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The PERFECT 3 Days in Kyoto Itinerary (2022 Replace)

All the things it’s worthwhile to know to plan your good 3 days in Kyoto itinerary!

Kyoto, as soon as the capital of Japan, is house to a seemingly limitless variety of issues to do.

From strolling quiet bonsai stuffed gardens to temple-hopping an unforgettable gold and silver pavilions.

This Kyoto 3 day itinerary will information you thru what you can’t miss out on in such a brief window.

You’ll get some beautiful views overlooking components of Kyoto and walks by hundreds of torii gates.

Additionally, plan on having some attention-grabbing delicacies of Kyoto – together with hearth ramen.

Sure, a bowl of ramen that’s actually lit on hearth simply earlier than serving!

3 Days In Kyoto Itinerary Fushimi
Kyoto view from Fushimi Inari mountain

With all these memorable sights and sights, 3 days in Kyoto won’t sound like sufficient – as there’ll all the time be extra to see in a metropolis with an unlimited historical past and a novel, and sometimes quirky Japanese tradition.

Earlier than we dive proper into this 3 day Kyoto itinerary, here’s a brief historical past lesson for considered one of Japan’s greatest locations to go to.

Historical past of Kyoto

As talked about above, Kyoto was as soon as the capital metropolis of Japan, from when it was based in 794 to 1868.

Nevertheless, Kyoto, which interprets into “capital metropolis,” has not all the time had the identical title.

In 794, the town was based as Heian.

Kyoto misplaced its capital metropolis standing when Japan handed management over from the chief of the samurai, the Shogun, again to the Emperor.

In 1868, the capital of Japan grew to become Tokyo, the place it has stayed ever since.

Right now, Kyoto is Japan’s third-largest metropolis (behind Osaka and Tokyo) and has loads of methods to be taught concerning the historical past of Kyoto.

There’s lots extra on supply than simply unforgettable temples.

Your Excellent 3 Days in Kyoto Itinerary

With out additional ado, let me inform you what to do in Kyoto in 3 days!

First issues first it’s worthwhile to discover an superior place to remain. We suggest staying within the Gion neighbourhood, so that you’re central to the whole lot there. You could find nice lodging right here on Agoda.

Don’t overlook to make use of our unique coupon code AGODANMD10 to get 10% off your reserving.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our full Journey to Japan information!

Day 1 in Kyoto

We’re going to begin off our Kyoto itinerary by tackling a number of the greatest sights within the metropolis. Don’t overlook to begin your day early!

8:45am – Nijo Fortress

First up on this 3-day Kyoto itinerary is Nijo Fortress.

Certainly one of 17 UNESCO Historic Monuments of Kyoto, Nijo Fortress has a number of lovely gardens and historic info inside its large fortified partitions.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founding father of the Tokugawa Shogunate, ordered all present feudal lords of Japan to contribute to the constructing of Nijo Fortress.

Development started in 1601 and accomplished in 1626.

Nijo Fortress and the encircling advanced has been broken by hearth a number of occasions throughout the 1700s.

A lightning strike and a hearth that ravaged a lot of Kyoto have been accountable for the destruction.

Nijo Fortress opens at 8:45 am.

It’s a frequent theme to beat the crowds by arriving early, that’s why it is best to goal to be right here by opening in the event you intend to have the citadel grounds to your self for some time.

A few of the details of curiosity inside Nijo Fortress embrace the Ninomaru Palace – consisting of 5 separate however becoming a member of buildings.

Intricate carvings from wooden sand golden leaf decorations are current to today.

They’d the intention of portraying a robust and rich.

One factor to look out for is the intentional “squeaky flooring” to warn residents of ninja assaults as you possibly can’t stroll on the ground silently!

Nijo Fortress is a good instance of Japan’s closing samurai interval and an ideal method to begin your 3 days in Kyoto.

Count on to spend 1-2 hours right here, relying on how a lot you wish to discover Nijo Fortress and its grounds.

In the event you’re visiting Kyoto in spring, you possibly can admire all of the cherry blossoms that bloom on the grounds across the citadel.

11 am – Menbakaichida Fireplace Ramen – Lunch

Kyoto is house to fairly a novel type of ramen. In actual fact, the “hearth ramen” is the one one on the earth.

Plus, it’s a really brief stroll from Nijo Fortress grounds.

This unforgettable bowl of ramen is in a tiny restaurant, so ready occasions on your flaming bowl would possibly take a couple of minutes to get seated.

That’s why I counsel getting right here for a little bit of an early lunch. It’s additionally scrumptious ramen as properly!

Menbakaichida restaurant opens at 11 am, so in the event you may be inside the first 5 or 6 visitors, you shorten your ready time till lunch to zero!

Now, after I say hearth ramen, I imply they ignite your dish in a large fireball in entrance of you, simply earlier than they serve it to you.

To make it protected, you’re given a paper apron for the oil splashes and particular directions to lean backward on the bar stool.

Though it doesn’t really feel it, the fireball is fairly cool.

It’s not only for a present, the flames assist convey out the flavour within the inexperienced onions.

1 pm – Kyoto Imperial Palace

After a fiery lunch, it’s time to go to Kyoto’s Imperial Palace.

Right now, you possibly can go to the palace that served because the residence of the Imperial Household till Japan’s capital moved to Tokyo in 1869.

As is frequent with massive picket buildings, a hearth destroyed the Imperial Palace a complete of 8 occasions.

The model you see at present was accomplished in 1855.

No reservation is at present required, and the opening hours are from 9 am to five pm.

Kyoto Imperial Palace is a brief 5 minutes drive or 25-minute stroll from Nijo Fortress.

4 pm – Nishiki Market

Nicknames by locals as Kyoto’s Pantry, Nishiki Market is seen as the most effective conventional meals market in the complete metropolis.

One way or the other, over 130 stalls of meals and items line the slim 5 block road in downtown Kyoto.

Whereas this causes restricted private area, the ambiance from the distributors and clients and all of the tasty choices to eat make Nishiki Market properly definitely worth the go to.

Nishiki Market is round 10 minutes by automotive or roughly 20 minutes on foot.

There is no such thing as a entrance price to enter this congested purchasing road in downtown Kyoto.

It’s an ideal place to strive some native Kyoto dishes and have a memorable dinner suddenly.

In the event you love meals, be sure to take a look at this foodie strolling tour of Kyoto throughout the daytime!

Kyoto Itinerary Nishiki Market
Kyoto-Nishiki Market

Take a look at our Japan Vlog on exploring the Higashiyama and Downtown Districts in Kyoto in Japan.

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Day 2

Welcome to day two of your 3-day Kyoto itinerary! Rise up good and early, because it’s going to be a jam-packed day in central Kyoto.

8 am – Fushimi Inari Shrine

As soon as once more, day two of this Kyoto itinerary begins early. With good purpose.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is often the primary attraction -in all of Japan!

This recognition signifies that it’s busy, very busy!

Devoted to the Shinto God of Rice, Inari, hundreds of vibrant torii gates lead guests from the primary shrine up Mt Inari.

This path winds up the sacred Inari Mountain and finally provides off some lovely views of Kyoto and surrounding areas.

Even in the event you’re right here as early as attainable, you received’t be capable to escape the crowds by the point you descend Inari Mountain.

However that early morning stroll by considered one of Japan’s most necessary shrines is wonderful.

On the entrance to the shrine advanced stands the Romon Gate that was donated in 1589.

One other common spot for a photograph OP is the place the torrid gates and pathway splits right into a ‘Y’ form.

Relying in your pace, the total hike to the summit of Mount Inari takes from 2-3 hours, so convey loads of water and snacks together with you.

Kyoto Fushimi-Inari Shrine
Kyoto Fushimi-inari shrine

12 pm – Lunch

There are many choices for nice eating places for lunch round Fushimi Inari Shrine.

In the event you’re within the temper for sushi, Kyoto Practice Station, has an important sushi prepare possibility, Ashami.

No matter you’re on the lookout for, from egg rolls and inari pockets to octopus and even horse meat (offering the interpretation is legit).

It’s a reasonably low cost possibility for lunch with 3 or 4 plates costing round USD$6, relying on what plates you select.

1 pm – Toji Temple

Toji Temple, or East Temple, was constructed at first of the Heian Interval within the late 700’s.

This 5 story pagoda is constructed from wooden and is one other well-known UNESCO World Heritage Web site in Kyoto.

Different notable buildings within the advanced embrace Kondo Corridor.

Reconstructed within the early Edo Interval after a hearth in 1486 destroyed the unique.

It’s thought-about one of many Toji Temple Complicated’s unique buildings.

Destroyed in the identical hearth is Kodo Corridor, which sits subsequent door. Kodo Corridor served because the lecture corridor within the Toji Temple space.

The picket Toji Tower itself stands 57 meters tall, the tallest in all Japan.

You may get to Toji Temple by way of the Kintetsu Kyoto Line and is a 5-minute stroll from Toji Station.

Throughout cherry blossom season, the grounds across the temple are overflowing with the gorgeous flowers as properly!

3 pm – Ginkaku ji Temple – Silver Pavilion

After Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa’s demise in 1490, Ginkaku ji Temple, or the Silver Pavilion, was reformatted from retirement home to Zen Temple.

Whereas Ginkaku ji Temple is properly price a go to in itself, as are the opposite buildings within the advanced, it’s the lovely moss-covered gardens that steal the present.

Strolling a small loop by lush greeny and trickling rivers, it’s exhausting to discover a place equal to the tranquillity of the Ginkaku ji Temple Complicated.

Ginkaku ji Temple may be accessed from Kyoto Station by bus #5, 17 or 100.

Opening hours are from 8:30 am to five pm.

Count on to spend about an hour right here, until you stroll the brief path very slowly taking within the sights.

Ginkakuji Silver Pavillion
The Ginkaku ji Silver Pavilion

Take a look at our Japan Vlog on exploring the Gion District in Kyoto, Japan.

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Day 3

We’re virtually on the finish of your itinerary for Kyoto in 3 days. Don’t assume you’ve carried out the whole lot simply but although, we nonetheless have a number of extra wonderful Kyoto actions for you.

Early – Head to Arashiyama

On the western fringe of downtown Kyoto is the district of Arashiyama.

This entire space is just not solely a Historic Web site of Kyoto, however it’s additionally a Web site of Scenic Magnificence, as categorized by the Japanese Authorities.

There are a number of issues to do within the space of Arashiyama, and most are simple strolling distance from one another.

As with hottest websites round Kyoto, Arashiyama is common, and that brings crowds.

Arashiyama is definitely accessed from Kyoto Station. Bounce on the JR Sagano Line and head to Saga-Arashiyama Station.

From right here, the middle of Arashiyama is a 10-minute stroll.

Test our our Japan Vlog on exploring Kyoto’s most well-known attraction in Japan.

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8 am – Togetsukyō Bridge

In the event you catch the prepare to Arashiyama JR Station, you’ll be near Arashiyama’s well-known Togetsukyō Bridge.

So it is sensible to go to right here first.

In actual fact, the best method to get to the subsequent cease, the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama, you’ll cross the bridge anyway.

Togetsukyō Bridge spans 155 meters throughout the Katsura River.

The unique bridge was constructed a bit of upstream in 1606.

Strolling the size of this bridge provides lovely views of the river beneath and the encircling mountains.

You would possibly even get fortunate sufficient to see native fishermen casting in alongside the banks.

9 am – Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

One of many areas most visited websites of Arashiyama is the Bamboo Grove.

This can be a pure bamboo forest, with paved trails weaving by the tall shoots of the sturdy, but versatile plant.

Since 2015, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove has opened freed from cost to guests.

This makes the attraction close to Kyoto much more interesting.

In the event you’re wanting to go to the Bamboo Grove with out hordes of holiday makers and hand-cart taxis, I counsel beginning your day right here.

For a good higher expertise, you possibly can e-book your self a nice guided tour of the bamboo forests.

Or do one thing actual completely different and check out a rickshaw tour right here.

Kyoto Itinerary Bamboo Forest Path
Take a stroll by the well-known bamboo forest!

11 am – Tenryuji Temple

In-built 1339 by the Shogun Ashikaga Takauji, in dedication to Emperor Go-Daigo who handed away as means to ease the spirits of the late ruler.

A lot of the temple grounds, together with many of the constructing, have been destroyed a number of occasions all through historical past and now date again to the Meiji Interval (1868 – 1912).

The temple gardens survive of their unique state to today and supply a stunning stroll across the small pond.

Opening hours for Tenryuji Temple are 8:30 am to five pm, and it is best to count on to spend round an hour right here.

12 pm – Ryoanji Temple and Lunch

Ryoanji Temple was transformed right into a Zen Temple in 1450.

It’s additionally the location of presumably Japan’s most famous rock backyard.

Just about the whole lot about this rock backyard is unsure, its date of development and the that means behind it.

The story I heard most is that these 15, expertly positioned stones, resemble a tiger carrying a cub.

One of the vital attention-grabbing info, is that on this sq. enclosure of pebbles, irrespective of the place you stand, you possibly can solely ever see 14 stones.

Personally, it’s the encircling surroundings that makes Ryoanji Temple a must-visit with 3 days in Kyoto.

There are many quiet trails and immaculately saved ponds to soak within the reflection of the nonetheless floor.

Kyoto Itinerary Ryoanji Temple
The well-known Ryoanji Temple


For lunch, there’s no want to go away the temple grounds.

There’s a small restaurant that provides a Kyoto specialty, Yodafu.

Boiled tofu in a tasty broth is much more filling than you’d count on.

This, together with Japanese Tea and a phenomenal view overlooking the plush inexperienced environment is an ideal spot for lunch.

3pm  – Kinkaku ji Temple

A 3 day Kyoto itinerary wouldn’t be full with out a go to to Kinkaku ji Temple, or the Gold Pavilion.

Certainly one of Kyoto’s famed 17 Historic Monuments, the Golden Pavilion Buddhist Temple is considered one of Japan’s most visited buildings.

This Zen Temple was initially accomplished in 1397 and reconstructed in 1955 after being burnt to the bottom by a novice monk who then tried to commit suicide behind the temple.

The glimmering gold floor has a symbolic that means and thought to cleanse detrimental ideas involved with demise.

As it’s so common, getting an image or a view with out one other particular person within the shot is nearly unimaginable.

By standing subsequent to the sting of the lake, looking over the glass-like floor and the reflecting golden iconic image of Kyoto, it’s exhausting to not fall in love with Kinkaku ji Temple.

Kinkakji Golden Pavillion
You should definitely go to the Kinkaku ji Temple, or the Golden Pavilion

Summarizing Your 3 Day Kyoto Itinerary

As with all locations with the huge historical past and tradition of Kyoto, there’ll all the time be extra to see.

In actual fact, 3 days in Kyoto is only the start of this extremely lovely, historic metropolis.

However by following this itinerary, you’ll be handled to a variety of cultural, historic and scenic sights that this busy metropolis has to supply.

And by the tip of your journey right here, you’ll have a small however memorable perception into considered one of Japan’s historical capital cities.



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