10 reasons why you should travel to Kyoto instead of Tokyo

Enock Maina Methus 21 March 2021 151 views 5 min. read

Deciding on the destination of your vacation can sometimes be overwhelming. Romantic cities like Rome and Paris are perfect choices for vacations. However, spending time in Kyoto brings new tastes and insights that you only read about them. If you were to travel to Kyoto or Tokyo, which one would you prefer? Here we'll provide you with what you need to know on how to travel to Kyoto, where to stay in Kyoto, and what to do in Kyoto. For the questions on applying for a Japan visa, you can check the "Services" page on our website. A trip to Japan is never complete without visiting its historical and cultural centre. Kyoto is a massive city in Honshu, the main island found in the Kansai region Southern side of Lake Biwa. Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan due to its historical value. Kyoto tower is one of the famous destinations in Kyoto. Kyoto is home to historical temples, sanctuaries, and monuments that have been classified as a world heritage site by Unesco. Kyoto has highly been regarded as a traditional Japanese city. Some of the places you can visit during a time in Kyoto include visiting treasured shrines, Kyoto tower, numerous Palace's and gardens that have been spared from the atomic bombs and air raids during world war II. Below are 10 reasons why you should travel to Kyoto instead of Tokyo.

1. The Heian Jingu Shrine

heian jingu shrine

Heian Jingu shrine, built in 1895, is a Shinto sanctuary situated on the Northern side of Kyoto. The beautiful complex has been put aside to pay tribute to Kyoto for being the Imperial capital for Japan in the period of Heian in antiquity. In case you'd want to know what to do in Kyoto? Taking a walk under the wonderful cherry trees towards the pink sustained is an experience worth the detour. Kyoto weather is outstanding here. Encounter its full potential at the end of the Sakura season. It is when the cherry trees manifest wonderful falling branches with rosy colours. Find out how to travel to Kyoto and enjoy visiting the Heian Jingu shrine and many other beautiful shrines and regions. 

2. Kyoto's landscape

kyoto landscape

The landscape in places like Higashiyama district makes Kyoto weather conducive for most visitors in this place. Kyoto's charms lie, particularly during the spring. Kyoto is, without a doubt, a convenient place for anyone to spend amazing moments visiting the Kyoto tower, Kyoto restaurants, Kyoto University, as well as, Kyoto airport. Find out more about how to travel to Kyoto and enjoy touring these spectacular destinations.

3. Travel using the bullet train

high speed train

The bullet train system in Japan established in 1964 allows visitors to travel between major Japanese cities like Nagoya, Tokyo, and Osaka at a high speed of 210 kilometres per hour. However, through advances, the bullet train systems have been upgraded to reach a maximum speed of 320 kilometres per hour, as well as, other lines have been established. Especially for long distances, this is the most convenient and fastest option. When you travel to Kyoto from Tokyo, travelling using the bullet train is among the best ways to spend time in Kyoto. Visitors from the US where high-speed train travels are limited to a few regions in the country. Seats on the Nozomi train costs about $128. Traveling using the bullet train in Kyoto is more relaxed compared to air travel. 

4. Visit the Bamboo forest

bamboo forest

Sagano bamboo first is found in Arashiyama District. Quite a fascinating destination. Tourists in Japan are always aware of how to travel to Kyoto and explore such amazing places. Exploring the Sagano bamboo forest should be on your list for what to do in Kyoto. Visitors to this place will fall in love with Kyoto weather. Warm enough to allow you to walk around easily, as well as visit other places like Kyoto tower, Kyoto restaurant, Kyoto airport, and other spectacular places around. Not only is the bamboo forest feast for the eyes, listening to the mature bamboo stalks sway smoothly in the wind is extremely soothing and mesmerizing. Kyoto weather in this place allows you to walk through the bamboo forest and immerse yourself in an intense nature music spa. Spending your time in Kyoto here is a nice sensory experience. 

5. Stay in a Ryokan

traditional japanese house

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that implies a room, or sometimes even an entire building. Residing in a ryokan usually incorporates meals at various prices. Another ryokan might only allow you to choose between having breakfasts only or no meal at all. Unlike hotels, Ryokans are relatively cheaper. A mid-budget ryokan is built in modern buildings. Kyoto offers the most luxurious ryokans in Japan. Here you will get an opportunity to enjoy the actual ryokan experience. This includes private gardens, traditional wooden buildings, legendary Kyoto service, and sumptuous kaiseki meals. These are wonderful choices for families because you get to enjoy time together in the compound.  Tokyo offers luxurious properties and capsule hotels during your vacation. Those who would want to know where to stay in Kyoto? Unlike other restaurants in other places of the world, Kyoto restaurants are traditionally designed for you. Kyoto restaurants offer a more Zen vibe. This makes it a convenient place to reside in a traditional Japanese inn, referred to as a Ryokan. Hoshinoya is among the best Kyoto restaurants where you arrive using a boat. On arrival at Kyoto airport, one can easily acquire directions on getting to a Ryokan in Kyoto.

6. Find a Geisha or someone that is dressed like one

geisha style

For those who have been to Kyoto university, you might have had a chance to spot a Geisha. Kyoto has a rich history as the cultural heart of Japan. This implies that many Japanese people are comfortable wearing garments resembling the kimono and Japanese flip flops known as geta. In case you might gain interest in these garments, there are kimono rental stores where the Japanese and other visitors can hire these garments for a day. Explore more about how to travel to Kyoto, a place where geishas train. If you are lucky to walk through Kyoto University or Gion district, you are likely to see a young geisha or a geisha in training(maiko) on the streets.

7. Enjoy spending time in the outdoors

flight to kyoto

Upon arrival at Kyoto airport, you get a chance to experience the wonderful Kyoto weather. The geography in Kyoto can be described as rocky and hilly. Magnificent city's sites are widespread. For this reason, it is advisable to plan what to do in Kyoto ahead of time. This can be helpful to you. For those who do not prefer to explore on foot, the Sagano scenic railway is also referred to as the Sagano romance train. This offers an interesting way to explore the area. Alternatively, you can also decide to take a train heading to a certain destination; and on your way back, you can use a traditional boat for cruising down the Kamo River. It is a popular activity for intergenerational travellers, as well as families. 

8. Visit a temple in Kyoto

temple in kyoto

There are more than 1600 shrines and Buddhist temples for you to choose from. You will not have to travel a long distance to visit a temple. The wide variety here is stunning for most visitors in the region. Ensure that you put on comfortable shoes if you intend of exploring a temple. Some of these temples would require one to engage on long hikes on hilly trains. For this reason, comfortable shoes are highly recommended. 

9. Arashiyama

arashiyama

Arashiyama is a beautiful place located in Kyoto's western suburbs. Initially, Arashiyama was a walk designed for the Imperial court. The place is among the popular tourist areas in Northern Kyoto. It's famous for its bamboo grove. However, in Japan, the place is well known for the elegant Togetsukyo bridge that was located in the Arashiyama mountains that is thickly forested. For over a millennium now, Arashiyama has been a place to relax and enjoy. Back when Kyoto was the Imperial capital for Japan, aristocrats established holiday homes and cruised around in boats on the river. Nowadays, there are numerous ways to have fun and enjoy the river and the scenery engulfing it.

10. Sento Imperial Palace

sento imperial palace

The Sento imperial palace is situated in the Kyoto imperial park, also referred to as Kyoto Gyoen. The Palace was established in 1630 meant for the residence of the retired Emperor, Go-Mizuno. However, the original building was burnt down and rebuilt once more. Only the tea houses and gardens remain up to date. Architect Enshu Kobori had designed the garden. The architect was responsible for the round the pond-style garden and had seasonal changes in the scenery. Sento Gosho comprises a sprawling walled garden with meandering walkways and gorgeous ponds. If you prefer a garden to build, Sento Gosho is a perfect place for you.

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