Best Places to Visit in Kyoto

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Arrive in Kyoto easily, either from Osaka or Tokyo. Check out the best route to Kyoto Click here.

Spend a beautiful day in Kyoto visiting the historical temples, shrines and zen gardens.Kyoto have over 1600 temples and shrines and is a sacred destination for Buddhism pilgrimage.

There are a number of ways to go around the attractions in Kyoto, you could use the Buses or Taxis. There lots of tourists information counters.You won’t get loss,as there’s lots of instructions and directions in English,Chinese,Japanese and even Korean in the whole town.

Some Temple even provide “audio tour”, which you could scan on to your smart phones and listen as you explore the Temple.

Kyoto is one of the Top Tourist hot spot in Japan, thus it’s advisable to go during weekdays and avoid weekends.Buses are super packed on weekends.

Kyoto One Day Itinerary – “Free and Easy”

Only 1 day to spend in Kyoto ? no problem, I had done that and it’s Fun, Free and Easy and at my own time. You can cover the Top 5 destinations in Kyoto.

Arrive early at Kyoto JR station –
When you arrived at the station – exit through the Central Exit

Kyoto city bus Raku bus
Photo by Mutimaro/CC by

I use the Raku Bus to go around Kyoto, it’s very convenient and the bus route directions are in English (you can find it at the station bus stand).

The Raku Bus is on your right as you exit Kyoto JR station Central Exit.
Bus fare is a flat 230 yen per ride for adults 
Do have some loose Yen(cash) as you would need it for temple entrance fees.

OK lets start our journey, from the Kyoto JR station  

#1 – Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

Kyoto Golden Temple
Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

***Take Raku Bus number 101
Kinkaku-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple. A amazing beautiful temple with two of the top floors completely covered in gold leaf. Walk around the pond in a clockwise direction, exit through the rear gate, there is a small temple dedicated to Fudo Myo-o, a protective Buddhist deity.
Take a lot of photos and enjoy the gardens. After you exit, you take the bus from the road to the next destination.

#2 – Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion)

Ginkakuji Temple Kyoto
Ginkaku-ji Temple. Photo by Oilstreet/ CC by

***Take Raku Bus number 102
Stop at Ginkakuji-mae
Silver Pavilion does not have any silver on it but it’s well-known for its stone gardens with the Sea of Silver Sand built to reflect the moon.

On Exit from the Temple, walk south along the Path of Philosophy,  a pedestrian path that that is filled with cherry trees lining the canal, it a walking path between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji.

An enchanted view, if you are there during the cherry blossom season, you will definitely enjoy the unforgettable beautiful view as you stroll along.

Beside cherry blossom, there’s cafes, where you can get simple traditional vegetarian tofu meals and it’s delicious. Galleries, shops selling kimonos, art and crafts, antiques, and many sites of historical importance along the path.
Stroll along for about 2 km or 25 minutes, you will reach Nanzen-ji Temple.

#3 – Nanzen-ji Temple

Nanzen-ji is one of the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto.
It’s is lined with cedars trees and famous vegetarian tofu restaurants.

In Nanzen-ji’s there’s many sub-temples like Konchi-in which have a beautiful dry stone garden.A Zen paradise and because it’s surrounded by lush green hills, it’s a magical view during autumn where the leaves turn colours !

Here you can taste the shojin-ryori (food of a Japanese Buddhist monk), a Buddhist vegetarian cuisine ,a nutritional balance of 5 different colours and flavours, and you can choose to complete your cuisine with beer.
Access to the main temple and sub-temples costs between 300 yen and 500 yen each.

Continue your tour from Nanzen-ji

#4 – Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple kyoto
***Take Ruku Bus number 100 
Kiyomizu-dera ,you must not miss this wonderful site, when you are in Kyoto,it’s over 1200 years old and has several Buddhist temples in the whole compound. The temple is an Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kiyomizu-dera is also know as “Kannon Reijo.”. “Reijo” = “holy place”

In the Main hall you will find the eleven faces and forty-two arms of Kannon Bodhisattva showing great compassion to all mankind. Enjoy your time around Kiyomizu-dera, there’s some very nice tea and dessert shops on the way down to the main road. Have a tea break. 

#5 – The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

Kyoto Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine Kyoto

From Kiyomizu-dera
***Take Ruku Bus number 100 Back to Kyoto Station
At Kyoto JR station take JR NARAN LIINE (for Nara) to Inari station only a 5 mins journey.
From Inari Station,walk 3 mins to Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine.

The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. 
Shinto god of rice, Inari Okami is enshrined in the Shrine.

Walk up the 10,000 bright red Torii Gates that line all the way to the top of Mount Inari and you will see the city view right at the top. It’s a long hike up  the mount with souvenirs and food shops along the way. It will take around 3 to 4 hours to go up and down. Thus if you need to catch the JR back to your hotel do take note of the time.

Look out for foxes and see how many you are able to count. There foxes are placed throughout the Temple grounds, they believe to be messengers for Inari.

Had a magical time ? Well it’s time to make our way home to the hotel. From the Shrine just walk back to Inari Station take the JR line to Kyoto JR station and enjoy your journey back to your hotel/stay. Check out the best route to go back from Kyoto JR station Click here

Well, you have completed all 5 major tourist spot in Kyoto in 1 day ! There’s lot more to venture in Kyoto (with over 1600 temples and shrines ).

If you have more days to spend. Kyoto Temple Stay is a wonderful way to de-stress and you can check out Viator Kyoto Tours too. Have Fun!

Enjoy your Kyoto holidays and don’t forget to share yours in the comment below.

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