Top Things To Do in Kyoto Japan this 2023! Tourist Spots and Attractions and Sample Itinerary

NEW UPDATED Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Traveling to Kyoto Japan for the first time? Let this Kyoto Travel Guide Blog with List of Things To Do in Kyoto and Itinerary help you plan your trip.

Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan. It served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. Now, it is Japan's 7th largest city and a top tourist destination. When traveling to Osaka, a visit to Kyoto should be added on your Japan itinerary. There are many temples, shrines, modern structures, and interesting tourist spots and attractions that can be visited in Kyoto.

First-Timer's Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan 2023

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Here are some of my suggested Top Things To Do, Tourist Spots and Attractions, and Itinerary in Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

1. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Located in Southern Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is considered as an important Shinto Shrine. It is a popular tourist attraction in Kyoto for its thousand of vermilion tori gates that leads to the forest of the sacred Mt. Inari.

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

MUST-DO: Be sure to take a lot of photos at Fushimi Inari Shrine na pang-Instagram! As they say, "you've never been to Kyoto if you don't have a photo at the Tori Gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine." Hahahaha! Ok, here's mine! :)

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

There are also shops and food kiosks within the complex. Try them as well.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari train station. If you're coming from Osaka (just like us), take a train to Kyoto Station. Then take the JR Nara Line, and alight at Inari Station which is the 2nd station from Kyoto Station.

Fushimi Inari Shrine walking tour to make your visit to this most popular tourist site in Japan much more memorable than self-guided tour.


Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

2. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Located in Eastern Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple that is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site which includes Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities. This temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present structures were constructed in 1633. What makes these structures unique is that there is not a single nail used in the entire structure.

As one of the most celebrated temples of Japan, expect a humongous crowd when visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

MUST-DO: Don't miss the stunning view of the trees and the city of Kyoto from the wooden stage of the temple. Then walk around the complex to see the other interesting structures.

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

Located at the base of the main hall, is the Otawa Waterfall. This is where you'll see visitor lining up to drink from the stream of flowing water. It is divided into three separate streams and believed to have different benefits - longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life.

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

Other interesting structures on the temple grounds include the Okunoin Hall and Koyasu Pagoda.

TRAVEL TIP: You explore Kyoto in a traditional kimono. You can choose from the wide variety of colors and patterns available for rent with helpful staff guiding you to create your dream look. RENT A KIMONO HERE!

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

3. Higashiyama District

When visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one should not miss the rows shops and restaurants along Higashiyama District on your way to the temple.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

MUST-DO: Here, you could, eat in the many restaurants, buy some souvenirs, pottery products, sweets, or try some of their local delicacies. Madming "free taste" dito! Hehehe! Enjoy!

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

4. Kyoto Train Station

Opened in 1997, the Kyoto Train Station is massive modern structure that is in perfect contrast to the ancient and traditional image of Kyoto. There are many shops and restaurants scattered all over the building where you could dine and shop for souvenirs.

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Coin lockers can also be found here. So, if you want to leave your luggage while exploring the city of Kyoto, you many leave them at the coin lockers at Kyoto Station. If you feel you're lost. tourist center can also be found here.

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MUST-DO: By taking a series of long escalators going up, you can reach the observation deck located at the top-most floor of the station building. Here, you can have a very nice view of the city.

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5. Kyoto Tower

Located at the opposite side of Kyoto Train Station, this iconic structure is considered as the tallest structure in Kyoto at 131 meters. It stands on top of a 9-story building and has an observation deck at 100 meters above the ground which affords guests with 360 degrees view of Kyoto.

DID YOU KNOW? You can enjoy a unique and amazing view of Kyoto city from 100 meters above the ground at the Kyoto Tower observation deck? You can buy Kyoto Tower Admission Ticket online. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!

If you're looking for a nice place to eat, you could check out Tower Terrace in Kyoto Tower Hotel and enjoy delicious and healthy food paired with an awesome view of the city. RESERVE A SEAT HERE!

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For ease and convenience, I highly recommend booking a Kyoto day tour. On this tour, you'll get enjoy the must-see landmarks in historical Kyoto, as well as learn about this ancient city's heritage.


If you have limited time, you may also consider joining a Kyoto Afternoon Exploration tour package.

Kyoto Itinerary:

  • Depart for Kyoto from Osaka
  • Take the train to Kyoto Station
  • At Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara line, alight at Inari Station
  • Get outside and walk towards Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Explore Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Depart for Kyoto Station by train
  • Lunch
  • Visit Kyoto Tower
  • Depart for Kiyomizu-dera Temple by taxi
  • Explore Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Shop, eat, explore Higashiyama District
  • Depart for Kyoto Station by taxi
  • Explore Kyoto Station
  • Depart for Osaka by train
  • Arrive in Osaka

This is part of our 4 days/3 nights Osaka and Kyoto tour. Click HERE to view the complete itinerary. You may use this as your guide in plotting your Kyoto DIY Itinerary.

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If you have more time, you may visit

Other Tourist Spots and Attractions in Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle
  • Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion
  • SanjΕ«sangen-dō Temple
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Nishi Honganji Temple
  • The Kyoto National Museum and Municipal Museum of Art
  • Gion's Geishas and Temples
  • Katsura Imperial Villa
  • Daitoku-ji Temple
  • The Byōdō-in Temple
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Philosopher's Walk
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

There are still many things to do, and tourist spots & attractions to visit in Kyoto. These are just some of my suggested must-do activities and top tourist spots that you may add in your Kyoto Japan itinerary.

Want to add more? Kindly leave a comment in the comments section below.

ALSO READ: Tokyo Budget Travel Guide for First-timers

Japan Travel Guide for Filipinos Philippines

This Osaka Japan Familiarization Tour is organized by Cebu Pacific Air, JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Universal Studios Japan. Thank you again for inviting me to experience Japan. This time, in Osaka!

Follow our adventures in Osaka via #CEBfliesOsaka and #CEBtravels in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

SEE ALSO: HOW TO APPLY FOR A JAPAN TOURIST VISA IN THE PHILIPPINES (with List of Requirements and Steps in Application)

Looking for Nice Hotels in Kyoto?

Book a room in one of the many hotels in Kyoto Japan! Click here to check rates and room availability. Find and book the best hotel deals in Kyoto and save up to 40% on room rates when booking via Agoda!

Flights from Manila to Osaka Japan

Cebu Pacific Air, the leading airline in the Philippines, flies between Manila and Osaka (Kansai International Airport) five times weekly, with lowest year-round fares starting from PHP 6,399. The flight leaves Manila at 03:05 PM and arrives in Osaka at 07:55 PM. The return flight leaves Osaka at 08:40 PM and arrives in Manila at 11:45 PM.

Cebu Pacific also flies from Manila to Tokyo (Narita), Nagoya and Fukuoka, as well as from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita). Book its trademark lowest fares now through http://bit.ly/CEBOsakaflights or (+632) 702-0888, or follow its Facebook or Twitter pages for the latest seat sales.

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READ MORE: Japan Series



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