a tea ceremony that is accompanied by a geisha dance.

7. Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market

All cuisine enthusiasts should put Nishiki Market on their travel itinerary.

A maze of winding, food-stall-lined streets. The Nishiki market is known as Kyoto’s foodie.

The strange tacotamago (a tiny octopus on a stick with an egg inside), regional pickles, and fresh eel are all best enjoyed here.

8. Sleep in a Ryokan

Sleep in a ryokan
Overnight at Ryokan is highly recommend

The one of the way to truly experience traditional things to do in Kyoto is to spend the night in a Ryokan. Despite being quite pricey, these Japanese hotels typically offer supper and breakfast, first-rate service, and access to hot springs (onsen).

The top ryokans will include all of the aforementioned features, albeit they can range in price and amenities. Warning: the ryokan experience is so amazing that it can be somewhat addictive.

9. Take a Day Trip to Mount Hiei

Top 10 amazing things to do in Kyoto
Mount Hiei- A fantastic Japan experience

Although Kyoto has a lot to offer, one can experience pure Zen outside of the city in the nearby mountains. Due to its accessibility and abundance of temples, Mount Hiei is an excellent choice for a weekend retreat.

There is a cable car (a highly recommended experience) or a mountain track that ascends to an old Buddhist monastery from the mountain’s summit. The ideal way to have a fantastic day is to ride the funicular up and then stroll down to tour the historic Japanese forest pathways.

10. Lose yourself at Kyoto Station

Lose yourself at Kyoto Station
Lose yourself at Kyoto Station

Kyoto Station is one of the fantastic things to do in Kyoto to spend the day and may be the least expected recommended site.

This area has something for everyone with its more than 14 stories of stores and restaurants. Shop at your neighborhood department store, which sells mouthwatering fresh produce, starting at the basement.

Enjoy some sushi at Musashi or tonkatsu at Katsukura to cap off the evening. A fantastic location to take in breathtaking nighttime city views is Kyoto Station.


I hope you enjoyed reading about things to do in Kyoto on my bucket list! They are the top attractions in Kyoto City, therefore keep the link and utilize this page to organize your ideal trip there, especially if you’re a first-time visitor.

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