Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is in this city that the traditional Japanese ‘high arts’ flourished. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, philosophy or religion, Kyoto is the number one place to visit. Numerous temples and shrines are located throughout the city and walking along canals, next to traditional wooden houses and through the small streets really gives you an idea of the ancient Japanese imperial culture.

Kyoto is not just about the high arts however. The city is also famous for its crafts: textile, kimono and pottery. Although there is very much to see and do in Kyoto, even a short-time visitor can soon get an appreciation of what this ancient capital has to offer.

What to Do in Kyoto

  • Samurai Kembu - Become a samurai and learn sword
  • Japanese Cooking Class
  • Cycling Tour in Southern or Northern Kyoto
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Ikebana Flower Arrangement
  • Calligraphy
  • Tea Farm Visit and Lecture about Tea
  • Noh Theater Lecture
  • Japanese Potter Lecture
  • Sake Tasting
  • Japanese Pottery Lecture and Gallery
  • Other authentic Japanese experiences

Posted with permission from our partners at Japan-Guide

Tours that Visit Kyoto:

Cultural Diversity Tour

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Ancient Japan

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Classical Japan Tour

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Kyushu Hot Spring Tour

Natural hot spring baths, or onsen, are fairly common in Japan but Kyushu island is home of one of the best, Beppu.

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Nakasendo Trail

Walk along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages.

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Shoguns and Samurai

Our journey takes us through Japanese history from modern Tokyo to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years.

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Land of Fire Tour

Visits to grand temples and shrines will be balanced with a visit to Asuka, Japan's first permanent capital.

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Kumano Ancient Trail

Kumano Ancient Trail is a pilgrimage route to Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula

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Winter Nakasendo Trail

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Japan's Culinary Heritage

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In the Shadow of Mountains

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Rural Discovery Tour

Sit down with Japanese people, learn how Japanese live, and experience something beyond traditional sightseeing.

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Golden Route Japan

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Rural Family Adventure: Treasures of Japan's Heartland

A family tour with amazing insights into Japan’s traditions, with unparalleled local connections

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Cycling Japan Highlights

See the best of Japan, cycling in 8 days!

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Additional Resources

Japan-Guide Kyoto
Sightseeing in Kyoto by the JNTO
Kyoto Travel Guide by Kyoto Tourism Council
Kyoto Guide