Kyoto is a must-do when visiting Japan. Even if you only have one week in Japan, take two or three days to discover the country’s cultural hotspot.
I spent around five days exploring Kyoto’s beautiful shrines and neighbourhoods. Of course I also allocated a fair amount of my time discovering little cafes and reading in my kindle :) But honestly, if you have more than 5 days, stay a week or longer, Kyoto has to much to offer!
Kyoto = Traditional Japan
If you have seen old Japanese movies and built your picture about Japan from them, you’re in for a little surprise when arriving in Tokyo. Most of the city doesn’t look at all like what you have learnt to be ‘traditionally Japanese’.
But once you have made your way to Kyoto, this is all you see. Traditional houses from the Edo period, a huge number of beautiful shrines and temples, and, of course, Japan’s geisha culture.
Some of the must-see shrines and temples are the Nanzen-ji Temple, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine, the Kinkaku-ji Temple, the Daitoku-ji Temple, and the Yasaka shrine. Of course they are plenty more and just by strolling around in Kyoto, you will discover so much :)
How to get to Kyoto
Kyoto is very easy to reach from Tokyo. You can either take the Shinkansen bullet train, the fasted way from Tokyo to Kyoto (2.5 hours), or take the overnight bus and arrive in the early morning, the cheaper alternative.
Click on any of the photos below for travel hacks and more info on what to do in Kyoto.