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Kyoto Neighborhood Guide

Kyoto Neighborhood Guide

Kyoto, the spiritual and cultural heart of Japan, is a city of magnificent temples, Zen gardens, traditional teahouses, and plenty of culinary gems. From historic Gion to temple-filled Fushimi, these eclectic Kyoto neighborhoods are well worth exploring. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss.

Central Kyoto

In the heart of Kyoto, this bustling neighborhood is home to two of the city’s most popular attractions, Nijo Castle and the Imperial Palace. Foodies won’t want to miss the Nishiki Market, nicknamed “Kyoto’s Kitchen” for its array of culinary delights and local products. Indulge in some retail therapy along Sanjo-dori, or get a taste of the city’s burgeoning craft-beer scene.

Arashiyama

This neighborhood on the western edge of Kyoto centers on the picturesque Togetsukyo Bridge—a popular spot for viewing fall foliage. Visitors to Arashiyama can explore Buddhist temples and shrines (including Tenryu-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site), spot Japanese macaques at Iwatayama Monkey Park, feast on traditional Buddhist-temple fare, or stroll through a magnificent bamboo grove.

Gion

If you’re hoping to spot one of Kyoto’s elusive geishas, Gion is the place to do so. Geishas in their characteristic woodengeta (sandals) often hurry along Pontocho Alley in the evening hours. Gion is also one of the best spots in town to partake in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or feast on a multicoursekaiseki ryori dinner.

Higashiyama

Higashiyama sets the scene for temple hopping in Kyoto, with several historic structures within walking distance of each other. The northern portion of the neighborhood is home to some of the city’s top art museums, including the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern Art, and the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts.

Nishijin

Kyoto’s famed weaving district, Nishijin, sits just northwest of the city center.Machiya (traditional wooden townhouses) line the streets, many selling kimono fabrics andobi sashes. Visit the Nishijin Textile Center to learn more about how these traditional garments are made or relax in the warm waters of Funaoka Onsen.

Fushimi

You’ll find one of Kyoto’s top attractions, the Fushimi Inari Shrine with its vermiliontorii gates, in this neighborhood in Southeast Kyoto. Stop at one of the neighborhood food stalls to sample somekitsune noodles with fried tofu, sip sake from one of many local breweries, or head to Tofukuji Temple—one of Kyoto’s most impressive—to soak up the views.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Kyoto Tours

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Kyoto Cultural Forest, Shrine and Temple Tour with Options

Kyoto Cultural Forest, Shrine and Temple Tour with Options

star-4.5
408
This guided tour helps you discover lots of Kyoto’s dispersed temples, shrines, and cultural attractions in one day. Save time researching and planning your trip, by having the itinerary organized for you. Travel in an air-conditioned coach for a hassle-free day. Highlights include Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sagano Bamboo Forest, and Tenryuji Temple.
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  • 9 to 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$152.44
From
$152.44
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

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183
Marvel at the some of the top UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and palaces of ancient Kyoto on this half-day tour. This quick introduction to the sights of Kyoto covers Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and the Japanese Emperor’s former Imperial Palace—a perfect way to see the city if you’re short on time. Your guided morning Kyoto excursion includes entrance fees and transport between sites by coach.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.45
From
$72.45
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Sagano Bamboo Grove & Arashiyama Walking Tour (No Yakatabune Lunch Cruise)

Kyoto Sagano Bamboo Grove & Arashiyama Walking Tour (No Yakatabune Lunch Cruise)

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61
Wander among peaceful bamboo groves and elegant mountain temples of rural Japan as you explore the fascinating areas of Arashiyama and Sagano near Kyoto during this 4-hour walking tour. Meander among the bamboo groves of Sagano before checking out the ancient 14th century Tenryu-Ji Temple and the secluded Jojakko-Ji Temple, hidden among the forest. Finish with a trip across the iconic Togetsukyō Bridge. Your morning walking tour also includes pickup from select hotels in Kyoto, a guide and all entrance fees.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$82.67
From
$82.67
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour with 7 Course Lunch

Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour with 7 Course Lunch

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24
The Nishiki Food Market, known to locals as the “Kitchen of Kyoto,” is a huge 400-year-old market sprawling with food vendors. Navigate what can be an overwhelming space with the help of your guide, whose insight into the local food scene will give you a taste of Japanese culture—and plenty of food. All food tastings are included as per itinerary.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$190.71
From
$190.71
Taking safety measures

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Day Trip from Kyoto with a Local: Private & Personalized

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Day Trip from Kyoto with a Local: Private & Personalized

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4
Visit the enchanting district of Arashiyama, renowned for its thick bamboo groves, resident monkeys, and well-preserved sacred shrines. On this personalized excursion, you’ll join a local guide to explore the stunning region, which lies at the foothills of the Arashiyama Mountains. Tours include admission tickets to four local temples as well as Okochi Sanso Villa, a traditional Japanese home and garden inscribed as national cultural properties.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$207.87
Price varies by group size
From
$207.87
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Nijo Castle and Imperial Palace Visit with Private Guide

Nijo Castle and Imperial Palace Visit with Private Guide

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2
Get a deeper insight into Japanese history than would be possible independently on this private guided tour of Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. As you explore the historic buildings, enjoy the undivided attention of your guide who introduces you to Japan's Edo period when it was under the control of a shogunate, and the establishment of Kyoto, the ancient capital.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$111.35
Price varies by group size
From
$111.35
Price varies by group size

Kyoto Kimono Experience & Gion Walking Tour

Kyoto Kimono Experience & Gion Walking Tour

star-4.5
2
Dress up geisha-style with the help of a stylist, and explore the history-steeped streets of Gion. Wearing a kimono and other accessories, you’ll discover the highlights of this enchanting enclave, from sights such as Yasaka Shrine to the lantern-decked ryokans and wooden teahouses where Kyoto’s real-life geishas take center stage. It’s a fun way to experience the culture of the area and learn about Gion at the same time.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$136.55
From
$136.55
Taking safety measures