4 Colorful and Authentic Sights to Experience Japanese Culture in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is a city of magical temples, delicious food, and true Japanese culture. We loved our week there and felt like we really connected with Japan and its fascinating history. Kyoto was one of the most important Japanese cities throughout history and served as the capital and home to many emperors and temples. Here are my favorite 4 places to visit! 


Fushimi Inari was my favorite place in Kyoto! It is known as the shrine of 10,000 torii and was built in the 700s dedicated to the god of rice Inari. It is a whole complex of little shrines and many mystical pathways created by thousands torii that are like vibrant red tunnels. I loved visiting Fushimi Inari and learning all about Shintoism and exploring the many torii tunnels!


Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, was such a beautiful and fascinating place. The temple itself is a Zen Buddhist Temple and attracts thousands of visitors each year. The temple is located right on a lake and it a photographers heaven with the enchanting forest behind and the reflection on the lake. I loved taking pictures at the temple and walking around the complex which had many other smaller temples and food stands with traditional Japanese snacks. 



Just an hour away from Kyoto is the beautiful town of Nara known for its many friendly deer, giant Buddha, and many parks. We spent a whole day there exploring the parks, feeding the deer, and visiting the temples. The Todaiji Temple, which has the giant Buddha statue, was absolutely incredible! Although there were many people, it was such a peaceful place and I loved feeding the deer that had no fear of humans whatsoever. I would definitely recommend Nara for anyone traveling to Japan! 


Kiyomizu-dera is known as one of Japan’s most famous temples and has an amazing view of all of Kyoto. Located up in the mountains, the street to reach the temple is very old and in traditional Japanese style – making you feel like you stepped back in time!

The whole area has small Japanese houses, traditional shops, and many cherry blossom trees. As you walk towards Kiyomizu-dera, there are many other smaller temples that are so vibrant and quaint. This was my favorite neighborhood in all of Kyoto!

Kyoto was such a beautiful and colorful city and the perfect place to have a real Japanese experience. I loved seeing all the beautiful temples and shrines and could have explored the city for many more weeks – I can’t wait to go back! 

Have you ever been to Kyoto? 

This post was originally posted on the awesome website Dandelion Moms!

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