What to See and Eat in Kyoto: A Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. It’s also a city that has been preserved as a living museum, with everything from traditional wooden homes to temples and shrines to matcha-filled cafes. When you’re planning for guided tours of Japan – Kyoto is home to about 1,500 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines; those are just a few of the attractions we recommend visiting if you’re visiting for the first time. This blog post will give you some tips on what to see in Kyoto, what to do while there, and where to eat!

Take Japan’s ultra-fast bullet train, the Shinkansen.

There is no better way to travel in Japan than via the Shinkansen, also known as the bullet train. While some may think of Japan as a land of ancient temples, old castles and traditional food, this isn’t the only side of Japan. The country is also a modern society, with over 100 million people living there today!

With so many people zipping around on high-speed trains all over the country, it’s no wonder that one of its most famous exports is now The Bullet Train (also known as the Shinkansen).

The Shinkansen is an ultra-fast train that travels at speeds up to 320 kilometres per hour (200 mph). There are several routes throughout Japan, which makes it convenient for travellers who want to explore different parts of the country without having to worry about traffic jams or being stuck in airports overnight if flights get cancelled due to weather conditions (which often happen during typhoon season).

If you’re planning on guided tours of Japan visiting Kyoto on your trip, then getting around by train will allow you access not only to Kyoto itself but also to Osaka, where most tourists tend to spend their time before heading back home again!

Kiyomizu-dera is a must-see

Kiyomizu-dera is a must-see. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s one of the most popular sites in Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-Dera is a temple complex located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto on the slopes of Mt. Otowa.

The name Kiyomizu means “pure water,” and that’s what you’ll find there: at least three springs feed into one pond in front of the temple, making it perfect for drinking from or cooling down after climbing up all those steps to get there!

The main hall dates back to 778 CE when construction began on this Buddhist temple by priest Jikaku Daishi. It wasn’t completed until 818 CE—that’s more than 100 years later!

guided tours of Japan

Take a stroll down the philosopher’s path

The Philosopher’s Path is an ancient walking trail that winds through the mountains of western Kyoto. It was made by monks who wanted to be closer to nature, and it’s a great place for you to take pictures.

The path begins at Ginkaku-Ji temple, or Silver Pavilion Temple, and ends at Nanzen-Ji temple with its famous Zen garden.

There are many notable stops when you’re on guided tours of Japan, including Ryan-Ji temple, which has an amazing rock garden; Kennin-Ji temple with its beautiful but quiet garden; Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavilion), also known as Rokuon-jisou; Nijo Castle where you can see traditional architecture and historical sites like a samurai residence (with no walls) on display;

Hama Rikyu Garden another UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring ponds with wooden bridges leading across them and lots of trees around them creating shade giving visitors cooler temperatures while outside despite heat coming off nearby waterways like Oi River near here too!

Go to Arashiyama

Arashiyama is another popular spot for tourists that should not be missed. The bamboo groves here are gorgeous and a nice place for some photos, especially during the Cherry Blossom festival in spring.

There are many places to stop and rest along the way if you’re visiting on foot and want to take in the views from different angles or find a spot with less crowds. On weekends and holidays, there will likely be a lot of people here so try to avoid these times if possible!

This area is also famous for its food scene—especially takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings) which I highly recommend trying while you’re here!

Enjoy soba and other food Kyoto is known for

The food in Kyoto is famous and delicious. Some of the most popular dishes are soba (buckwheat noodles) and shabu-shabu (a hotpot dish). Soba can be eaten hot or cold, depending on the season, which means you can enjoy it all year round.

The most famous dish in Kyoto is kaiseki, a traditional multi-course meal. The dishes are usually served on lacquered wooden trays called chakin, and they consist of several small portions of different foods.


Kyoto is a beautiful city with a long history. It’s also one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, so visiting Kyoto can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

In this guide, we covered some of the best things to do in Kyoto and gave tips on how to make the most out of your trip. Whether it’s your first time or not, we hope that these tips help you have an unforgettable time exploring Kyoto!