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Best of Kyoto

Renowned for its temples, shrines and vibrant geisha culture, Kyoto grows more cautiously than future-focused Tokyo.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  While the megalopolis of Tokyo catapults itself into the future, Kyoto—renowned for its temples, shrines, and vibrant geisha... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Bassano del Grappa

At this envelope-pushing restaurant the sashimi comes with a side of pesto.

Address:
Bukkoji-Karasuma, Higashi-iru
Shimogyo-ku
Japan

Phone:
81-75-344-1277

2. Daitoku-ji

The riverside 685-year-old Zen monastery has 24 temples on the property.

Address:
Murasakino, Kita-ku
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-491-0019

3. Eitarouya

The store’s tailors stitch men’s overcoats from wool, cotton, silk, and hemp.

Address:
Sanjo-Karasuma Nishi-iru
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-211-2255

4. Honke Owariya

The noodle shop has been dishing up handmade soba, udon, and tempura since 1465.

Address:
322 Kurumayacho-Nijyo
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-231-3446

5. Hoshinoya Kyoto

The Arashiyama neighborhood of Kyoto, full of bamboo groves and Zen temples, is the site of the city’s newest—and most exquisite—ryokan, or traditional inn. Hoshinoya Kyoto has 25 guest rooms along the banks of the Hozu River, each with Japanese futons, yellow cedar bathtubs, and delicate rice-paper screens. In the morning, you can have a Japanese... More

6. Hotel Monterey

This value hotel has spotless guest rooms near shop-filled Sanjo-dori.

Address:
604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjyo-Karasuma Minami
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
(866) 202-5200

7. Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Super Potato is one of the designers behind the 189-room hotel with traditional flourishes—kimono fabric headboards; washi paper lampshades—in the Higashiyama Shichijo district.

Address:
644-2 Sanjusangendo-mawari, Higashiyama-ku
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
(800) 233-1234

This tea shop resembles an old-fashioned apothecary, with white-jacketed attendants measuring green tea onto scales.

Address:
Teramachi-Nijo
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-211-3421

9. Iyemon Salon Kyoto

Located on the lower floors of a kimono company, the complex includes a contemporary crafts shop, chic café, and steel-and-glass gallery exhibiting 450-year-old embroidered kimonos.

Address:
80 Ogura-cho, Karasuma-Sanjo Nishi-iru
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-222-1500

10. Karacho

11th-generation craftsman Kenkichi Senda creates woodblock-printed washi paper for temple doors, as well as chic handmade pendant lanterns.

Address:
Cocon Karasuma, Karasuma-Shijo-Sagaru
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-353-5885

This intimate 1801 ryokan near the Nishiki food market serves owner Haruji Ukai’s seafood kaiseki meals.

Address:
407 Gokomachi
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-221-1039

12. Kyoto Design House

The gallery-like shop sells lacquered bamboo boxes and handwoven silk capes by local designers.

Address:
105 Fukunaga-cho, Tominokoji-Sanjo Agaru, Niwaka Building
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-221-0200

13. Okochi-Sanso

The five-acre residential gardens of the late samurai film star Denjiro Okochi.

Address:
8 Sagaogurayama Tabuchiyamacho
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-872-2233

14. Restaurant at Tenryu-ji Temple

The temple’s restaurant serves vegetarian meals such as sesame tofu and soup made of dried gourds and sea kelp.

Address:
Saga, Tenryu-ji Temple
Ukyo-ku
Japan

Phone:
81-75-882-9725

15. Sake Bar Yoramu

Taste rare brews at this low-key bar run by an Israeli expat.

Address:
Nijo-Dori, Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-213-1512

Billed as Kyoto’s first design hotel, the property opened in 2007 with 13 unique rooms: No. 201 has a sexy red, black, and white scheme.

Address:
640-1 Shimogoryomae-cho, Teramachi Marutamachi-sagaru
Kyoto
Japan

Phone:
81-75-252-1113