For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was Japan’s Imperial capital. The city’s history can be traced back as far as the 8th century.
The city of Kyoto is famous for tourism. Northern Kyoto on the Tango Peninsula has fishing and water transportation, and midland Kyoto has agriculture and forestry. Nintendo is headquartered in the city of Kyoto.
For over 1000 years it was Japan’s capital. When the capital was changed to Tokyo, Kyoto remained Japan’s cultural capital.
In 794, Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.
It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known Geisha districts in all of Japan.
Some of the festivals held in Kyoto are Aoi Matsuri from 544, Gion Matsuri from 869, Ine Matsuri from the Edo-era, Daimonji Gozan Okuribi from 1662, and Jidai Matsuri from 1895. Every shrine and temple holds some sort of event, and many of them are open for public viewing.
Amanohashidate is one of Japan’s three scenic views. The sandbar, covered with about 7000 pine trees is located in Miyazu Bay.
Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto has witnessed some of the most important events in Japanese history in the 400 years since it was built. In 1940 the palace was first opened to the public. Today it is one of the most important tourist spots in the city of Kyoto.
A Zen Experience in Kyoto
There is a Zen temple called Koshoji, located near Kuramaguchi Station, which is not a typical tourist sightseeing spot. There is even a signboard saying "no sightseeing" to discourage tourists from just going in to have a look around.
Kinkakuji was founded in 1397 as a resting villa for the third shogun of the Muromachi era, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. This shogun asked his son to turn the villa into a Zen temple when he died, and so it happened.
5 Recommended Places in Kyoto
While planning a trip to Kyoto, it can be difficult to make the decision to choose where to go if you have a limited amount of time due to the large number of amazing sights that exist in Japan's ancient capital city. Therefore, here is a list of the 5 best places to visit during your stay in Kyoto.
How to Use the Bus System in Kyoto
In Kyoto, the best way to get around is by bus. This is because in many cases the train stations are located a long walk from the attractions that tourists want to see.
Located in the famous Gion district in Kyoto, the Yasaka Shrine, founded more than 1350 years ago, stands out for its great beauty and its great buildings.
More than 1200 years have passed since the founding of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Seven types of traditional Japanese performing arts can be comfortably enjoyed in about an hour in the heart of the Gion district of Kyoto.
From 8 to 12 century, rich nobles traveled to Arashiyama to enjoy its natural landscape. The bamboo forest is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto.
In Kyoto, there is peculiar place that honors the designs of Japanese beautiful garment, kimono. The place is known as "The Kimono Forest".
Rurikoin : Yukamidori
"Yuka Midori” , it sounds like the typical name for a Japanese woman, like Oka Midori or Tanaka Midori (LOL!) but it’s not! Even Japanese people (except those from Kyoto) might think so.
A Local Neighborhood in Kyoto
If you have already finished the beginners‘ course of travel in Kyoto and traveled around the many touristy spots, it is time to explore the daily lives of the locals!
Machiya, a traditional wooden house
La zona antigua y quedan muchas casas antigua y ahora son hoteles.
The temple was originally built in 998 as a rural villa of Fujiwara no Michinaga, one of the most powerful members of the Fujiwara clan.
Kodaiji Temple is located in Higashiyama. It was founded in 1605 by Kita-no-Mandokoro as a memorial to her husband, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The Heian Jingu Shrine was instituted in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100-year anniversary of the return of the capital to Heian (today Kyoto).
The official name of Sanjusangendo is Rengeo-in temple established in 1164, and the structure is registered as a National Treasure by the Japanese government.
Kyoto Gion Matsuri
The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto is one of the three most famous festivals in Japan with more than 1000 years of history. I’m crazy about this festival which is cool, high-spirited and elegant at the same time.
Gion is the place in Kyoto where the famous Geishas, the cultural symbol of the nation of the rising sun, come alive.
The temple site is where Honen began to preach his teachings and the place where he died. The original temple was built in 1234 by Genchi, a disciple of Honen.
The Big Dipper in Tofukuji temple
One of my favorite Zen temple is “Tofukuji temple” located in the East of Kyoto city.
What makes this temple very special are magnificent landscapes of maple trees and cherry blossoms in Autumn and Spring respectively
Tenjin-san Flea Market
In Kyoto, there are lots of flea markets take place here and there through a month. The flea market held on the 25th of each month at Kitano Tenmangu shrine is called Tenjin-san.
The shrine of Kitano Tenmangu was built in the 10th century by the emperor of the time in honor of Sugawara no Michizane, who was a scholar and politician.
Ryoan-ji (The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto which was built by Hosokawa Katsumoto, a minister of Ashikaga Shogunate in 1450.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Known worldwide for its more than 10,000 Torii gates in a row, the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is one of the main attractions of Kyoto.
Toji means Eastern Temple which was founded in 796 in Kyoto. This is a Buddhist temple of Shingon Sect started by Kukai or Kobodaishi.
Ginkaku-ji or Silver Pavilion was constructed by the Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa in the 15th century. It was named in contrast to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion).
For more than 1200 years from the move of the capital in 794 until the late 19th century, Kyoto was the capital of Japan. There are many ways to enjoy Kyoto.