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Destination: Kyoto

Destination Kyoto Japan The Heart of Japanese Culture

Located in the center of the main island of Honshu, it was the heart of Japanese Culture and Government in the Edo Period.

Having been to Kyoto many times, I can say on the surface it can appear a bit blah, and like any other Japanese mid-sized city. But food and culture is everywhere, though much is tucked here and there, needing a bit of exploring.

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Destination Kyoto Japan How to get here and where is it

KIX Kansai International Airport which also serves Osaka, is the main airport in the region. And though you may be tempted to have car service from the airport, the best and fastest is taking the JR Limited Express Haruka, to the main station in Kyoto.

The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is the my suggested option when coming from Tokyo.

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When Should I go to Kyoto Japan When is the weather good

For Japan in general, Spring and late Autumn (Oct / Nov) are my favorite times to be in Japan. The summers can get hot and muggy and typhoons are common in August and September. Winters can get bitter cold, though tend to be on the drier side.

Mid-March to April is Cherry Blossom Season and is considered a “High Season”, so pricing goes up and many fine hotels reach maximum bookings, so do plan ahead if wanting to visit during this time.

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Destination Kyoto Japan Where to stay Hotel Recommendations

Hoshinoya Kyoto
Arashiyama District
Just on the outskirts of Kyoto, it requires a ten minute cruise up the Ooigawa (Katsura River). This still is one of my favorite Hotels in Kyoto, though not the most convenient, so not recommended for a business traveller. All 25 beautifully designed rooms offer a view of Arashiyama’s beautiful Ooigawa. One of the best Japan has to offer.

my Virtuoso Information Page

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Central Kyoto
Many consider this the best hotel in Kyoto, if not the most expensive. This may be a good choice for those coming to Japan the first time and can afford the services. A good balance of the West meets Japan.

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For a lesser expensive optons:

The Celestine – Kyoto Gion
Gion District
Rather new, and well done. An excellent location and option for any stay in Kyoto.

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Several Ryokans I am exploring right now.
Will update shortly on these.

Shiraume

Kikusui – Kyoto

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Destination Kyoto Japan Things to do or see

Shugakuin Imperial Village
Shugakuin Yabusoe
This is a must see and plan to spend half a day (or more) here. But you need to get your tickets arranged prior to arrival, by a few weeks or more.

WEBSITE


Sagano Romantic Train w/ optional Boat return
Weather permiting, this is a fun trek along the Katsura River.

WEBSITE


Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Before or after your Romantic Train Ride, enjoy this very Instagramable site!

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Destination Specialists and Local Assistance Japan

Depending on the trip you want, this will decide how much you need to have a Specialist on the ground waiting for you when you arrive.

Boutique JTB
One of my favorite suppliers in the region.

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Online Tours Activities Attraction Providers Japan

A few good resources for easy tours, advance tickets & activities planning:

GET YOUR GUIDE
A curated source of Tickets, Tours and Activities.

VIATOR
A wide variety Tickets and Tours from the folks who bring you Trip Advisor.

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 Destination Japan Information from other trusted sources

My Japan Information Page at Virtuoso
Here is a good place to start for some additional information on quality Hotels and Activities.

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You may be interested in these destinations as well

Destination Japan General Information Page and travel assistance
Japan General Information Page

Destination Tokyo Japan General Information Page and travel assistance
Tokyo General Information Page

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Have a favorite thing to do or see in Kyoto Japan?
Need a bit of help planning a trip?
Let me know.

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page updated: May 2020

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