If there is a place in Japan essential for a first trip to Japan (or a second, third, …), along with the great Tokyo, that is Kyoto. One of the most visited cities in Japan and rightly so, since its history, the number of temples and shrines you can visit, and many other memorable places, make it a visit you can not leave out of your trip to Japan.
We hope that with our complete guide to Kyoto you can learn to enjoy and understand what is special about the city, with its traditional air and those corners where you can breathe history and, although it is true that it is usually crowded with tourists, we will give you some tips so you can enjoy it to the fullest despite it.
Kyoto (Kyoto – 京都市) is a city located in the Kansai region, in the central area of the island of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It has a population of just over 1.5 million, making it one of the most populous cities in Japan.
One difficulty that most travelers encounter when organizing their trip is knowing how many days to dedicate to Kyoto, because there are so many things to see that you are likely to leave out several due to lack of time. Our recommendation is not to dedicate less than 3 or 4 days to visit Kyoto, especially if it is the first time you travel to Japan, and that is why we are going to give you some tips so you can create your own guide to Kyoto with those places you should not miss.
It is, therefore, possible to travel to Japan from June 10, 2022. However, this is a moderate opening of borders, as it is only possible to enter the country on an organized tour and by fulfilling certain requirements. In other words, it is not possible to travel freely.
The Japanese government has announced that from September 7, 2022, the requirements for travel to Japan will be relaxed. Specifically, the requirement to have a PCR and to travel with a guide will be eliminated. However, it will still be necessary to have a travel package contracted with an agency.
Although in Japan there is no risk of contracting diseases common in other Asian countries (dengue fever, chikungunya, cholera…), none of us is free from the possibility of, for example, spraining an ankle or getting a lumbar puncture while sightseeing. You might even be unlucky enough to have an appendicitis operation or other accidents that we never know when they will happen. Unfortunately, in Japan this could cost you thousands of euros and ruin your trip. Thanks to IATI Estrella you will be protected against this, you will not have to advance money or pay excess and, in addition, we will be there for you 24 hours a day and we will attend you in your language. Among the most important coverages of this policy are:
Tokyo and Kyoto
In general, if you are going to travel to Japan, you will be thinking about Tokyo, but if you have time and you are going to travel around the country, you will surely save a couple of days to visit Osaka and Kyoto, where you will have the opportunity to see magnificent temples and enjoy its gastronomy. If you have at least two or three days, I will tell you what to visit on a quick trip to Kyoto, my recommendations for you to make the most of your time, as far as possible.
Obviously, if you can extend your stay for more days, you will be able to visit much more or you will not need to go fast. You will also be able to stop at temples, do some interesting shopping and be surprised by the wonderful cuisine of this unforgettable city. Remember that no matter how long you go, these are some of the essential things you should pack for any trip to Japan.
Kyoto is a city that is almost mandatory to include in any trip to Japan. Its history, its tradition, its temples, and its size make every traveler include this city in their itinerary to Japan.
But discovering every corner of the city in a few days can be a headache. Not only because of lack of time, but also because of the impossibility of knowing what we can find in each area of Kyoto.
In our case, in addition to having traveled many times to the city, Laura lived here for a while. So we know Kyoto well and that is why it is easy for us to give you real recommendations and not a list of copied and pasted places, as in many other media.
For this, and taking into account that in many cases you will not have too many days, we will start with a list of our must-sees in Kyoto. Once you know what is most important, we will go into details by areas. This way, if you have already seen the basics, or if you have more days to spend, you will be able to enjoy Kyoto as it deserves.
As with Tokyo, deciding how many days to spend in Kyoto is a key question. And a difficult one to answer, of course. The answer depends a lot on our personal interests and the time available on our trip to Japan. That is why we always recommend that, before finalizing your itinerary, you read this guide and do some research. This way you will see what catches your attention, what you really want to see in order to prioritize. And then you will be able to decide how many days you will dedicate to the city.