Once the first capital of Japan, Kyoto is one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and in the world. Kyoto makes up a city of thousands of Buddhist Temples, different Shrines, Gardens, and Imperial Palaces. Kyoto is well known for Kaiseki dining and Geisha in it’s famous Gion District. I spent two nights, 3 days in Kyoto and barely made it through half of the well known temples in the city. Depending on how much time you have, I suggest staying 5 days for the full experience. There are maps available in the city that show where all of the temples are.
Places to Go
- Daigo-ji (pictured above)
- Accommodation: Hotels are on average 20,000 JPY. A guest house or hostel in Kyoto will charge between 2,000-4,000 JPY per night. I suggest staying near a train station that is in walking distance.
- Transportation: The train is the easiest way to get around, but the bus will be cheaper. Fares start around 200 JPY. Taxis will definitely be most convenient, but more expensive. Most of the taxi drivers do not speak english.
- Food: Eating at a restaurant will cost around 1,500 JPY depending on where you go. I mostly ate at the stands outside of the temples that served fresh Yakitori! This cost around 500 JPY and was so convenient. Since I walked around most days I was looking for food on the run. My other favorite was the pork buns which cost around 300 JPY
- Activities: The entrance to the temples ranged from 300-500 JPY. Make sure to bring cash as they do not take credit cards. If you are from out of the country, most ATM’s do not take bank cards that aren’t Japanese. The best place you can get cash will be 7-11.
- Get a one or two day pass for 3,800 JPY which gives entrance discounts and bus transportation
- Get cash out at 7-11 before you venture out to the temples
- Try the green tea ice cream-you can’t miss it
- Take the train to Nara for a day. There are thousands of deer that roam around and is not a sight to miss.
- Check out the Gion district and hopefully spot a Geisha (I did!)