One Day in: Kyoto
With so many temples, shrines, galleries and attractions to see, 24 hours will leave you barely satisfied, hungry for more. Much, much more.
Starting from Kyoto Station, head to Kiyomizu Temple area by bus. Buses are clearly marked and most have announcements in English as well. Off the bus, follow the crowds uphill, through shop-lined streets, to Kiyomizu Temple. Spend an hour taking in the sights, sounds and beauty of the city which can be seen from this high point. Make your way down through the cobblestone streets of Gion.
Enjoy a view of the five-storied pagoda and stop at the little shops along the way for personalized hand towels, snacks and much more. Locate another popular shrine in the area, Yasui Konpiragu, where old ties can be severed to begin fresh.
Have lunch in a neighborhood cafe or restaurant of your liking. Hop back on a bus (make sure to refer to Google Maps or another helpful source) toward Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavillion. Take in the beautiful old building in its enchanting surroundings before moving on toward Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavillion. The travel distance requires allotting time specifically to travel, but it is well worth the journey.
The key to sight-seeing in Kyoto is to remember the hours of operation of popular sights. Squeezing these sights into the main hours of the day is necessary; any time before or after those hours are yours for exploration! After seeing these main sights, continue into the heart of the city, especially the Shijo Dori and Sanjo areas which are filled with restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
After shopping and having dinner, take a stroll along the river. Then explore the nightlife that the area has to offer.
24 hours may be too short to see all of Kyoto’s highlights but it’s enough to get you started!