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KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2020 with a ₱5,000 DIY Itinerary and Budget for First-timers

NEW UPDATED Kyoto Travel BLOG Guide Japan Itinerary

Planning to visit Kyoto, Japan? Discover the top best things to do in Kyoto, how to get there, where to stay, and many more, in this detailed Kyoto Travel Guide Blog with sample DIY itinerary and budget for first-timers.


Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture. It served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. Now, it is one of Japan's 10 largest cities and one of its top tourist destinations. This ancient city has a lot to keep you occupied when you visit. That is why, when traveling to Osaka, a visit to Kyoto should not be missed and should be added on your Japan itinerary.

Why visit Kyoto?

Kyoto is considered as "the cultural and historical heart of Japan." In fact, Kyoto has one of the world's largest collections of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has many Buddhist temples, colorful Shinto shrines and pagodas, amazing structures, gardens and parks, and interesting tourist spots and attractions.

There's a long list of amazing things to do and to experience in Kyoto that will surely leave lasting memories of your trip to Japan. In this Kyoto Travel Guide Blog, I will help you plan your trip with useful information on top things to do in Kyoto, tourist spots, how to get there, hotels in Kyoto, sample itinerary that you could follow, estimated budget, travel tips and many more! Okay, let's get started!


Detailed Kyoto Travel Guide Blog 2020 for First-Timers



WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2020?


VISA REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER JAPAN


Philippine passport holders visiting Japan for tourist need to secure a tourist visa to enter Japan. To apply for a Japan tourist visa in the Philippines, you may refer to this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Japan Tourist Visa.

Getting a Japan Visa is quite simple and and easy. All you need to do is submit your application form and all the requirements to an accredited travel agency and wait for about a week for the result of your visa application to come out. If you're granted a single entry visa, it is valid for 3 months from the day the visa was granted and you can stay in Japan for a maximum of 15 days upon arrival. If you're granted with a multiple-entry visa, it is valid for 5-10 years and you could stay for a maximum of 30 days in Japan.

HOW TO GET TO KYOTO?


There's no airport in Kyoto. The closest international airport to Kyoto is Kansai International Airport (KIX) which is around 77 kms from away Kyoto. If you're coming from the Philippines, you could take a flight from Manila to Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia have daily flights from Manila to Osaka. Travel time is around 4 hours.

OSAKA TO KYOTO

Upon arrival in Osaka, you could take a bus, train, or a private transfer to get to Kyoto.

BY TRAIN: Take the Limited Express Haruka Train that will directly take you to Kyoto from Kansai International Airport (Osaka). You could use a JR West Kansai Pass which covers major cities in Kansai region and you could take the Kansai-Airport Express Haruka, the Rapid Services, and local JR-West trains with the pass. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you could also use it in riding the Limited Express Haruka Train. Travel time from Kansai Airport to Kyoto is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

RESERVE A JR WEST KANSAI PASS HERE


BY BUS: Another option is by taking the KIX Airport Limousine Bus to Kyoto from Kansai International Airport. Bus tickets only cost ₱ 1,218 per adult and ₱ 609 for children aged 6 to 11 years old. This is ideal if you're traveling with huge luggage with you. You could purchase the bus tickets via Klook.

RESERVE AIRPORT LIMOUSINE BUS TICKETS HERE


BY PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFER:
If you're traveling with a group or family with kids and senior citizens, you may also opt to get a private airport transfer to travel between Kansai International Airport and your Kyoto hotel or Airbnb in a safe and comfortable vehicle with ample space for luggage.

RESERVE PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFER HERE


HOW TO GET AROUND KYOTO?


As one of the world's top-rated tourist city, Kyoto offers major means of transportation. Just like other major cities in Japan, Kyoto has an amazing public transportation system. Most of the top tourist spots in Kyoto are located near a bus or train station. You can get to almost anywhere with ease by just using the subway or bus.

If budget is not a problem, and your top priority is comfort and convenience while traveling around Kyoto, I highly recommend renting a Private Car. With a private car, you can explore Kyoto at your own time and pace. You can plan your own itinerary, follow a recommended route, or customize your own adventure. Here are some options:

KYOTO TRAIN PASSES

USEFUL KYOTO PASSES


Tourists can travel smoothly to Kyoto from other cities, and from Kyoto to other cities around Japan. Depending on your itinerary, you may consider getting one of these passes that will be very useful when traveling to Kyoto and can definitely save you a lot on travel expenses.

JR PASS


If you have a JR Pass, you can maximize your trip by also visiting other cities such as Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, and even as far as Tokyo and Sapporo. During our visit to Kyoto, we used a 7-day Whole Japan JR Pass as we explored different cities and prefectures in Japan. The JR Pass is an ideal pass to use if you want to go on a multi-city travel across Japan. It certainly saved us a lot of time as well on travel expenses by taking the Shinkansen Trains.

RESERVE A JR PASS HERE


JR West Kansai Pass


If you're just planning to visit Kyoto, along with Osaka, Nara and Kobe, I recommend that you get a JR West Kansai Pass. This pass comes in consecutive 1-day, 2-day, 3-day or 4-day validity and can be used on JR West Trains, as well as on Kansai-Airport Express Haruka, and the Rapid Services. This pass can also be used if you plan to visit Himeji, Wakayama, Shiga, Tsuruga and Iga-Ueno. This is the ideal pass if you want to explore Kansai region!

RESERVE A JR WEST KANSAI PASS HERE


Kansai Thru Pass


This pass gives you unlimited train, subway, and bus rides in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and other cities in the Kansai area. It is also valid for travel between Kansai International Airport and Osaka or Kyoto. The Kansai Thru Pass comes in two ticket types — the 2 day and 3 day pass and gives you flexibility as you don't need to use it on consecutive days. Plus, with the pass, you can also get discounts at select shops and attractions!

RESERVE A KANSAI THRU PASS HERE


Kyoto SKYBUS Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass


If you're on a budget, but into adventure, you may avail the Kyoto SKYBUS Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass. You could explore the top tourist spots in Kyoto with this pass. Sightseeing spots included in the route of the bus are: JR Kyoto Station, Nishihongwan-ji Temple, Nijō Castle, Reizeike House, Kamo Ohashi Bridge, Lake Biwa Canal, Heian-Jingu Shrine, Otorii Gate, Shōren-in Monzeki Temple, Chion-in Sanmon, Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto National Museum, Rengeoin Sanjusangendo and Kyoto Tower.

RESERVE A SKYBUS HOP-ON HOP-OFF BUS PASS HERE


Hankyu Tourist Pass


Enjoy unlimited train travel in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe on Hankyu Lines with a Hankyu Tourist Pass. It comes in 1-day and 2-day passes with exclusive discount privileges for foreign travelers.

RESERVE A HANKYU TOURIST PASS HERE


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WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KYOTO?


The best time to visit Kyoto depends on the season you want to experience. Note that spring and autumn seasons are the most popular times of the year to visit Kyoto. If you want to see lovely cherry blossoms and have an amazing hanami experience, visit Kyoto during spring time from late March to May. If you want to see autumn foliage and the changing of the colors of the leaves, plan your trip during autumn season which usually falls in the months of September to November. Winter in Kyoto is from December to February and is considered as the coldest time of the year in Kyoto. For summer, it usually falls on June to August. But the good thing about summer is that crowds in busy tourist spots are lesser and hotel rates are cheaper during this time.

I’ve been to Kyoto twice. The first time is during summer and the second time is during autumn season. I love the autumn season because of the cold weather and the colorful and stunning autumn foliage. Summer is not very much advisable because it’s humid and hot in Japan during this season.

As I always recommend, check the weather forecast before your trip. This will give you the idea how hot or cold on the days of your trip. This will also help you plan what clothes to bring or shoes to wear on your trip to Kyoto.

HOW MANY DAYS TO SPEND IN KYOTO?


If you’re coming from Osaka and you want to include Kyoto in your itinerary, you can visit Kyoto as a side trip. If you don’t have much time, you can explore the top tourist spots in Kyoto in just whole 1 day. But my most recommended Kyoto itinerary is 2 days and 1 night. You may check out my sample 1 day and 2 days Kyoto itinerary below.

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HOW TO STAY CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET?


When traveling abroad, always make sure that you are connected to the internet. Trust me, it will make your trip a lot easier and convenient.

JAPAN DATA SIM CARD


If you're traveling alone, I suggest that you get Japan Data Sim Card that you could use to connect to the internet. You can purchase it online for as low as PHP 492 pesos and just pick it up upon arrival at Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Just make sure that your phone is open line. [ PURCHASE DATA SIM CARD HERE ]

JAPAN 4G POCKET WIFI


If you're traveling with a group, I recommend getting an UNLIMITED Portable 4G WIFI device. You could rent one in Japan for as low as ₱ 364 pesos per day. The best thing about renting a portable 4G WIFI device is that you could share the connection to your group as well as the cost which saves you a lot on travel expenses. [ RENT A 4G POCKET WIFI HERE ]

WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY?


Japan currency is called Japanese Yen (abbreviated as "JPY") which is about 0.0090 US Dollar (USD) or 0.48 Philippine Peso (PHP) during our trip. You can bring in USD or EUROS to Japan and have it changed to Japanese Yen upon arriving at the arrival area of Kansai International Airport in Osaka. You can also find money exchange centers at the city center or go to some big hotels that offer money exchange services to change your money to Japanese Yen. In some tourist areas in Kyoto, you can also see some currency exchange counters and money exchange machines that you could use to change your money to Japanese Yen.

Alternatively, before leaving Manila, you can also change money at the many money changers found at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals. I recommend that you change your money before passing thru immigration for better rates. The ones near the boarding gates have "not-so-good" exchange rates compared to the ones located outside.

If you run our of cash, another option is to withdraw from international ATMs in Kyoto. But take note that the exchange rate when withdrawing at the ATM is slightly higher. During our trip it's 1.00 JPY for 0.50 PHP when I withdrew money from the ATMs. Also, every transaction has a service fee of around 150 to 180 pesos depending on the bank you used.

Always make sure that before leaving your country, you have informed your bank that you will be withdrawing money from abroad. This is to avoid your bank from deactivating your account for "unusual activity."


WHERE TO STAY IN KYOTO?


As I always recommend, stay in a hotel that is near a train station. That way, it would be easier for you to go around and you can fully maximize the use of the trains. The main train station in Kyoto is the Kyoto Station. There are many hotels, budget hotels, hostels and guesthouses near Kyoto Station that you could consider.



In this Kyoto Travel Guide Blog, I listed below some recommended and highly-rated hotels near Kyoto Station. These hotels have excellent to exceptional ratings from previous guests. Save as much as 50% DISCOUNT when you book in advance online!

Top-rated Hotels in Kyoto (near Kyoto Station)



Budget Hotels and Hostels in Kyoto below PHP 2,000 per night



CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER HOTELS IN KYOTO


THINGS TO DO IN KYOTO TOURIST SPOTSTHINGS TO DO IN KYOTO TOURIST SPOTS

TOP THINGS TO DO IN KYOTO (TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS)


There are so many things to do and activities to experience in Kyoto. Here is my comprehensive list of top things to do, tourist spots and attractions that you should not miss and should be added in your Kyoto Itinerary.


I also included some useful information on the must-do activity, address, nearest station, and how to get there to help you plan your trip. Don't miss out on any of the top attractions!

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Rent a Kimono


Roam around Kyoto wearing the traditional Japanese attire called Kimono. Many travelers visit this ancient city dressed up in a traditional kimono. Exploring around the shrines and temples in Kyoto wearing a kimono with friends, family or your special someone is a great way to enjoy and capture the amazing beauty of the city! You can choose from different packages with over 500 kimono designs and a variety of obi belts and accessories. You can also have your hairstyle done as well. You can even level-up your kimono experience with a photo shoot in many locations in Kyoto! Exciting!

RESERVE A KIMONO HERE


Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Fushimi Inari Shrine

"And the thousand Torii Gates of Kyoto, Japan"


Located in Southern Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari Shrine (also known as Fushimi Inari Taisha) is considered as one of the most revered Shinto Shrines in Japan dedicated to Inari. Established in the year 711, it is considered as the head shrine of the god of rice Inari and is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Kyoto. It is one of the three largest and most popular shrines dedicated to Inari - the other two are Yutoku Inari Shrine in Kagashima City in Saga Prefecture and Toyokawa Inari Shrine in Aichi Prefecture.

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

It's a popular tourist destination in Kyoto for its thousand of vermilion torii gates that leads to the forest of the sacred summit of 233m Mt. Inari-san.

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

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

As a popular tourist destination in Kyoto, the best times to visit are early morning and evening to avoid the huge numbers of visitors. There are also shops and food kiosks within the complex. Try them as well.

KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG JAPAN ITINERARYKYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG JAPAN ITINERARY

Fushimi Inari Shrine is open daily. The shrine officially opens at 09:00 am and closes at 05:00 pm but the whole complex is technically open 24 hours. Admission is free.

Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan
Nearest Stations: JR Inari Station

HOW TO GET TO FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE?

Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari train station. If you're coming from Osaka, 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.

If you're looking for a different experience, why not go on a Fushimi Hidden Route Hiking Tour in Kyoto experience? When you join this hiking tour in Kyoto, you can explore the famous Inari Shrine of Fushimi minus the crowd. How cool is that?

SEE ITINERARY AND JOIN THE TOUR HERE!


KYOTO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG JAPAN ITINERARY

Gion District

Home of the Japanese Geishas


The historic Gion district of Kyoto is well-known for Japanese geishas. It is also famous for entertainment and known as the center of traditional arts. When in Gion, visitors could immerse into the Japanese culture and traditions by visiting its many shrines, temples and lovely streets lined with beautifully-preserved architecture.

KYOTO JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG ITINERARY

Yasaka Shrine


When visiting Gion District, you should not miss visiting Yasaka Shrine. Also called Gion Shrine, it is a Shinto Shrine located between the popular Gion District and Higashiyama District. It is well-known for its Gion Matsuri Festival during summer time and is celebrated every July.

Yasaka Shrine is open daily, 24 hours a day. Admission is free.

KYOTO JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG ITINERARY

Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0073, Japan
Nearest Stations: Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line

HOW TO GET TO YASAKA SHRINE IN GION DISTRICT?

From Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara line to Tofukuji Station (150 Yen). Alight at Tofukuji Station and take the Keihan Main Line to Gion-Shijo Station (160 Yen). Upon exiting the train station, you could walk for about 10-15 minutes to Yasaka Shrine.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove


Located in Arashiyama District in the western outskirts of Kyoto, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the most serene and peaceful places we’ve visited during our trip to Kyoto. Also known as Sagano Bamboo Forest, it is a natural forest filled with tall bamboos and several pathways that visitors could explore and truly enjoy.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Arashiyama Bamboo GroveKyoto Tourist Spots Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The nice pathways are also good for walking, cycling, or a rickshaw ride. For ease and convenience in exploring the bamboo forest, you can book a rickshaw tour that will fetch you from the train station and tour your around. With a rickshaw tour, the local rickshaw driver will do the legwork as you relax and recline into the comfortable confines of the rickshaw and just enjoy the beauty of the bamboo forest. BOOK A RICKSHAW TOUR HERE!

Kyoto Tourist Spots Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Other interesting places to visit when in Arashiyama include: Togetsukyo Bridge, Tenryugi Temple, Okochi Sanso Villa, Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street, Daikakuji Temple, Jojakkoji Temple, and many more.

Address: 61 Bunkicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0028, Japan
Nearest Station: Saga-Arashiyama Station

HOW TO GET TO ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST?

You can get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by taking the train from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station via the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR San-in Line). Travel time is around 20 minutes and fare is 240 Yen. If you’re coming from Gion District, you could go to Sanjo Keihan Station on Tozai Line and take the train to Nijo Station (220 Yen), then transfer to JR San-in Line and take the train to Saga-Arashiyama Station (220 Yen). Upon exiting Saga-Arashiyama Station, you could walk for about 30-40 minutes to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

Top things to do in Kyoto Japan

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site


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. It's best if you schedule your visit in the morning to avoid the huge number of visitors.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple in East Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera Temple in East Kyoto

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 visitors 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 can 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!

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Opening hours are extended until 6:30 pm on certain days during the summer, and until 9:00 pm during the night illumination events. Please visit the Kiyomizu-dera website for the detailed and updated opening hours of the temple. Admission is 400 Yen for adults. Admission is free for representatives of educational institutions during their official events and those who accompany visitors with disabilities.

Address: 294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan
Nearest Stations: Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi (bus) or Kiyomizu-Gojo Station (train)

HOW TO GET TO KIYOMIZU-DERA TEMPLE?

You can get to Kiyomizu-dera Temple from Kyoto Station by taking the bus (bus number 100 or 206). Travel time is about 15 minutes and bus fare is 230 yen. Alight at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop. From there, it is a 10-minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, you could also take the Keihan Railway Line to Kiyomizu-Gojo Station. From there it is about 20 minutes walk to Kiyomizu-dera.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

Higashiyama District


Higashiyama District is one of the well-preserved historic districts of Kyoto. When visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple, you should not miss the rows of 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.

Hokanji Temple in Kyoto JapanHokanji Temple in Kyoto Japan

Hokanji Temple


Another famous destination in Kyoto is Hokanji Temple which is located on the eastern quarter of Kyoto - between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Also called Yasaka Pagoda, it is a popular landmark in Kyoto's historical district of Higashiyama. This 46-meter tall 5-story Buddhist pagoda temple is the last surviving remnant of Hokanji Temple which was built in the Asuka period (538 - 710).

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This iconic landmark in Kyoto is a favorite photo spot among visitors. It is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto especially if you're wearing a kimono. Level up your photoshoot in Kyoto by renting a kimono.

Address: 〒605-0862 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 清水八坂上町388 Japan
Nearest Stations: Kiyomizu-Gojō Station or Gion-Shijo Station.

HOW TO GET TO HOKANJI TEMPLE IN HIGASHIYAMA?

From Kyoto Station take bus number 100 or 206 in direction of Kiyomizudera. By train, you could get to Higashiyama District via Kiyomizu-Gojō Station or Gion-Shijo Station.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

Kyoto Station


Opened in 1997, the Kyoto Train Station is a massive modern structure that is in perfect contrast to the ancient and traditional image of Kyoto. Designed by Hiroshi Hara, he is also known for other structures he designed such as the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka and Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido.

Kyoto Tourist Spots Japan

There are many shops and restaurants scattered all over the building where you could dine and shop for souvenirs. When you get hungry, food is not a problem. One of the most popular at the station is Kyoto Ramen Street on the 10th floor of the station building. Here, you can try its many popular ramen shops from all around Japan.

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, a 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.

Japan loves illumination events. You can check out the 171-steps grand stairway on the 4th floor that is beautifully illuminated by about 15,000 LED. The show starts depending on the season. But it usually starts between 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and lasts until 10:00 pm.

Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan
Nearest Station: Kyoto Station

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Kyoto Tower and Observatory

"A landmark of Kyoto and the world's tallest non steel-frame construction"


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

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Kyoto Tower and Observatory is open daily from 09:00 am to 09:20 pm with last entry at 09:00 pm. Admission ticket to get to the observatory deck is 800 Yen per person. Telescopes on the 5F of the Observation Deck of Kyoto Tower are available free of charge.

Japan Travel Guide for Filipinos PhilippinesJapan Travel Guide for Filipinos Philippines

You can enjoy a unique and amazing view of Kyoto city from 100 meters above the ground at the Kyoto Tower observation deck. DISCOUNTED Kyoto Tower Admission Ticket can be purchased online for only ₱ 361 pesos. PURCHASE DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE!

Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan
Nearest Station: Kyoto Station

HOW TO GET TO KYOTO TOWER?

Kyoto Tower is located in front of Kyoto Station's Karasuma Central Gate. Upon exiting Kyoto Station, cross the street to Kyoto Tower Building then you will find the entrance to the building. Take the elevator to get to the observation deck.

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 culture and heritage.


BOOK A PERFECT KYOTO DAY TOUR HERE!


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


Other popular attractions, experiences and things to do in and near Kyoto


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.

If you have more time, you may visit

Other Tourist Spots and Attractions in Kyoto

  • Nijo Castle
  • Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavilion
  • Sanjūsangen-dō Temple
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Nishi Honganji Temple
  • The Kyoto National Museum and Municipal Museum of Art
  • Katsura Imperial Villa
  • Daitoku-ji Temple
  • The Byōdō-in Temple
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Philosopher's Walk

Kyoto Tour Packages and Guided Tours


If you're looking for Kyoto Tour Packages and Guided Tours from Osaka or Kyoto, here are some of my suggestions. These are ideal for those who want to enjoy and just relax on their trip. This is also a good option for solo travelers looking for group tours to join in. It's also a great way to meet fellow travelers from around the world!

Seaside Day Tour from Osaka and Kyoto

"Enjoy the tantalizing taste of seaside air when you enjoy this “by the sea” day tour at Kyoto! From your meetup at the JR Namba Station, you'll head on a stroll at Amanohashidate, a gorgeous, unique stretch of land: it's a sandbar in Miyazu Bay covered in Pine trees, with breathtaking views of the mountains nearby. Your guide will take you up the mountain where you can view this gorgeous place, and you'll stroll down on your own to see this sanbar up close. You'll then hop onto a boat at one of the Ine no Funaya dock houses, famous private houses that are perched right over the water, where fishermen dock their fishing boats." -Klook
√ READ MORE & BOOK THIS TOUR!

Kyoto and Nara Day Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

"Journey through the city via a direct bus connection and witness the breathtaking transition from the urban state to the lush foliage that gives off that authentic countryside vibe every tourist is on the lookout for. Arrive at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, an important Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates leading to the wooded forest of Mount Inari, also covered by the shrine's grounds. Next, you're headed for lunch (at own expense) in the breathtaking Arashiyama, offering a sacred and tranquil atmosphere thanks to the lush bamboo mangroves. Visit Kinkakuji next, another place of worship that served as the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu that then became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect shortly after his death. Afterwards, head to Nara Park and Tōdai-ji Temple, all prized possessions in the heart of the city." -Klook
√ READ MORE & BOOK THIS TOUR!

Kyoto Arashiyama, Golden Pavilion Temple, and Kobe MOSAIC Day Tour

"Travelers looking to see the best of Kyoto’s spectacles will thoroughly enjoy this luxury bus tour of some of its famous sites. From the pickup point in Kyoto, you’ll head first to Arashiyama on the western outskirts, one of the nation’s most historic sites. You can opt to have lunch here before you head on to the next stop, the Golden Pavilion Temple. Get some breathtaking photographs there in Kinkakuji, with two levels covered in gold leaf and quite a sight to behold. From there, head to Nara Park to see the famous complex and its charming deer. Your last stop is at the famous Kobe MOSAIC shopping mall, full of scenic views of the city itself." -Klook
√ READ MORE & BOOK THIS TOUR!

Kyoto Perfect Day Tour from Osaka or Kyoto

"Discover Japan's majestic city of Kyoto in all its ancient heritage, culture, and glory in this full day tour that involves visiting famous spots and destinations such as the Kiyomizu-dera, Sanjusangen-do, Sagano, Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari Taisya Shrine, and many more! Complete this breathtaking day tour with stops to Kinkaku-ji Temple, Nijo-jo Castle, and Nishi Hongan-ji Temple. This trip is packed with stops and you're sure to be coming back for more Kyoto after." -Klook
√ READ MORE & BOOK THIS TOUR!

Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train, Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera &Fushimi Inari-taisha Day Tour

"This Kyoto day tour will take you to some of the most picturesque and romantic destinations all in one day. Officially called the Sagano Scenic Railway, you'll hop onto a train that runs along the Hozugawa River. It's an old fashioned engine that will take you through slow, route through Arashiyama and its forests, so you can admire the gorgeous scenery going by. Your lunch will be at Arashiyama itself, before you head to the famous Kiyomizudera temple. Your last stop of the tour is at the world-famous Fushimi-inari Taisha, where its tunnel of seemingly endless scarlet torii (temple gates)." -Klook
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For more amazing guided tours and exciting day trips in and from Kyoto, Japan PLEASE CLICK HERE.


SAMPLE KYOTO ITINERARY (1 DAY TOUR):


If you're visiting Kyoto on a day tour to from Osaka, here is my sample Kyoto 1-day Itinerary. This assumes that you will be coming from Osaka City, you will be pre-booking the Kyoto Tower Observation Deck ticket and this day tour will just be a part of your Osaka Trip.
  • Travel from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station via Special Rapid Service (560 Yen)
  • At Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara line, alight at Inari Station (150 Yen)
  • Get outside the train station and walk towards Fushimi Inari Shrine (free admission)
  • Explore Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Depart for Kyoto Station by train (150 Yen)
  • Lunch (1,000 Yen)
  • Depart for Kiyomizu-dera Temple by bus (230 Yen)
  • Explore Kiyomizu-dera Temple (400 Yen Admission Fee)
  • Shop, eat, explore Higashiyama District
  • Depart for Kyoto Station by taxi or bus (230 Yen)
  • Visit Kyoto Tower and climb the observation deck (Admission is ₱ 361 - pre-booked)
  • Explore Kyoto Station, Sky Garden and Observation Deck (Free admission)
  • Dinner (1,000 Yen)
  • Depart for Osaka by train from Kyoto Station (560 Yen)
  • Arrive in Osaka
TOTAL - 4,280 Yen or 2,054 Pesos
+ Pre-booked ticket - 361 Pesos


DAY TOUR TOTAL EXPENSES - PHP 2,415 Pesos


kyoto japan itinerary

SAMPLE KYOTO ITINERARY (2 DAYS & 1 NIGHT):


To fully enjoy your Kyoto trip and have ample time to visit most of the top tourist destinations and attractions in Kyoto, I highly recommend a 2-days and 1-night itinerary and stay overnight in one of the hotels in Kyoto.

This assumes following:
  • This is part of your Osaka itinerary.
  • You will be traveling with a buddy to share the cost of the hotel accommodation.
  • You will be staying for one night in a budget hotel near Kyoto Station for 1,600 pesos per night for 2 persons.
  • Budget for breakfast is 200 JPY, for lunch and dinner is 1,000 JPY per meal.
  • Kyoto Tower Observatory Ticket is pre-booked for PHP 361 pesos per person.
  • Conversion rate used is 1 JPY = 0.48 PHP.

DAY 1: Fushimi Inari, Gion, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto Tower

  • Travel from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station via Special Rapid Service (560 Yen)
  • Walk to your hotel and leave bags
  • Breakfast at convenience store (200 Yen)
  • Walk from your hotel to Kyoto Station
  • Take the JR Nara train line and alight at Inari Station (150 Yen)
  • Exit Inari Station, cross the street and walk to Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Explore Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Walk back to Inari Station and take the JR Nara line to Kyoto Station (150 Yen)
  • Alight at Kyoto Station and have lunch (1,000 Yen)
  • Take the JR San-in Line train to Saga-Arashiyama Station (240 Yen)
  • Exit the station and walk towards Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Explore Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Walk back to Saga-Arashiyama Station and take the JR San-In Line train to Nijo Station (200 Yen)
  • Transfer Tozai Line and take the train to Sanjo Keihan Station (220 Yen)
  • Explore Gion District and Yasaka Shrine
  • Visit Hokanji Temple
  • Walk to Gion-Shijo Station and take the Keihan Main Line train to Tofukuji Station (160 Yen)
  • Alight at Tofukuji Station and take the JR Nara Line train to Kyoto Station (150 Yen)
  • Dinner (1,000 Yen)
  • Walk back to your hotel
  • DAY 1 TOTAL EXPENSES - 4,030 JPY / 1,934 PHP

DAY 2: Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station

  • Breakfast at convenience store (200 Yen)
  • Check-out of the hotel and leave bags at the hotel
  • Walk from the hotel to Kyoto Station
  • Take Bus Number 100 or 206 and alight at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop (230 Yen)
  • Walk towards Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Admission Fee is 400 Yen)
  • Explore Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Exit Kiyomizu-dera Temple and explore Higashiyama District
  • Have lunch and pasalubong shopping (1,000 Yen)
  • Take the bus back to Kyoto Station (230 Yen)
  • Go to Kyoto Tower Observatory (Admission is ₱ 361 - pre-booked)
  • Explore Kyoto Tower Obsevatory
  • Exit Kyoto Tower and walk back to Kyoto Station
  • Explore Kyoto Station (Sky Garden and Observation Deck)
  • Walk back to your hotel and get your bags
  • Walk back to Kyoto Station
  • Dinner - (1,000 Yen)
  • Take the Special Rapid Service trains to Shin-Osaka (560 Yen)
  • DAY 2 TOTAL EXPENSES - 3,620 JPY / 1,737 PHP

These are just sample itineraries. Feel free to tweak it depending on the things you want to do in Kyoto and tourist spots you want to visit.

Kyoto Japan Itinerary Travel Guide

KYOTO BUDGET TRIP AND EXPENSES


If you will follow the above 2 Days and 1 Night Kyoto DIY itinerary, here is the breakdown of expenses.

PRE-TRAVEL EXPENSES BOOKED VIA KLOOK AND AGODA


BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

  • Pre-travel expenses - ₱ 1,653
  • Day 1 - ₱ 1,934
  • Day 2 - ₱ 1,737

TOTAL - ₱ 5,324 per person


Not included in this budget computation are the following:
  • Round trip airfare Manila-Osaka-Manila
  • NAIA terminal fee and travel tax
  • Food expense for snacks
  • Budget for pasalubong, souvenirs and shopping expenses

Please note that your budget trip and expenses for your Kyoto adventure will largely depend on your preferences and spending habits. It will also change depending on how many are you in the group, where you want to eat, your preferred accommodation (hotels/hostels/guesthouses), and the things and activities you want to do and to experience in Kyoto. The above ticket prices, hotel/hostel rates, and other expenses are correct at the time of posting. They are subject to change and depend on the season and on the date of your booking.

JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE BLOGS KYOTO

Indeed there are so many things to love about Kyoto. I've been here twice and I still wanna visit it again soon! Perhaps I should stay longer to have more time to explore and immerse in its amazing culture.

I hope this detailed Kyoto Travel Guide Blog help you plan a convenient and hassle-free Kyoto Japan adventure! Domo arigato gozaimasu everyone! Enjoy Kyoto!


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

TRAVELING TO JAPAN? ALSO READ MY OTHER JAPAN TRAVEL BLOGS:



KYOTO VIDEO BLOG


You may also watch my Kyoto Video Blog below on You Tube. Please don't forget to like, share, and subscribe to my YouTube Channel! Salamat po... :)



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1 comment :

  1. I plant to visit Kyoto and Nara when I go back. Thanks so much for the info that you have shared. Very useful!

    ReplyDelete

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