Kyoto used to be Japan’s capital for many centuries, before Tokyo took its place. It has an eclectic mix of old and new, making it a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists. It provides visitors with a glimpse of the rich culture and history of the country within its borders.
24 hours isn’t enough to discover all that Kyoto has to offer, but if it’s the only time you have, here are suggested places to visit.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari is probably the most famous attraction in Kyoto because you’ll see several photos of its iconic orange torii gates climbing up the mountain. This Shinto shrine was built and dedicated to the god of rice. There are mountain trails that lead to Mount Inari for outdoorsy tourists. There is a main hall where you can see visitors make an offering to the deity. The gates are the perfect place for photo ops. Visit the shrine complex early to avoid the crowds.
Entrance Fee: Free
This Zen temple is a popular attraction because of its cultural and historical significance, and its beauty. It used to be the retirement villa of a shogun until he died in the 1400s; it was then converted into a temple. On a clear day, you’ll see the reflection of Kinkaku-ji and the plants and trees surrounding it. The first and second floors were built in different styles, the first being Shinden and the second Bukke. Autumn is a good time to visit because of the changing colors of the leaves.
Entrance Fee: JPY400
There are many temples in Kyoto some stand out, among these is Ginkaku-ji or also known as Silver Pavilion. You’ll immediately see the latter after taking a short walk into the complex. The pavilion houses the statue of the Buddhist goddess of mercy or also known as Kannon. There are walking trails that lead you through halls, gardens and ponds, all of which add to the serene ambiance of this attraction. This is also a good place to see the autumn colors.
Entrance Fee: JPY500
This temple is home to the country’s most renowned rock garden. Many visitors travel to Kyoto and include this attraction in their itinerary. There are more than 10 rocks laid out on the garden’s moss patches. The garden’s origin and meaning remain uncertain; giving it an aura of mystery. The park and pond area is a nice place to take a walk in and feel the Zen of the complex.
Entrance Fee: JPY500
This UNESCO Heritage-listed attraction has more than a century within its walls. It used to be the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu whenever he was in Kyoto. The architecture and design of the palace complex is one of the best examples of the country’s feudal epoch. Noteworthy destinations inside are the Ninomaru Palace, Karamon Gate, the Honmaru and the landscape garden. Autumn and spring are two of the best times to visit because of the colors of these seasons.
Entrance Fee: JPY600
Which of these would you like to see? Tell us below!