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Perfect 2 Days In Kyoto Itinerary | 2023


Feb 23, 2023
Kyoto, Japan


Kyoto is a contemporary, thriving town that has in some way managed to retain the magnificence and tradition of its previous.

Below, in what a lot of take into consideration to be the cultural heart of Japan, you can see an at any time-transforming combination of aged and new from just one street to yet another.

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Sure, there are the large-increase buildings you’d be expecting in any modern day town. But indications of its history are everywhere you go, from its historic and lovely shrines to its humble but delightful wooden homes.

With slim alleys lit by lanterns, tranquil Zen gardens, and fascinating geisha districts to take a look at, this is a city of contrasts with which you will tumble in appreciate as quickly as you get there.

If you are looking at traveling to Kyoto in 2 days, you’re most likely pondering which are the ‘must-see’ points of interest and how to make the greatest of your time.

So we’ve made this itinerary for 2 times in Kyoto to make issues much easier!

In fact, this is a substantial town packed with factors to see, so it is unachievable to protect anything in just one weekend. 

For this reason, we’ve picked out the most important highlights and recommended the most effective sites to check out in get to get a tiny taste of all the things that would make this town so excellent!

We’ve also advised some terrific places to remain – with ideas for each individual spending plan – and a few dining selections, way too! To get the most out of your two times in Kyoto, be confident to e book excursions and activities in advance.

Kyoto, Japan

Working day 1

On the initial of your two days in Kyoto, you are going to be visiting lots of of the city’s tasteful temples, taking element in a tea ceremony, marveling at the architecture in Nijo Castle, and strolling by means of the charming Geisha district.


To begin your day, head to Kinkaku-ji, also identified as the Golden Pavilion. Certainly, its major two floors are coated in real gold! Just one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO Earth Heritage web-sites, it was created in 1397 as the retirement home of a wealthy shogun.

The glorious temple you see now is only a partial reconstruction of the original. But it is just amazing nonetheless, surrounded by a pond and with a common teahouse and gardens.

Future, take the bus to nearby Ginkaku-ji. This temple is also known as the Silver Pavilion and was intended to be a silver model of Kinkaku-ji. But it was hardly ever thoroughly concluded and – nevertheless very – is just an unadorned picket framework.

Just a couple minutes from below is an entrance to the picturesque Philosopher’s Route, named just after the thinker Nishida Kitaro who is stated to have walked the route daily.

It operates for 2 km along the side of a canal and is lined with cherry blossom trees. Preferred with visitors, it also characteristics loads of retailers and cafes!

Arranging your future adventures? Travel by bus! (It can be inexpensive!)

Exiting to the south of the park, you are close to one of Kyoto’s most beautiful temples, Eikan-do Zenrin-ji. It is attractive at any time of calendar year but under no circumstances additional so than in the tumble, surrounded by richly coloured trees.

Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan



Your following prevent is at the nearby Nanzen-ji, located at the foot of the Higashiyama mountains and relationship back to the middle of the 13th century. It is amid the most crucial Zen temples in the place.

Visiting the central temple grounds is absolutely free and the views are extraordinary!

There are many sub-temples to pay a visit to, too, although you won’t have time if you only have a weekend in Kyoto.

Subsequent, acquire a bus to a person of the biggest sights in Japan – the ‘Pure H2o Temple’ of Kiyomizu-Dera, nestled on a hill among the bamboo trees. Close by you can see the wonderfully obvious Otowa waterfall that provides the temple its name.

Your ultimate prevent of the morning is at Fushimi Inari Taisha, which you can get to through a short journey by practice.

Committed to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, it is a well known tourist place, popular for its 1000’s of vermilion torii gates. These straddle the path linking the main shrine to the more compact temples up Mount Inari.

It’s a 3-hour walk to arrive at the best so you in all probability won’t have time to do that. Alternatively, attempt to time it just correct so you can come down and delight in lunch from one of the avenue food items stalls set up just exterior the entrance.


You are going to do some thing pretty distinctive this afternoon – and that’s practical experience a regular tea ceremony.

Tea ceremonies are deemed a non secular course of action in Japan, providing attendees a break from the cares of day-to-day life as they focus on the basic act of drinking tea.

We advise reserving this 45-moment Tea Ceremony Expertise, through which you’ll be seated on a regular Japanese floor mat identified as a tatami.

Your host is a accredited tea master from Urasenke, the major tea ceremony university in Japan, and you will view how the tea is ready in advance of trying your hand at generating your very own. You are going to also get to attempt some standard Japanese sweets.

At the conclusion of the expertise, there’s the chance to see the gorgeous kimonos and woven textiles designed locally. For an further rate, you can even choose to use a kimono all through the ceremony!

Tea Ceremony, Kyoto, Japan

Subsequent, make your way to Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the home of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Several take into consideration the structures here to be the greatest examples of feudal palace architecture, which is why the castle now has UNESCO Globe Heritage status.

It is a gorgeous put to pay a visit to and it can take around an hour to discover the castle and its grounds.

To finish the afternoon, consider the educate back to Central Kyoto and stop by the Kyoto Tower. There is a viewing system at 100 meters that offers you remarkable 360-degree views of the metropolis.


E book a tour to go to Gion this evening, the district of the town in which most of Japan’s geisha live and function.

Surrounded by the scenery that encouraged the e book and movie ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, you are going to walk beside the Shirakawa River on the cobblestoned streets as you find out all about geisha daily life and the regulations that govern it.

There are a lot of great places to eat in Gion, so decide on a single in which to prevent for supper the moment your tour has finished.

Day 2

On the second of your 2 times in Kyoto, you’ll be going to the common Arashiyama district and feeding the monkeys in the park. You are going to then end for lunch in the sector ahead of heading to the scenic district of Higashiyama.

Early morning

This morning you are heading to Arashiyama, a exceptional district that is a mecca for website visitors to Kyoto.

For that rationale, we strongly propose booking a tour, as your information will make certain you see the best of anything in the time you have available.

This tour is 1 of our favorites and starts at Saga-Arashiyama Station. From there you head with your group to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, loaded with stalks in excess of 30 meters significant that sway carefully as you pass.

You then go on to the non-public Okochi Sanso Backyard garden, the place you can appreciate matcha tea and a regular sweet deal with from the tea dwelling.

Nearby is the Tenryuji Temple, a group of historical buildings with a tranquil Japanese garden and a koi pond stuffed with fish.

Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

You can also see the Katsura River and the wooden Togetsu-kyō Bridge, watching as the regular picket boats acquire readers up and down the riverbank.

Now it’s time for the emphasize of the morning – a visit to the Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama.

In this article you can pet and feed hundreds of Japanese macaques while savoring the distinctive surroundings all around you.


Head to the Nishiki Marketplace in the afternoon for a charming taste of area daily life (and a location of lunch too)!

Located in central Kyoto, this slim market is five blocks very long and includes extra than 100 outlets and dining places. It is acknowledged as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, which provides you a great notion of what to anticipate when you get right here!

Started in the early 14th century as a wholesale fish market place, it now sells all manner of neighborhood delicacies, together with significant-quality knives and cookware.

There are so lots of factors to sample you’ll be occupied for hrs, like mouthwatering fresh sushi, conventional rice cakes, and – the star of the exhibit – tako tamago!

Nishiki Market, Kyoto, Japan

Most likely not to everyone’s taste, this is actually a candied baby octopus stuffed with a quail’s egg and skewered. It’s almost certainly just one of the most strange street meals dishes you will come upon any place, and thoroughly one of a kind to the current market!

To finish the working day, stroll or acquire a limited taxi experience to Higashiyama.

Exceptionally photogenic, it is a maze of slender passageways, old wooden structures, and regular storefronts that give you a glimpse into the city’s previous.


For your final night in Kyoto, head to Pontocho.

Pontocho Alley – a lengthy, dim walkway loaded with lanterns – is known as the most beautiful avenue in the town. There are a lot of incredible restaurants bordering it at which to enjoy meal prior to likely for a stroll.

Be positive to glance out for the maiko and geisha that can generally walk the Alley at night.

Are 2 Days In Kyoto Ample?

It would be straightforward to shell out a week in this metropolis and continue to have a lot more to see, but two days in Kyoto is just ample time to get an overview of its society, traditions, and cuisine.

Just be positive to permit 2 comprehensive days for this itinerary. If you get there late in the day or have an early departure time, then you will undoubtedly want to insert an added night time to your stay.

To squeeze as significantly as doable out of your 2 times in Kyoto, be positive to pre-guide your tours and pursuits in advance of time.

If you are thinking about being extended, study our tutorial to figure out how many times in Kyoto is enough.

Where To Stay In Kyoto

Below are some of our beloved destinations to keep for a weekend in Kyoto.

Ideal Spending budget Lodging

The Jisco Lodge Kyoto Goshonishi is situated ideal in the heart of Kyoto. Each individual home has a private bathroom and some also have kitchenettes.

A continental breakfast is served every day and there are bicycles obtainable for visitors to use.

Greatest Mid-Assortment Accommodation

The Kyoto Traveler’s Inn is positioned just a 7-moment wander from Higashiyama Subway Station. It delivers western-model rooms or traditional Japanese rooms with futon bedding and tatami floors.

The onsite cafe serves a mixture of Japanese and western dishes.

Finest Luxurious Lodging

The beautiful Ritz-Carlton Kyoto Lodge sits on the Kamogawa River and is just a brief wander from Kyoto Shiyakushomae Subway Station.

The exquisite rooms are fantastically embellished and the indoor swimming pool tends to make the great spot to unwind following a fast paced day’s sightseeing.

There is also a spa, health and fitness center, and onsite cafe serving international delicacies.

Remaining Thoughts On Two Times In Kyoto

If you have been wanting to know what to do in Kyoto in 2 days, we hope you have identified this tutorial useful in scheduling your remain.

Combining all that is terrific about the city, it gives you glimpses into the previous and celebrates Kyoto’s modern tradition much too. We hope you appreciate just about every moment of your go to!

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