Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kyoto
Population
2,644,331

Kyoto

Kyoto Prefecture is a heaven of mushrooms, matcha, and more

Break the tourist mould and head outside of the city to uncover the rest of what Kyoto has to offer.

You could spend weeks making endless cultural discoveries in Kyoto City alone but if you can tear yourself away from tradition, the surrounding prefecture also has a wealth of historic and natural gems to uncover.

Kiyomizu Temple of Kyoto, Japan

Of course Kyoto is home to popular temples like Kiyomizu-dera, but the prefecture has so much more to offer!

Head north to cross the bridge to heaven at one of Japan’s top three scenic views, or forage for prized matsutake mushrooms in the mountains of Tamba. Just south of Kyoto City on the way to Nara, Yamashiro is the perfect place to experience a tea ceremony as the area is known for its superior green tea.

In the center of the Kansai region, Kyoto prefecture draws huge numbers of domestic and overseas tourists all year round to its capital city, Kyoto. Kyoto is not a destination that you should, or could, miss but it can get very busy during Spring and Autumn when the city is in its postcard-perfect seasonal transition.

Visit in the summer for a different kind of crowd, gathered for the rowdy revelry of the spectacular Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s most famous festivals. The winter is quietest but comes with the risk of rain (most of Kyoto’s sights are outdoors).

Gion Matsuri Floats are wheeled through the city in Japan’s most famous festival.

North of Kyoto City lies the Tango region which has some beautiful beach resorts along its coastline, including Amanohashidate, a long sandbar covered with pines that stretches across the mouth of Miyazu Bay and is known as the ‘Bridge to Heaven’.

Tamba is the mountainous region between Tango and Kyoto City and a source of highly-valued matsutake mushrooms, selling for around $200 per kilo, though there’s plenty of hiking and outdoor activities if you’re not a fan of fungi. Wash it all down anyway with award-winning Tamba wine.

Matsutake mushrooms from Kyoto's Tamba region

Perhaps the most expensive mushrooms you’ll ever eat.

The city of Uji in Yamashiro is all about matcha (powdered green tea) immersion. You can try matcha-flavored anything including soba and sweets, buy matcha souvenirs, make your own matcha and experience a traditional tea ceremony (with free matcha).

Places to visit

Tofuku-Ji Temple

Tofuku-ji Temple

Inspiring gardens and autumn madness at Kyoto’s oldest Zen temple.

Kayabuki no Sato in Kyoto has farmhouses similar to Gokayama and Shirakawa-go.

Kayabuki no Sato

Gifu isn't the only one with a storybook thatched-roof village. Just wait til you see the water hose festival!


Ginkakuji Temple

Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)

Walk the Philosopher's Path at this Kyoto temple that proves all that glitters truly isn't gold.

Yokai (Monster) Street

Kyoto’s weirdest street!


Early in the morning, after a brief rain shower, a relaxing walk through the bamboo forest. A small road leads through the beautifully landscaped bamboo forest. Just a special place. Very few people are on the move.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

A breath of still and otherworldly air.

Daimonji

Blaze and amaze. Praise the ancestral spirits during Kyoto's annual fire display.


Heian shrine of Kyoto

Heian Shrine

Where to contemplate the meaning of life.

Kyotango

Singing sand and special silk in Kyoto.


Nijo Castle

Kyoto’s undiscovered gem.

Sennyu-ji Temple

A peaceful haven in Kyoto’s busy temple scene.


Kyoto Gion Festival

Wowing throngs of visitors for more than a millennium.

Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Kyoto

Byodoin Temple

The ¥10 temple.


Uji

Home of the best green tea in Japan.

Toji Temple at night and cherry blossoms in Kyoto, Japan

Toji Temple

Japan’s tallest pagoda, plus a flea market.


Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine

Take a cable car to see where God of War meets Thomas Edison.

Shimogamo Shrine

Where the power of god meets a primeval forest.


Fushimi Sake District

The second largest brewery district in Japan.

Hozugawa River

The Hozugawa River that winds its way from the lush green mountains of Kameoka to Arashiyama is a prime summer attraction and should definitely be part of your Kyoto Prefecture travel experience....


kyoto manga museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Reading retreat: The history of manga at your fingertips.

Hosen-in Temple

You are never truly alone here...


Arashiyama

Scenic adventures await beyond the bamboo grove.

Kyoto Railway Museum

Neon genesis of trains.


Imamiya Shrine

Fresh mochi and a magic stone.

Eikan-do (Zenrin-ji)

Autumn's fire burns slowly.


5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Kyoto

The exquisite art of simple food.

Wife&Husband Cafe

Take picnicking to an art form in this sweet and unique way of experiencing Kyoto.


Genko-an Temple

One of Kyoto’s four ‘blood temples’ emphasizing the delicate relationship between life and death.

Kyoto Botanical Gardens

Unwindddddddddd.


Mount Atago

Every year, townspeople and tourists alike make a pilgrimage up Kyoto city’s tallest peak.

Turtle Stepping Stones of Kamo River

A hot spot for anime and film fans, shutterbugs and lovers!


Kiyamachi Dori (Street)

When visiting Kiyamachi, don’t miss these often overlooked landmarks. You’ll thank us later.

Tenjin River

Enjoy your hanami in a lesser-known and relaxing location to rival the most popular ones in Kyoto.


Dog Cafe Living Room

This pack of prancing, playful pugs will melt your heart!

Menbakaichidai Fire Ramen

Flavor, flare and fire: Kyoto's fiercest noodle dish.


Kamigamo Jinja

Ever shot archery from a horse!? You can watch the great show here at this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

Jidai Festival

A journey across 1,000 years worth of Japanese history in Kyoto.


Cormorant Fishing (Ukai) in Arashiyama

View this traditional fish-catching method in Kyoto: let the birds do the legwork.

Nishiki Market

Food is art in this centuries-old Kyoto market


Tainai Meguri

The famous Kiyomizudera temple’s secret venue.

kyoto aquarium

Kyoto Aquarium

Get the lowdown on Kyoto's waterways.


Ryozen Kannon

Kyoto’s female "Giant Buddha."

Yasaka Shrine

Gain beauty and celebrate the famous Gion Festival around here.


Shinnyo-do Temple

An autumn hidden gem filled with year-round serenity.

Tengu Statues of Kurama

A magical area in Kyoto, with this legendary figure that has quite a "long" story behind it.


Enko-ji Temple

Dear solo travelers, bliss out here. Xoxo, Nature.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park

A mix of authentic Japanese history and spunky tourist attraction — with NINJAS!


Iwatayama Monkey Park

In Kyoto? Monkey see, monkey do it!

kodaiji temple kyoto2

Kodai-ji Temple

Built out of love. (Awwww!)


Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

Get your hands dirty — or just view thousands of years of traditional art for free.

Yumeyakata Kyoto

Kimono Yumeyakata

Kimono rental and photo plans for an immersive Kyoto experience.


Daitoku-ji Temple

Zen Life: Temples, rock gardens, and bamboo forests all in one.

Sanjo Bridge

Crack open a beer, and chat up the locals.


Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto Japan in Autumn

Kiyomizudera Temple

Take the plunge at one of Kyoto's most iconic sights.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

With gorgeous plum and maple gardens, this famous shrine also has a bustling monthly market. Plus, get good luck for your studies!


Mount Kurama

Just outside of Kyoto lies this misty mountain paradise.

Kyoto, Japan - November 22, 2013: Kifune Shrine is a Shinto shrine located at SakyO-ku in Kyoto, Japan

Kibune

Fine dining in this tranquil forest getaway.


Sarasa Nishijin Cafe Kyoto

Sarasa Nishijin Sento Cafe

A charming cafe inside an old bathhouse.

Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan at Togetsukyo Bridge during the annual autumn light up.

Togetsukyo Bridge

The next best thing to Moon River - Arashiyama’s Moon Crossing Bridge.


Sanmon Gate at Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Nanzenji Temple

On the south end of the Philosopher’s Path, Nanzen-ji Temple wasn’t always the picture-perfect portrait of serenity and everything Zen.

Kinkaku-ji Temple (Kyoto)

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

See it with your own eyes at Kinkaku-ji Temple.


Mice statues outside Otoyo shrine

Otoyo Shrine

Matchmaking mice save the day.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Follow the path to riches through 10,000 vermillion torii gates.


Philosopher's Path Kyoto

Philosopher’s Path

Named after an actual philosopher, this streamside path inspires a zen state of mind.

Ryoanji Temple

Find your zen at one of the world’s famous meditative rock gardens—serenity-seeking tourists tested, UNESCO approved.


Kannon is the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. You'll spot incarnations of this many-armed goddess throughout Japan.

Sanjusangendo

Don’t be fooled by Sanjusangendo’s austere exterior; concealed within these dark wooden walls are a 1001 statutes of the Goddess of Mercy, all built to human scale.

Gion

The imagery of geisha almost always springs to mind when people think of Japan—set foot in Kyoto’s Gion district and you might just bump right into one.


Kyoto, Japan - December 13, 2014: Two geishas walking through orange gates called torii at the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto, Japan - December 13, 2014: Two geishas walking through orange gates called torii at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, ASCII, 116 compon

Kyoto

The best place to discover Japan's rich and unique heritage.

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Meoto Iwa Rocks in Mie, Japan.

Mie

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