Kyoto

Planning resources and itineraries for Kyoto, Japan. Tips to save money, avoid crowds, best temples & shrines, plus tons of photos by Tom Bricker.

2-Day Kyoto, Japan Cherry Blossom Itinerary

If you have two days during cherry blossom season in Kyoto, Japan, our step-by-step itinerary walks you through the best sakura spots in Arashiyama, Higashiyama, and more. This efficient plan avoids crowds, sees the most stunning temples & shrines, and maximizes your time in the world’s most beautiful city for cherry blossoms. Our 2-day Kyoto, […]

1-Day Kyoto Cherry Blossom Walking Itinerary

This 1-day Kyoto cherry blossom itinerary offers a walking route for seeing as much as possible during Japan’s popular sakura season. An efficient touring plan is important for Kyoto not just because there are a lot of beautiful cherry blossoms (they’re pretty much everywhere!), but because crowds can be overwhelming. Our plan of attack helps […]

Kyoto Monkey Park Iwatayama Photos, Tips & Review

Iwatayama Monkey Park is the home of Japanese Macaque in the Arashiyama Mountains of Kyoto, Japan. This post features my photos from several visits to the park, info & tips for visiting this wild snow monkey gathering place, and a review of whether it’s worth the time and money. Monkey Park Iwatayama is located on Mount […]

Walking Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, Japan

This post offers tips for one of our favorite (and free!) experiences in Kyoto, Japan: Path of Philosophers. This iconic walk is not just an enjoyable journey, but it also connects Golden Pavilion to Nanzenji Temple, making it something that we include in almost all of our 1-Day to 1-Week Itineraries for Kyoto, Japan. Unlike […]

Best Tea in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto’s Japanese tea is world famous, and matcha is a great take-home souvenir. Likewise, teahouses are a great option for a midday break after a long morning of touring Kyoto, Japan. In this post, we cover the best tea shops, plus our favorite tea ceremony, in case you’re interested in a more traditional, cultural experience. […]

Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan has 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which we’ve visited. In this post, we share the full list, ranking these temples & shrines from worst to best, and discussing which you should see and which you should skip. As a bit of background, UNESCO World Heritage Sites are landmarks selected by the […]

Top 10 Day Trips from Kyoto, Japan

When traveling to Japan’s Kansai region, Kyoto is a great home base. It’s easy to get to several other major cities by standard rail or Shinkansen in under an hour or two, and a few lower profile mountain escapes are also easy to access. We’ve done numerous day trips from Kyoto, and in this post, […]

Tips for Surviving Crowds in Kyoto, Japan

No city has been as impacted by Japan’s rising tourism numbers as Kyoto. Crowds during cherry blossom and fall colors seasons can be oppressive, as can national holidays and school breaks. In this post, we’ll offer a sober appraisal of the congestion you might face in Kyoto, plus ways to survive and avoid the worst […]

Kyoto on a Budget: Money-Saving Japan Tips

Visiting Japan is not cheap. Kyoto, in particular is known for ritzy restaurants, luxury hotels, and a level of personalized service via teahouses, ryokan, and geisha performances that are expensive. With that said, it is possible to do Kyoto on a tighter budget, and in this post we’ll cover money-saving tips for that. The easiest way to […]

Best Coffee Shops in Kyoto, Japan

Some of Japan’s best independent coffee shops and cafes can be found in Kyoto, which is one of the world’s hottest places for third wave coffee. While Kyoto is famous for its tea ceremonies and matcha, locals are actually more coffee-obsessed. This list features our favorite coffee shops in Kyoto, including a couple that are must-do […]