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Where to Find the Best Views in Kyoto

Where to Find the Best Views in Kyoto

With more than a thousand temples, ancient shrines, and peaceful Zen gardens and surrounded by mountains on three sides, Kyoto is one of the most scenic cities in Japan. From venerable structures to modern skyscrapers, here’s where to find some of the best views in Kyoto.

 

Kyoto Tower

Rising 430 feet (131 meters), Kyoto Tower is the tallest structure in the city and the world’s tallest nonsteel structure. Head to the observation deck on level five of the spire for 360-degree views of the city from 328 feet (100 meters) up. Alternatively, visit Sky Lounge KUU on level three, and take in the still-impressive view while sipping a beverage.

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

A popular Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto, Fushimi Inari is famous for the thousands of orange torii gates that line paths snaking up the mountainside. While the shrine itself is photogenic, it also offers sweeping views of Kyoto. Find one of the best spots about halfway up the mountain, at the Yotsutsuji intersection.

 

Bamboo Forest and Monkey Park, Arashiyama

A suburb of Kyoto, Arashiyama is famous for its towering bamboo forest, one of the most photographed spots in the area. There are also plenty of serene temples nearby. Iwatayama Monkey Park, at the top of the highlands, offers panoramic views over Kyoto—and an up-close look at Japanese macaques.

 

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

One of the most popular temples in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is best-known for the wooden balcony that extends from the main hall, which offers wonderful views of the cherry and maple trees below the temple, Kyoto Tower, and Kyoto in the distance. Facing west, the temple is also a great spot to catch the sunset.

 

Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji Temple)

Despite its name, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ginkaku-ji Temple isn’t actually made out of silver. An elegant temple set among beautifully landscaped grounds, it offers superb views from its observatory. Follow the trail at the back of the garden for sweeping views over the entire temple complex, the city, and beyond.

 

Kyoto Station

The ultramodern and futuristic architecture of the station offers a nice contrast to the traditional temples and architecture that dominate the rest of the city.  Enjoy superb views of Kyoto and the surrounding mountains from the open-air observation deck on the roof.

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12 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
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
$140.50
From
$140.50
Taking safety measures

5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour

5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour

star-5
Kyoto’s traditional neighborhoods and scenic parklands are ideal for exploring by bike. On this tour, save time by cycling around the city and visit five of Kyoto’s most popular attractions in one day. Enjoy stunning views of the Golden Pavilion and the Kiyomizu Temple; pose for photos by the red torri gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine; and hop off to stroll around the Bamboo Forest and explore the geisha district.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$176.13
From
$176.13

Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

star-4.5
Explore the intricate temples and serene gardens of Kyoto on this 4-hour guided tour visiting some of the imperial city’s most important religious and cultural sites. Check out Sanjusangendo Temple, the longest wooden structure in Japan and home more than 1000 Kannon statues, Fushimiinari Taisha Shrine, the head shrine of the god Inari and the supreme views afforded from Kiyomizu Temple high above Kyoto. This excursion to Kyoto’s top temples also includes all entrance fees.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.69
From
$59.69
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

star-4
Immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Kyoto on a full-day sightseeing tour. See the tranquil Kiyomizu Temple amid its verdant surroundings; absorb the Imperial majesty of Kyoto Imperial Palace; and stroll amid the botanical beauty of Kinkaku-ji Temple. Behold the beguiling beauty of the Fushimiinari Taisha Shrine and enrich your knowledge of Kyoto’s rich historical heritage with commentary from an informative guide. Moderate levels of fitness are advisable for this tour, on which a lot of walking occurs.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.18
From
$128.18
Taking safety measures

Arashiyama Bamboo Bike Tour (Early Bird)

Arashiyama Bamboo Bike Tour (Early Bird)

star-5
Kyoto's bamboo forest is one of the city's most visited sites but you can avoid the crowds by joining the early morning bicycle tour. Enjoy the forest and temples at their most serene and also venture to a few off-the-beaten-path spots nearby.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$117.42
From
$117.42

Fushimi Inari Hidden Hiking Tour

Fushimi Inari Hidden Hiking Tour

star-5
-Hike through a secret path into Fushimi Inari Shrine. Even though there is Fushi-inari station, we start the tour from Tofukuji station because we enter Fushi-inari shrine from back side of main entrance. -Journey into a secret bamboo forest We will discover a natural bamboo forest, and a small Inari shrine hidden from tourists. Fushimi Inari's main entrance is hard to navigate due to a lot of people, but by walking through the mountains, we will see Fushimi Inari from a new perspective, away from the crowd. -Return to civilization after a breathtaking view atop the mountains of Fushimi Inari From here on, we will explore tourist areas on the way to the top of the mountain. Tour routes may vary, but it will end somewhere around the main shrine. Magical Trip is a local tour operator with the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence that offers various types of small-group tours throughout Japan! Check out our Trip Advisor Page for more tours and our reviews!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$58.71
From
$58.71
Taking safety measures

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the cultural and architectural splendor of Kyoto on this private tour, ideal for first-time visitors. Choose from two different routes, both of which cover major Kyoto attractions including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple, and explore the city with a personal guide. On the northwest-bound route, you’ll visit the Golden Pavilion, Nishiki Food Market, and the bamboo groves of Arashiyama Park. Alternatively, the southeast course covers the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and the Gion area. Receive undivided attention from your guide on this private tour. 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$223.93
Price varies by group size
From
$223.93
Price varies by group size

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

star-4.5
Make the most of your time in Kyoto by booking a customized private tour with an expert guide. Create your own sightseeing itinerary, choosing from among dozens of cultural and historic landmarks, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle or Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Choose either a half-day or full-day itinerary and travel via public transport accompanied by your guide. Transportation and lunch is included on this comprehensive and flexible Kyoto tour.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$221.80
Price varies by group size
From
$221.80
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Kyoto Arashiyama Custom Half-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle

Private Kyoto Arashiyama Custom Half-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle

star-5
Experience a more natural, idyllic, side of Japan during this 4-hour private excursion to the Arashiyama area in western Kyoto. Climb aboard your chartered limo, van or bus for an exploration of Arashiyama attractions like the historic Tenryu Temple, picturesque Togetsukyo Bridge and the tranquil Sagano Bamboo Groves. Best of all this trip is easily customized, allowing you to pick the attractions and itinerary that best meet your interests. A driver, round-trip transport from central Kyoto and private vehicle are included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$356.47
per group
From
$356.47
per group
Taking safety measures

Arashiyama Morning Walking Tour, Bamboo Grove and Tenryuji, Jojakkoji,Togetsukyo

Arashiyama Morning Walking Tour, Bamboo Grove and Tenryuji, Jojakkoji,Togetsukyo

star-4
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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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$0.00
From
$0.00
Taking safety measures

Inari After Dusk

Inari After Dusk

star-5
Get the best photographs of one of Japan’s most iconic monuments on an evening tour of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto—the ideal choice for travelers with a passion for photography. With a professional photographer, you’ll explore the shrine after dark, when the crowds have dispersed and the area takes on a spooky atmoshphere, and learn how to take the best photographs for social media and personal portfolios.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$234.84
per group
From
$234.84
per group

Your Private Vacation Photography Session In Kyoto

Your Private Vacation Photography Session In Kyoto

star-5
Capture your visit to Kyoto with a 1.5-hour photo session conducted by a professional photographer. Choose the locations and types of images you want, and receive 50 edited images after your private photo shoot. You’ll also receive suggestions from your photographer about places to see in Kyoto, along with an overview of Kyoto’s history and culture.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$308.61
per group
From
$308.61
per group
Taking safety measures