Must See Destinations In Kyoto

Madeleine Ray

Kyoto is the historic capital of Japan- a breathtakingly beautiful city that has held onto traditional architecture and culture to an extent that has solidified its spot as one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the world. Kyoto is famous for ancient temples in pristine condition, natural beauty, and matcha flavored sweets. From stone pathways alongside cherry blossom-adorned canals to massive Buddhist temples overlooking the city- these are my top picks for your Kyoto bucket list.

Gion, Kinkaku-ji, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kiyomizu-dera, Tetsugaku No Michi, Higashiyama Jisho-ji, Fushimi Inari Taisha

  • Gion in Kyoto, Japan

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      Gion is a historic neighborhood in Kyoto that traditionally followed the footsteps of Geisha. Gion is an excellent spot to visit to witness the beauty of old Japan in the modern age, with picturesque cobbled stone pathways, matcha shops, and even catch a glimpse of a modern geisha adorned in traditional dress.

  • Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, Japan

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      Kinkaku-Ji is a Buddhist temple famous for its glittering golden color- standing out from other traditional temples from the same era. This stunning destination is steeped in unique history, and surrounded by picturesque natural grounds, causing it to be one of the most visited temples in Kyoto.

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan

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      Just outside of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a massive bamboo forest that is easily one of the most breathtaking destinations not even in Japan but on the planet. Imagine thousands and thousands of emerald green bamboo trunks towering into the Kyoto skyline, fresh air, and incredible photo-ops.

  • Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan

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      Kiyomizu-Dera is a famous Buddhist Temple that also has one of the most incredible views, overlooking the sparkling city of Kyoto from its sprawling grounds. Just up a traditional pathway, lined with local eateries, bars, and souvenir shops- Kiyomizu-Dera is one of the most incredible temples to explore in the city, a highly preserved and significant destination of Japan's history.

  • Tetsugaku No Michi, Japan

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      The Philosopher's path is a hidden stone pathway that travels along the gorgeous outskirts of Kyoto city and a quaint cherry-blossom-lined canal. Adorned with cafes, old architecture, temples, and more- this pathway is an excellent trail to follow for an intimate look at the endless beauty of the city.

  • Higashiyama Jisho-ji in Kyoto, Japan

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      Known as Ginkaku-Ji, this breathtaking temple highlights the importance of aesthetics in ancient Shinto architecture. Stroll picturesque grounds, and take an incredible picture of this carefully preserved pavilion. Throughout the seasons Ginkaku-Ji is an excellent destination- sakura blossoms in spring, red leafy trees in fall, icy reflections in the winter, and crisp greenery in the summer.

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan

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      This incredible shrine is composed of thousands of bright red Tori gates that line forested pathways just on the outskirts of Kyoto. The picturesque gates are a unique architecture that ties into the Shinto religion and Japanese tradition, bringing forth an almost eery beauty that is breathtaking. Strolling through these pathways offers a visual experience like no other, with endless fiery hues and lush green surrounding you.