Everything about Kyoto just bursts with tradition and culture, there are few better places to look for a glimpse into Japan’s fascinating past than their previous capital city. With white winters, orange autumns, pink springs and green summers, Kyoto looks spectacular no matter the season with each bringing it’s own distinct mood, backdrop and seasonal color. With so much to see and do and so little time, allow KKday to guide you in how to get the full Kyoto experience.
Kyoto’s Must Visit Spots
Our first stop is the unmissable and totally photogenic Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple). It’s not just name either, the upper two levels of this three story Zen Buddhist temple are coated with real leaf gold! Set in a beautiful strolling garden and somehow appearing to float on a pond, the temple almost resembles something out of a children’s fairytale.
Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto
Visiting times: 09:00 – 17:00 (Varies by season)
Entrance fee: 400 yen
Possibly the most famous temple in Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera and when you’re heading towards it, past the gift vendors, along the winding streets and up the steps, you may want to check out a couple fun distractions first. Just to the left of the main entrance and pagoda, is Tainai-meguri, a pitch black building that you’ll need to follow a rope that eventually leads to a rock, spin the rock and make a wish. Shut your eyes and make your way across Jishu-jinja pillars and you’re guaranteed a lucky love life, apparently. When you do eventually move on to Kiyomizu-dera, head for the stage-like balcony and allow yourself a few minutes to take in superb views of the entire city.
Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Visiting times: 06:00 – 18:00 (Varies by season)
Entrance fee: 300 yen
After visiting the fascinating but also very popular and busy Kiyomizu-dera, get away from the crowds and check out the criminally overlooked Kodai-ji. While the entrance fee is slightly higher here, the complex is relatively large and includes the main building, tea houses, a museum and a mausoleum, these finely decorated buildings are spread throughout the complex and set among a number of scenic zen gardens. Flanking from pine and maple trees, scattered decorative stones, a rock garden and a bamboo grove provide a perfect background for a peaceful wander around the grounds of Kodai-ji.
Address: 526 Shimogawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Visiting times: 09:00 – 17:00
Entrance fee: 600 yen (includes museum entrance)
Dress to Impress
Now we have the beautiful surroundings, what’s needed now, for perfect memories of Kyoto, are the outfits! All over Kyoto there are people wandering the streets and temples in exquisite kimonos, especially over special occasions. The traditional garments come in a large variety of colors and patterns, and, it’s possible to rent one for the day! Choose your style, get fitted and head to a temple. Beautiful surroundings + pretty dress = jealous friends!
Arrive in Style
You know where you’re going, you look great in your kimono, what is there left to complete the full Kyoto experience? By getting around by rickshaw! Hop on one of these two wheeled carts, sit back, relax and take in the sights all while traveling in ultimate old fashioned style!
Prepare for your trip with these essentials:
- Discounted Portable Wifi Device with Unlimited 4G Internet
- 24hr Kansai/Osaka Airport Pick Up to Osaka or Kyoto