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Enjoy Kyoto To The Fullest! A Two-Day Sightseeing Itinerary

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In order for you to make the best out of the time spent in Kyoto, we suggest this two-day itinerary. Gion, Kinkakuji Temple, Kenninji Temple, Kiyomizudera, Fushimi Inari Shrine - all the famous sightseeing places in Kyoto can be covered in two days if you

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Enjoy Kyoto's Famous Sightseeing Spots in Two Days

Kyoto is a popular destination among both first-time visitors to Japan and yearly guests. When visiting Kyoto, where do you like to go? Today, we'll be introducing our recommended 2-day itinerary to enjoy the major sightseeing spots in Kyoto.
6 MATCHA Articles You Should Read Before Going To Kyoto

Day 1 Morning: Fushimi Inari Shrine


From Senbon Torii (Thousands of Torii) - An Entrance to Another World

On the first day we recommend exploring the Higashiyama area. Our first stop is the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Tens of thousands of torii gates are lined up along the entrance path and are called the senbon torii (thousand torii). This spot has been chosen as the most popular tourist spot in all of Japan by TripAdvisor. The shrine is also easy to reach as it is just 5 minutes from Kyoto station.

Day 1 Daytime: Kenninji Temple and Todaiji Temple


Photo by pixta

Kenninji is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, and is popular for its simple architecture and refined garden. The ink paintings on the fusuma sliding doors are also very impressive. We highly recommend you visit.

From Inari station where Fushimi Inari Taisha is located, you will ride the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji station. From Tofukuji station, you will ride the Keihan Main Line to Gion-Shijo station. The train ride takes about 20 minutes, and the temple is a 7 minute walk from Gion-Shijo station.


Photo by pixta
Kodaiji, located in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto, is a temple where visitors can enjoy all the four seasons. It is especially beautiful during the autumn season. At the Ungoan inside Kodaiji Temple, you can enjoy a bowl of matcha tea while admiring the amazing Japanese garden.

Kodaiji is about 15 minutes away from Kenninji on foot.

Day 1 Afternoon: Kiyomizudera Temple


From Kiyomizudera Temple – A Must-See in Kyoto

If you're visiting Kyoto, a spot that you can't miss is the renowned Kiyomizudera temple. During the sakura season in the spring and the autumn, the area is magnificently lit up from around 6 PM. The opening hours are usually until 6 PM, but depending on the season visitors may be able to explore the temple at night. Be careful as the time for night viewing depends on the season. Kiyomizudera is about a 15-minute walk from Kodaiji.

Regular open hours are until 17:30
March 12-21 (Special Sponsor Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro)
March 26-April 10 18:00-21:00 (reception closes)
August 14-16 (Thousand Day Pilgrimage/Special Viewing) 19:00-21:00(reception closes)
November 12-December 4 18:00-21:00 (reception closes)

During the night viewing period, preparations will be done after the daytime viewing is over, and then the grounds will reopen.

Day 1 Night: Hanamikoji Street


From: A Dreamlike Townscape: Come Walk The Streets Of Gion At Night

Hanamikoji Dori street is the main street of the Gion area. There are many restaurants and tea shops lining both sides of this historic street. It's a very unique and Kyoto-like townscape, even to Japanese people from other areas. It has yet another atmosphere at night, so we recommend you to check it out.

Hanamikoji street is about 25 minutes from Kiyomizudera temple on foot. It's also a short walk from Gion-Shijo station.

Day 2 Morning: Kinkakuji Temple


On the second day, we'll be exploring sightseeing attractions in the northern areas of Kyoto.

Kinkakuji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is an all-time favorite for sightseeing in Kyoto. The building itself is rather simple in design, but you are sure to be overwhelmed by its luxurious golden appearance. Kinkakuji was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" in December of 1994.

To reach Kinkakuji from Kyoto station you will first need to head to Emmachi station on the JR Sagano Line. From Emmachi station, you will then ride the Kyoto city bus and get off at Kinkakuji-michi stop, from which it is a 3 minute walk. The total travel time from Kyoto station is about 25 minutes.

Day 2 Daytime: Ryoanji Temple


The most popular attraction at Ryoanji temple is the Karesansui style garden. It may look like a simple garden to the casual observer, but the placement and number of rocks all have meanings. The garden is highly rated by its visitors from around the world.

To get to Ryoanji from Kinkakuji, you'll want to get on the Number 59 bus for Yamagoe Nakacho from the Kinkakuji-mae bus stop, and get off at the Ryoanji-mae stop. The ride will only be a few minutes long.

Day 2 Afternoon: Kyoto International Manga Museum


Photo by pixta

The Kyoto International Manga Museum makes use of a closed former school. Here, approximately 300,000 manga items are stored. There is a corner called the "Manga Banpaku" where comics from France, Spain, Korea, and other countries can be found, as well as Japanese manga translated into several different languages.

Here visitors can enjoy reading manga on outside on the grass during sunny days. How about spending some relaxing time reading your favorite manga here?

From Ryoanji, you should walk to the Ritsumeikan Daigaku-mae bus stop (7 minutes), ride the bus to Shijo Kawaramachi/Sanjo Keihan, and get off at Karasuma Oike (about 30 minutes). It's a 3-minute walk to the museum from there.

We hope you enjoy your Kyoto trip to the fullest!

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