Places of Interest

As former Imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto embodies more than 1,200 years of Japanese history and tradition in 17 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.

Ranked no. 1 among the tourist cities in the world by the US magazine Travel + Leisure in 2014 and 2015, popular activities in Kyoto include meaningful hands-on experience of the rich Japanese culture through tea ceremony, sake brewing, kimono wearing, swordsmanship, and more.

The renowned safety of Japan and the compactness of Kyoto makes for wonderful strolling during free time.

Tea Ceremony
It is one of Japan’s traditional cultural practices which  emphasizes the art of synthesizing preparation and drinking tea with spirituality, history, architecture, and handcrafted tea utensils.
Sake Brewing and Tasting
Made with the highest quality rice, purest waters, and the skills of the brewmaster, sake goes hand in hand with the Japanese way of life as the exquisite taste enhances the pleasure of eating.
Bird Watching
Snap a photo of rarely seen birds at Kyoto’s nature features at Imperial Palace Gardens, Fushimi Inari Shrine, River Kamo and Takaragaike Park or take trip to Arashiyama and the Sagano Bamboo Grove.
Take part in Kembu, which literally translates to “sword dance”. It is said that samurai would perform these dances before a battle to raise their spirits and improve their concentration.
Kimono Wearing
Rent a beautiful and colourful Kimono, a representation of the traditional Japanese culture. And learn the different steps involved to fold and tuck in for the perfect Kimono!
Shrines and Temples
Being one of the largest collections of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, visit some of Kyoto’s beautiful shrines and temples listed here:
Traditional Food
From refined meals fit for the Imperial Court to dishes preserved in response to limitations in fresh fish supply, taste historically developed food such as Kyo Kaiseki and Preserved Sushi. Vegetarian meals are also available, such as Shojin Ryori and Kyo-yasai.
Local Markets
Visit the local Kyoto markets such as Nishiki Market, also known as Kyoto’s Kitchen, or flea markets which are set up on the grounds of shrines and parks such as Kobo-san Flea Market and Tenjin-san Flea Market to hunt for antiques and other cheap crafts/souvenirs!
Handcrafted Souvenirs
Bring home a part of Japan with high-quality works by experienced artisans. Popular crafts include Yosegi, a traditional Japanese form of parquetry; pottery ranging from Kiyomizu to Arita-style earthenware; and even ornamental swords and textiles.

Photographs courtesy of Kyoto Convention Bureau and Dr Ronald Yeoh.