Kyoto City attracts millions of local and international visitors seeking traditional Japanese culture. Temples and shrines such as Kiyomizu-dera and Kinkaku-ji attract throngs of tourists, as do the bamboo groves of nearby Arashiyama. But beyond the city lie Kyoto Prefecture's many rural gems, including expansive tea plantations and pristine coastline. In the north, Amanohashidate has long been considered one of Japan's three most scenic places. Nestled in the mountains, Miyama is one of the last towns with thatched-roof farmhouses, many of which are still inhabited. Enjoy delicious local vegetables and the famous green tea grown in Uji.
Kyoto is accessible on the bullet train from most major cities in Japan. Frequent JR trains and buses also serve Kyoto, with many commuter trains from Osaka. The nearest airports are Itami and Kansai International. Both are in Osaka Prefecture, between an hour and an hour and 20 minutes away.
Kyoto City is a prime destination for most travelers, and is easily linked to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and beyond by the Tokaido Shinkansen. Frequent commuter trains to and from Osaka may be a more convenient option. To reach other towns in Kyoto Prefecture and the Tango Peninsula, you'll need to take local trains and buses. It takes just over two hours from Kyoto Station to Miyazu on the coast at Tango, where buses take you on to Ine and the beaches. For even more fulfilling explorations of the area, it is helpful to rent a car.
Yudofu, literally "hot-water tofu", is arguably the best way to enjoy high-quality, freshly made tofu. Tofu...
Kyo-gashi are a type of wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweet. Kyo-gashi are beautiful, colorful and symbolic confec...
Before modern transportation was available, farmers grew only the vegetables most suited to the regions they farmed i...
Green tea from Uji is among the oldest and most highly regarded teas in Japan. Youll find it in tiny soba restaurants...
Kyoto Kiyomizu Ware
Handmade ceramics and porcelain known as kyo yaki or Kiyomizu yaki are characterized by painted overglaze enamel. Thi...
Kyoto Dyed Silk
Invented in the late 17th century, kyo yuzen is a dyeing technique distinguished by vivid colors, subtle gradations, ...
From late March to April is the time to enjoy cherry blossoms and the fresh green of maple leaves in shrine and temple gardens.
During the hottest season, Kyotoites enjoy riverside dining, cormorant fishing performances, beach excursions, the month-long Gion Festival, and fire displays to honor the spirits of their ancestors.
Kyoto’s autumn foliage attracts visitors from the world over. Fall marks the harvest moon and its related festivals, such as the Jidai Matsuri. Cool temperatures are perfect for hiking at Mt. Ponpon and Mt. Atago.
Kabuki’s biggest stars come to perform, plum blossoms emerge after the snows, and countryside onsen offer a comforting retreat from the chill. Winter festivals like Arashiyama Hanatoro illuminate the city of Kyoto.