DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan [With Suggested Tours]

By Lyza Paloma December 1st, 2020 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, DIY Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 3 Comments

Do you want to travel to Kyoto? Here’s our DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan, with suggested tours.

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Oskar Vertetics on Unsplash

One of my favorite cities in Japan is Kyoto. It has gorgeous scenery and a traditional vibe. It’s actually Japan’s cultural capital and has a collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites like historic shrines and breathtaking gardens. You could travel here by yourself and enjoy what this lovely city offers.

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List of Things to do in Kyoto, Japan

1. Walk along with Fushimi Inari Taisha

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Jeremy Goldberg on Unsplash

Nearest Station: JR Inari Station

Our travel guide to Kyoto will start with one of the most iconic spots; the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is built in honor of the Shinto god of rice, Inari. There are thousands of red torii that lead to the sacred mountain. Most people would be seen taking pictures featuring these gorgeous gates (it’s a bit challenging if it’s crowded, though). Still, it’s a fantastic site you should not miss!

Suggested Tour: Kyoto and Nara Discover the Ancient City Day Tour

2. See the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Vicky T on Unsplash

The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto are 17 historical sites spread around the cities of Kyoto, Uji, and Otsu. Fushimi Inari Shrine is one on the list, but there are also other 2 Shinto Shrines and 13 Buddhist Temples, and Nijo Castle. They were built as early as the 6th century to the 17th Century; one should not miss visiting at least three!

Suggested Tour: Kyoto Perfect Day Tour 

3. Stroll along Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Walter Mario Stein on Unsplash

Nearest Station: Arashiyama Station

An instagrammable place in Kyoto is the Bamboo Grove to Mt. Arashi. Like the Fushimi Inari Shrine, it’s quite hard to get a picture due to the crowd, but if when you take one, it’s superb. It will take about 1-2 hours to complete your stroll here, so don’t forget to let the view sink in.

Suggested Tour: Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour

4. See the view from Kyoto Tower

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Kevin Doran on Unsplash

Nearest Station: Kyoto Station

If you want to see the city of Kyoto, then go to the tallest structure, the Kyoto Tower. The tower is 131 meters high, with the observation deck at 100 meters. Check the 360-view of the city up above, and you might even see Arashiyama on a good day! Many people recommend going on near sunset as it’s spectacular!

Suggested Tour: Kyoto Tower Admission Ticket

5. Buy traditional souvenirs at Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan
Photo by Shawn Tung on Unsplash

Nearest Station: JR Inari Station

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are gorgeous streets in Kyoto that make you feel transported to another world. It’s near Kiyomizu-dera, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a temple. There are many traditional buildings filled with cafes and shops. You will definitely love what the locals offer! Our travel guide to Kyoto would not be complete without this.

Suggested Tour: Kyoto Higashiyama Rickshaw Tour

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Where to stay in Kyoto, Japan

Budget Hotel

Hotel M’s Plus Shijo Omiya

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Hotel M’s Plus Shijo Omiya is located within a 5-minute walk from Omiya Station and Shijo-Omiya Station. All rooms feature air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and an electric kettle. The private bathrooms have a bathtub, shower, and free toiletries are provided. Some rooms feature a seating area.

Price: Starts at USD 37 for a Small Double Room for two

Mid-Range

Hotel Imagine Kyoto

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Situated conveniently in the Minami Ward district of Kyoto, Hotel Imagine Kyoto features a shared lounge. The 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The units at the hotel come with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. All units will provide guests with a fridge.

Price: Starts at USD 175 for a Superior Twin Room for two

Luxury Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Rooms at Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel feature a view, an iPad to access hotel services, and a flat-screen TV with a DVD player and video on demand. The hotel offers spa facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, 2 whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and 7 spa treatment rooms. While overlooking the pond garden, guests can enjoy dishes prepared using Kyoto’s local ingredients at The Brasserie.

Price: Starts at USD 906 for a Deluxe King Room for two

Where to Eat in Kyoto, Japan

Ramen Sen no Kaze Kyoto

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Address: 580 Nakanomachi, ShinkyogokuShijodoriAgaru, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto 604-8042

If you want to eat delicious ramen, go to Ramen Sen no Kaze Kyoto. Wait times will be a bit long, but the ramen is definitely worth-it. It’s also perfect for a cold day as the tasty ramen, and the restaurant’s comforting atmosphere will make you warm. It’s highly recommended by travelers.

Teppan Tavern Gion Tenamonya

DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Address: 537-2 Minamigawa Giommachi Higashiyama-ku Hiro Bldg. B1F, Kyoto 605-0074

Teppan Tavern Gion Tenamonya serves Japanese Food with Wagyu Steaks as their specialty. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options. It’s quite affordable and has a charming vibe. Plus, the hosts are very welcoming, especially for foreigners. You will need to book a reservation before coming here.

Sushi no Musashi JR Kyoto Station 8-jo Entrance

Address: 8-3 Higashishiokojitakakuracho, Shimogyoku Kyoto Omotenashi Komichi, Kyoto Station 8jo Entrance, Kyoto 600-8214

Another Japanese Food you should not miss when in Japan is Sushi. Sushi no Musashi is a conveyer-belt sushi restaurant near Kyoto station. There are many varieties of sushi, and the plates are quite affordable. The best part is the chefs are making the sushis in front of you.

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I aim to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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3 thoughts on “DIY Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan [With Suggested Tours]

  1. We’re traveling to Japan this year, and we’re going to Tokyo, Fuji, Osaka and Kyoto. They have a 7-day pass for tourists for Japan Railway trains and some buses. Does this include bus rides within Kyoto, or should we purchase the Kyoto Bus Pass separately?

  2. Def. had to check this out since I’m actually in Kyoto for a bit. Fushimi Inari may just be my favorite; the sights are fantastic, it’s peaceful, and quite relaxing, though Arashiyama is really cool as well. Of the five, which is your favorite?

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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