Kyoto is on the go-to listing of most individuals who go to Japan. Typically dubbed as “probably the most lovely city in Japan” and residential to a whole lot of historic sites, the former capital of Japan is the favorite of many and visited by tens of millions of individuals yearly. Kyoto is called the perfect place to see traditional temples, genuine structure, and the world-famous geisha and maiko women. It’s THE place to be immersed in Japanese custom and tradition.
Nevertheless, it isn’t lifelike to attempt to do all the things in Kyoto within a couple of days, and most of the people who go to are solely there for a day or two. It’s necessary, then, to plan accordingly to be sure to get probably the most out of your visit. Here’s a record of 30 things to do in Kyoto for a incredible expertise, whether or not you’d wish to see historic sites, attempt scrumptious food, or create your personal authentic Japanese gadgets. Many activities on this listing will take you off-the-beaten path, are less touristy and will present more perception into Kyoto.
For extra issues to do in Kyoto (112 to be actual!), click here!
For more issues to do in different areas, examine this listing out!
Would you like to stay in Kyoto? Take a look at all of the motels within the area right here!
1. See Kyoto within the Early Morning on an Early Chook Tour
Are you a morning individual? Are you fearful you’ll get up early because of jet lag? Do you love to see locations because the sun rises before the hustle and warmth of the day? If any of these gets a YES, do this early fowl morning tour the place you’ll be able to see famous locations like Fushimi Inari Shrine and its countless pink torii gates, Kiyomizu Temple, and the bamboo forest in Arashiyama in the hours before the crowds arrive. Experience the actual appeal of Kyoto with the sunrise, keep away from the crowds, and get three of Kyoto’s must-see spots finished earlier than breakfast!
Booking particulars: See the morning freshness of Kyoto in an early chook tour
2. Have a Personalised Personal Tour
This tour is for many who don’t need to blindly comply with the identical itineraries everyone seems to be and the places everyone goes. This six-hour tour is flexible and designed to suit every little thing you need to do into someday. Upon reserving, your host will ship you many steered itineraries to choose from and can deal with the hows and whens! Take a look at the link under for some itinerary examples.
Reserving details: Kyoto Enjoyable: Personalised Personal Tour
three. Take a Cool Kyoto Walking Tour with the Last Samurai
Joe Okada is an previous samurai in Kyoto who is aware of the whole city inside out, so why not embark on this four-kilometer tour with him? Go to historic spots throughout the town and watch the samurai’s famous mini-show of slicing an apple within the air! Let him introduce you to scrumptious Japanese food and study local tea homes and Buddhist temples. There’s an option to take a gaggle tour on Saturdays or a semi-private tour on different days. Youngsters beneath twelve years previous can attend freed from charge, however a payment for meals applies.
Reserving details: Cool Kyoto Walking Tour with the Final Samurai
For a night tour, you’ll be able to meet Okada in the Samurai bar and have a relaxing out night with him! This can be a probability to spend time with an actual Japanese samurai and observe the talents he has acquired from over fifty years of training.
Reserving details: Watch an Night Samurai show in Kyoto with The Last Samurai
four. Have an Authentic Samurai Expertise
If the tour with the final samurai evokes you to walk in his footwear, this is just the factor for you! This brief two-hour course will train you the basics of being a real samurai. You possibly can wield an genuine Japanese katana sword, apply zen meditation, and even study the samurai code Bushido, all in a real samurai house! These fascinated about samurai culture would love this distinctive activity.
Reserving particulars: Authentic Kyoto Samurai Experience
5. Make Your Own Samurai Knife
Samurai followers can make their very personal samurai knife with an actual swordsmith in Kyoto! In fact it takes years to really grasp the art of sword making, however you possibly can study to make a knife in just a day. Spend the morning on the forge and form it after lunch. You possibly can then take your new creation residence with you! Everyone loves a souvenir with a story!
Reserving particulars: Make your personal samurai knife with a licensed swordsmith!
6. Verify Out Kyoto’s Ninja Coaching Dojo
If samurai shouldn’t be your thing, you’ll be able to take a brief ninja training course in Kyoto. Discover ways to transfer and breathe like a ninja and even discover ways to use ninja weapons. This enjoyable expertise might even train you one thing that you should use in the future! For these all in favour of ninja culture, this class shouldn’t be missed.
Reserving details: Take pleasure in The Ninja Training Dojo and Gadgets Store in Kyoto!
7. Visit the Ninja Restaurant
Combining cultural exercise with dining, this unique restaurant in Kyoto presents an exciting reside ninja present involving swordplay, acrobatics, and exciting particular results. With this ticket, you get a seat reservation, see the present, and even chat with the actors afterward. That is all loved alongside some delicious Japanese dishes.
Choose from either the lunch course or the dinner course and explore the totally different eating options to get one of the best deal on your visit.
Reserving details: Enjoy the ninja experience at the Ninja Restaurant, Kyoto!
eight. Take Pictures with a Geisha Apprentice at Scenic Places
Don’t depart seeing a geisha or a maiko to probability! Whereas many wander the streets of Kyoto and take a rushed blurred shot of a passing geisha or maiko (geisha apprentice), this maiko tour consists of taking some beautiful pictures together with your very own actual maiko. The maiko models for pictures towards beautiful backdrops. With scenic places resembling gardens and temples, free sweets, and a personal automotive pickup, this activity is a photographer’s dream.
Reserving details: Take photographs with an actual Kyoto maiko at scenic places
And another comparable photograph tour under:
Booking particulars: Take pleasure in an unique photograph session with a maiko in Kyoto
9. Have Dinner With a Maiko in Kyoto
Though it occurs that you simply see maiko geisha in public locations in Gion, it’s very uncommon for vacationers to enter actual teahouses. With this exercise, you’ll be able to enter a traditional-style Japanese restaurant and eat dinner with an actual Japanese maiko. There’s an interpreter and you may take pleasure in this distinctive expertise for three entire hours. Regulate seasonal activities for those who’d wish to see temple illuminations or personal gardens, too.
These with a eager interest in Kyoto’s geisha tradition would love the prospect to expertise this.
Reserving particulars: Guide an unique personal dinner with a maiko in Kyoto
10. Attempt a Full Maiko Makeover in Kyoto
If simply seeing and assembly a maiko geisha in Kyoto isn’t enough, then attempt getting a full makeover so that you could be one for a day! Not solely will you be reworked into an apprentice geisha, but additionally, you will be taught find out how to walk like a maiko and a bit of about their tradition. Have footage taken in the studio and take the photographs residence as nice reminiscences.
Reserving particulars: Attempt a Complete Maiko Makeover in Kyoto
Another maiko makeover tour allows you to take pictures in Gion as an alternative:
Booking details: Maiko Makeover in Kyoto Gion
11. Be a part of a Zen Meditation Class in Kyoto
Meditation is used principally to chill out the physique and decrease stress levels. In Buddhism, it’s still practised as we speak to realize enlightenment and acquire a superb state of mind. Understand the Japanese thoughts more and study the fundamentals of Zen meditation from an American-educated abbot before taking a tour of one of the historic temples in Kyoto. An experience that may elevate your go to to Japan above the touristy things.
Reserving details: Be a part of Zen Meditation Class in Kyoto
12. Spend Half a Day with a Buddhist Priest
Just like the previous one, with this tour, you’ll be able to spend the afternoon with a Buddhist priest who will train you about zen meditation in one among Kyoto’s lovely temples. You may as well take pleasure in an authentic Japanese lunch referred to as “shidashi”. The meal is suitable for vegans and can also be gluten-free. Have an uncommon expertise in Japan and immerse your self in historic Buddhist tradition.
Booking particulars: Attempt Zen Meditation and Eat Lunch in Kyoto, with a guide
13. Have a Day Out in Kyoto with a Native
One wonderful thing about visiting a new place is the chance to satisfy new individuals. Whether or not it’s a samurai, a priest, a maiko, or an random native, talking to them deepens one’s understanding of the native tradition. So, whether you’re travelling alone, as a pair, or in a gaggle, why not meet up with an area one that will present you the perfect elements of Kyoto? See Shijo’s historic space, Kiyomizu Temple, and Gion earlier than heading to a standard Japanese pub for a drink. Enjoy the city with a friendly native individual and make a brand new pal throughout your trip!
Reserving particulars: 10% OFF Tour all the favored places in Kyoto with an area!
14. Go to Kyoto’s Superb Zen Gardens
Are you a fan of zen gardens? The Japanese garden is a type of artwork and Kyoto is filled with these charming little areas. Take a tour to see a few of the city’s prettiest gardens! You possibly can sip green tea and even attempt some meditation, absolutely immersing your self in the culture.
Reserving particulars: Visit Kyoto’s Superb Zen Gardens in a Personal Half Day Tour
15. Embark on a One Day Onsen and Japanese Cuisine Tour, Kyoto
A bit tired and fatigued from the busy metropolis life? Take a look at this opportunity to expertise a Japanese scorching spring and chill out for the day. This is precisely how Japanese individuals choose spending their weekend getaways and holidays, so that’s an added bonus – vacationing like an area. Take an open-air tub and luxuriate in some traditional food whereas your worries and stress soften away. After lunch, stroll the native outlets for souvenirs before heading back to Kyoto city.
Reserving details: Embark on a One Day Onsen and Japanese Delicacies Tour, Kyoto
16. Take a Sushi Making Lesson in a Japanese Restaurant
What higher place to select up some sushi-making expertise than the homeland of sushi, Japan? This sushi making expertise takes place in a Japanese restaurant and after making your personal hand-rolled sushi, you possibly can take pleasure in it with free refills of miso soup and tea. Study from knowledgeable sushi chef and have a good time cooking one among Japan’s most beloved dishes. Remember to e-book this at the very least one week prematurely.
Booking details: Take a hand-roll sushi cooking lesson in Kyoto
Or, for a chance to attempt cooking Japanese food with pleasant native peopletry this tour:
Booking particulars: Take pleasure in Japanese Cooking Class with Pleasant Locals in Kyoto
17. Explore Kyoto on a Daytime Strolling Food Tour
One wonderful thing about visiting a new place is making an attempt out the native meals! Kyoto is residence to some superb delicacies and with this tour, you possibly can expertise lots of Kyoto’s foods. Go to the Nishiki Food Market and discover the recent seafood, native snacks, and preserved fruits. Study how food will get from the source to individuals’s houses and taste numerous native flavours. A 7-course lunch is included on this tour.
Booking details: Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour with 7 Course Lunch
18. Discover the Conventional Machiya Houses
One function that provides Kyoto its distinctive look is the plethora of machiya townhouses in the city. Discover these fascinating works of structure and study their historical past and the native culture. You may as well discover sake breweries on the best way. You’ll be able to even lease a kimono to wear along the best way when you like, as this tour has customizable parts.
Reserving particulars: Discover the normal Machiya homes in Kyoto
19. Attempt Japanese-Fashion Drumming
Taiko is an extremely enjoyable Japanese type of drumming that always options in traditional festivals. There’s even an entire arcade recreation devoted to it. Whether or not you’re a drummer yourself or simply focused on making some noise and studying some beats, all are welcome on the taiko drum class. Wear a standard “happi” drumming garment, study just a little about taiko’s history, and have a go your self! This exercise is suitable for youngsters too.
Reserving particulars: Study to Beat the Taiko: Japanese-style Drumming
20. Expertise the Craft of Gold Plating Near the Golden Pavilion
That is the opportunity to check out gold plating in Kyoto close to the Golden Pavilion Temple. Study the steps made to create a design on a square plate by knowledgeable craftsman and create your personal pattern. This class is superb when you pair it with seeing the Golden Pavilion itself as it is extremely close by. The precise tackle will probably be offered whenever you e-book.
Booking details: Take pleasure in Arms-on gold leaf experience near the Golden Pavilion
21. Grind Matcha and Take pleasure in Inexperienced Tea Tasting
This exercise is barely totally different to other green tea tasting activities. as a result of here you possibly can grind your personal matcha tea for less than the freshest style. Study primary information of Japanese inexperienced tea earlier than you whisk, crush, and grind the powder to make your personal green tea. Style your creation and take some house as a present.
Please consider the grinding process takes just a little exhausting work so it will not be suitable for the elderly or for very young children.
Reserving particulars: Grind Matcha and luxuriate in Matcha tasting in Kyoto!
22. Walk Across the Wazuka Tea Farm
If just making the green tea isn’t sufficient for you, there’s also the opportunity to go to Kyoto’s most well-known tea farm, Wazuka! This farm has been producing tea for 800 years and the scenic views are just lovely. Stroll via the world, study green tea production, and luxuriate in a tea-related lunch included within the tour. You possibly can even taste some tea and work out your favorite blend.
Booking particulars: Walk across the Wazuka Tea farm in Kyoto!
23. See Fushimi, Kyoto by Boat and Wear a Yukata
Fushimi is a stunning space in Kyoto, so why not see it in fashion? Put on a standard yukata or kimono and stroll around Fushimi town earlier than driving a boat on the Kamo River and then visiting a museum. Afterwards, take pleasure in some traditional activities akin to koto music, a tea ceremony, and origami. This pleasant day trip will surely be a superb addition to your Kyoto itinerary.
Booking details: Kyoto Fushimi tour with a boat and yukata!
24. Visit Saiho Temple
Saiho Temple, also called Moss Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Website situated in Matsuo, Kyoto. To protect the moss it’s so famous for, the number of permitted visitors is restricted. You’ll get access to the grounds for 90 minutes the place you’ll be able to explore the traditional gardens and see how Japanese Buddhists reside. The perfect time to go to this temple is in June or July when it’s wet season and the moss is particularly lush. Make sure you ebook this tour, which incorporates English interpretation, no less than two weeks prematurely to guarantee entry.
Booking details: Go to Saihō-ji (Moss Temple), a UNESCO World Heritage Website!
25. Kyoto Enjoyable: Biking Tour
Bus and automotive are the primary ways to get round Kyoto, however what about bicycle? Biking round Kyoto is straightforward and fun and with this tour, you possibly can see lots of Kyoto’s sights in an lively and fascinating means. The tour provides some historical past on the town, scenic routes together with your safety in thoughts, and a number of other exciting itineraries to choose from. See Kyoto by bike and get slightly train whereas exploring considered one of Japan’s most charming cities.
Reserving particulars: Kyoto Fun: Cycling Tour
26. Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto
A koto is a Japanese stringed instrument that creates a relaxing Japanese ambient sound in many aged performs and performances. In case you’re interested in the koto, attempt learning a track from a instructor in a century-old house! You possibly can even take the musical score house with you afterwards. Check your musical means and study to play a Japanese track throughout your visit to Kyoto.
Reserving details: Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto
27. See the Pottery House and Sake Brewery in a Personal Automotive
Getting round Kyoto might be tough for first timers as you typically should depend on the bus slightly than the subway. Why not see Kyoto by automotive as an alternative? Take a half-day tour to see the house of pottery and a sake brewery earlier than enjoying a standard tofu lunch. You’ll be picked up and dropped off by personal automotive, taking away the stress of navigating the local public transport.
Reserving particulars: A Halfday Personal Automotive Tour Experiencing Traditions in Kyoto!
28. Visit the Suntory Kyoto Beer Manufacturing unit
Beer lovers, you’ll be able to’t miss the Suntory Beer Manufacturing unit! Suntory is among the largest alcohol manufacturers within the country and while in Kyoto, you’ll be able to visit the brewery and see where the beer is brewed from the raw materials to the ultimate product. Pamphlets are available in English, Korean, and Chinese language. The guide may also present some English explanations.
Booking details: Go to Suntory Kyoto Beer Manufacturing unit Tour
29. Take pleasure in a Fun Night time of Reside Leisure
Kyoto is charming by day however just as superb at night time! Take a look at native basic people songs and tailored pop tunes, sip craft beer and sake, and take in the native nightlife at RAN, a music occasion in Kyoto. Take pleasure in conventional music with a twist after an extended day of sightseeing at this vigorous venue.
Reserving details: RAN Kyoto: Take pleasure in a Enjoyable Night time of Reside Leisure
30. Take a Personal Sightseeing Tour in Rural Kyoto
This is the prospect to have an unique personal tour of Kyoto’s more rural areas. Visit Motoise Kono Shrine, Kasamatsu Park, and Amanohashidate by minibus with English help. That is obtainable for teams of as much as 5 individuals. See lovely shrines, stroll via rows of pine timber, and experience a cable automotive at the pretty park. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and immerse yourself in nature with a guide to help.
Reserving details: Personal Sightseeing Tour in Rural Kyoto with a Mini Bus!
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