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Kyoto

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Best Time: March- May, September-November. Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Itami Check Flights

"A culturally rich refuge."

Kyoto Tourism

While other cities of Japan embrace modernity without hesitation, Kyoto still maintains traces of tradition, and old Japanese culture. With every street, mountain and shrine having something to offer, Kyoto is a must-visit for a rich, wholesome cultural experience.

The old capital of Japan, Kyoto is characterised by its deep, interesting cultural roots. Surrounded on three sides by mountains, Kyoto is an incredibly tranquil place filled with more than a thousand temples, vestiges of traditional Japanese culture, and gardens that change colours with the seasons. Boasting of picturesque Japanese architecture and traditional geishas, Kyoto also has a diverse range of cuisine, enough to delight the most seasoned connoisseur. Large temples dot the landscape, with every street having something new to offer, like a hidden ramen restaurant or a traditional Japanese dwelling. It is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Japan, giving plenty of opportunities for tourists to explore Kyoto. Also made for the adventurous, it is home to many hiking trails and exploration sites, in the mountainous regions surrounding it. In conclusion, Kyoto is the best option for the relaxed tourist, who seeks to explore and discover traditional culture, and adventure.

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Shopping in Kyoto

Traditional souvenirs are all the rage in Kyoto- traditional eating implements, good-luck charms, and incense sticks are available cheaply. Yukatas and kimonos can be rented cheaply, but are a little more expensive to buy. Traditional Noh masks and puppets are also available at many Japanese-style markets.

Currency in Kyoto

The currency primarily used in Kyoto is yen, and credit cards are mostly accepted only in large hotels and multi-national establishments. ATMs that accept foreign cards can be found in any post office. Cash is important, for most of the establishments in Kyoto are traditional and do not accept cards.

Exchanging Money in Kyoto

Currency can be exchanged at Kansai Airport, primarily, for most currencies and large banks and post offices, but only a very limited variety of currency is available. Therefore, it would be advisable to exchange currency before boarding the flight to Kansai Airport.

Daily Budget for Kyoto

For the tourist on a shoestring budget, JPY 7,000 - 8,000 would be sufficient for a day. For the comfortable traveller, about JPY 11,000 - 16,000 would suffice for a day. For the luxurious, anything above JPY 16,000 would be appropriate for a dayês expenses.

Religion of Kyoto

Most of Japan is irreligious, but Kyoto has the highest concentration of Shintoism and Zen Buddhism, with a large number of temples dedicated to these religions in the areas- Shinto festivals are also held every summer, and most people, on important festivals, go to these temples to light incense sticks.

Kyoto Customs

1. Since Kyoto is the more traditional area of Japan, many people also wear the traditional Japanese attire of a kimono or a yukata. Tourists are advised to dress modestly here, and they may rent yukatas at many stores in Kyoto as well, for a traditional experience. 2. Tipping is also not encouraged here, even if most establishments accept cash rather than cards. 3. The dining etiquette here is observed more strictly than in Tokyo or any other place in Japan. Tea ceremonies also have a particular code of conduct, so tourists are advised to do their research before visiting establishments where they interact with geishas.

Language of Kyoto

In the more tourist-friendly areas, English, Chinese and Korean are more common, while in more esoteric areas, Japanese is spoken in the native dialect. Thus, tourists are advised to learn formal Japanese to address the people in Kyoto.

History of Kyoto

Kyoto originated in the 7th century, with a tumultuous history.The Shogunate tore the region apart with many wars, but it recovered, and was the seat of the royal family for three centuries. The fate of Kyoto waxed and waned with the fate of the royal family. During the Onin War in the 15th century, the Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) and most of the city were destroyed, but it quickly got back to its feet over the next couple of centuries. Fortunately, Kyoto was spared from the World War II air raids, that has preserved most of its traditional character and architecture. Despite rapid industrialization, the city has maintained its loyalty to its roots.

Nightlife in Kyoto

Nightlife in Kyoto is limited- not as wide-ranging as Tokyo or Osaka, but it still exists, nevertheless. Cheap student bars are sometimes open till two or three in the morning, with raucous crowds and music (A Bar), and some great places for craft beer and sake are also open in the night. Taku-Taku and Bar Bunkyu are such examples, and for karaoke and clubbing, Metro Club is the best. Other entertainment options on the more traditional side include geisha entertainment and various types of traditional Japanese theatre.

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How To Reach Kyoto

The nearest airports to Kyoto are the Kansai and Osaka International Airports, or Kyoto can be reached by road, train or bus from Tokyo, after having visited Tokyo.

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