Kyoto, Japan

5 day itinerary for Kyoto, Japan

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Kyoto is a city that is rich in culture and history, so you're in for a treat. Here's an ideal itinerary for 5 days in Kyoto:

Day 1: Arrival and Exploration

  • Start your day by checking into your hotel and freshening up.
  • Head to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Kyoto. The shrine is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that lead up to the top of Mount Inari.
  • After exploring the shrine, head to the Gion district, which is known for its traditional architecture and geisha culture. Take a stroll down Hanami-koji Street, which is lined with teahouses and restaurants.
  • End your day with a visit to Nishiki Market, which is a bustling food market that offers a wide variety of local delicacies.

Day 2: Temples and Gardens

  • Start your day by visiting Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion. This temple is covered in gold leaf and is surrounded by a beautiful garden.
  • Next, head to Ryoan-ji, which is famous for its rock garden. The garden is made up of 15 rocks arranged in a pattern on a bed of white gravel.
  • After Ryoan-ji, visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, which is a serene forest of towering bamboo stalks.
  • End your day at the Ginkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Silver Pavilion. This temple is known for its beautiful gardens and stunning views of Kyoto.

Day 3: Cultural Experiences

  • Start your day by taking a traditional Japanese tea ceremony class. You'll learn about the history and significance of tea in Japanese culture and get to enjoy a cup of matcha tea.
  • Next, visit the Nijo Castle, which was built in the 17th century and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate paintings.
  • After Nijo Castle, head to the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which is a unique museum that showcases Japanese manga and anime.
  • End your day with a visit to the Gion Corner, where you can watch traditional Japanese performances such as tea ceremonies, flower arrangement, and geisha dances.

Day 4: Day Trip to Nara

  • Take a day trip to Nara, which is located about an hour away from Kyoto by train. Nara was Japan's first capital and is home to many historic temples and shrines.
  • Visit Todai-ji Temple, which is famous for its Great Buddha statue. The statue is over 15 meters tall and is made of bronze.
  • Next, head to Kasuga-taisha Shrine, which is known for its thousands of stone lanterns that line the paths leading up to the shrine.
  • After Kasuga-taisha, visit Nara Park, which is home to hundreds of tame deer that roam freely around the park.

Day 5: Traditional Crafts and Farewell

  • Start your day by taking a traditional Japanese pottery class. You'll learn how to make your own ceramic piece using traditional techniques.
  • Next, visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. The temple is known for its stunning views of the city and its wooden stage that juts out over the hillside.
  • After Kiyomizu-dera, head to the Higashiyama District, which is a charming neighborhood filled with traditional shops and restaurants.
  • End your day with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy some of Kyoto's famous cuisine and reflect on your cultural trip.

Places of interest

Fushimi Inari Shrine Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Shrine

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Gion district Kyoto, Japan

Gion district

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Hanami-koji Street Kyoto, Japan

Hanami-koji Street

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Nishiki Market Kyoto, Japan

Nishiki Market

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Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) Kyoto, Japan

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

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Ryoan-ji Kyoto, Japan


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Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion) Kyoto, Japan

Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion)

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Traditional Japanese tea ceremony class Kyoto, Japan

Traditional Japanese tea ceremony class

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Nijo Castle Kyoto, Japan

Nijo Castle

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Kyoto International Manga Museum Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto International Manga Museum

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Gion Corner Kyoto, Japan

Gion Corner

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Todai-ji Temple Kyoto, Japan

Todai-ji Temple

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Kasuga-taisha Shrine Kyoto, Japan

Kasuga-taisha Shrine

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Nara Park Kyoto, Japan

Nara Park

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Traditional Japanese pottery class Kyoto, Japan

Traditional Japanese pottery class

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Kiyomizu-dera Temple Kyoto, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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Higashiyama District Kyoto, Japan

Higashiyama District

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