7 best sightseeing spots you must see in Kyoto


Kyoto is the historical and cultural center of Japan and is home to numerous tourist attractions.
Some first-time visitors to Kyoto may find it difficult to make a schedule because there are so many things to see and do!
For those new to Kyoto, here are some of the most scenic and classic sightseeing spots that you should not miss when sightseeing in Kyoto!

  1. Kinkakuji Temple
  2. Fushimi Inari
  3. Kiyomizu Temple
  4. Nijo Castle
  5. Ginkakuji Temple
  6. Sanjusangendo
  7. Arashiyama

1. Kinkakuji Temple, a golden sign of Kyoto

If you know anything about Kyoto, you have probably seen a picture of Kinkakuji Temple before.
Originally built in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) by the Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the temple was intended to represent the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss (pradise) in this world.
The beautiful sight of Kinkaku-ji reflected in its lush garden will surely make you feel as if you are in heaven.
Kinkakuji Temple is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkakuji Temple.


Kinkakuji is not only famous for its golden Shariden Hall, but also for its surrounding gardens.
The garden looks completely different depending on the season: beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, colorful autumn leaves in fall, and snowy landscape in winter.

Kinkakuji Temple's official website

2. Fushimi Inari, surrounded by countless red torii gates


This is another very famous spot that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of more than 30,000 Inari shrines in Japan.
The shrine's precincts are lined with many dedicated torii gates, and it is surprising that there are more than 10,000 in total!

The highlight of the tour is the "Senbon-torii" (Thousand torii gates).
The endless red tunnels are a sight to behold.
The temple grounds are large, and the entire mountain of Inari is dedicated to the faith.
From the top of the mountain, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view over Kyoto City.


Fushimi Inari's official website

3. Kiyomizu Temple, a World Heritage Site that has been familiar to the common people


Kiyomizu-dera Temple was built approximately 1,250 years ago.
Kiyomizu Temple has long been a favorite place of pilgrimage for Japanese people, despite being destroyed by fire on numerous occasions.
The temple is especially famous for the "Hinokibutai," or cypress-steel stage that extends out from the main hall, and the spectacular view from the stage.
There are many other attractions such as the three-story pagoda, one of the largest in Japan, which is the symbol of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, and the Otowa-no-Taki waterfall, which if drunk, will prolong one's life.

Kiyomizu Temple's official website

4. Nijo Castle, where the Japanese Shogun lived


Nijo-jo Castle was built approximately 400 years ago by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of the Edo Shogunate, to serve as a place to stay in Kyoto.
Later, the castle was used by the imperial family and other rulers of the time as a detached palace.


From the gorgeous Karamon Gate, the main gate, to the Ninomaru Palace, decorated with magnificent barrier paintings, visitors can experience the richness of the Edo shogunate and the beauty of Japanese culture.
Please feel like a shogun and take a tour of the interior.

Nijo Castle's official website

5. Ginkakuji Temple, where you can feel wabi-sabi, a uniquely Japanese sensibility


Ginkakuji Temple was built on the model of Kinkakuji Temple.
Although its name is "Gin (silver in Japanese) -kakuji", unlike Kin (gold in Japanese)-kakuji, the main hall of the temple is not shining silver.
In contrast, it is a quiet temple that is calm and in harmony with nature.
A stroll around the temple while gazing at the reflection of Ginkakuji in the pond in the garden will be relaxing.
Come and feel the Japanese Wabi-Sabi culture.

Please note that the official name of Ginkakuji is "Higashiyama Jishoji"!!

Ginkakuji Temple's official website

6. Sanjusangendo, you might find a face that looks like you


Sanjusangendo, the hall was built 900 years ago by the then emperor and repaired by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in later periods.
The main hall, 120 meters long from north to south, houses as many as 1,000 standing statues of the Thousand-armed Kannon, with the seated statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon in the center.
Each of the 1,000 statues has a name and a different expression and face.
It is said that you can always find a statue that looks like you or someone close to you. Please try to find one.

Sanjusangendo's introduction website

7. Arashiyama, healed by beautiful bamboo forest


The Arashiyama area in the western part of Kyoto City is famous for its scenic beauty in every season.
The scenery is especially breathtaking during the cherry blossom season in spring and the autumn foliage season in fall.


Particularly famous are "Togetsu Bridge" with Arashiyama in the background and "Bamboo Grove Path" with bamboo growing all over the path.
Since they are located a little far from Kyoto City, please take your time and spend a day to visit them.

Arashiyama's introduction website

What are we?

We run Ninja Experience Cafe in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Japan.
Here you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture through experiencing ninja training.
Both adults and children are welcome to try their hand at defeating the ninja master inside the cafe.
The cafe is an indoor interactive zone, so it can be enjoyed even on rainy days.
If you are thinking "I want to be a real ninja too!” or interested in becoming a real ninja, please visit us.
Reservations can be made here.

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