One Day in Kyoto: Maximizing Your Time in Japan’s Cultural Heart

July 3, 2024

One Day in Kyoto: Maximizing Your Time in Japan’s Cultu

Hey japanstafriends! If you’re short on time but still want a taste of Kyoto’s magic, here’s how I spent one perfect day in this historical gem—all without using public transport. Walking allowed me to fully immerse myself in the atmosphere of this beautiful city.

First up

Start your day early—like, before 9am early—to beat the crowds. I kicked things off with a visit to Kiyomizu-dera. This iconic temple sits high above the city, offering breathtaking views and a peaceful start to your day. After soaking in the sights, I strolled down to the nearby Ninnen and Sannenzaka shopping streets. You’ve probably seen these picturesque lanes on social media, but trust me, experiencing them in person is something else. 

Next stop

Next up - Kyoto is famous for its snacks, especially desserts and matcha. I wandered towards the Gion district, enjoying the charming old streets and traditional architecture. I highly recommend stopping by Panel Cafe for their jiggly pancakes. They’re OMG good and super filling—perfect fuel for the rest of your adventure. From there, it’s a pleasant walk along the river back toward Kyoto Station. This route lets you soak in Kyoto's unique vibe at your own pace.

To finish

Wrap up your day with a visit to Kyoto Tower. It’s a cute way to see all the places you’ve visited from above and get a sense of where you want to explore next time. Plus, it’s super convenient since it’s right by Kyoto Station, making it easy to catch your train or bus as you continue your travels.

One day in Kyoto is definitely not enough to see everything, but with this itinerary, you’ll get a fantastic taster of what this amazing city has to offer. 

Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with
Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with
City Unscripted Kyoto.
Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Kyoto’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Kyoto through the eyes of our local hosts!

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There is no better way to see a city than with a friend who lives there. This is why we carefully match guests with their perfect host based on interested, personality and type of experience so they can discover a city beyond the tourist trail.