Culture / Tour Spots in Kyoto Area

  • Yasaka Hall Gion Corner
    rating-image
    3.0
    522 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachiminamigawa 570-2 Inside the Yakinikan
    Here you can enjoy seven of Japan's traditional arts in the space of about an hour including Kyomai traditional Kyoto dance, Kyogen comedy theater, Gagaku traditional court music, Bunraku puppet theater, koto music, tea ceremony, and ikebana flower arranging. It is located inside the Yasaka Hall in Gion, Kyoto City, nearby the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo theater. In the lobby you'll find pictures of annual festivals held in ''Kyoto Gokagai (five districts)'' (Gion Kobu, Miyagawa-cho, Ponto-cho, Kamishichiken, Gion Higashi) as well as a Maiko gallery showing the ornamental flower pins worn by the Maiko, their hairstyles, and other small items. This is a famous place for seeing the character of Japan and is popular amongst students on school trips and foreign visitors. It is a five-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

    This was an enjoyable taste of seven Japanese art forms seamlessly interwoven together in under an hour that at times it seems like one event with several sub-plots. The event highlights the tea...

  • Kyoto Botanical Garden
    rating-image
    4.5
    378 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Shimogamohangichou
    Opened in 1924, this is Japan’s oldest public botanical garden. Some 120 thousand plants grow on the garden’s spacious grounds, spanning some 12 thousand varieties. The south side of the garden features the front entrance flower beds blooming with seasonal flowers, a rose garden, and one of the largest greenhouses in Japan, were visitors can enjoy rare tropical plants such as welwitschia and baobab. The north side of the garden includes the virgin Nakaragi Forest and a garden presenting a natural plant ecology as well as cherry trees, Japanese apricot trees, and Japanese irises. The cherry tree blossoms from mid-March to late April are truly splendid and their illumination at night is a must-see. Children of junior high school age and younger as well as senior citizens 70 years of age and older may enter free. Kitayama Station is the closest station to the garden.

    I have wanted to come here every time Ive visited Kyoto (7 times) but had never made it before. I was looking for somewhere less crowded and to spend some time in nature. That is exactly what I got...

  • Kyoto City Zoo
    rating-image
    3.5
    235 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Okazakihoushoujichou In Okazaki Park
    A zoo established by the city of Kyoto located in the Okazaki area of Sakyo Ward. This historic zoo was the second to be opened in the country, having begun operating in 1903. The zoo is dedicated to animal breeding and has achieved the first successful breeding in Japan of species such as lions, tigers, western lowland gorillas, and lar gibbons. The zoo houses numerous exhibits only found here, including an Asian elephant herd in the Forest of Elephants and a Gorilla House where visitors can see gorillas learning with the use of touch panels, a first in Japan. In the Otogi no Kuni (Fairy Land) exhibit Animals, used to the presence of humans such as domesticated farm animals can be viewed up close and touched, providing visitors to have fun while learning about the preciousness of life.

    Decided to make a trip down to this zoo though we were staying in Osaka. It was free for my 2 school going kids. Its a clean and renovated zoo. Location was good with so many scenic views to take...

  • Nishijin Textile Center
    rating-image
    3.5
    175 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto prefecture Kyoto city Kamigyo-ku Horikawa dori Imadegawa south entrance west side
    This meeting hall in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture introduces the charm of Japanese clothing, especially Nishijin silk fabrics, and displays related items. The third floor has a show stage on which they hold the extravagant Kimono Show each hour. With the workshops allowing one to watch artisans up close and the reservation handmaking experience activities, there are facilities for one to watch, sow and experience while learning and having fun. There are also Japanese trinkets on sale including clothing sundries and mufflers made of pure Japan-produced silk.

    My wife was a little disappointed. She was hoping for fabric she couldnt get at home in Australia. Nothing extraordinary.

  • Fukuchiyama Castle
    rating-image
    4.0
    135 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Fukuchiyamashi Naiki 5
    This castle of the old Fukuchiyama feudal domain in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture is a fortress which belonged to a powerful clan was once known as Yokoyama Castle. It was reconstructed by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1579, who renamed it to Fukuchiyama Castle. Once completed there was a castle tower and various other buildings, but after the castle abandonment orders of the Meiji period many were demolished. Just the stone wall, copper gatehouse and the Toyoiwa-no-i Well remain their original Edo period appearance. The current castle tower was rebuilt in 1986, and the inside was opened as a museum.

    The castle is nicely restored and sports the traditional architecture of the castle of its time. There are not a lot of commanding hillocks in town, but this has one of the higher ones. Worth a...

  • Shinsen-en
    rating-image
    4.0
    115 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku Oike Shinsen'en-cho, Higashi Nyuru temple town 166
    A garden located in the southern part of the grounds of Nijo Castle in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City that was originally an imperial garden that adjoined Heian Palace. The spacious grounds include a large pond said to be the home of a dragon god, an island in the pond, a stream, and a forest. Emperors, court nobles, and aristocrats once held parties here. A ceremony held here in 863 to appease the spirits of the deceased due to a disease epidemic is the origin of the Gion Festival. Legend has it that the samurai Minamoto no Yoshitsune met his wife, Shizuka Gozen, here as well. Each year from May 1 to 4, the Dainenbutsu Kyogen comic pantomime is held at the Kyogendo Hall, an event which includes the Shinsenen Festival.

    Shinsenen was a Shingo Japanese Buddhist Temple initially founded in 824. The size of this temple area had greatly been reduced due to the construction of Nijo Castle nearby. Currently visitors...

  • Uji City The Tale of Genji Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    143 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Ujishi Uji Higashiuchi 45-26
    This museum located in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture collects and displays materials pertaining to the Genji Monogatari (Tale of Genji), the full-length novel by Murasaki Shikibu. Inside, it is divided into video exhibition rooms including the Heian-no-Ma which introduces the world of the Genji Monogatari and the life of Japanese nobles with models and video, and the Uji-no-Ma, which takes the theme of Uji Jujo (The 10 Quires of Uji) in the third part of the Genji Monogatari, which was set in Uji. There are also a teahouse offering Japanese sweets and a shop selling merchandise related to the Genji Monogatari.

    This attractive modern museum reveals the ancient and elegant world of the Heian period of Japan through interactive displays, full screen sets and models. The focus? Just one:The Tale of Genji...

  • Kyoto Railway Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Kankijichou
    A museum dedicated to railways located on the western side of Kyoto Station. The museum features some 31 thousand square meters of exhibition space, which was the largest in Japan when the facility first opened. The facility displays 53 trains which helped lead the modernization of Japan. The museum is full of other interesting sights and activities, as well, including a giant railroad diorama, a train which visitors can ride pulled by a real steam engine, and a train simulator which shows what it's like to drive a train. The museum also provides a variety of cultural activities such as guided tours and workshops conducted by JR West Japan employees. Walk 20 minutes west from the central entrance of JR Kyoto Station.
  • Kyoto Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Kankijichou 35-1 (in Umekoji Park)
    An aquarium a 15 minute walk west from the Chuo exit at Kyoto Station which first opened in 2012. In addition to exhibits presenting the creatures living in the sea near Kyoto, the aquarium also has exhibits recreating the environments of the Kamogawa River and Yura River and the terraced rice fields and water channels at the foot of Kyoto’s mountains. The facility also strives to aid in environmental conservation through such activities as breeding endangered species living in Kyoto and making use of solar power.
  • Shokoku-ji Temple Jotenkaku Museum
    rating-image
    4.5
    67 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Kamigyo-ku Imadegawa-ku Karasuma Dongyu
    This art museum is on the grounds of Shokoku-ji Temple in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City. It opened in 1984 as part of the celebrations of Shokoku-ji Temple's 600-year anniversary. It collects and displays writings, paintings, and works of art from a variety of temples including Shokoku-ji Temple, Rokuon-ji Temple (the Golden Pavilion), Jisho-ji Temple (the Silver Pavilion), and other sub-temples. Here you can see five National Treasures of Japan, 145 Important Cultural Properties of Japan, and a great number of Cultural Properties of Japan. Their permanent displays include famous painted sliding doors from Rokuon-ji Temple by Ito Jakuchu, ''Budo Shokinzu'' (Grapes and Small Bird) and ''Tsukiyo Bashozu'' (Japanese banana on a moonlight night).

    It is a nice and beautiful museum. The museum is spacious and the exhibition was nice and rich during the visit. It was unfortunate that we did not have enough time to stay longer to see more art...

  • Ryukoku University Ryukoku Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto Shirokyo-ku Horikawa Dori Front (Nishihonganji Temple in front)
    Ryukoku Museum is dedicated to Buddhism and based on the research of Ryukoku University. Visitors learn about Buddhist thought, history, and culture through easy to understand displays of authentic items. In addition, their special theme-based exhibitions and planned exhibitions held a few times a year are always interesting. The museum's first floor cafe and shop can be used without visiting the museum itself.

    We decided to stop at this Museum as it started to rain very hard after our visit of the Nishi Hongwangi Temple ( on the other side of the street ) .Lots of children around taking classes and...

  • Kyoto National Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Chayachou 527
    A museum located in the Chaya-cho neighborhood of Higashiyama Ward which first opened in 1897 as the Imperial Museum of Kyoto. The museum changed to its current name in 1952. Visitors can enjoy viewing the museum’s collection of masterpieces and historic objects, including National Treasures, such as paintings, carvings, writings, and swords. The museum also holds special exhibitions.
  • Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art
    rating-image
    4.0
    34 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Otsumi-gun Oyamazaki Town 5-3
    Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art is located in the town of Oyamazaki, Otokuni County, Kyoto Prefecture. Industrialist Shotaro Kaga designed and built the original building, Oyamazaki Villa, which was later remodeled and converted to a museum. It holds exhibits and displays collections of artists associated with the folk art movement. Located on the slopes of Mount Tennozan, it offers a beautiful panoramic view of the confluence of three rivers: the Kizu River, the Uji River, and the Katsura River.

    The cafe is located on the second floor of the very fine museum. The menu is very small, limited to cakes, coffee, and juices, but everything was tasty. The view from the outside terrace is a...

  • Japan Kanji Museum and Library
    rating-image
    4.0
    46 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachiminamigawa 551
    This hands-on experiential museum is full of surprise and discovery with exhibits that, beyond just looking at kanji (Chinese characters), let you touch, learn about, and have fun with them. It's divided into a graphic exhibit and theater on the first-floor and a theme park-like exhibit area and library on the second-floor. Wherever you go it's designed to have fun while learning, and both kids and adults love it. They also hold various courses and lectures.

    We could learn the history and the origin of Kanji. My 5&8 years old daughters were so excited to stamp their name and the country’s name in Kanji. The 2nd floor is lots of fun, too. There are some...

  • Maizuru WorldBrick Museum
    rating-image
    3.5
    48 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Maidurushi Hama 2011
    The Maizuru World Brick Museum was constructed as a torpedo warehouse for the Maizuru naval base in 1903. It's said to be one of the oldest brick and steel frame buildings still standing in Japan. The museum conveys the charm of Japanese brick architecture and its history through exhibits like Bricks of the World, The Hoffman Kiln, The Story of Japanese Bricks, and Bricks and Maizuru City.

    Not sure about previous reviews, as what do you expect from what is called a Brick Museum! Yes it is literally a museum of bricks - do not go there unless this is what you want! We are from...

  • Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum
    rating-image
    4.5
    51 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Nishishinyashikiageyachou 32
    One often hears of geisha quarter “Shimabara” in Kyoto period dramas. Now it is Nishishinyashiki Ageya-cho, and what remains of that time is the Sumiya Motenashi Museum of Art and Culture. Sumiya was a high-class pleasure house built at the beginning of the establishment of Shimabara in 1641. The wide garden facing the tatami room has a tea house, and the place was used not only for parties but tea ceremonies and gathering of haiku poets too. In 1952 it was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan as a place retaining the culture of feasts and hospitality.

    This place is a real find and usually off the beaten tourist track for non Japanese. To get the best its advisable to have the benefit of an interpreter. We hired a Japanese tour guide for the day as...

  • Costume Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto-shi, Shimogyo-ku Horikawa Don Shin-Hanaya Town Downtown Izuchi Left Beef Building 5F
    Opened in 1974, the Costume Museum features exhibits of Japanese clothing and customs around it dating from ancient to modern times. In 2012 they added a 1:4 scale exhibition on the early and middle Heian period. It lets visitors experience the world of the Heian period with the five senses and the transformations that took place over its 400 years.

    Small museum that displays the costumes on figurines as calling them dolls do not do the display justice. The displays replicate Imperial scenes and if you visit the imperial palace can see the full...

  • Kyoto International Manga Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Karasuma-ku Ikegami Le, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
    This manga museum in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto, is Japan's largest manga museum. It first opened in 2006. Including valuable works from the Meiji period and the post-WWII period as well as popular modern titles and foreign works, they have almost 300,000 pieces in their collection. One of their showcases is a ''Manga Wall'' with 50,000 volumes of manga arrayed on bookcases that visitors can freely read. The spacious building is the former Tatsuike Elementary School and people can be found everywhere inside or outside on the lawn reading manga. This is a popular location for foreign tourists and couples.
  • Fukuchiyama City Zoo
    rating-image
    4.0
    23 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Fukuchiyamashi Izaki 377-1
    Fukuchiyama City Zoo is the only zoo in Northern Kinki and Sanin. There is a large pond nearby, and it's known for letting you get close to the animals. Their Japanese macaques are a favorite, and you can see them in their natural social groups at the facility's Monkey Island.

    Nothing spectacular but ok for such a small town. There are couple of new facilities for the animals but generally very old. Very nice people working there so you feel welcomed. Kids liked it thats...

  • The Kyoto University Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Yoshidahonmachi Kyoto University General Museum
    This museum, located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, archives and displays erstwhile cultural items of each of the research laboratories and departments of the Kyoto University. Divided into three exhibitions areas, the permanent exhibits house fossils and plants in the natural history area, literature and maps in the cultural history area, and models of mechanical devices in the technological history area. Periodical exhibits and children's exhibits as well as other events are regularly held.

    A charming small museum, free entry. Displays include Natural Science, Technology and Archeology. Only brief English descriptions so some information is lost if you dont read Japanese. Free...

Kyoto Areas

around-area-map

Its wooden tea houses, shuffling geisha, and spiritual sights have seen Kyoto hailed as the heart of traditional Japan, a world apart from ultramodern Tokyo. Despite being the Japanese capital for over a century, Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II, leaving behind a fascinating history which can be felt at every turn, from the fully gold-plated Kinkakuji Temple down to traditional customs such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies, which are still practiced to this day.

Kyoto Photo Album

Browse Interests