Discover Japan: 15 Must-see Sightseeing Spots in Kyoto

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INTRODUCTION

Japan has long been known for its unique culture and traditions, beautiful natural scenery, and historical buildings. Among these, Kyoto is one of the cities where Japanese traditions and culture are most strongly preserved. Kyoto flourished when it was the capital of Japan, and many historical buildings and temples still remain. The beautiful natural scenery of the four seasons and traditional events are another attraction of the city.
In this article, we will introduce 15 of the best sightseeing spots in Kyoto. These spots are places where you can fully enjoy the charm of Kyoto and experience Japanese traditions and culture. We hope you will find them useful when you visit Kyoto.

Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple combines traditional Japanese architecture with beautiful scenery, making it a must-see destination for foreign visitors.
Kiyomizu Temple is located in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, and is a symbol of Japanese history and culture. This temple is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan and a World Heritage Site. Kiyomizu most famous feature is the massive wooden pedestal that supports the wooden pillars extending from the main hall. This pedestal is known as the symbol of Kiyomizu and is a very attractive element for foreign tourists.
In addition, the grounds of Kiyomizu Temple are filled with beautiful gardens and masonry paths that attract visitors. In particular, the observatory called Kiyomizu-no-butai (stage of Kiyomizu) offers a panoramic view of the city of Kyoto and the surrounding mountains. For foreign visitors, this view is truly spectacular.
Kiyomizu Temple is a must-visit destination for foreigners interested in traditional Japanese culture and architecture. Its beautiful scenery and historical value make it an attractive element for foreigners visiting Japan. A visit to Kiyomizu Temple will allow you to fully experience the charm of Japan.

Gion

Gion is a place where traditional Kyoto culture and beauty come together. Here, you can meet geisha and maiko dressed in beautiful kimonos. The streets of Gion give you a sense of good old Japan. Just walking through the streets makes you feel as if time has stopped.
Gion is dotted with numerous traditional buildings and temples. The most famous of these is Yasaka Shrine. This shrine is a symbol of Kyoto and features a beautiful vermilion torii gate. The shrine’s precincts are quiet and relaxing.
Gion also offers many delicious food options. Traditional Kyoto cuisine, sushi, matcha green tea sweets, and other delicacies are available to please your palate. Be sure to try some of the local food.
Gion also becomes even more charming at night. Gion at night creates a fantastic atmosphere with its illuminated buildings and streets. Strolling through Gion at night will make you feel as if you are in a dream.
Gion is a sightseeing spot where you can fully enjoy the charm of Kyoto. You will be enriched by the traditional culture, beautiful scenery, and delicious food. We hope you will visit Gion and enjoy the charm of Japan to the fullest.
We hope that everyone who reads this article will visit Gion. I am sure that your wonderful experience in Gion will leave you with wonderful memories of your trip.

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine is located in Kyoto City, close to Kiyomizu Temple, Gion, and other tourist attractions. Its beautiful vermilion torii gate and stone steps will be an eye-catcher for foreign tourists. The shrine also has beautiful gardens and historical buildings within its precincts. Visitors will not only be able to see traditional Japanese architectural styles, but also be soothed by the beautiful natural surroundings.
Yasaka Shrine is especially worth visiting at night. At night, the buildings and gardens of the shrine are lit up, creating a fantastic atmosphere. For foreign visitors, enjoying the beautiful scenery of Japan at night will be a memory of a lifetime.
Yasaka Shrine is also known as the setting for a famous festival called the Gion Matsuri. Held annually in July, this festival is one of Japan’s traditional festivals and an interesting event for foreign visitors. During the festival, the area around the shrine becomes lively, with people dressed in traditional costumes enjoying the festivities.
Yasaka Shrine is a place where visitors can experience the charm of Kyoto at its best. It is a must-see destination for foreign tourists interested in Japanese history and culture. We hope you will visit Yasaka Shrine and experience the charm of Japan.

Heian Jingu Shrine

Heian Jingu Shrine is located in Kyoto City and is a symbol of Japanese history and culture. This shrine was built in the center of Heian-kyo, the capital of the Heian period. Therefore, Heian Jingu Shrine is considered to be one of the most important shrines in the ancient capital of Kyoto.
The charm of Heian Jingu lies in its beautiful architecture and vast grounds. At the entrance to the shrine is a magnificent torii gate, and once visitors step inside, they are greeted by an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility. Within the shrine grounds, there are beautiful gardens and ponds where visitors can enjoy the scenery of the four seasons. Especially in spring, cherry blossoms are in full bloom, turning the entire shrine a beautiful pink.
Heian Jingu Shrine is also known as a place to experience traditional Japanese culture. There is a rental service in the shrine that allows visitors to wear kimonos and have their pictures taken. In addition, several times a year, traditional festivals and events are held, in which foreigners can participate. These experiences are a great opportunity to experience Japanese culture.
Access to Heian Shrine is also convenient. It is easily accessible by bus or subway from major tourist destinations in Kyoto City. In addition, English-language information boards and pamphlets are available, making it easy for foreigners to understand.
We encourage you to visit Heian Jingu Shrine when you visit Kyoto. You will be able to experience the beautiful scenery and traditional Japanese culture. I am sure that foreigners will truly enjoy their visit.

Kyoto National Museum

For an in-depth look at Japanese history and culture, one cannot miss the Kyoto National Museum. This museum exhibits the best of Japanese arts and crafts and is very popular among foreign tourists.
The Kyoto National Museum is located in the heart of Kyoto, surrounded by beautiful gardens. The museum building itself is also a beautiful example of traditional Japanese architecture. The exhibits on display are vast in number and relate to Japanese history, religion, and art.
Inside the museum, visitors can learn about the historical background and production techniques of Japanese arts and crafts. Some of the exhibits have been designated as national treasures or important cultural properties. These works embody the essence of Japanese beauty and are attractive to foreign visitors.
In addition, the Kyoto National Museum regularly holds special exhibitions. These special exhibits feature works of art that reflect the seasons and themes of the year, offering something new to discover each time you visit. For foreign visitors, this is an excellent opportunity to experience Japanese culture and art.
The Kyoto National Museum is a valuable place for foreign visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese history and culture. You will be fascinated by the beautiful artworks, buildings, and the breadth of the exhibits. We encourage you to visit the Kyoto National Museum on your next visit to Kyoto.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha is located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, and is one of the most famous shrines in Japan. The shrine features a pathway lined with thousands of torii gates, known as senbon torii. These torii gates symbolize Japanese piety and aesthetics, and have an overwhelming appeal to foreigners.
A visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is like getting lost in another world. Passing through a tunnel of torii gates, one is greeted by a beautiful view. The lush foliage and beautiful gardens on either side of the approach to the shrine make the scenery look like a painting.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is also home to many shrines and Shinto shrines, each with its own unique history and culture. For foreign visitors, these buildings and their sacred atmosphere provide an excellent opportunity to experience Japanese tradition and culture.
Furthermore, visitors to Fushimi Inari Taisha can enjoy not only visiting the shrine but also purchasing amulets and souvenirs. The amulets are for good luck and business prosperity, and will be a special memory for foreigners as well.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto, especially among foreigners. Its beautiful scenery and sacred atmosphere will allow foreign tourists to fully experience the charm of Japan.
Please visit Fushimi Inari Taisha and experience the charm of Japan. Passing through the tunnel of 1,000 torii gates and being surrounded by the beautiful scenery will surely soothe your soul.

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji is a beautiful temple built in the Muromachi period (1336-1573), and its golden exterior is truly a sight to behold. It is very popular among foreign tourists and attracts many visitors from all over the world.
Once you step inside, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of Kinkakuji. In the garden, a beautiful pond spreads out, in which carp and turtles can be seen swimming. The scenery changes from season to season, giving you a different look depending on the time of year you visit.
There is also a place inside Kinkakuji where visitors can learn about the teachings of Buddhism. By experiencing the historical buildings and beautiful Buddhist statues, visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and religion.
There are also many traditional teahouses and souvenir shops around Kinkakuji Temple. Here, you can enjoy delicious green tea and Japanese sweets, or buy souvenirs. The atmosphere is very friendly for foreigners.
Kinkakuji Temple is one of the must-visit tourist attractions when visiting Kyoto. Its beauty and historical value make it an attractive element for foreigners as well. We invite you to visit Kinkakuji Temple and experience the beauty and history of Japan.

Ginkakuji Temple

Ginkakuji Temple is a Zen temple built in the Muromachi period (1333-1573). Ginkakuji’s distinctive exterior was so named because the upper part of the temple is painted silver. However, gold leaf, not silver leaf, is actually used. This beautiful appearance is indicative of the temple’s aesthetic sense and good taste. The garden offers beautiful seasonal views and attracts many visitors, especially during the season of autumn leaves. Around Ginkakuji Temple, there are quiet walking paths and traditional teahouses where visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture.
Once inside Ginkakuji Temple, visitors will find the building decorated with beautiful sculptures and paintings. In particular, you should not miss the gold leaf decorated ceiling and the Shoin, which overlooks a delicate garden. Also worth a visit is Jishoin, the pagoda of Ginkakuji. Here you can see monks practicing Zen meditation along with a beautiful garden.
Ginkakuji is easily accessible, and can be reached by bus from Kyoto City in about 30 minutes. For foreign tourists, easy-to-understand information boards and English pamphlets are available, making the temple a safe and comfortable place to visit.
Ginkakuji Temple is a place where you can experience the tradition and beauty of Kyoto, and is an attractive sightseeing spot for foreign tourists. Please visit Ginkakuji Temple when you visit Kyoto and enjoy its beauty and history.

Arashiyama

Arashiyama has become an attractive spot for foreign tourists as well.
First, let us introduce you to one of Arashiyama’s most iconic tourist attractions, Togetsu Bridge. This beautiful bridge is a great spot from which to view the entire Arashiyama landscape. Especially during the cherry blossom season, the view from the bridge becomes even more beautiful. This is a great opportunity for foreigners to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Japan.
Next, we will take you to the bamboo pathway in Arashiyama. This path is a mysterious place with beautiful bamboo tunnels. It is a rare opportunity for foreigners to experience a traditional Japanese landscape. Walking among the bamboos will surely soothe your soul.
Arashiyama is also home to many beautiful gardens and temples. For example, Tenryuji Temple and Watarigetsu-an are interesting places for foreigners. In these places, visitors can experience Japanese history and culture. Especially during the season of autumn foliage, the gardens are dyed in beautiful colors, providing foreigners with memories that will last a lifetime.
Furthermore, Arashiyama is also home to many delicious foods and souvenirs. For example, Arashiyama’s famous “Arashiyama soft-serve ice cream” (tofu soft-serve ice cream) is very popular among foreigners. There are also many delicious green tea sweets and tea shops in the Arashiyama area. This is a great opportunity for foreigners to enjoy traditional Japanese food culture.
There is also an attractive sightseeing spot called the Sagano Trolley Train. This trolley train offers a relaxing ride while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sagano. It is a great opportunity for foreigners to enjoy the Japanese scenery in a relaxed atmosphere.
Arashiyama is a place where you can fully enjoy the charm of Japan. Beautiful nature, traditional culture, and delicious food are just a few of the many attractive elements for foreigners. We invite you to visit Arashiyama and discover the charms of Japan.

Nijo Castle

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Nijo Castle is a sightseeing spot where you can experience the history and beauty of Japan. This magnificent castle is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Kyoto. It is a must-visit destination for foreigners as well.
Nijo Castle is a Japanese castle built in the Edo period. Its beautiful gardens and magnificent buildings are a perfect example of traditional Japanese architecture. Inside the castle, historical treasures and works of art are on display, allowing visitors to experience Japanese culture and history.
Especially recommended for foreigners is the beautiful garden of Nijo Castle. Visitors can fully appreciate the Japanese sense of beauty in the garden, where the scenery changes from season to season. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and in autumn, the autumn leaves are beautifully decorated. Take a stroll through the garden and be intoxicated by the beauty of Japan’s natural surroundings.
Nijo Castle also has historical importance. The “Nijo Castle Incident,” which took place here, was an event that had a great impact on Japanese history. Visitors can walk around the castle and learn about its historical background and episodes.
Nijo Castle is conveniently located in the center of Kyoto. It is an attractive spot for tourists and is visited by many foreign tourists. We encourage you to visit Nijo Castle to experience the history and beauty of Japan.

Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is the ultimate place to experience the history and beauty of Japan.
The Kyoto Gosho is the historical palace of the Japanese Imperial Family and is located in the heart of Kyoto. This beautiful building represents the traditional Japanese architectural style of “Shoin-zukuri,” and its beauty is very popular among foreign tourists.
Stepping into the building is like stepping back in time. Within the vast grounds, beautiful gardens and tasteful buildings spread out, allowing visitors to feel the history of Japan. Especially in spring, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery of cherry blossoms in full bloom.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace also offers guided tours, where expert guides provide detailed explanations of Japanese history and culture. The explanations are provided in English, which is easy for foreigners to understand, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding.
Furthermore, there are many sightseeing spots around the Kyoto Imperial Palace. For example, famous temples such as Kinkakuji Temple and Kiyomizu Temple are located nearby, and we recommend that you visit them together.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is an unmissable tourist attraction for those interested in Japanese history and culture. Its beautiful buildings and gardens, as well as the detailed explanations provided by guided tours, make it a very attractive element for foreigners.

Kyoto International Manga Museum

If you want to experience the best of Japan, visit the Kyoto International Manga Museum. This wonderful tourist attraction is very popular among foreigners.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum was established to showcase Japanese manga culture. Here you can learn about the history, evolution, and influence of Japanese manga. In addition, visitors can enjoy exhibits of famous manga works and manga-related artwork.
For foreigners, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. Japanese manga is loved all over the world, and by experiencing its appeal, visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and history.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum also offers a wide range of English-language information and exhibits. Foreign visitors will be able to enjoy the museum without any language barriers.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum is conveniently located near other tourist attractions in Kyoto. It is a great place for foreign tourists to stop by between sightseeing tours.
If you want to fully enjoy the charms of Japan, visit the Kyoto International Manga Museum. You will have a wonderful time while experiencing Japanese Manga culture.

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is a well-known landmark in Kyoto City. Its beautiful exterior is a perfect combination of traditional Japanese architectural style and modern design. Especially at night, the illuminated Kyoto Tower creates a dreamlike scene.
On the top floor of Kyoto Tower is an observation deck from which visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of Kyoto city. It is a great spot for foreign tourists to enjoy Kyoto’s traditional cityscape, temples, and seasonal scenery all at once.
There are also restaurants and cafes in Kyoto Tower, so you can enjoy a delicious meal or a cup of tea in between sightseeing tours. Visitors will be able to spend a relaxing time while savoring traditional Japanese cuisine and stylish café menus.
In addition, Kyoto Tower also hosts a variety of events. There are many programs for foreigners to enjoy, such as special seasonal events and live performances. Visitors will have a memorable experience while experiencing Kyoto’s culture and traditions.
For foreign visitors, Kyoto Tower is the place to experience all that Kyoto has to offer. Its beautiful exterior, stunning views, and various events are part of its charm. We encourage you to visit Kyoto Tower and experience its charms when you visit Kyoto.

Kyoto Aquarium

The Kyoto Aquarium is located in Kyoto City and is known as one of the largest aquariums in Japan. Here, visitors are greeted by beautiful exhibits of marine life. English information boards and pamphlets are available for foreigners to easily understand and enjoy the aquarium.
The charm of the Kyoto Aquarium lies in its diverse exhibits. For example, beautiful tropical fish, colorful coral reefs, and a huge, powerful aquarium tank are just a few of the highlights. In addition, the aquarium displays not only Japanese sea life, but also rare species from around the world. For foreign visitors, this will be an excellent opportunity to experience Japanese sea life.
In addition, the Kyoto Aquarium offers a full range of entertainment. In the shows, dolphins and sea lions give wonderful performances that fascinate visitors. The aquarium also has cafes and restaurants where visitors can relax and enjoy a delicious meal.
The Kyoto Aquarium is also a popular tourist spot for foreigners. Therefore, it can be crowded, so advance ticket reservations are recommended. Access to the aquarium is also convenient, and public transportation is available from Kyoto City.
If you want to experience the charm of Japan at its best, visit the Kyoto Aquarium. You can interact with beautiful sea creatures and enjoy wonderful shows. It is a great place to visit for foreigners as well, so please come and visit.

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market is a traditional market that has been around for centuries, and its history and atmosphere are attractive to foreign visitors. The market offers a wide variety of delicious foods and souvenirs unique to Kyoto, including fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, tea, and Japanese sweets.
Particularly attractive to foreigners is the eating and walking in Nishiki Market. The market is lined with a variety of restaurants offering delicious sushi, yakitori, okonomiyaki, ramen, and more. Foreign visitors can experience Japanese food culture while enjoying local delicacies.
Traditional handicrafts and souvenirs are also available at Nishiki Market. It is a must-see spot for foreign visitors seeking traditional Japanese crafts such as washi paper, lacquer ware, and oshie (pressed paper). The perfect souvenirs are lined up in the stores.
Furthermore, Nishiki Market is also a place for interaction with the locals. The market is filled with cheerful voices and smiling faces, and foreign visitors can easily communicate with them. Through contact with the locals, you will be able to experience the charms of Kyoto in a deeper way.
For foreign visitors, Nishiki Market is a paradise for shopping and food in Kyoto. Fresh ingredients, traditional handicrafts, and interaction with the locals make this a spot full of charm. We encourage you to visit Nishiki Market on your next visit to Kyoto. You will surely have wonderful memories.