This is a Kyoto 2-day itinerary, especially recommended for first-timers! This itinerary suggests how to spend perfect 2 days in Kyoto with the best highlights such as temples, shrines and other must-see places in this beautiful old city.
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- Day1: EAST SIDE OF KYOTO
- Day2: WEST SIDE OF KYOTO
- Recommended Accommodation in Kyoto
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Day1: EAST SIDE OF KYOTO
10am Fushimi Inari Shrine
The 2-day itinerary in Kyoto starts from the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine where you can see thousands of red torii gates. It’s one of the most popular photography spots in Kyoto! Let’s count how many gates there are!
11.30am Kiyomizu temple
The next stop is Kiyomizudera (or Kiyomizu Temple), one of the most famous temples and sightseeing spots in Kyoto. Near the temple, there are areas called Sannen Zaka and Ninen Zaka that remains traditional atmosphere with well-preserved buildings. We recommend you to stop there and have Udon for lunch!
1pm Yasaka shrine area
Around Yasaka shrine is a very beautiful area and there are several notable landmarks such as Ishibei Koji Street, Tower of Yasaka and Kodaiji Temple. This area is less crowded than Kiyomizu temple, so you could feel the calm and pleasant atmosphere of traditional Kyoto.
3pm Ginkakuji temple and Tetsugaku no michi
How about visiting Ginkakuji temple? It’s very simple and has Zen atmosphere. And gardens are also beautiful! After Ginkakuji temple, you could have relax time to walk through Tetsugaku no michi (Philosopher’s Path). You will find hidden shrines and small cafes or restaurants in the path.
5pm Explore Gion area
Gion area is very famous spot for Maiko and Geiko because there are many Tea houses where Maiko and Geiko have their performances! If you are very lucky, you could see Maiko going in to Tea house. If you definitely want to see, you could see the performance in Gion Corner.
7pm Dinner at Pontocho alley
Kyoto has its own unique food culture and there are some signature dishes like Yuba, Kaiseki, Hamo etc. When in Kyoto, you should try local food to see the difference between Tokyo and Kyoto dishes. In Pontocho area, there are many restaurants in beautiful atmosphere. Enjoy Japanese food and night!
We also recommend you to take a food and drink hopping tour which is guided by local expert! You can explore and hop several restaurants and bars where locals usually hang out. You may not find these places without local guides as they are usually not on guidebooks. Check the link below to find out more details about the tour!
Day2: WEST SIDE OF KYOTO
9am Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji Temple is another one of the most famous spots in Kyoto, also known as the golden pavilion. When you research Kyoto you probably have seen a the picture of this stunning temple! Though the place is often very crowded, it is definitely worth go and see it with your own eyes. In the day of snow or autumn leaves, it could get even busier.
10am Ryoanji Temple
Ryoanji is very famous for its’ Zen garden from 15th century. In the garden, there are 15 rocks, but you can find only 14 rocks from everywhere. It looks like indicating that nothing is perfect.
1pm Togetsukyo bridge
Next let’s move to Arashiyama area. There is a very famous bridge called Togetsukyo Bridge. It’s one of the most picturesque spots in Kyoto. The view of the bridge with Oigawa River is very beautiful!
Tip: Across the bridge there is a monkey park. You could see more than 100 monkeys!
2pm Tenryuji Garden
In Tenryuji Garden, there is another beautiful Zen garden. This is one of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto and Japanese first national important properties. You can even do some meditation while observing the beautiful garden!
3pm Bamboo Grove
The Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama is also a very famous spot in Kyoto. Have you seen the photos with the bamboo? There are thousands of bamboo trees and you can feel the cooler and pleasant air inside the bamboo grove.
This is our suggested Kyoto 2-day itinerary, covering most of the highlights. But of course there is much more to see and do in Kyoto. You can easily spend a full week in this city alone! But most likely you don’t have this time to spend in Kyoto. If you have a local guide on this itinerary, that would make your days more enjoyable and you get most out of your trip to Kyoto! We have knowledgeable local guides to make your trip better. If you are interested in our tour, check the link below.
Is it hard to come to Japan right now?
You can join our tour at home and learn about Kyoto before you come to Japan! Explore 5 spots including Kinkakuji, Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari etc. while the local guide telling you the small story abut the area.
Kyoto Virtual Highlight Tour
Recommended Accommodation in Kyoto
High Class Hotel
We wish you a wonderful time in Kyoto! Happy travelling!
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