Kyoto Japan Travel
While most visitors to Kyoto prefecture have seen the historic sites, there is much more to discover in this fascinating country. We have compiled a list of the most interesting places to visit in Kyoto, Japan's second largest city and home to more than 3 million people.
Northern Kyoto offers a rewarding experience for cherry blossom scouts, Hirano Shrine and Kyoto Botanical Gardens. The cherry blossoms are unforgettable when in full bloom, and North Kyoto is considered the downtown of Kyoto, making it a great place to discover all that Kyoto has to offer.
If you are coming to Kyoto from a city in Japan, travelling by train is preferable to flying within Japan, and the train connections are great. From Kyoto, you can easily travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Nara and other major cities in the region.
Flying to Osaka is an easy option and saves you the trip to Kyoto on the Shinkansen. A round trip to Tokyo is probably the easiest option, especially if you take a Shinkingansen train on the Kyoto leg. You might want to skip Osaka and take a trip to Nagoya, Nara or other major cities in the region.
If you are planning a trip to Kyoto, you might as well include Osaka, Nara, Kobe or Himeji in your travel plans. You really should book a longer stay for a second visit and also visit other major cities such as Nagoya, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Osaka and Kyoto.
If you do not agree with this advice, you can take a day trip from Kyoto to Tokyo if you have a Japan Rail Pass and are interested in leaving Kyoto while staying in Kansai. If you do not have that or do not want it, I recommend that you look at the routes to Japan for Kyoto and Tokyo. Also read our guide to Nagoya, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Osaka and Kyoto for more information about these cities.
The Kyoto Japan Guide pack covers a number of things that will help you improve your trip to Japan. Our packing list for Japan provides more information on what to bring for your trips to Kyoto and Japan in general.
This special Kyoto guide is a guide to the sights on the eastern side of Kyoto that can be visited on the trip to Kyoto and Japan in general, as well as in Kyoto itself.
It is a bit off the road northwest of Kyoto, but it is beautiful and if you are only in Kyoto for a day or two You can skip it. Don't forget to look for the northern exit, which is used by the Kyushu Expressway, the main highway from Tokyo to Kyoto, and also the exit to Kyoto Airport.
If you are in Japan for less than 4 days, you should only visit Tokyo and Kyoto to keep yourself tiring. If you buy a JR Rail Pass and plan to stay in Kyoto for several days, you will want to wait until it is activated before leaving Tokyo. However, there are a few JR lines in Kyoto, and if you can activate your JR Pass on the day you leave Kyoto (depending on how many days you will spend in Hiroshima or Osaka), it is reasonable to stay in Kyoto for a day or two before taking the Tokyo train or Hiroshima train.
If you are only visiting Kyoto and other cities besides Kyoto, you might want to invest in a Japan Rail Pass. This pass allows unlimited train travel and can save you a lot of money when you visit other regions of Japan. If you are going on a day trip to Kyoto to travel to the outskirts of the city, or if you are travelling to Japan for longer periods than just a few days or a few weeks, then the Japan Rail Pass is a good value.
Plan your next trip to Kyoto as you visit the city in one trip and see what your schedule allows. If you are looking for a route that combines a little of everything, you can choose several different routes. For more information, see our guide to visiting all the cities in Kyoto and other parts of Japan.
This is true for both Kyoto and Tokyo, of course, but you can also access other parts of Japan, such as Osaka, Nagoya and other cities. All these goals can be reached with the Shinkansen, which is easily accessible from Kyoto. It is also possible to take you to a number of other destinations in the city, as well as to some other major cities in Japan.
The bus network in Kyoto is a great way to reach many attractions, especially in the north of Kyoto, and it is recommended to purchase a Kyoto City Bus Pass or Kansai Thru Pass. There is even a JR pass that could allow you to travel from Kyoto to Tokyo for perhaps $120, or to travel the Shinkansen all the way from Tokyo to Kyoto and back for $120. Since Kyoto is not a big city, there are many day and night bus lines between Kyoto (and other places in Japan), which can be a cheap alternative to the Shinksansen fare.