Kyoto remained the capital of Japan for more than 1000 years. Located 50 kilometers away from Osaka in the northeast of Japan, it is also called the cultural capital of the country. The city has numerous magnificent destinations for travelers that include Kyoto Imperial Palace, Buddhist shrines, Shinto shrines, gardens, and much more. Traveling to Kyoto is a lifetime experience for travelers. This article is a complete travel guide for you.
Demography And Climate
- Residents of Kyoto
The city has a sizable population of 1.5 million. The dwellers comprise a good chunk of foreigners- Korean, Chinese, and American residents. The central district is the hub of the population but recently people have started moving to the peripheries too.
Kyoto’s weather is humid and subtropical. Like most of the pacific countries, the summers are hot and humid. While the winters are chilly with occasional snowfall. The rainy season is from mid-June to July. Typhoons may also hit the area in Summer and autumn.
The modern transportation system of the city gives you quick access to all the worth seeing sites. It includes JR trains, Buses, and taxis. Most of the worth-seeing sites of the city are located within a radius of 10 square kilometers which can be easily navigated through the local transport. Rented bicycles are also available at tourists destination to have real time experience of the city.
Places To Visit In Kyoto
- Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
It is a bamboo forest in Kyoto. The beauty of the forest will mesmerize you. Standing amid sprawling green bamboo will make you feel like in Alice’s wonderland.
It’s open 24 hours and is a non-smoking zone. A 15 minutes stroll from Arashiyama Station will take you to this bamboo forest.
- Amanohashidate Sandbar
A Three Kilometers long isthmus in the northern Kyoto prefecture. Also called a bridge in heaven is one of the most visited sites in Japan by foreigners. When viewed from atop the mountain, it resembles a winding pathway connecting heaven and earth.
- Ine (Village of Boat Houses around the bay)
The breathtaking village of Ine is distinctively known for its boathouses on the bay. It is a remote village that can be accessed by car or bus from Amanohashidate station, located 15 kilometers away from the station.
The first floor of the house acts as a garage for the boat while the upper floor is for living. The bay has more than 230 such houses. This site can’t be seen elsewhere in the world.
Located in the North-West of Kyoto Prefecture is the town of Fukuchiyama which is deeply trenched in the culture of Japan. The town is away from the hustle and bustle of cities where you can find serenity and tranquility. The historic architecture is dotted across the town with Fukuchiyama castle, shrines, and Sato Taisei Memorial Museum. The town is also remembered for the distinct sweets that its restaurants offer.
What Is The Best Time To Travel To Kyoto?
Although, travelers visit Kyoto around the year. But the best time is from March to May and September to November. The weather is friendly in these months and there is an influx of travelers. Cheery blossom blooming in spring and exquisite fall foliage in autumn is the biggest tourists attraction. These are the times when hotel bookings are expensive and room availability is rare. The tourists’ arrival reduces in humid July and Chilly January.
How Many Days Should You Spend In Kyoto?
To plan how many days to spend in Kyoto is more of an art. Being a historic city the aura will not let you go. But you have to plan your trip accordingly to make the most of it.
Kyoto has such a rich history that it could take you a week to explore it fully. Yet it is advised to spend at least 2 days to get hold of the worth-seeing spots.
A full day at Arashiyama will be needed to visit Bamboo Grooves, Monkey Park, and Tenryuji Temple. Apart from walking tracks, it is advised to use a rental bicycle to have the best exploration.
- Eastern Kyoto Full Day
One-day itinerary of the eastern hills includes walking through some popular temples and shrines that include the Yasaka shrine, Heian shrine, Nazenji, etc. This route will lead you to the narrow streets of the Higashiyama district further reaching Philosopher’s path.
Is travel to Kyoto cheap?
For a solo traveler, a 7-day trip to Kyoto costs 1875 US dollars, $3368 for a couple, and for a family of 4, it costs $6313. The hotels in the city range from $70 to $800 for a night. For vacation, an entire home will cost $130 to $490. The worldwide average flight cost to Osaka International Airport is between $1000 to $1586 per person for economy flights.
Being the hub of Japan’s cultural and entertainment hub, Kyoto has the best Maiko in the country.
Maiko In Kyoto
The Maiko is usually aged between 15 to 20. The training span for a maiko is 5 years. It is a rigorous training period that every Maiko has to go through. During their training period, they are called Maiko. After the completion of training the Maiko is known as Geisha. It is estimated that Kyoto has more than 100 Maiko and the same number of Geisha.
The Maiko are trained to entertain guests usually foreigners. Theaters are arranged for travelers and foreigners where they are entertained through dancing, playing shamisen, and singing. You can learn more here.
Kyoto is one of the favorite tourist destinations in the country. Being the ancient capital of the country the state has given special attention to the infrastructure of the city. The hotel and transportation facilities are top-notch, and heritage sites are well-preserved. I can safely bet that you will get your money’s worth by traveling to Kyoto in 2023.