4 Fascinating Things to Do in Kyoto


Japan’s cultural capital Kyoto is the most breathtaking city the country has to offer.

Kyoto is the part of ancient Japan that is still alive and thriving with traditional geisha houses, over 2,000 beautiful temples, and zen gardens.

Traveling to Kyoto, Japan? Make the best of your travel experience with these fascinating things to do in Kyoto!

  1. Kinkaku-ji Temple

A striking Zen temple that’s two top floors are covered in gold leaf. This temple used to be the retirement home for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu until his death when he stated in his will that he wanted it to be donated to the Rinzai sect of Zen in 1408.

It has burned down many times throughout civil wars in Kyoto and the most recent time it was burnt down was by a fanatic monk in 1950.

The structure you can visit now was reconstructed in 1955. Although you are not allowed to enter the pavilion, if you look across the pond you can see statues of the Shaka Buddha and Yoshimitsu.

  1. Ryoanji Temple- Zen Rock Garden

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited temples in Kyoto because it is considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in all of Japan.

It was built in 1450 and is part of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. No one can say for sure what the meaning of the garden is or who the designer is adding to the mystical feeling of being there.

The design looks almost like a puzzle where pebbles and stones are the pieces. The garden is best viewed from the temple in the head priest’s room.

Chiseled by the entrance of the temple are the words “I learn only to be content”

  1. Kyoto Tower

Go to Kyoto Tower to see the modern side of Japan’s ancient city. The tower was finished in 1964 and it offers a unique, futuristic building that rises up over the old buildings of Kyoto. It is the perfect place to look over Kyoto’s skyline using one of the many telescopes there.

Kyoto Tower is the tallest structure in the city standing at 131 meters where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Kyoto with interactive tablets with information of the cities most important locations!

  1. Wazuka Tea Farm

Half of the tea in Kyoto is made in Wazuka, a small town south of Kyoto. Come see this beautiful tea plantation that is meticulously maintained.

The Wazuka Tea Plantation is the most popular day trip that tourists like to take from central Kyoto where you learn how to participate in tea ceremonies and how to go tea picking.

The colors of the tea change per season and the well-organized tea plants with the elevation from the hills make for interesting shapes and angles to see the plantations from.

You’ll Never Run out of Things to Do in Kyoto

These are a few of the fascinating things to do in Kyoto, Japan. There are countless other historic and picturesque places to visit.

This guide should get you started and get those ideas rolling in, enjoy your visit!

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