京都的茶道 – 京都最好的事情

日本茶道是一種冥想形式。京都是參加茶道的最佳場所。這是京都最好的茶道地點清單。我們列出了MAIKOYA茶道,“Juan”,“Camellia”,En“和”Koto。“我們推薦MAIKOYA茶道。你的選擇是什麼?

什麼是日本茶道?

在傳統的房間裡喝綠茶。主人和客人談得不多。主人以禮貌的方式為客人提供茶。有關如何準備茶的數百條規則。

茶道的目的是什麼?

茶道有三個目的:1 – 擁有平和的心靈。 2 – 同時冥想和喝茶。 3-在主機和來賓之間建立更好的關係。

茶道的歷史是什麼?

日本人已經飲用磨砂茶葉約800年。傳統的茶道是在1570年代由“Sen no Rikyu”創造的。

茶道有多長時間了?

京都的典型茶道持續45分鐘。 。正式的茶道可能會持續4個小時。

茶道用的是什麼茶?

地面抹茶葉。最好的茶葉在宇治種植。

茶道的禮儀是什麼?

保持安靜,不要檢查手機或手錶,跪在地上。

這裡是京都最著名的茶道場地!

茶道後如何看藝伎?

在下午6點到晚上8點之間在“Hanamikoji Street”和“Shijo Street”的拐角處等候。

京都最受好評的茶道。

1.和服茶道MAIKOYA(最高評分)

MAIKOYA是京都最受歡迎的茶館。 客人穿著漂亮的和服。 您可以了解茶道的文化和歷史。 您可以了解和服的文化和歷史。 茶道費用為2400日元,沒有和服。 和服茶道費用為5000日元。 第一屆茶道會議於上午9:30開始。 最後一次會議是在晚上7點。 MAIKOYA茶館位於歷史悠久的“祗園區”.Maikoya距離市區不遠。

“關於Maikoya的書”

電話:075-606-5303

電子郵件:kyoto@mai-ko.com

位置和評論:

2.茶道古箏

這是金閣寺附近的茶道。 茶室擁有寧靜而平靜的環境。 與其他地方相比,它有點貴。 茶道每人花費2700日元。如果你想穿和服,你必須支付12,000日元。 第一屆茶道是上午10:30。 最後的茶道是下午5:30。

電話:090-9624-5164

地址:北區區Kinugasa-Nishigoshonouchi-cho 37號

位置和評論

山茶花

“Camellia Flower”位於Ninenzaka附近。 這家茶館距離Kiyomizudera Temple寺不遠。 附近設有傳統街道和傳統民居。 “山茶花”位於一條難以找到的小街上。 費用為每人3,000日元。 這是一個平均質量。

電話:525-3238

地址:京都市東山區Masuya-cho 349 Camellia

位置和評論:

4。 恩茶道

這個茶道場地位於“八坂神社”附近。“恩茶儀式”只接受早上的預約。“恩”的茶道費用為每人2,500日元。

電話:08037822706

位置:En位於Higashioji St.&Shinbashi St.的交叉點地址:京都市東山區松原町272號

電子郵件:info@teaceremonyen.com

位置和評論:

5。 茶道胡安

“茶道室胡安”位於“五條區”。它靠近一個小寺廟。 如果您想預約,您需要打電話給他們。 第一屆茶道會議於上午11:00開始。 價格是2800日元。 和服選項的費用在7,000〜10,300日元之間。 還有兒童折扣。

電話:9011384480

地址:京都下京區Tominokoji Dori,Gojo-sagaru 556

位置和評論:

價格比較表

我推薦和服茶道MAIKOYA。 根據Tripadvisor和Google的評論,這是最好的茶道。

교토의 다도-교토에서 가장 좋은 일

일본 다도는 명상의 한 형태입니다. 다도에 참여하기 가장 좋은 곳은 교토입니다. 교토 최고의 다도 장소 목록입니다. MAIKOYA 다도, “Juan”, “Camellia”, En “및”Koto “를 나열했습니다. MAIKOYA 다도를 권장합니다. 당신의 선택은 무엇입니까?

일본 다도 란 무엇입니까?

전통 방에서 녹차를 마시는. 호스트와 게스트는 많이 말하지 않습니다. 호스트는 정중하게 손님에게 차를 제공합니다. 차를 준비하는 방법에 대한 수백 가지 규칙이 있습니다.

다도의 목적은 무엇입니까?

다도에는 3 가지 목적이 있습니다. 1- 평화로운 마음을 가지십시오. 2- 동시에 명상하고 차를 마신다. 3- 호스트와 게스트 간의 관계를 개선합니다.

다도의 역사는 무엇입니까?

일본인들은 약 800 년 동안 match 잎 차잎을 마시고 있습니다. 전통 다도는 1570 년 대경“센 노리 큐”에 의해 만들어졌습니다.

다도는 얼마나 지속됩니까?

교토의 전형적인 다도는 45 분 동안 지속됩니다. . 공식 다도는 4 시간 지속될 수 있습니다.

다도에 어떤 차를 사용 했습니까?

지상 말차 잎. 최고의 차잎은 우지에서 재배됩니다.

다도의 예절은 무엇입니까?

조용히하고 전화 나 시계를 확인하지 말고 무릎을 꿇으십시오.

교토에서 가장 유명한 다도 장소입니다!

다도 후에 게이샤를 어떻게 볼 수 있습니까?

오후 6시에서 오후 8시 사이에 “Hanamikoji Street”와 “Shijo Street”코너에서 기다리십시오.

교토에서 가장 높은 등급의 다도.

1. 기모노 다도 MAIKOYA (최고 평점)

MAIKOYA는 교토에서 가장 인기있는 찻집입니다. 손님은 아름다운 기모노를 입습니다. 다도의 문화와 역사에 대해 배울 수 있습니다. 기모노의 문화와 역사에 대해 배울 수 있습니다. 다도는 기모노없이 2,400 엔입니다. 기모노와 다도 비용은 5,000 엔입니다. 첫 번째 다도 세션은 오전 9시 30 분에 시작됩니다. 마지막 세션은 오후 7시입니다. MAIKOYA 찻집은 역사적인“기온 지역”에 위치하고 있습니다. 마이코 야는 도심에서 멀지 않습니다.

<< 마이코 야에 예약 >>

전화 : 075–606–5303

이메일 : kyoto@mai-ko.com

위치 및 리뷰 :

2. 다도 코토

긴카 쿠지 절 근처에있는 다도. 다실은 조용하고 차분한 환경을 갖추고 있습니다. 다른 장소에 비해 조금 비쌉니다. 다도는 1 인당 2,700 엔이며 기모노를 입으려면 12,000 엔을 지불해야합니다. 첫 번째 다도는 오전 10시 30 분입니다. 마지막 다도는 오후 5시 30 분입니다.

전화 : 090–9624–5164

주소 : 기타 구 키누 가사 니시 고쇼 노우치 쵸 37

위치 및 리뷰

3. 동백꽃

“Camellia Flower”는 Ninenzaka 근처에 있습니다. 이 찻집은 기요 미즈 데라에서 멀지 않습니다. 근처에 전통적인 거리와 전통 가옥이 있습니다. “Camellia Flower”는 찾기 어려운 작은 거리에 있습니다. 요금은 1 인당 3,000 엔입니다. 평균 품질입니다.

전화 : 525–3238

주소 : 교토시 히가시야마 구 마스 야쵸 349 동백

위치 및 리뷰 :

4. En Tea 세레모니

이 다도 장소는 “야 사카 신사”근처에 있습니다. “엔 다도”는 아침 세션 예약 만 가능합니다. “엔”의 다도는 1 인당 2,500 엔입니다.

전화 : 08037822706

위치 : 엔은 히가시 오 지역과 신바시 역의 교차점에 위치 주소 : 교토시 히가시야마 구 마쓰 바라 쵸 272

이메일 : info@teaceremonyen.com

위치 및 리뷰 :

5. 다도 후안

“다도 의식 실 Juan”은 “Gojo Area”에 있습니다. 작은 사원 근처에 있습니다. 예약하려면 전화로 문의하십시오. 첫 다도 행사는 오전 11시에 시작됩니다. 가격은 2800 엔입니다. 기모노 옵션은 7,000 ~ 10,300 엔입니다. 어린이 할인도 있습니다.

전화 : 9011384480

주소 : 교토 시모 교구 도미노 코지 도리 고 조사 가루 556

위치 및 리뷰 :

가격 비교표

키모노 다도 MAIKOYA를 추천합니다. Tripadvisor와 Google 리뷰에 따르면 최고의 다도입니다.

京都的茶道 – 京都最好的事情

日本茶道是一种冥想形式。京都是参加茶道的最佳场所。这是京都最好的茶道地点清单。我们列出了MAIKOYA茶道,“Juan”,“Camellia”,En“和”Koto。“我们推荐MAIKOYA茶道。你的选择是什么?

什么是日本茶道?

在传统的房间里喝绿茶。主人和客人谈得不多。主人以礼貌的方式为客人提供茶。有关如何准备茶的数百条规则。

茶道的目的是什么?

茶道有三个目的:1 – 拥有平和的心灵。 2 – 同时冥想和喝茶。 3-在主机和来宾之间建立更好的关系。

茶道的历史是什么?

日本人已经饮用磨砂茶叶约800年。传统的茶道是在1570年代由“Sen no Rikyu”创造的。

茶道有多长时间了?

京都的典型茶道持续45分钟。 。正式的茶道可能会持续4个小时。

茶道用的是什么茶?

地面抹茶叶。最好的茶叶在宇治种植。

茶道的礼仪是什么?

保持安静,不要检查手机或手表,跪在地上。

这里是京都最着名的茶道场地!

茶道后如何看艺伎?

在下午6点到晚上8点之间在“Hanamikoji Street”和“Shijo Street”的拐角处等候。

京都最受好评的茶道。

1.和服茶道MAIKOYA(最高评分)

MAIKOYA是京都最受欢迎的茶馆。 客人穿着漂亮的和服。 您可以了解茶道的文化和历史。 您可以了解和服的文化和历史。 茶道费用为2400日元,没有和服。 和服茶道费用为5000日元。 第一届茶道会议于上午9:30开始。 最后一次会议是在晚上7点。 MAIKOYA茶馆位于历史悠久的“祗园区”.Maikoya距离市区不远。

“关于Maikoya的书”

电话:075-606-5303

电子邮件:kyoto@mai-ko.com

位置和评论:

2.茶道古筝

这是金阁寺附近的茶道。 茶室拥有宁静而平静的环境。 与其他地方相比,它有点贵。 茶道每人花费2700日元。如果你想穿和服,你必须支付12,000日元。 第一届茶道是上午10:30。 最后的茶道是下午5:30。

电话:090-9624-5164

地址:北区区Kinugasa-Nishigoshonouchi-cho 37号

位置和评论

山茶花

“Camellia Flower”位于Ninenzaka附近。 这家茶馆距离Kiyomizudera Temple寺不远。 附近设有传统街道和传统民居。 “山茶花”位于一条难以找到的小街上。 费用为每人3,000日元。 这是一个平均质量。

电话:525-3238

地址:京都市东山区Masuya-cho 349 Camellia

位置和评论:

4。 恩茶道

这个茶道场地位于“八坂神社”附近。“恩茶仪式”只接受早上的预约。“恩”的茶道费用为每人2,500日元。

电话:08037822706

位置:En位于Higashioji St.&Shinbashi St.的交叉点地址:京都市东山区松原町272号

电子邮件:info@teaceremonyen.com

位置和评论:

5。 茶道胡安

“茶道室胡安”位于“五条区”。它靠近一个小寺庙。 如果您想预约,您需要打电话给他们。 第一届茶道会议于上午11:00开始。 价格是2800日元。 和服选项的费用在7,000〜10,300日元之间。 还有儿童折扣。

电话:9011384480

地址:京都下京区Tominokoji Dori,Gojo-sagaru 556

位置和评论:

价格比较表

我推荐和服茶道MAIKOYA。 根据Tripadvisor和Google的评论,这是最好的茶道。

Ninja Experience – Kyoto with Kids

We have selected the best ninja experiences in Kyoto and listed them below. For groups and families we recommend The Samurai & Ninja Museum’s ninja experience which costs approximately 2400 JPY and lasts 1 hour. If you are travelling solo and have a car, then, you may want to try the Koga ninja village in the Mie Prefecture.

#1 – KYOTO SAMURAI & NINJA MUSEUM

Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto

At the Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto, you will find some of the best ninja experiences in Japan. By paying 2400 JPY,  you can throw ninja stars, use a ninja blow gun, watch a samurai sword show, dress up like a samurai warrior and join the English guided tour about ninja history. You can also wear a full ninja uniform if you join the family ninja training plan.

Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto

Samurai & Ninja Museum’s ninja plan is the cheapest and most popular in Kyoto based on online reviews. All classes and the museum come with hundreds of five-star reviews on Trip Advisor.

At the Samurai and Ninja Museum, you can wear the traditional ninja uniform and learn how to use the weapons that made the ninja feared throughout Japan. Learn how to throw shurikens stars and use a ninja blow gun before discovering the discipline involved in handling a samurai sword. This is particularly fun if you are traveling as a big group.

Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto

You can book you ninja experience in advance by visiting the Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto websiteThe location is near the historic Nishiki Food Market,  walking distance from Gion and the Nijo Castle. Classes are available for all age groups. You can get directions from Google maps, here

The Samurai and Ninja Museum has amazing ninja instructors. Whatever your age or physical abilities, you will have a good time learning the history of the ninja and practicing with some of the weapons they used. This is a fantastic activity for children and those adults that would like to indulge in childhood fantasies.

  • Hours: 10:30 ~ 20:30
  • Full ticket including ninja experience: 2400 JPY (Around 22 USD)
  • Location  : Near Nishiki Market. 2-minute walk from the Kawaramachi Subway Station. Near Shinkyogoku Shopping Street.
  • Telephone (English OK):  075-585-5410
  • email (English OK): samurai@mai-ko.com
  • Tripadvisor reviews
  • Google reviews

 

# 2 NINJA KYOTO RESTAURANT

Ninja Kyoto Restaurant

Update: The Ninja Kyoto Restaurant was closed on 12/31/2018. The location is near the Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum. 

At Ninja Kyoto, you will find a more relaxed ninja experience. The entire Ninja Kyoto entertainment complex is dedicated to the ninja. You will discover ninja themed restaurants where your ninja waiter will come and perform tricks at your table.

There is a theater where you will find stunning acrobatics performed by highly trained ninjas. This entertaining show lasts for about two hours and has something for all the family. Including wire walking, fire blowing and stunning projections.

Ninja Kyoto Restaurant

The Ninja Kyoto Restaurant complex has an excellent selection of restaurants ranging from buffet style canteens to fine dining. At some of the restaurants, you can even learn how to prepare your own Ramen.

The entire Ninja Kyoto Restaurant complex is excellent fun for all of the family. As there are lots of interactive attractions and games for children.

#3 The NINJA DOJO KYOTO

The Ninja Training Dojo Kyoto

The Ninja Dojo Kyoto is suitable for adults with real metal ninja weapons. You will learn how to handle samurai swords and daggers. As well as learning the meditation techniques that allowed a ninja to strike with deadly silence and precision.

The Ninja Training Dojo Kyoto

At The Ninja Training Dojo Kyoto, you can book an experience that will last from one hour to one full day. It is a bit challenging to find this hidden dojo as it is located on the second floor of an office building. The Ninja Dojo costs about $100 per session.

  • Hours: First lesson is at 10 AM,  last lesson is at 5 PM
  • Full ticket including ninja experience: 12,000 JPY (Around 110 USD)
  • Location  : 2-minute walk from the Karasuma subway station.
  • Telephone:  075-585-5410
  • Reviews

#4 TOEI KYOTO STUDIO PARK

Toei Uzumasa Park Photo by Carlos Caniguante

The Kyoto Studio Park has variety of studios. There is a lot more to this experience than practicing the ancient art of the Japanese ninja. At the Kyoto Studio Park, you will find a wide selection of activities suitable for all the family.  Toei Kyoto is a working film studio. This is where many drama and ninja films are made. Most of the studios are open to the public, allowing you to explore some of the many movie sets. Many of these sets resemble the traditional ninja villages of a bygone era.

The only problem with the place is it has a steep entry fee (2200 jpy) and you have to pay for ninja experiences and shows separately . It is also located in the Uzumasa City a bit outside of central Kyoto.

  • Hours: 09:00 ~ 17:00
  • Entry Ticket only: 2200 JPY (Around 20 USD), about 10 USD additional fee for each experience or show
  • Location : You can only go there by bus or by taxi.  10 Uzumasa Higashihachiokachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8161
  • Telephone:  075-864-7716
  • Reviews

 

#5 IGA NINJA MUSEUM

 

Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, Iga, Japan , Photo by blackest event

 

Besides the ninja museum in Kyoto there is another ninja museum in the region named The Ninja Museum of Igaryu. The place is located in the Iga City, also known as the birthplace of the ninja tradition. It takes about 2 hours from Kyoto one way and you can go there by train. 
Being located next to the Iga Uena castle this small ninja village attracts some attention among locals. You can see the ninja trick house and old ninja shurikens if you pay a visit.
There is also Koga ninja village where you can enjoy some ninja activities with Japanese locals. Koga is known as the  real ninja town. The “Koka Ninja Village” is about 2.5 hours from Kyoto.
  • Hours: 09:00 ~ 17:00
  • Entry Ticket only: 800 JPY (Around 7 USD), no ninja experience or tour included.
  • Location : It takes about 2 hours by train from the downtown Kyoto area. 117 Uenomarunouchi, Iga, Mie 518-0873
  • Telephone: 0595-23-0311
  • Reviews

#6 NINJA VR KYOTO

Ninja VR experience is a shop in the located in the arcade of the Higashiyama district. The venue is geared toward Japanese and specializes in the VR experience. You can put on the VR headset and play ninja VR games for about 30 minutes.

  • Hours: 11:00 ~ 20:00
  • Entry Ticket: 5500 JPY (Around 50 USD)
  • Location : Walking distance from the Sanjo train station. 
  • Telephone:  075-864-7716
  • Reviews

 

#7 WARAKU EXPERIENCE

The waraku sword experience is geared toward adults who want to use a metal sword and cut tatami rolls while wearing a hakama.

  • Hours: 10:00 ~ 17:00
  • Entry Ticket:  13000 JPY (Around 120 USD)
  • Location : Walking distance from the Omiya train station. 
  • Telephone:  080-4265-3100
  • Reviews
 

One of the most exhilarating experiences in Kyoto is spending the day as a ninja because there used to be actual ninjas hired by the rival samurai clans residing in Kyoto. Nowadays, you can throw ninja stars and learn the stealth moves used by the worlds most deadly assassins. A Kyoto ninja experience can last a few hours or a full day.   If you have time and budget you can take long intensive lessons, if you are visiting as a group or family then you may want to visit The Samurai and Ninja Museum with Experience in the downtown area where you will learn the sacred arts that allowed Japans most feared assassins to step in silence and strike with deadly accuracy.

Best Kyoto Experiences, Top 50 MUST DO Activities

geisha kyoto experience

If you are wondering what to do in Kyoto and how to have unique local experiences, here is my list. I am a tour guide from Kyoto and these things to do in Kyoto. I combined all the main attractions and activities. This is the list of experiences I usually recommend my guests based on what I personally like and enjoy doing as a resident.

#1 A unique Sandal ride in the ARASHIYAMA bamboo Forest. – There is a secret date spot for Japanese lovers in Arashiyama. You can also visit temples, check out the bamboo grove and feed wild monkeys all at the same place.

Arashiyama kyoto experience

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  Everyone knows the Arashiyama Sagano bamboo forest but not many know about the sandal ride.  With an amazing view in the Spring and fall you will have an amazing Kyoto experience right next to the Sagano bridge. Additionally, the zen gardens in Okochi Sanso and Tenryuji temples in Arashiyama are the most tranquil Japanese gardens.

Tip: must go very early or late in the afternoon otherwise the place gets packed. The area is outside the downtown are and consists of many temples and shrines, so spare a half day. There are many cafes and restaurants so dont worry about the food. The bamboo grove you see in the pictures is only a small part but still nice area to visit.

Tip: After a 30-minute hike you will reach the Iwatayama Monkey Park where many cute monkeys are conserved in their natural habitat. You can feed tham and it is good family activity. If you want to spend the whole day in Arashiyama then you may also check the Otagi Nenbutsuji temple with thousands of Buddha statues.

#2 Find the Hidden Forest in FUSHIMI INARI – In 2018 Fushimi Inari was the most visited spot in JAPAN and by some hiking you can reach the hidden bamboo forest.

fushimi kyoto experiences

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  The 10,000 gates of FUSHIMI INARI is the most visited tourist spot in JAPAN!!!

The 10,000 gates of FUSHIMI INARI became famous after an unforgettable scene in the movie “the Memoirs of Geisha.” Many people go there to see the mysterious vermillion gates without knowing the place is a part of a big hill where you can hike on. There is a hidden bamboo forest if you follow everyone else but make a right in the middle of the senbontorii gate tunnel and pass by this public bathroom.  Everyone asks me if it is worth hiking to the top and how long it takes. You can climb to the top of the hill in 1 hour and there is a nice city view. In my opinion it may not be worth of climbing if you have a big group because the city view is not so clear and after 30 minutes you get used to seeing many gates here and there.

Tip: You must go there earlier in the day to beat the crowds. The higher you go the fewer people you will see. Even in the high altitude there are cafes, tea shops, and noodle shops.  Fushimi Inari has many attractions and spots of interest besides the 10,000 torii gates. The famous Tofukuji Temple and Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum which used to be a sake factory are a walking distance from the main shrine. 

#3 Experience the KYOTO TEA CEREMONY and wear a KIMONO at MAIKOYA – According to the Time magazine, every Kyoto visitor must experience the traditional style tea ceremony.

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 A must do in Kyoto, the combination of meditation and zen. The freshest tea leaves grow in Uji, Kyoto and and in Kyoto we are are proud of our tea ceremony culture. We consider tea ceremony as an art form and a perfect way to learn the values of Japan. I usually take my guests to MAIKOYA, the best rated tea ceremony experience where you can wear a kimono and try Japanese sweets in a traditional tatami room. This matcha tasting experience and the green tea ceremony is a must do while visiting Kyoto to have the moment of zen.

Tip: If you are on the honeymoon, Maikoya staff may surprise you. The staff will teach you where to get the fresh matcha tea, or purchase antique tea bowls in Kyoto. They can also tell you neighboring attractions and spots of interest. Tip: You can rent a kimono from MAIKOYA and walk in the Gion geisha district. 

Reserve for tea ceremony or kimono experience HERE

Book tea ceremony experience only here 

#4 Dispel Bad Spells near the YASAKA PAGODA – This is where the locals take wedding photos. If you can crawl under the huge stone you will dispel bad spells forever.

yasaka pagoda kyoto experiences

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 In Kyoto, almost all couples take their wedding pictures near the Yasaka Pagoda. Right next to Ninenzaka you will find the Yasaka Pagoda. You can also visit the historic Yasui Kompiragu shrine nearby. People often purchase the colorful balls to make a wish or crawl under the huge round rock to dispel bad luck. Whenever I have guests, I always take them to this area and it is always a hit. Luckily the place is not far from the Kiyomizu temple area and the Gion area, so you can easily add the Yasaka Pagoda to your itinerary. 

#5 Take a SWORD LESSON at the Interactive SAMURAI & NINJA MUSEUM – This museum allows you to wear metal armors and use real swords.

kyoto samurai kyoto experiences

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 This interactive museum offers samurai sword lessons and allows you to try armors  

The best part is the museum has many artifacts from the Edo period belonging to samurai and ninja families. The place is a jackpot for martial arts fans, history buffs and families with kids. If you are not into Japanese history, the museum also has exhibitions explaining the famous spots of Kyoto city. The best part is you can use a REAL SAMURAI SWORD to chop tatami mats.

Tip: the samurai museum has free English tours every hour and free samurai shows every day. This place is right next to the Teramachi shopping street, so it is a good break when you are shopping for kimonos and souvenirs in the area. It is good to go there at the beginning of your trip so you know the history of each Kyoto landmark.

Click HERE to find out more about the interactive museum

#6 Meet with or Transform into GEISHA in GION  – This 400 -year- old profession has only been practiced in Kyoto. 

gion kyoto experiences

 

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 The geisha culture was born in Kyoto and today this old profession has only been practiced in Kyoto.The number of “geiko” (geisha in the Kyoto dialect) and maiko is down to fewer than 200 and most places do not allow visitors to meet a geisha without a reference. If you are lucky, you may be able to see a real geisha or maiko anywhere on the Hanamikoji Street between 6 and 8 pm when the geishas are on their way to work. Please respect their privacy and remember, they are not objects. If you can afford, you can join a geisha dinner show with a kaiseki meal or watch a geisha show here (link). Also the recently opened Gion Kyoto Geisha Culture Centre gives tours on the hstory of geisha and provides traditional Japanese koto concerts every hour. If you want to experience being a geisha, then you can try the Geisha transformation studio Aya.

Tip: Everyone goes to Gion but if you go to Miyagawa-Cho which is less than 10 minute walk from Gion, you can see many old historic geisha houses and also spot many geishas without being surrounded by tourists. Tip: The Kenninji temple in the Gion Geisha area has one of the oldest and most famous rock gardens in Japan. 

#7 Wish for love at KIYOMIZU temple – This is the most visited tourist spot in central Kyoto. If you can find the two secret stones and walk from one to another your eyes closed your wish for love will come true.

kiyomizu kyoto experiences

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  Kiyomizu Temple is the most visited spot in Kyoto but it gets crowded easily and often there are constructions. What makes the temple unique is its main hall that is completely wooden even without one piece of metal or nail. Kiyomizu temple is believed to have the sacred water fountain and the word Kiyomizu means the clear water. Behind the main temple hall, there is a shrine which is dedicated to the god of matchmaking and the god of love. There are 2 stones that are about 15 meters apart from each other. If you can walk straightly from one stone to another with your eyes closed, the legend says that your wish for love will come true.

Tip: Kiyomizu temple is right next to the historic Yasaka shrine and only about a 10-minute walk from the Gion Geisha District. Kiyomizu temple has an amazing night view and night illuminations during most of the year. Do not forget to check the historic streets and teahouses in the ninen zaka and sannen zaka areas which are right next to the temple. Recently Starbucks and Hard Rock cafe opened branches in traditional buildings, not far from the vicinity. 

#8 Visit SHIBA INU CAFE or Cat Cafe in Shinkyogoku Shopping Street – This is the type of dog appeared in the movie Hachiko. An interactive petting activity. 1st floor is crowded, 2nd floor is quieter and nicer.

shiba inu kyoto experience
Baby shiba inu dog

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  This is the type of dog starred in the movie Hachiko.

Although this is not necessarily a Kyoto-only experience, Shinkyogoku is like an animal cafe heaven. Shinkyogoku is where the youngsters in Kyoto hang out, shop and socialize, kinda Harajuku of Kyoto. Recently so many pet cafes opened that cater the needs of both locals and visitors. Most popular one is the MAME SHIBA CAFE or the miniature shiba inu cafe. This is the type of dog starred in the movie Hachiko where a dog keeps waiting for his deceased masters in front of the train station for years.

Tip: There are many other pet cafes nearby including but not limited to owl cafehedgehog cafe, cat cafe and dog cafe. Tip: Little kids sometimes are not allowed in pet cafes for safety reasons. There is usually an upfront charge to get in whether you drink anything or not. Many foreigners worry about whether these pets are kept in humane conditions though the animals in general seem to be healthy and in good conditions.

#9 Wander on the Bars and Restaurants Street of PONTOCHO This is Kyoto’s liveliest bars & restaurants street which is also the 2nd largest geisha district in Kyoto.

pontocho kyoto experience

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No matter where you go in Kyoto, you will notice the beautiful Kamo River nicely dividing the city. Right by the Kamo river there is a little canal on the middle part of the city where merchants used to sell goods they transported from Osaka. by the canal many restaurants and geisha teahouses were set up which were later called Pontocho. This is the story of Kyoto’s liveliest bars& restaurants street which is also the 2nd largest geisha area where you may spot some apprentice maiko.

Tip: If you are not comfortable with Japanese food, you can find Italian, Chinese and many other types of mainstream and upscale restaurants here. For those who are into the nightlife of Kyoto there are bars and clubs that open late at night. Most restaurants can serve you in English but you may also want to try the sports bar type of pub called HUB where you can also meet with friendly locals. 

#10 Decipher the Symbolism of KYOTO’S CALMING JAPANESE GARDENS – Each Japanese garden element has special meanings (e.g. pine trees: strength; circle shaped pebbles: waves in the ocean and the transience of life; turtle stones: longevity) Top 10 gardens listed below. 

kenninji kyoto experiences

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Many people come to Kyoto to escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities but then face the hordes of tourists at main sites. Luckily Kyoto is home to a number of tranquil Japanese gardens some of which are just a walking distance from the downtown area. The meanings wary but both rock gardens and tea ceremony gardens meant to bring a miniature version of the nature in your backyard. Big rocks represent mountains, small rock represent hills, pebbles shaped as circles represent waves in the oceans.

Tip: As a Kyoto resident, these are my most favorite Japanese gardens and ideal to visit if you are short on time.

  1. Kenninji near the Gion area
  2. Kodaiji near Kiyomizi temple and
  3. Shosei-en near the Kyoto station.

If you have more than 3 days in Kyoto, then I recommend 4- Katsura Villa, 5- Zuihoin and 6- Daitokuji on the northern side of the city. If you have a week in Kyoto then I recommend checking out 7- Saiho-ji the UNESCO world heritage site, 8- Enkoji the moss garden and 9- Isuien the old imperial tea garden in Nara. 

#11 Try Octopus tamago in NISHIKI Market – Nishiki Market is called the Kitchen of Kyoto with more than 600 types of foods to try. A unique food tasting experience.

nishiki kyoto experiences

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This is where the chefs of local izakayas and renowned sushi restaurants come early in the morning to pick up the best catch. You can find many things to try from fried tofu dumplings to black sesame icecream. With more than 600 different types of fresh food to try and countless food stall type of stores, Nishiki market is a heaven for food lovers.

Tip: My most favorite is the baby octopus comes with the fried egg as you can see in the photo. Even if you don’t like the taste, your friends would envy the photo. There are may other types of food to try including but not limited to

  1. Marinated maguro sashimi on stick
  2. Soy milk donuts
  3. Grilled shrimp and mackerel on stick
  4. Green tea icecream
  5. Pickled eggplants
  6. Dried seafood snacks

Tip: Nishiki market closes at 6 PM sharp. If you are not into Asian food, there are many places that serve red meat including  Kobe beef. Tip there are many free samples but still it is good to bring some cash since the stalls don’t accept credit cards.

#12 Meditate at the RYOANJI Zen Garden (Near Golden Palace. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and the most calming zen garden in my opinion)

ryoanji kyoto experience

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  Ryoanji means the temple of the Dragon at peace. It was built by a samurai family and became famous after Queen Elizabeth visted the temple in the 70’s. This zen garden has 15 rocks placed in a rectangular area but mysteriously you cannot see all 15 at once from any vantage point. It is presumed that the circles on the sand represent waves, small rocks represent hills, big rockes represent mountains and the moss represent the forest on an island.

Tip: Ryoanji is outside the downtown area and close to the Golden palace. Don’t forget to check the historic water basin in the backyard. If you want a guided

IMPORTANT TIP: Ryoanji is not far from the Golden temple (Kinkakuji) which is not included in this list. I skipped the golden temple on purpose because a) there is not much experience, it is just taking a photo a) you cannot get inside, you just look at it from the outside c) you can only go there by taxi or super-packed city buses d) it is known as the most crowded tourist spot in Kyoto. If you are a photographer, you may still want to check it. I like silver palace (ginkakuji) more because of it is tranquil moss gardens and the moon-viewing hills. 

#13 Try Japanese Public Bath (SENTO) or Kyoto Onsen (Japanese Hot Spring) – NO TATTOOS allowed because of the Yakuza association and you have to be naked to enter.

Kyoto Onsen Sento Bath Kyoto Experience
Public bath (onsen)

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 It is a unique cultural experience to enter a public bath in Japan. A few things to keep in mind: no tattoos are allowed and you have to be naked. Tattoos are not allowed because they are associated with gang members and you cannot wear swimsuit as it may dirty the bath water. If you want a hot spring with mineral waters, then you need to go outside of Kyoto City such as Kurama onsen or Arima Hot Spring. If you are OK with any public bath, I recommend Nishiki-yu in the downtown area or Goko-yu near the Gojo area.

Tip: In Japan hot springs are called “onsen” and it is illegal to call a public bath “onsen” if it does not have natural hot springs with certain minerals.

For most foreigners though, it does not matter if it is public bath (a.k.a sento bath) or onsen. After all, the traditional set up and the experience is pretty much the same. Tip: Many ryokans and hotels have a traditional style public bath. Tip: Kinosaki and Arima are the two historic onsen towns that are about 2 hours away from Kyoto. Tip: Osaka has a good public spa with different kinds of spas and indoor pools.

#14 Let the sacred river flow beneath you at the KIFUNE SHRINE – There are cafes set up on the river where you can enjoy the drinks or noodles while the sacred river flows beneath you.

kifune kyoto experience
Kawadoko restaurant in Kifune

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  The Kifune Shrine is not usually found on popular guide books because it is a little bit far from the downtown area. Most of my guests like the experience here because in the winter time you have an amazing view of orange color lanterns in the snow and in the Spring and summer you can have a picnic on the branches that are set up right above the river. It is a calming and joyful experience to enjoy Japanese sweets and local dishes just 30 cm above the river.

Tip: This shrine is not in the city center and the floating cafe is ideal only for the Spring and summer time. 

#15 Try Japanese CALLIGRAPHY or IKEBANA like locals – The shodo calligraphy is used as a zen training method at temples.

calligraphy kyoto experience
Calligraphy Kyoto at Maikoya

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   Kyoto is also the cultural capital in Japan where it is perfectly normal to see locals wearing kimono and practicing traditional arts and crafts such as Japanese calligraphy (a.k.a. shodo) and Japanese flower arrangement (ikebana). Calligraphy and ikebana are not only the ways of creating aesthetically pleasing arts but also a form of zen training. It is believed that what comes out of your brush in calligraphy is your true spirit. Japanese monks try to achieve satori by simply drawing zen circles. Ikebana is not just putting flowers together nicely, the zen aesthetics are in play where you have to create balance by keeping 45 and 60 degrees among the 3 sets of flowers and branches. These activites are also a great way to create bonding between couples and family members. (Editor credit: Shutterstock). 

#16 Hear the Nightingale Floors at the NIJO Castle – The Tokugawa shoguns used to live in this building.This is literally where the Edo period started (1603) and ended (1867)

nijo castle kyoto experience

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 Nijo Castle is the place where the Edo period started (1603) and ended (1867).

The Tokugawa shoguns used the buildings as a residence when they came to Kyoto to visit the emperor. Some Japanese castle fans may be disappointed since the place looks more like a temple rather than a typical castle. This is because the castle was built during the peace time and there was no need for big keep with an observation tower. However, Nijo castle has specially constructed floors which squeak no matter how light you are. These floors were  made in order to catch ninja who may raid at night when everyone is sleeping.

Tip: The castle closes quite early at 4:00 pm so you have to enter the venue before 3 pm. There is a beautiful Japanese garden but you have to pay extra to get in. You can walk to the imperial Palace from Nijo castle in less than 20 minutes. There is a convenient ramen shop right next to the Nijo castle. 

#17 The most unique Cultural Eating Experience: Kyoto KAISEKI Meal – This is the Kyoto style meal which was recently included in the UNESCO cultural heritage

kaiseki meal kyoto experience

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  Kaiseki meal was recently added to the UNESCO world heritage list and a must do while visiting Japan. Eating a kaiseki meal is once in lifetime experience as you witness how unique seasonal dishes are served after being decorated by seasonal flowers and leaves. It is the most typical Japanese meal which has:

  • 5 different types of cooking (raw, simmered, fried, grilled, boiled)
  • 5 different tastes (salty, sour, bitter, sweet, savory)
  • 5 different colors (white, brown, red, yellow, green)
  • Many different seasonal elements (leaves, flowers, mushrooms, etc.)

Tip: Kaiseki meal usually costs more than 100 USD but if you stay at a ryokan, you can get it cheaper as part of your room plan. Kinmata, a historic inn near Nishiki Market, serves the most authentic kaiseki in a great atmosphere.

#18 Walk on the Philosophers’ Path between the SILVER PALACE and NANZENJI – A famous Japanese philosopher used to walk by this creek in the early 1900’s and it has been called the philosopher’s path philosophers’ walk since then.

Philosophers path kyoto experience

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Silver Palace (Ginkakuji) was built by a shogun who thought the golden palace was too lavish and did not match the image of modest Japanese culture. After building the humble silver palace with moss gardens, he designated his brother as the shogun which caused a civil war that lasted more than 10 years. Many people believe this is the palace where Japanese arts such as the Noh theater and calligraphy were born. Not far from the palace there is Nanzenji with incredible zen gardens. Between both places there is a beautiful creek and a narrow path called the famous philosophers’ path.

Tip: This sightseeing spot is best during the sakura (cherry blossom) season. In other seasons it is not necessarily a must see spot.

#19 Count the 1001 Cannon Statues at SANJUSANGENDO– There are more than 1000 mysterious Buddhist statues inside this temple which is also the oldest wooden building in Japan.

rengeoin sanjusangendo kyoto experience
Sanjusangendo (Rengeoin) with 1001 statues

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  There are 1000 Cannon statues protected by 28 heavenly kings.

Sanjusangendo is definitely not your typical temple with green lush gardens but it is a house to 1001 Buddhist statues similar to the terra cota warriors in China. If you want to learn about Buddhism and if you only have one day then this is it. First there are 1000 Cannon statues protected by 28 heavenly kings and also 2 Nio statiues , the raijin and fujin. The long hall was originally buil in the 12th century making it the one of the oldest wooden structures in the world.

Tip: the place is right across from Yogen In where you can see the 400-year old samurai blood stains on ceilings. The place is near Kyoto’s National Museum and not too far from the Kyoto Station. 

#20 Train like a Ninja in the KYOTO NINJA MUSEUM  – You can dress up like a ninja, use a blow gun and throw ninja stars!!!

ninja experience kyoto

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  You can dress up like a ninja as a whole family and throw ninja stars. The ninja tradition was born on the skirts of Mount Hiei which is in Kyoto. There were many ninjas living in Kyoto who frequented the Nijo Jinya , next to the Nijo castle during the Edo period. The samurai and ninja museum in Nishiki Market allows you to train like a ninja and practice their weapons. You can learn how ninjas walked, breathed and survived in the wild. You get to dress up like a ninja and throw ninja stars as well. In the museum you can also learn about the rich ninja history of Kyoto such as the Nijo Jinya ninja house and the special floors in the Nijo castle which were made to protect the imperial family from intruders. 

#21 Run in the IMPERIAL PALACE PARK early in the morning – This is a huge park housing the ancient imperial palace. It is a unique experience to run there before the palace opens at 9 AM.

Imperial Palace Kyoto experience

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  Kyoto had been the imperial capital of Japan for more than 1000 years and the imperial family mostly lived in these palaces. The Imperial Palace Park has many small gardens, old buildings, and of course palaces but it is very quiet before 9 am. From one end to the other it is about 1.5 km and you can run into many locals jogging early in the morning in and around the palace. After the morning run you can relax in the Sento Imperial Palace gardens.

Tip: If you are not interested in the morning exercise, the imperial palace is not a must do.

I only take my guests there if they stay more than 3 days in Kyoto. 

#22 Make your Japanese tea bowl in NINENZAKA –There are pottery shops allow you to make your own bowl but walking here is also a good experience.

Make your Japanese tea bowl in NINENZAKA After wishing for love and washing your hands with the sacred water in Kiyomizu Dera, you can walk down the narrow alleys to the Ninenzaka where you can find many anique shops and also the pottery making shops. If you go to kashogama Pottery school, you can make your own ceramic cup or tea bowl. In this way you not only experience the local culture but also get a unique japanese souvenir to take home with. Time Travel near the YASAKA PAGODA Right next to ninenzaka you will find the Yasaka pagoda. In Kyoto almost all couples take their wedding pictures near the Yasaka Pagoda and also visit the historic Yasaka shrine nearby. You can purchase these collorful ball to make a wish or crawl under the huge round rock to dispel bad luck. Whenever I have guests I always take them here. Luckily the place is not far from the Kiyomizu temple area and the Gion area, so you can easily add the Yasaka Pagoda to your itinerary.

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  After wishing for love and washing your hands with the sacred water in Kiyomizu Dera, you can walk down the narrow alleys to the Ninenzaka where you can find many antique shops and also the pottery making shops. If you go to Kashogama Pottery School, you can make your own ceramic cup or tea bowl. In this way you not only experience the local culture but also get a unique Japanese souvenir to take home with. 

#23 Make Sushi or Cook the KANSAI STYLE OKONOMIYAKI – Okonomiyaki is the local dish and an interesting Kyoto cooking activity.

Okonomiyaki cooking kyoto experience

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  Your visit to another town would be incomplete if you don’t try local dishes and make at least one local dish on your own. Sushi making is simple but quite educational experience as you will learn the manners of eating sushi, how to make wasabi, how the sushi culture developed in Japan.

Tip: Okonomiyaki is a local dish of Osaka but it is still popular in the Kyoto area as well. It is using most typical Japanese ingredients to make a vegetable pancake. Tip ask your host for the recipe so that you can make these dishes when you go back home. 

#24 Hunt for Forgotten ANTIQUES Away from Crowds – The experience of checking out old antique shops will give you a good idea of Kyoto life.

teramachi kyoto experience

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  As an ancient capital Kyoto has so many historic neighborhoods unbeknownst to travelers. My favorite one is the antique shops district on the Teramachi street between Oike and Karasuma. Another one is Kamishichiken, the oldest geisha district and home to the famous Kitano Tenmangu shrine. The place looks like Gion minus thousands of tourists. The thrill seekers may check out the Yokai street where real-life size monsters were placed in different parts of the street. This place gives you good understanding how Japan looked like before the bubble economy. 

#25 Join a FESTIVAL in Kyoto – You don’t have to actively participate but it is very educational to watch these parades.

Gion Festival Kyoto Experience

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  There are so many festivals and celebrations in Kyoto to celebrate the harvest season and build social harmony. The biggest festival is the Gion Matsuri which lasts almost 2 weeks during the month of July where giant wooden floats move on the main streets of Kyoto supported by thousands of locals who dress in the traditional attire. Another big festival is “jidai matsuri” the festival of ages that takes place in the Heian Jingu Shrine in October. On that day you can see many locals dressed up as major historical figures. On May 15, people who dress up as aristocrats walk from the emperial palace to two main Shinto shrines on the northern part of Kyoto which feels like time travel for spectators. On August 16, there is Gozan no Okuribi where you can see a giant kanji letter shaped bonfires on the mountains surrounding Kyoto this is to salute the spirits who come to this world every August and return in the mid August. If you visit japan in November search for Gion festival, in February serch for setsubun and in April Search for the month-long Miyako Odori festival. 

#26 ~34 TRY 10 DIFFERENT JAPAN-ONLY UNIQUE FOOD EXPERIENCES in Kyoto  

food experiences in kyoto

Yakiniku: You grill your own meat at your table. The thinly sliced meat and vegetables are served to your table and you do the grilling. The set up is surprisingly safe for kids. Shabu Shabu: You boil cook your own meat. Thinly sliced beef and pork served to your table raw and you boil cook them in a pan with hot water. Nabe (Japanese hot pot): various vegetables, tofu and meatballs are served to your table raw and then you boil them in the pan. This is the dish what sumo wrestlers usually eat before the tournaments. Okonomiyaki: You don’t cook the okonomiyaki (Japanese vegetable and egg pancake) but the server cooks it on the hot steel plate on your table also known as teppanyakiZauo catch a fish and eat: Zauo is only in Osaka which is a train ride from Kyoto where you can catch your own fish in the pool of the restaurant and eat it as sashimi or cooked. Crab Restaurant in Kyoto: You are served a huge simmered crab plate and you can eat it as a whole family. A different food experience for sure. Kyoto fire ramen: The taste of the ramen is just average but they do a fire show where a bowl of ramen in fire with huge flames is served to you. Kushikatsu: Deep-fried meat, fish and vegetables on sticks served to your table and you get to chose toppings on your own at your table. 10 sticks for $10.

#35 ~ 42 Things to do in Kyoto at NIGHT

kyoto tower kyoto experience
Kyoto tower at night

There are not many night activities geared toward tourists other than some kabuki performances at the Minamiza theater. However, you can do many things at night in Kyoto including but not limited to

  1. Romantic walk by the Kamo River
  2. Meeting locals at HUB pub or other bars at the Pontocho entertainment district
  3. Walk in the Gion geisha district
  4. Try some theme cafes such as blue fish cafe/bar where you can touch baby sharks
  5. Wander in the temple gardens illuminated at night
  6. Go to the observation deck of Kyoto Tower and view the city lights
  7. Try some roof top cafes such as, my favorite, in the moon

#43 ~50 Non Touristy Things to do in Kyoto

movix kyoto experience

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  Most people have jobs and work hard, so usually people mostly hang out on weekends. Families who have a car go to theme parks or fruit-picking and tea-planting farms outside the city. City dwellers tend to go to the AEON shopping mall or  the Teramachi shopping street just to enjoy window shopping. Young couples go to theme cafes in nearby cities (Nara, Osaka, Kobe). Youngsters also enjoy karaoke at Jankara and bowling at Round 1. MOVIX is another popular spot as it is the largest movie theater in Kyoto. MOVIX is surrounded by game arcades and a pachinko parlor (legalized arcade game based gambling hall). People who are into sports, run by the Kamo river or go see sporting events such as soccer games or baseball games. People who are about to graduate from high school visit various universities for the open-campus events. People who like reading go to libraries and bookstores. The BAL/Maruzen bookstore in the downtown area has a great selection of books in English. Also every weekend there is a special exhibition, festival or ceremony at certain temples and shrines. You can find out most local activities here on this website by using google translate . 

THINGS YOU ARE PROBABLY WONDERING ABOUT KYOTO

  • What does Kyoto mean? It means “capital”
  • What is the population of Kyoto? 1.5 million (foreigners are 2% of the population)
  • How many Geiko or Maiko are there in Kyoto? Around 200
  • What is Kyoto’s original name? Heian City (became capital in 794 AD)
  • Where is the Kyoto Airport? There is no “Kyoto Airport.” The closest airport in “Kansai airport” which is in Osaka. The Kansai airport is 45 KM away from Kyoto.
  • What are the famous companies of Kyoto? Nintendo, Wacoal
  • How many UNESCO world heritage sites are in Kyoto? 17
  • How many temples are there in Kyoto? 1600
  • How many shrines are there in Kyoto? 800
  • What is the climate of Kyoto like? Cold in the winter, hot in the summer. It snows in December and January. It rains in half of July.
  • What is the terrain of Kyoto like? There is no sea or ocean in Kyoto. Kyoto is surrounded by tall mountains. There are many rivers and creeks in the city. The closest lake is Lake Biwa and it is 14 km away.
  • What are the local sweets of Kyoto? Yatsuhashi (sweet beans paste in rice flour)
  • What is the local dish of Kyoto? Obanzai (combination of small dishes mostly made out vegetables grown in Kyoto)
  • Best sushi in Kyoto: Musashi sushi. Not the best or cheapest but a decent place with decent price and fresh sushi.
  • Best ramen in Kyoto: Ippudo ramen. Not the best ramen but decent place with an easy to understand menu with decent price.
  • Best steak restaurant in Kyoto: Gion Karoku. Not the best steak restaurant but a decent yakiniku place in the historic geisha district where I take my guests. It is a bit pricey.
  • Best izakaya in Kyoto: Ganko Sanjo Honten near the Sanjo bridge. There are also many good izakayas on the Kiyamachi Street.
  • Best Vegetarian restaurant in KyotoAin Soph with unique vegan burgers.
  • Best Halal food / restaurant in Kyoto: Istanbul Restaurant with good selection of Mediterranean dishes.
  • Best Italian Restaurant in Kyoto: Pizza Salvatore Cuomo Pizza & Grill. Definitely not the best but a decent place with decent price located by the river.
  • How far is Kyoto from other cities? Kyoto is 15 mins from Osaka, 30 minutes from Kobe, 45 minutes from Nagoya and 2.5 hours from Tokyo (by bullet train).
  • What are Kyoto local dialect phrases? Ookini: thank you ; Oideyasu: Welcome…
  • What is Kyoto known for?  1- Cultural capital of Japan. There are fewer earthquakes in Kyoto and Kyoto was the only major city that was not bombed during the WW2 since the war minister in the US had spent his honeymoon in Kyoto and really liked the city. 2- Kyoto has the highest number of national treasures in Japan. 3- Kyoto has the highest number of bakery shops per capita in Japan. 4- Kyoto was modeled after the Tang dynasty capital in China. 5- Kyoto has many old town houses with gardens in the middle which are called “kyo machiya.” 6- Kyoto is where the kabuki culture, geisha culture, kimono tradition and the noh theater were born. 7- In Kansai, Kyoto is known to be the place for education (there are many high ranked universities). 8- Japanese people consider Kyotoites a bit snobbish and conservative. 9- Kyotoites are also known for their indirect communication style (it is believed that they never show their true face). 10- People of Kyoto think the capital should be Kyoto not Tokyo.

KYOTO TRAVEL TIPS

  • Kyoto and Osaka are not far from each other (many Kyoto residents work in Osaka). You can stay in Osaka and still come to Kyoto everyday during your visit.  
  • The downtown of Kyoto is not the Kyoto Station. The downtown area is near the Kawaramachi station.
  • The shopping district is Teramachi shopping Street. The souvenir shops and kimono shops are located on Shinkyogoku Street. The largest variety of electronics and cameras are found at Yodobashi Camera, a huge building right next to the Kyoto station .
  • JR pass is not a great option in Kyoto as you either have to ride a bus or take the subway. If there are 3 or more people in your group, taking a taxi is usually a good option. UBER is not common in japan and I usually use Didi and JapanTaxi instead. Both apps work just fine and have good rates.
  • There are very few public bathrooms in Kyoto, always remember these 3 spots to find a bathroom: convenience stores, train stations and franchise stores such as McDonalds and Starbucks.
  • There are very few public trash bins in Kyoto , always remember these 3 spots for public garbage can: convenience stores, train stations and franchise stores such as McDonald and Starbucks.
  • If it suddenly rains, or it gets too hot/cold, then you may want to go the Teramachi shopping area where there are so many shops, cafes and flea markets in a covered area.
  • During the Sakura (Cherry blossom season) everywhere gets so crowded, but you can enjoy the city by going to any zen garden I listed above.
  • Although it is changing , many shops still do not accept cards especially in the Nishiki market, so please always carry some cash.
  • In Kyoto, store owners usually don’t jack up prices in touristic areas, so feel free to buy souvenirs anywhere.
  • Always pick a young person to ask for directions. If you write what you are trying to say on a piece of paper, many people can understand you.
  • Always pick the oldest person to complain about something. In Japan hierarchy almost always depends on the age.
  • If you have a heavy backpack you can always put it in the lockers available at every train station.
  • The nearby cities are closer than you may think. You can go to Osaka in 15 minutes, Kobe in 25 minutes and Nara City in 40 minutes.

People always ask me “must do” or top things to do in Kyoto but I always give the same answer: it depends on your personality and your preferences. While some people may truly enjoy a cooking class some others may consider it a serious hassle while on vacation. That is why I included some common experiences (e.g. tea ceremony and kimono wearing) and also some uncommon ones (e.g. picnicking at the Kifune Shrine). Here is the list of more than 20 Kyoto experiences and Kyoto’s main sightseeing spots. PLEASE ENJOY!

WELCOME TO MY HOMETOWN KYOTO: OIDEYASU!

Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto, Samurai Costumes in Kyoto

samurai costumes kyoto
samurai costumes kyoto
NEW! Try samurai costumes at Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto

Samurai Museum Kyoto

Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto

Wear Japanese warrior costumes & pick up sword skills in an immersive samurai museum.  The interactive samurai & ninja museum near Nishiki Market. Kyoto samurai sword shop. Hourly samurai shows and hourly guided tours in English. Kyoto’s best rated samurai, ninja, martial arts and history museum. Our samurai souvenir shop has antique swords, replica katanas. A samurai village and samurai house feeling including a ninja dojo inside the museum. The ninja park for kids and a separate kimono tea ceremony room for families also available.
At our museum you can use a real samurai sword, wear a samurai armor, get a sword lesson, do a ninja training, watch a ninja show and throw shuriken (ninja star) and use a ninja blow gun.

The samurai & ninja museum is located in the downtown area of Kyoto near Nishiki Market.

The samurai & ninja museum hours are from 10:30 am ~ 8:00 PM.

The samurai & ninja museum price is ¥2400 for the FULL entrance fee and full experiences. The full package includes English guided tour, samurai armor experience, ninja star throw experience, ninja blow gun experience and samurai sword demonstration by a swords master.

The samurai & ninja museum is the cheapest experience in Kyoto and the only museum with continuous English guided tours. It is not a museum exhibitions only as the ticket includes many hands on activities and a samurai show. The ticket price is about 3 times cheaper than any other similar experience or any other similar guided tour in Kyoto.

The samurai & ninja museum is ranked as the #1 museum in Kyoto. You can read the Tripadvisor reviews here and you can read the google reviews below. You can see the user photos here 

ONLINE TICKETS 

 

Samurai Museum Kyoto

Japanese Sword Museum Kyoto

Spots near Nishiki Market

1. Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum (190m away)

Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum
Kyoto samurai & ninja museum. Kyoto’s best rated samurai, ninja, martial arts and history museum. Samurai souvenir gift shop also has swords, katana, tabi socks, tabi shoes. A samurai village and samurai house feeling including a ninja dojo inside the museum. The ninja park for kids and a separate kimono tea ceremony room for families also available. Samurai and Kyoto have always been associated throughout history. From the early Heian period to the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate the samurai and ninja always roamed the streets of Kyoto. Now they are back! What is more, you can have a hands on experience including wearing a samurai armor, doing a shuriken (ninja star) throw and ninja blow gun. Japan’s largest experience based museum dedicated to the glorious history of brave samurai warriors, everlasting ninja fighters and the martial arts.
Address: Teramachi Utanokoji building 2F, 292, Higashidaimonjicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 〒604-8043

2. GEAR THEATRE ART COMPLEX 1928 (500m away)

Art complex 1928 building, Sanjo street, Kyoto
GEAR is a Japanese long-run non-verbal theatre show that originates in Kyoto and incorporates elements of technology, skilled performance arts. It is the first long-run show with original content in Japan. GEAR was first created by Art Complex in Osaka as a project of the Osaka Regional Arts and Cultural Promotion Project Plan. After several successful runs promoted by different cultural affairs agencies in the Kansai region, it opened as a long run show in a specially designated theatre in downtown Kyoto in April 2012. It is currently in its fifth year of performances.
Address: 1928build.3F, 56 Benkeiishicho ,Nakagyoku, Kyoto

3. Ponto-Cho (750m away)

traffic jam in ponto cho
Ponto-chō  is a Hanamachi district in Kyoto, Japan, known for geiko and maiko and home to many geiko houses and traditional tea houses. Like Gion, Ponto-chō is famous for the preservation of forms of traditional architecture and entertainment. Ponto-chō centres around one long, narrow, cobbled alley running from Shijō-dōri to Sanjō-dōri, one block west of the Kamo River (Kamo-gawa). This is also the traditional location of the start of kabuki, and a statue of Okuni still stands on the opposite side of the river. The district crest is a stylized water plover or chidori.
Geiko and maiko have existed in Ponto-chō since at least the 16th century, as have prostitution and other forms of entertainment. Today the area, lit by traditional lanterns at night, contains a mix of very expensive restaurants — often featuring outdoor riverside dining on wooden patios — geisha houses and tea houses, brothels, bars, and cheap eateries.
The area is also home to the Ponto-chō Kaburenjō Theatre at the Sanjō-dōri end of the street. This theatre functions as a practice hall for geiko and maiko and twice a year since the 1870s Kyoto geiko and maiko perform the Kamogawa Odori — Kamogawa river dancing, a combination of traditional dance, kabuki-like theatre, singing and the playing of traditional instruments — there, offering a rare chance for ordinary people to see performances by real geiko and maiko.
An American Liza Dalby became a geiko in Ponto-chō during college studies and later wrote a popular book favorable to the community there.
Address: Pontocho, Kashiwayacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

4. Gion Shirakawa (1.1km away)

Gion Shirakawa
The Shirakawa is a river in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan. It flows into the Kamo River. Its name means “white river” in Japanese, due to the fine-grained white sand that it carries from the hills east of Kyoto. Directly before entering the Kamo River, it passes through the geisha district of Gion, where many traditional establishments, such as ochaya (geisha houses) and restaurants, line the river.
Address: Motoyoshi-cho, Higashiyama, Kyoto

5. Daitoku-ji Temple (5.7km away)

Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Daitoku-ji is a Buddhist temple, one of fourteen autonomous branches of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen. It is located in Kita-ku. The “mountain name” (sangō) by which it is known is Ryūhōzan (龍宝山). The Daitoku-ji temple complex today covers more than 23 hectares (57 acres).
Daitoku-ji originated as a small monastery founded in 1315 or 1319 by the monk Shūhō Myōchō (宗峰妙超, also pronounced Sōhō Myōchō; 1282–1337), who is known by the title Daitō Kokushi (“National Teacher of the Great Lamp”) given by Emperor Go-Daigo. In 1325, the monastery was converted into a supplicationhall for the imperial court at the request of the retired Emperor Hanazono. The dedication ceremony for the imperial supplication hall, with its newly added dharma hall and abbot’s living quarters, was held in 1326, and this is generally recognized as the true founding of the temple.
Like many other temples in Kyoto during that time, the temple’s buildings were destroyed by fire. In 1474, which was when Kyoto was the scene of the Ōnin War, Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado designated Ikkyū Sōjun as the head priest. With the help of merchants of the city of Sakai, Ikkyū contributed significantly to the temple’s rehabilitation.
From its earliest days, the temple experienced alternating periods of fortune and decline. This can be attributed to the rivalries and conflicts between Daitoku-ji and other well-known Zen temples, as well as between Daitoku-ji and the political authorities.
Daitoku-ji became particularly important from the sixteenth century, when it was predominantly supported by members of the military establishment, who sponsored the building of subsidiary temples as prayers for their ancestors or in preparation for their own demise. In 1582, Toyotomi Hideyoshi buried his predecessor, Oda Nobunaga, at Daitoku-ji. He also contributed land and built the Sōken-in.
Around this period in history, Daitoku-ji became closely linked to the master of the Japanese tea ceremony, Sen no Rikyū, and consequently to the realm of the Japanese tea ceremony. After the era of Sen no Rikyū, another famous figure in the history of the Japanese tea ceremony who left his mark at this temple was Kobori Enshū.
Address: 53 Murasakino Daitokujicho, Kita-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

6. Hanami Koji Street (1.2km away)

Hanami-koji
Hanami Koji Street is a charming ancient street in Gion district lined up with wooden merchant houses. It is “must see” place for tourists in Kyoto ans also small street with cozy restaurants.
Address: 570-128 Minamigawa, Gionmachi, Higashiyama, Kyoto

7. Kyoto International Manga Museum (1.2km away)

Kyoto International Manga Museum
The Kyoto International Manga Museum is located in Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto. The building housing the museum is the former Tatsuike Elementary School. The museum opened on November 25, 2006. Its collection of 300,000 items includes such varieties as Meiji period magazines and postwar rental books.
The museum is a public-private partnership of Kyoto Seika University and the city of Kyoto. The city provided the building and land. The university operates the facility under the oversight of a joint committee. The museum is divided into a number of public zones. One is the gallery zone; another is the research zone; the third is the collection zone. There are permanent and special exhibits, a Tatsuike history room, a museum shop, and a kissaten. The 200 m of stacks hold 50,000 volumes in the “manga wall”, which can be taken down and read freely.
There are various places for reading the manga in the collection – the halls have various seats, and there are some reading rooms, together with some outdoor benches. On the first floor, there is a room with children’s manga for young children and their parents. In front of the museum, there is also a large lawn with artificial turf; on nice days young couples often lie on the lawn, reading manga from the collection.
Address: Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0846 Japan

8. Gion (1.3km away)

Gion Orientation
Gion is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originally developed in the Sengoku period, in front of Yasaka Shrine (Gion Shrine). The district was built to accommodate the needs of travelers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan. The term Gion is related to Jetavana. The geisha in Kyoto do not refer to themselves as geisha; instead, they use the local term geiko. While the term geisha means “artist” or “person of the arts”, the more direct term geiko means essentially “a woman of art”.
This neighborhood in Kyoto has two hanamachi (geiko communities. There are five hanamachi in Kyoto): Gion Kobu and Gion Higashi, which split many years ago; Kobu is larger, occupying most of the district, while Higashi is smaller and occupies the northeast corner, centered on its rehearsal hall. Despite the considerable decline in the number of geisha in Gion in the last one hundred years, it is still famous for the preservation of forms of traditional architecture and entertainment. Part of this district has been declared a national historical preservation district. Recently, the City of Kyoto completed a project to restore the streets of Gion, which included such plans as moving all overhead utilities underground as part of the ongoing effort to preserve the original beauty of Gion.
The geiko and maiko of Gion perform annual public dances, as do those of all five geisha districts in Kyoto. The oldest of these date to the Kyoto exhibition of 1872. The more popular of these is the Miyako Odori, literally “Dances of the Old Capital” (sometimes instead referred to as “Cherry Blossom Dances”), staged by the geisha of Gion Kobu, which dates to 1872. The dances run from April 1 through April 30 each year during the height of the cherry blossom (sakura) season. Spectators from Japan and worldwide attend the events, which range from “cheap” seats on tatami mats on the floor, to reserved seats with a small tea ceremony beforehand. Gion Higashi holds a similar dance in early November, around autumn leaves, known as Gion Odori; this is more recent and has fewer performances.
Address: Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

9. Yasaka Shrine (1.5km away)

The Dance Stage with Hundreds of Lanterns in Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社), Kyoto (京都) Japan
Yasaka Shrine, once called Gion Shrine (Gion-jinja), is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto, Japan. Situated at the east end of Shijō-dōri (Fourth Avenue), the shrine includes several buildings, including gates, a main hall and a stage.
Initial construction on the Shrine began in 656. The Shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers be sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines; and in 991, Emperor Ichijō added three more shrines to Murakami’s list. Three years later in 994, Ichijō refined the scope of that composite list by adding Umenomiya Shrineand Gion Shrine.
From 1871 through 1946, Yasaka Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha, meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines. In 869 the mikoshi (divine palanquin) of Gion Shrine were paraded through the streets of Kyoto to ward off an epidemic that had hit the city. This was the beginning of the Gion Matsuri, an annual festival which has become world famous.
Today, in addition to hosting the Gion Matsuri, Yasaka Shrine welcomes thousands of people every New Year, for traditional Japanese New Year rituals and celebrations. In April, the crowds pass through the temple on their way to Maruyama Park, a popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) site. Lanterns decorate the stage with the names of festival sponsors.
Address: 625 Giommachi Kitagawa Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

10. Sanjusangen-do (2.6km away)

Japan & South Korea 2014 - 1032
Sanjūsangen-dō is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as “Rengeō-in”, or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjūsangen-dō belongs to and is run by the Myōhō-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.
Taira no Kiyomori completed the temple under order of Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1164. The temple complex suffered a fire in 1249 and only the main hall was rebuilt in 1266. In January, the temple has an event known as the Rite of the Willow, where worshippers are touched on the head with a sacred willow branch to cure and prevent headaches. A popular archery tournament known as the Tōshiya has also been held here, beside the West veranda, since the Edo period. The duel between the famous warrior Miyamoto Musashi and Yoshioka Denshichirō, leader of the Yoshioka-ryū, is popularly believed to have been fought just outside Sanjūsangen-dō in 1604.
The main deity of the temple is Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara or the Thousand Armed Kannon. The statue of the main deity was created by the Kamakura sculptorTankei and is a National Treasure of Japan. The temple also contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. Of these, 124 statues are from the original temple, rescued from the fire of 1249, while the remaining 876 statues were constructed in the 13th century. The statues are made of Japanese cypress clad in gold leaf. The temple is 120 – meter long. Around the 1000 Kannon statues stand 28 statues of guardian deities. There are also two famous statues of Fūjin and Raijin.
Address: Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, 657 Sanjusangendomawari, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

11. Higashiyama (1.9km away)

Higashiyama, Kyoto
The Higashiyama culture is a segment of Japanese culture originated and promoted in the 15th century by the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, after he retired to his villa in the eastern hills of the capital city Kyoto.
Based largely on the ideals and aesthetics of Zen Buddhism and the concept of wabi-sabi (beauty in simplicity), Higashiyama culture centered on the development of chadō (Japanese tea ceremony), ikebana (flower arranging), Noh drama, and sumi-e ink painting. Much of what is commonly seen today as traditional Japanese culture originated or developed in this period. Higashiyama culture is often contrasted with Kitayama bunka, the “Kitayama Culture” from earlier in the Muromachi period. In this comparison Kinkaku-ji, representative of Kitayama culture is compared with Ginkaku-ji, representative of Higashiyama culture.

Yoshimasa’s retirement villa was turned into the temple Ginkaku-ji (the Temple of the Silver Pavilion) after his death. It is situated in Kyoto’s Sakyō-ku, and was the center of the Higashiyama cultural outgrowth in a number of ways. The Pavilion is revered for its simple beauty, the silver having never been added. The rock garden next to it is likewise one of the most famous in Japan, and praised for its Zen and wabi-sabi aesthetics. It is a quintessential example of the idea that only the trained expert should be able to recognize the subtle beauty within art and architecture; the beauty of the object should not be underscored and emphasized, but gently hidden. The retired shogun also invited many artists, poets, and court nobles to his villa, encouraging the development of their arts. A vast and priceless collection of artifacts came together, which was known as the Higashiyama Treasure.
The Tōgudō building includes a shoin-style room called the Dōjinsai. It originally had a fireplace built into the floor, and due to this, the Dōjinsai is considered the earliest extant example of a room designed for use as a tea room.
There were many architectural innovations in this period, exhibited in the Ginkaku-ji in particular, which would later become core elements in the shoin style of 17th century architecture. One of these elements was the tokonoma, a small alcove in which scrolls are hung, and flowers or other small articles are placed to enhance the aesthetic feel of the room. The great ink-painter Sesshū Tōyō spent much time at the Ginkaku-ji, and this period also saw the birth of the Kanō school of Japanese painting as well as an early version of chanoyu tea ceremony. Tea ceremony would be further formalized by Sen no Rikyū in the 16th century.
Address: Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

12. Chion-in Temple (1.9km away)

Chion-in, Kyoto
Chion-in in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto is the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect) founded by Hōnen (1133–1212), who proclaimed that sentient beings are reborn in Amida Buddha’s Western Paradise (Pure Land) by reciting the nembutsu, Amida Buddha’s name.
The vast compounds of Chion-in include the site where Hōnen settled to disseminate his teachings and the site where he died.
The colossal main gate, the Sanmon, was built in 1619 and is the largest surviving structure of its kind in Japan. Chion-in has a large and a small guest house in the irimoya roof style called Ohojo and Kohojo that are designated Important Cultural Heritages. Both guest houses were built in 1641. Chion-in is home to Japan’s largest temple bell, which was commissioned in 1633 and weighs 74 tons. It used to require a 25 man team to sound it. But now the temple website says 17 are needed.
There are two interesting features to note about Chion-in. First, all roof beams are carved with the family crest of the Tokugawa family: three hollyhock leaves. Another feature is the umbrella found stashed in the rafters outside the main temple. One of the architects who helped rebuild the temple placed the umbrella in the rafters to help bring rain (and thereby ward off fire).

Lastly, an interesting feature inside the temple is the very squeaky boards, an example of a nightingale floor. The wooden boards were built with metal ends that would rub against the metal joints they were attached to, created a piercing noise as people step on them. This was intentionally done so that when the Tokugawa family stayed at the temple, they could detect unwanted intruders at night.
Address: 400 Rinka-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-8686

13. Kodai-ji (2km away)

Kodai-ji, Kyoto
Kōdai-ji, formally identified as Jubuzan Kōdai-ji, is a temple of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan—the largest subtemple of the Kennin-ji branch. It was established in 1606 by the nun Kōdai-in (often known by the title Kita no Mandokoro), who was the widow of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, to pray for her late husband. The principal image is a statue of Shaka. The gardens of Kōdai-ji are a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. The temple possesses a number of objects designated as Important Cultural Assets. Among these are the Main Gate and the Spirit Hall, noted for its use of maki-e. The temple is nicknamed the maki-e temple.” It also holds paintings, including one of Hideyoshi, as well as textiles, and a bronze bell with an inscription dating it to 1606.
Address: 526 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

14. Ishibei Koji (1.8km away)

Ishibei-koji
If you go south from the southern tower gate of Yasaka Shrine and then take the 3rd left to enter a small narrow lane you’ll get to Ishibei Koji. Along the sides, there are ryotei restaurants and ryokan that retain the old atmosphere of the early 20th century when these establishments were first constructed.
Address: 463-29 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama, Kyoto

15. Sento Imperial Palace (2.1km away)

Sento Imperial Palace
The Sentō Imperial Palace 22 acres (89,000 m2) is a large garden in Kyoto, formerly the grounds of a palace for retired emperors. It is administered by the Imperial Household Agency and may be visited by appointment. As with Kyoto Imperial Palace, prior reservations are necessary to enter Sento Imperial Palace.
Sento Imperial Palace was completed in 1630 for Emperor Go-Mizunoo’s retirement, along with the corresponding Ōmiya Palace for the Empress Dowager Nyoin. Both palaces were repeatedly destroyed by fire and reconstructed until a blaze in 1854, after which the Sento palace was never rebuilt. (Ōmiya Palace was, however, reconstructed in 1867 and is still used by the emperor whenever he visits Kyoto). Today only two Sento structures, the Seika-tei and Yushin-tei teahouses, remain. The excellent gardens, laid out in 1630 by renowned artist Kobori Masakazu (Kobori Enshu), are now its main attractions.
The palace grounds are located within the southeast corner of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and entered via a stately wooden gate within its surrounding earthen wall. A carriage house with graceful triple gables sits just within, but still outside the garden’s unadorned inner wall, whose gate leads directly to a fine view opening westward across the garden pond.
The garden’s primary feature is a large pond with islands and walkways, whose north and south segments were linked by a short canal in 1747. The north pond was extended and reworked from 1684-1688; the south pond is notable for its expansive “ocean shore” of rounded stones and cherry trees, an edging of mixed natural and hewn stones, and a separate, understated embankment of squared stones. The ponds contain a variety of highly picturesque islands and six bridges in a varied styles, including one with an impressive wisteria trellis (built 1895).
Two teahouses complete the garden: Seika-tei, single-roofed and spare, at the southern end of the south pond; and Yushin-tei, thatched and rustic with a notable round window, at the western side of the north pond.
Address: Sento Imperial Palace, 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

16. Maruyama Park (1.6km away)

Maruyama Park Bridge
Maruyama Park is a park in Kyoto, Japan. It is noted as the main center for cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto, and can get extremely crowded at that time of year (April). The park’s star attraction is a weeping cherry tree (shidarezakura) which becomes lit up at night. It also becomes busy in the New Year’s Eve Festivals.
The main entrance to the park is through Yasaka Shrine, which sits at the eastern end of Shijō Street in the Gion District. Directly to the north (and abutting the park) is the vast temple of Chion-in, followed by the smaller temple of Shōren-in. The park is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty.
Address: Maruyama Park, 473 Maruyamacho Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

17. Shoren-in (2.2km away)

Shoren-in
Shōren-in is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. Also known as the Awata Palace, it was built in the late 13th century. Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu pure land sect, was ordained a monk at Shōren-in at the age of nine.
Shōren-in was formerly the temple of the imperial abbot of the Tendai headquarters on Mount Hiei; the abbot was required to be chosen from the imperial family or high court aristocracy. After the Great Kyoto Fire of 1788, it was used as a temporary imperial palace. The main hall was rebuilt in 1895.
The temple complex contains a garden with massive eight-hundred-year-old camphor trees (kusunoki), and a pond filled with large stones and fed by a small waterfall.
Address: Shōren-in Awataguchi Higashiyama-ku Kyoto

18. Nijo Jinya (2km away)

二條陣屋 - Nijo Jinya
Traditional house of samurai period with four hundred years history that converted into inn for residins and viewing y visitors. Best combined with a tour to Nijo Castle.
Address: Nijo Jinya, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

19. Sanneizaka (Sannenzaka) (2.2km away)

Sannei-Zaka, Higashi-Yama, Kyoto / 京都・産寧坂
Sanneizaka (Sannenzaka) this is a lane on a hill that goes down to Kiyomizu Temple in the south. The area is alive with tourists visiting the souvenir shops and restaurants. The old-fashioned street is a precious sight that has been selected as a National Important Preservation District of Historic Buildings.
Address: 2-221 Higashiyama, Kyoto

20. Kyoto National Museum (2.4km away)

Snowy morning
The Kyoto National Museum is one of the major art museums in Japan. Located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama ward, the museum focuses on pre-modern Japanese and Asian art. The Kyoto National Museum, then the Imperial Museum of Kyoto, was proposed, along with the Imperial Museum of Tokyo (Tokyo National Museum) and the Imperial Museum of Nara (Nara National Museum), in 1889, and construction on the museum finished in October, 1895. The museum was opened in 1897. The museum went through a series of name changes, in 1900 changing its name to the Imperial Household Museum of Kyoto, and once more in 1924 to the Imperial Gift Museum of Kyoto. The current name, the Kyoto National Museum, was decided upon in 1952.
The museum was originally built to house and display art treasures privately owned by temples and shrines, as well as items donated by the Imperial Household Ministry. Currently, most all of the items in the museum are more or less on permanent loan from one of those places.
The museum focuses on mainly pre-modern Japanese works (it is said to have the largest collection of Heian period artifacts) and Asian art. The museum is also well known for its collections of rare and ancient Chinese and Japanese sutras. Other famous works include senzui byōbu (landscape screen) from the 11th century, and the gakizōshi (Scroll of Hungry Ghosts) from the 12th century. Altogether, the museum houses over 12,000 works, of which around 6,000 are on display at the museum. The museum also boasts photographic archives containing over 200,000 photographic negatives and color transparencies. In the Fine Arts collections alone, there are more than 230 pieces that have been designated as either National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.
Address: 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku,Kyoto

京都ツアーガイドのための英語と日本文化の研修トレーニングプログラム

京都ツアーガイドのための英語と日本文化の研修トレーニングプログラム

ツアーガイド及び観光産業で働く人のための英語による文化講座
京都で日本文化を英語で学ぶには、このツアーガイドのためのワークショップに参加して
日本の歴史を一緒に勉強するのが一番です。ワークショップは毎週火曜日の夜6時~7時に開催されており、ホテル勤務の方やコンシェルジェ、
プロのガイドやガイド初心者の方、及びボランティアガイドの方々までどなたでも参加いただけます。
このプログラムでは、英語力にさらに磨きをかけるだけでなく、イスラム圏からのお客様、シングリッシュ
(シンガポールイングリッシュ)、LGBTや体の不自由なお客様をお迎えして、京都や奈良、高野山や広島を
英語でご案内できるレベルの能力を得ることを目指します。
例えば、
1 大勢の前での流暢な英語の話し方
2 知らない事を聞かれた場合の答え方
3 異なる客層(ビジネスマン、修学旅行、個人旅行、大家族等)への対応の仕方
4 京都や他のエリアでの隠れ名所
5 外国人が好きなことや、何を本当に知りたいと思っているか、等々
講師:大学教授(博士号取得)、 異文化コミュニケーション、日本文化専攻
旅行者にとって何が一番重要か?
授業構成:
18:00  毎週のトピック(例、近鉄って何?
18:30  ディスカッション
18:45  ペアワーク(よくある質問について)
18:50  ガイド及びコンシェルジュのやり方、秘訣
19:00  終了

費用:1000円
会場:Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum (錦市場から1分)
Tour guide osaka wakayama kyoto
毎週の授業トピックス:
#1 日本文化
#2 大阪文化
#3 日本庭園
#4 日本の城
#5 日本料理
#6 茶道
#7 書道
#8 武道(合気道、空手、柔道、相撲、弓道、剣道、銃剣道)
#9 着物の歴史
#10 芸者の歴史
#11 侍の歴史
#12 禅
#13 寺院と神社の違い
#14 舞妓と芸者の違い
#15 金継ぎ
#16 墨絵
#17 浮世絵
#18 文楽
#19 落語
#20 能舞台の歴史
#21 三味線、琴、太鼓
#22 刀、弓、槍、剣舞、居合道
#23 日本の歴史(古墳時代)
#24 日本の歴史(奈良時代)
#25 日本の歴史(平安時代)
#26 日本の歴史(鎌倉時代)
#27 日本の歴史(室町時代)
#28 日本の歴史(江戸時代)
#29 日本の歴史(江戸幕末)
#30 日本の歴史(明治時代)

What matters most to travelers (academic study)

Tour gudies Osaka
京都/大阪のツアーガイド・コンシェルジュにが外国人観光客によく聞かれる質問:
・なぜ日本人はマスクをつけて外出するのですか?
・なぜ日本の街はこんなにキレイなのですか?
・日本人は朝食に何を食べますか?
・日本人はどのように寝るのですか?
・なぜ日本人は挨拶やお礼の際にお辞儀をするのですか?
・日本の宗教は何教ですか?
・日本の気候について教えてください。
・大阪・京都・日本の人口を教えてください。
・日本政府について教えてください。
・侍は今も日本に存在しますか?
・忍者は今も日本に存在しますか?
・芸者は今も日本に存在しますか?
・京都/大阪でのツアーガイドのやり方と秘訣を教えてください。
追加トピックス
・トリップアドバイザーでの悪いレビューの分析方法
・トリップアドバイザーでの良いレビューの分析方法

English & Culture Training for Tour Guides in Kyoto

English & Culture Lessons for Tour Guides and Hospitality Industry Workers in Kyoto

Japanese culture in Kyoto can be best learned by tour guide meetings that include workshops on English, Japanese history and Japanese culture. These tour guide workshops are held every Tuesday from 6pm to 7 pm and they are open to professional tour guides, tour guide candidates and volunteer tour guides in addition to hotel clerks and concierge. The meetings are ideal to be more fluent in English, learn about various types of guests (Muslim Guests, Singh Guests, LGBT guests, guests with disabilities, etc.), expand your knowledge on Kyoto tours, Nara tours,  Mt. Koya tours, and Hiroshima Tours. You will be taught

  • How to speak English more fluently in front of a large group
  • How to respond if you don’t know an answer to a question
  • What are the differences in terms of expectations from different types of travelers (business, school trip, FIT, large family, etc.)
  • Where the best off the beaten tracks are in Kyoto and other places
  • What foreigners really like and really want to know about Japan, and etc..

Teacher: A college professor with PhD, who specializes in intercultural communication and Japanese culture

What matters most to travelers (academic study)

Tour gudies Osaka
The Format of the Class:

  • 18:00 Weekly topic (e.g. What is Kintsugi)
  • 18:30 Discussion
  • 18:45 pair work on common questions on Japan (e.g. Why do Japanese people bow?)
  • 18:50 Guiding tips and techniques (e.g. What to do if there is a conflict between you and the guests)
  • 19:00 Finish
  • On certain days, we will meet an hour early and have a guiding field trip to Nishiki Market, Yasaka Shrine, etc.
  • Cost: ¥1000, pay on the spot.

Location: Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum (near Nishiki Ichiba)
Weekly topics

  • Differences between Japan and Islamic Countries
  • Differences between Japan and other Asian Countries
  • Differences between Japan and Western Countries
  • The culture of Kyoto
  • Japanese gardens
  • Japanese castles
  • Japanese cuisine
  • Tea ceremony
  • Calligraphy
  • Martial arts, aikido, karate, judo, sumo, kyudo, kendo, jukendo
  • The tradition of kimono
  • The tradition of geisha
  • The tradition of samurai
  • The tradition of sumo
  • Zen Buddhism
  • Shinto beliefs
  • Differences between temples and shrines
  • Differences between maiko and geisha
  • Differences between samurai and ninja
  • The role of the emperor in Japanese society
  • Kintsugi
  • Sumi e
  • Ukiyo e
  • Bunraku
  • Rakugo
  • Noh theater culture
  • Shamisen, koto, taiko
  • Katana, yumi, yari, kenbu, iado
  • Japanese history -kofun
  • Japanese history-Nara
  • Japanese history- Heian
  • Japanese history-Kamakura
  • Japanese history-Muromachi
  • Japanese history-Edo
  • Japanese history- Bakumatsu
  • Japanese history-Meiji
  • Recommended restaurants in Kyoto
  • Recommended hidden gems in Kyoto
  • Typical Kyoto Itineraries

Commonly asked questions to tour guides in Kyoto

  • Where and how to see a geisha?
  • Is there a sumo wrestling tournament in Kyoto?
  • What do local Kyoto people do on weekends?
  • Where are the vegetarian restaurants in Kyoto
  • Where are the Halal restaurants in Kyoto
  • Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks?
  • Why is Japan so clean?
  • What do Japanese people eat for breakfast?
  • How do Japanese people sleep?
  • Why do Japanese people bow?
  • What is the religion of Japan? Are Japanese Buddhist or Shintoist?
  • What is the climate of Kyoto like?
  • What is the population of Kyoto, Osaka, Japan?
  • What is the government of Japan like?
  • Are there real samurai today?
  • Are there real ninja today?
  • Are there real geisha today?
  • Do Japanese hunt dolphins and whales?
  • Does Yakuza exist?
  • How many days do I need to stay in Kyoto?

Additional topics

  • -Analysis of negative guide reviews on Tripadvisor. What to do in order to not get a bad review on Tripadvisor?
  • -Analysis of positive guide reviews on Tripadvisor. What to do in order to not get a bad review on Tripadvisor?

Yakuza

While it would be easy to identify them with their Western counterparts, the mafia, or the triads, the yakuza are not quite the same. The list of vices they engage in is nothing new: prostitution, gambling, drugs, human trafficking, pornography. But what sets these gang members, with chopped off fingers and full-body tattoos, apart, is the fact that they are pretty mainstream- gangsters in business suits. Imagine American mafia opening its office on Wall Street and proudly sporting its emblem on the front door? That’s nothing uncommon for the yakuza in Japan-and neither are the press conferences, their own magazine with haiku poems, participation in tsunami relief efforts or mediation of disputes.
Origins
The origins of the yakuza can be traced back to feudal Japan: bakuto, outlaws who participated in gambling, and tekiya, or street peddlers, both of them coming from the lowest social groups. The name yakuza is popularly believed to be derived from the card game, oicho-kabu, in which a losing hand is named ya-ku-za.

Yubitsume: Chopping off Fingers
Yakuza members who transgress are forced to cut off their fingers. It starts with a left pinkie, but the more transgressions, the more fingers are to be cut off. Many former yakuza members resort to synthetic fingers to fit better into a society. For this reason, Bob the Builder has 5 fingers in Japan, and 4 everywhere else in the world- so that people would not think he was a yakuza.

Initiation Ritual
The hierarchical structure of a yakuza organization resembles that of a family. New recruits are referred to as a kobun (child), and they are subordinated to oyabun (father). This kobun-oyabun link is cemented in the ritual of sakazukigoto. Kobun and oyabun drink sake, a Japanese rice wine, kobun drinking a smaller portion and oyabun having his glass filled to the brim, a sign of his position of authority. The ritual ends when they swap their drinks.

Sumo connection
In traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre, there is a play about a sumo wrestler who becomes a yakuza. In real life too, there are many sumo wrestlers who became yakuza enforcers or even bosses. Back in 2010, a scandal broke out, with 15 wrestlers and 14 stable masters being accused of participating in illegal gambling organized by the yakuza.

Tattoos
The yakuza sport full-body tattoos ( irezumi) featuring dragons, women, mountains, or samurai. They cover even the private parts of the yakuza, and are seen as a symbol of bravery, because the procedure of their application is very painful and takes a long time. Tattooed skin of dead yakuza members can be found on display in some Japanese museums.

Lifestyle
It is not all booze, women, gambling and drugs for the yakuza. They even have a poetic side, their magazine Yamaguchi-gumi Shinpo featured haiku poems and practical life advice for yakuza members. Many yakuza members participated in the Japanese tsunami relief efforts in 2011, delivering supplies and aiding affected people in many ways, because that is what their code of honor demands.

Yamaguchi-gumi
The yakuza comprise three syndicates, the largest of which is Yamaguchi-gumi with 55.000 members and 80 billion dollars worth, making them one of the richest gangs in the world. They are spread internationally, with the US blacklisting several of their leaders. In 2009, Yamaguchi-gumi gave a 12-page exam to its members, testing their knowledge on Anti-Organized Crime Law. Their members are forbidden from engaging in drug trafficking.
Current Yakuza groups and their crests:

Yamabishi

Sumiyoshi-kai

Inagawa-kai

Aizukotetsu-kai

Samurai Connection
The earliest ancestors of the yakuza were the kabuki-mono, or the “crazy ones“, rogue samurai ronins (masterless samurai), who often took pleasure in testing the sharpness of their blades on people passing by.

Political Scandals
Keishu Tanaka, Japanese minister of justice, was forced to resign because of his yakuza links, but he is not the only one. The largest political party in Japan, Liberal Democrat Party, also has strong yakuza links, relying on the gang to help its campaign and provide bodyguards to its officials.

Women in the yakuza
There are not many women in the yakuza, but those who are members are known as ane-san (older sisters). History knows of some onna-oyabuns (female godmothers), who had their own gambling crews. Kill Bill: Volume 1, features O-Ren Ishii, the head of the Tokyo yakuza.

Modern-day Robin Hoods
Known by authorities as boryokudan (violent groups), the yakuza prefer to call themselves ninkyo dantai (chivalrous organizations). They portray themselves as modern-day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

Kanji Yakuza

Katana-Favorite Weapon
Because of samurai connection, the weapon of choice for the yakuza is katana, traditional Japanese sword. Back in 1994, Fujifilm vice president Juntaro Suzuki was slain with katana after refusing to pay bribes.

Yakuza members may sometimes be seen at Pachinko parlors. Though pachinko (legalized form of arcade game based gambling) halls are not necessarily run or managed by the Yakuza.