Travel Guide to Kyoto

Osaka is a wonderful city– bustling and vibrant and full of lights and sounds

When we arrived in Kyoto however, there was a clear change of pace. Peace, quiet, calm– despite the tourists that flock to the charming city. Living in Asia, I am no stranger to crowded streets and loud, hectic tourist locations. But somehow Kyoto has managed to tame even the most dreaded tour groups.

Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world

Perhaps it was the time of year that we went (we missed the cherry blossoms) but the large tour groups and crowds were nowhere near as bad as some of the other popular spots in say, Thailand, can be.

The city is beautiful. The people are friendly. And the food of course is amazing. It’s no surprise Kyoto was named the world’s best city for the second year in a row.

Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world

While in Kyoto, Peter and I started off our mornings with a full breakfast at our gorgeous ryokan before an early start to see the city. At the top of Peter’s must see list was the Fushimi Inari Shrine and at the top of mine was the famous bamboo forest.

Where to Stay: Ryokan Izuyasu 272 Sasaya-cho, Higashino Toin, Shimo-juzuyamachi agaru, Shimokyo-ku, Kyoto

Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world

our beautiful ryokan

A tip if you are heading to Fushimi Inari Shrine– go early. There weren’t too many people when went first thing in the morning but on our way down the mountain we saw crowds coming through the gates. While the hike to the top seems daunting, don’t be put off by the very misleading map on site that will tell you you’ve only made it halfway up the mountain when really you’re nearly to the top. Once you make it to the cafes selling tea and ice cream, keep going– you’re almost there!

Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world

What to See:

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha
  • Ryōan-ji (15th Century Temple with a famous rock garden)
  • Arashiyama (bamboo forest)
  • Kiymoizu Temple (part of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage site with gorgeous views over the city)
  • Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)

There was lots to eat around town– more okonomiyaki and takoyaki and Japanese fried chicken.

Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world Travel Guide to Kyoto - Japan - What to see, eat, and do in the number one city in the world

But our favorite restaurant in town was a ramen restaurant called Gogyo. They are famous for their burnt miso ramen and despite lines outside, we had dinner here two nights in a row. The burnt miso ramen is amazing and so are the dumplings and the Japanese fried chicken. The prices were also very reasonable. Allegedly they have a branch here in Hong Kong in the IFC but I don’t think it’s quite the same!

Where to Eat: Gogyo 452 Jumonjicho Yanaginobamba-dori Takoyakushi Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8121

This travel guide to Kyoto was an easy one to write– there is so much to see and do in the city and I would love to make another trip back!

Want to travel to Kyoto? Use the photo below for saving to Pinterest

Travel Guide to Kyoto

Yum
  • scribbleprints

    Oh, I would love to visit there some day!

    I have a link-up for sharing about places you’ve visit (or live). Would you mind sharing this there? No link back required. 🙂

    • If it’s still possible to share, I’d love to. I frequently post travel posts or posts about life in Hong Kong. What is your link?

  • I have been to osaka, and you’re right- kyoto does look totally different. Would love to visit there!

    Elle
    Southern Elle Style

    • Definitely go on your next trip to Japan — a very short train ride from Osaka