Kyoto's Top Places of Interest
A destination not to be missed on your trip to Japan, Kyoto is a city that embodies the essence of traditional Japanese culture with something unique to experience every season. If you are visiting for the first time, here's a guide to top things to do in Kyoto.
Japan has an excellent public transportation system that makes getting around convenient and easy. Buses and trains offer great coverage to most Kyoto tourist spots. With a stay at Park Hotel Kyoto, travellers are a 3-minute walk away from the nearest subway station, making Kyoto sightseeing highly accessible.
With an increasing popularity, renting a bicycle to get around is also a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Kyoto's sights, especially for cherry blossom viewing in spring. The flat streets and designated cycling lanes make cycling a safe mode of travel. Explore our recommended cycling routes, updated seasonally here.
Temples and Shrines
The famous Fushimi Inari Shrine is known for its thousands of vermilion torii gates and is one of the most recognizable landmarks. Other Kyoto must-see temples and shrines include the inconic Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, with its shimmering gold exterior set against a picturesque pond and garden, as well as the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known to worship the goddess of mercy. If you are visiting in the autumn season, be sure to capture the stunning autumn foliage that provides hues of red and orange to the surroundings of these Kyoto attractions.
The Philosopher's Path, Heian Shrine Garden are places of tranquil, where visitors can take relaxing strolls and view the greenery. These Kyoto attractions are known for the display of cherry blossoms, and are highly recommended by the locals to visit.
Enjoy a Gion walking tour, in the famed entertainment district of Kyoto and city centre of traditional arts. Lined with traditional wooden buildings, the district is filled with nightlife establishments to unwind at. If you are lucky, you might spot a Geisha or Maiko (apprentice Geisha) heading to one of their appointments.
Kyoto Food and Beverage
Treat yourself after a day’s worth of exploring at the Nishiki Market, a bustling place selling an array of fresh produce and must-eat Kyoto specialties, including sweets and souvenirs. Try some local delicacies like the Kyoto beef sushi and Kyoto tofu. For a more elaborate dining experience, try out kaiseki cuisine, Japan’s artful culinary tradition known for the beautifully presented and delicious multi-course meals.
Festivals of Kyoto
To make the most of your travels, plan your trip in time for the popular Kyoto festivals. Gion Matsuri is one of Japan's largest festivals held by the Yaksha Shrine to ward off sickness and disease. An iconic sight to behold would be the procession of magnificent floats, standing up to 25 meters tall and weighing up to 12 tons, being pulled along the streets.
No matter if you are drawn to cultural events, natural beauty, or local cuisine, Kyoto offers something new to discover with every visit.