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Travel to Kyoto Japan for Ancient Beauty and Culture

Updated on February 6, 2017
Kyoto offers both historic and modern sights and experiences
Kyoto offers both historic and modern sights and experiences

Kyoto Japan Photo

Kyoto Ginkakuji.  Photo credit:
Kyoto Ginkakuji. Photo credit:

Kyoto Japan Attractions

Travel Kyoto Japan

Kyoto, Japan is a beautiful, ancient city that tops the list of 'must see' places in Asia. Located in the Kansai region, Kyoto is the seventh largest Japanese city and home to approximately a quarter of the country's national treasures.

Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto is a World Heritage Site offering the best of historical monuments, buildings and gardens for viewing. The former Imperial Palace, which is still owned but not lived in by the Japanese Royal Family, the "Golden Pavillion" and the Fushimi Inari Shrine are located here.

If you travel to Kyoto and not go sightseeing, you will miss out on breathtaking scenery, traditions and events. The region is steeped in a rich history that is well worth experiencing.

You Are Here

Kyoto Japan in Autumn

Autumn in Kyoto.  Photo credit:
Autumn in Kyoto. Photo credit:

Kyoto Japan Attractions

The World Heritage buildings, shrines, temples and gardens in Kyoto are plentiful enough that you will probably need at least three or four days to get around to all the ones that you don't want to miss.

Bus tours to sites of interest are available for purchase outside of the amazing Kyoto Station. Inside the station, you can shop, eat and go to the theatre. If you don't like the bus, you may want to consider taking the subway.

The numerous festivals and traditional events that take place thoughout year will transport you back in time, giving you the feeling of being in ancient Kyoto.

There are so many things to experience here. As well as the time-honored customs and traditions, Kyoto has modern comforts and conveniences. Remarkable dining, couture and shopping awaits the adventurous traveller. It really is old world meets the new.

You may want to extend your stay, or book a second trip to get everything in.

Did You Know?

Kyoto is the birthplace of Geisha schooling

Kyoto Japan Hotels

Places to stay are plentiful in Kyoto. Whether you are looking for 5 star hotels or you prefer to find Cheap Kyoto Accommodation, you shouldn't have any trouble.

It's easy to book reservations, especially online. You can stay in the city centre with a view of the mountains and cityscape or venture a little farther out and away from the city.

Before You Go

Check to see if your country is one of the 50 that Japan has a visa exemption agreement with.

If it does, you should be fine with just your passport but double check with the appropriate embassy or consulate to ensure that you have the correct documentation. You don't want to discover too late that you're missing something you need to get into the country.

If you are not from one of the 50 countries in the agreement, you will have to apply for a travel visa, which you will want to do while you still have plenty of time to prepare for your trip.

Some Important Info, Tips and Local Customs

  • Convenience Stores are open 24 hours a day
  • Major shopping centres are open 7 days a week
  • Do not tip, service people will not directly accept gratuities
  • Some upscale restaurants may include a service charge, which is typically up to 10% and is, in reality, a gratuity
  • When eating out, you may find that the menu is only in Japanese. Most employees in the better restaurants speak English, so you will need to ask for some translation
  • Please show quiet respect when out and about. The locals are quiet and emotionally restrained for the most part
  • You can find cell phone rentals next to major government offices and in shopping centres. You can also book your rental ahead of time online. If you prefer to take your own phone, check with your current service provider before your trip, to see if your phone will work in Japan.
  • When shopping, look for stores with fixed prices, rather than bartering with shopkeepers. Well, unless you like dickering in a foreign language :)
  • Being late for anything, business or pleasure is very bad form here. Make punctuality your mantra
  • While in Japan, you are required to carry your passport and have it with you at all times
  • Most Japanese ATM machines do not take foreign credit cards. Look for an international ATM (check post offices, the airport and major department stores), or avail yourself of the services at a bank or currency exchange to get cash
  • Public pay phones require phone cards to use. The cards can be purchases from a kiosk or vending machine
  • International calls can only be made from certain public pay phones. Check before using your card

Kyoto is an beautiful, ancient yet modern city in the heart of Japan
Kyoto is an beautiful, ancient yet modern city in the heart of Japan

An Unforgettable Trip!

I hope that the information in this hub helps you prepare for your exciting adventure.

The beauty and culture of this area is unparalleled anywhere. If you are lucky enough to Travel Kyoto Japan, you will never forget the remarkable experience.

Safe and happy trip!


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    • Wanderingteacher profile image

      Julia Rose 4 months ago from Japan

      From my experience in Kitakyushu most Japan post ATMs have taken my American debit card for withdrawing cash. I live in Moji-Ku, Kitakyushu

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online

      Hope you do get to go, Celine. It would be an amazing trip!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • celinewayne profile image

      celinewayne 7 years ago

      cool, i love japan too but have;got chance to go there =)

      thanks for sharing this beautiful hub!

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 8 years ago from A Beach Online

      Thanks, GM! Not only for the compliment but also for the suggestion. I have to come back to it but I think that I will do something about that, great idea!

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image

      GeneriqueMedia 8 years ago from Earth

      Way cool Herald. =)

      I don't need to go to Kyoto so bad anymore... ;)

      I would make one quick suggestion...maybe subliminally link to an article about Geisha? I know about it, but I'm sure not all means what it is exactly..or expand on the idea! =)

      But otherwise, I can't spot any spelling errors and it kept me captivated. Thanks!


    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 8 years ago from A Beach Online

      Thank-you, Lgali! I appreciate you dropping by my Kyoto hub!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      nice about japan nice hub Thnaks

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 9 years ago from A Beach Online

      Yes, they are pretty, aren't they? Hopefully, you will make the trip to Kyoto sometime.

      Thanks for commenting.


    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Those pictures of Kyoto in autumn are soooo pretty! It sounds like a very interesting place too, because of all the history and different activities. Thanks for sharing!

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 9 years ago from A Beach Online

      It looks like a beautiful place, doesn't it, Lilymag? Maybe one day you'll be able to see Kyoto for yourself!

      Thanks for your comment.


    • Lilymag profile image

      Lilymag 9 years ago from Upstate New York

      I have always wanted to see Japan, thank you for a great hub!

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 9 years ago from A Beach Online

      Hi, RKHenry. You can get western food as well as the traditional fare in Kyoto. Lots of sushi available, if you like that. As you would imagine, there's even fast food establishments there, as well now. So, you can spend a little or a lot, depending on your tastes and budget.

      I have not had the chance yet to travel to Kyoto myself, but the other places that I have been to have been the same thing - you can eat the stuff that locals do, which seems very strange to us, or you can get what you get back home. I've always found that if I go for a burger or something that it tastes different from the ones at home.

      Thank-you for your comment.


    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      So what was the dining experience like? I use to watch the Iron Chef. They eat some pretty strange food. Great Hub. Thanks for sharing.