Kyoto is known as the city with more than 400 shrines and 1600 Buddhist temples. Choosing a few to see on a short visit can be a puzzling dilemma. That’s why I’ve made a list of the best cultural and historic attractions in Kyoto which truly deserve your time.
Fushimi Inari is my favorite attraction in Kyoto and should not be missed, no matter how short your visit. More than four thousand red torii gates leads you to the top to one of the most beautiful shrines in Kyoto. I wrote a blog of this impressive shrine.
Kyoto’s most iconic sight covered in gold leaf. Kinkaku-ji is a beautiful temple which really deserves to be photographed. It is a very popular sight and it can be very crowded.
Heian Shrine is one of the most visually impressive shrines in Kyoto. This shrine has a relatively short history as it was built in 1895. The shrine is used for special events like weddings.
Despite the fact that the outside of the temple was under construction, Kiyomizu Temple and area is one of my favourite places in Kyoto. From the temple’s terrace you can enjoy the panoramic views over Kyoto.
As you can see on the pictures, it is a very touristy spot.
Near the temple you will find a lot of tourist shops. Also try a green tea Macha Ice cream!
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nijo Castle was built in 1626 and has been open to the public since 1939. Inside the palace photography is not allowed, but it is still an impressive tour about Kyoto’s history. Also in the palace are the famous nightingale floors, which were designed to warn the residents of intruders.
Next to the castle is a beautiful garden.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace is the former residence of the Emperor of Japan. Unfortunately you cannot enter the palace.
Next to the palace is a beautiful garden.
A very impressive buddhist temple where you can gaze at the 1,001 life-size statues of the Buddhist bodhisattva Juichimen-senju-sengen Kanzeon that inhabit the grand hall. Inside the palace photography is not allowed, but it is really worth to visit this hall. You could google to see public pictures of the impressive statues.