If you are thinking on travel to Kyoto or just if you wanna discover new great places and something to do in this town, this is the article for you. Here I’m gonna show you the best from Kyoto. The best places to stay, to eat, to shop, the major events and art galleries and even a guide to Kyoto nightlife. Always thinking in luxury and in great design guides and of course Kyoto traditional culture.
See Also: Extraordinary restaurants you should try in Tokyo – Part 1
Ritz Carlton Kyoto
The Ritz Carlton Kyoto have luxurious spaces that incorporate the traditional elements of the town. Guests can relax both body and mind while experiencing the wind, the light and the scenic beauty in the rooms overlooking the Kamogawa river and Higashiyama mountains. Some suites have outdoor gardens modeled after traditional Japanese tsukimidai “moon-viewing decks.” Grand Luxury rooms are designed to express both Japan’s serene warmth and its elegance.
Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0902 Japan
T. +81 75 746 5555
Kyoto Hotel Okura
The Kyoto Hotel Okura has the most convenient location of any hotel in Kyoto (it’s right downtown and directly above a subway line). It’s a luxury hotel with reasonable prices.
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8558 Japan
T. +81 75 211 5111
HOSHINOYA in Kyoto is an embodiment of the vision, “Discover the Ultimate Japan Experience,” a new class of Japanese resorts infused with contemporary style, and is dedicated to upholding the standard of Japanese hospitality. Guests of Hoshinoya Kyoto take a private boat ride to this picturesque retreat, which sits by a river in Arashiyama, the most beautiful hideaway in Kyoto.
11-2, Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 616-0007
T. 81 (0)50 3786 0066
Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto
Conveniently located and easily accessible to Kyoto’s major transportation links, the RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto welcomes you with gracious, friendly service. From warm smiles at the door to tasteful interior décor, every effort has been made to make you feel at home in this 1,200 year-old town.
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori,Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8237, Japan
T. +81 (0)75 341 1121
The Westin Miyako Hotel
The Westin Miyako, Kyoto spreads over 16 hilltop acres and is close to some of Kyotos most famous temples. The property boasts Japanese gardens, a wild-bird sanctuary with bird-watching trails. Relax in one of our spacious guest rooms complete with all of the necessary amenities including our signature Heavenly Bed®. The Westin Miyako, Kyoto’s oversized guest rooms have beautiful mountain views, as well as separate showers and soaking tubs for your full relaxation.
Keage, Sanjo, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0052, Japan
T. +81 75 771 7111
Gion Karyo is located in a beautifully renovated old Japanese building, but they’ve got an English menu, comfortable counter seating, and a staff that doesn’t make for the rear exit when foreigners make an appearance.
570-23 Gion-machi Minami-gawa, Higashiyama-ku
For elegant sushi, sashimi and a variety of accompanying dishes, Sushi-kappo Nakaichi is one of Kyoto’s better choices.
570-196 Gionmachi-minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku
In Ippudo, the soup and noodles are sublime and the accompanying dumplings crispy and delicious.
653-1 Bantoya-cho, Higashinotoin, Nishikikoji higashi iru, Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto’s Sushisei is where we go when we find ourselves craving casual sushi right downtown. Sit at the counter and watch the chefs do their thing, or grab a table with a few friends.
B1 Daimaru department store, Shijo-Takakura Parking Building, 581 Obiya-cho, Takakura-dori Nishikikoji sagaru, Nakagyo-ku
For a hearty bowl of ramen noodles in the Kyoto museum district (Okazaki-koen Park and Heian-jingu area), Karako is the obvious choice.
12-3 Tokusei-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku
Daimaru Department Store
Daimaru is one of Kyoto’s two largest and most opulent department stores, with everything from elite international brands to one of the best food floors in all of Japan.
79 Tachiuri Nishi-machi, Shijo-dori, Takakura nishi iru, Shimogyo-ku
The Kyoto Handicraft Center
The Kyoto Handicraft Center has plenty of high-quality goods that make for the perfect souvenirs for the folks back home. While we’re particularly partial to the woodblock prints, you’ll also find such things as yukata (light cotton robes like the ones you wear at your ryokan), pottery and jewellery.
21 Entomi-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku
Nishikikoji-dori, Nakagyo-ku (between Teramachi and Takakura)
Wagaminomise Morita Washi
If you aren’t familiar with Washi, this place will be a revelation to you. You simply won’t believe the variety of paper and paper goods on offer here, with everything from rough “country-style” paper to intricately-patterned paper that is literally suitable for framing.
1F Kajinoha Building, 298 Ogisakaya-cho, Higashinotoin-dori, Bukkoji agaru, Shimogyo-ku
Takashimaya Department Store
Perhaps the most elegant department store in Kyoto, Takashimaya is the place to go to see just how opulent a Japanese department store can be.
52 Shincho, Shijo-dori, Kawaramachi Nishi iru, Shimogyo-ku
3. Art & Culture
Kaho Gallery has presented exhibitions by some of Japan’s finest modern artists including abstract figurative painter Kokuta Suda; Ono Chikkyo, a nihonga painter who helped co-found the Kokuten Society, an artists’ collective based on the principle that all artists should have total freedom of expression; and Toshio Arimoto, whose paintings were influenced by a mix of European frescoes, traditional Japanese techniques and Buddhist sculpture. Kaho Gallery has also exhibited works by more contemporary artists such as German sculptor Reinhard Voss’ Bitter Lennon, a series of cubist-like faces sculpted from wood, and Japanese painter Shiro Ishibashi.
78-1 Honmachi 15-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0981, Japão
Imura Art Gallery
Imura have a gallery to showcase emerging artists with a focus on those based in Kyoto and to prove the city’s worth as a hub of contemporary artistic creation.
31 Kawabata-higashi Marutamachi
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8395 Japan
T.Tel : 075-761-7372
Kyoto Art Centre
Kyoto Art Centre runs a comprehensive programme of art exhibitions alongside music and dance performances and traditional cultural shows, and operates an artist-in-residence programme for Japanese and non-native artists.
Yamabushiyama-cho 546-2, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8156 Japan
Gallery Morning Kyoto
Gallery Morning Kyoto, a space for contemporary arts, craft and design, began operations in 2009 and concentrates on paintings, prints, objects and drawings. Situated in the heart of the city’s Okazaki cultural zone, Gallery Morning Kyoto is a small and intimate space that has its finger placed firmly on the pulse of the Japanese contemporary arts scene and offers art lovers the chance to buy works by some of the country’s most cutting-edge artists.
Gallery Morning Kyoto, 207 Nakanotyo, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan.
T. +81 75 771 1213
National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto
Also known as MOMAK, the museum presents approximately seven touring or standalone exhibitions in addition to around 20 exhibitions from the museum’s extensive collection which currently includes new acquisitions produced by German surrealist Max Ernst and French avant-garde painter Francis Picabia, and works by Japanese photographer Kyoichi Tsuzuki from his series Happy Victims which documents fashion-obsessed urbanites of Japan.
National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Okazaki Enshoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
T. +81 75 761 4111
5. Night Life
Ace Café is all about the views. This bar is on the 10th floor of a tower which looks over Kyoto’s eastern hills, home to countless shrines and temples. As well as an extensive list of beers, wines and spirits, it also serves up impressive Italian dishes, just the ticket if you’ve had it with sushi and tempura. It attracts a young, but welcoming crowd.
10 Floor Empire Building, Kiyamachi Sanjo agaru, Kyoto, Japan
T. (075) 241 0009
A Bar is a Kyoto classic, a Japanese pub (izakaya) and restaurant with a lively yet relaxed atmosphere, fun and friendly staff. Far cheaper than your average pit stop out this way, the cool log cabin decor and trendy clientele make this the go–to place to sink a few beers and kick back.
2/F Reiho Building, Nishi Kiyamachi, Kyoto, Japan
T. (075) 213 2129
One of Kyoto’s most enduringly popular night spots, Club Metro is a friendly underground disco and music club at Jingu-Marutamachi station (by exit 2) on the Keihan line. Fans of any music genre will feel at home, just be sure to have a read of the schedule before you put on your dancing shoes. The club hosts international and local DJs.
B1F Ebisu Building, Kawabata-Marutamachi, Saykyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
T. (075) 752 2787
This is the biggest club in town, set in a cavernous space that’s ideal for dancing until the small hours. As world–renowned as its name suggests, it attracts big names from across the globe, but also makes time for traditional geisha events and local acts. If you’ve come to Japan to party, then this is definitely the place to be seen.
97 Shinmachi Shijo-agaru Nishi-Kiyamachi, Kyoto, Japan
T. (075) 213 4119
This is an avant–garde venue, so keep that in mind when you slide yourself down onto one of the long benches and order some traditional izakaya food. Expect obscure live music performances that push the boundaries and make you think. Urban Guild is particularly popular with Japan’s burgeoning noisecore scene, so make sure your lug holes are up to a night of aural assault by packing earplugs.
3/F New-Kyoto Building, 181-2 Zaimoku-cho, Kyoto, Japan
T. (075) 212 1125
Aoi-matsuri, Hollyhock festival is the festival of Kamigamo-jinja and Shimogamo-jinja. Main event of the festival is a procession of people wearing in ancient costume.
July 1 – July 31
Gion Matsuri, or Gion Festival has more than 1,000 years of history. There are more than ten events held during the month of the festival.
This is the eve of Yamaboko-Junko, or procession of floats. Figures and decorations of Yamaboko floats are displayed for a closer look. The both sides of the streets are lined with stalls that sell foods, inexpensive goods or provides entertainment.
Jidai-matsuri, or Festival of the Ages dates back to 1895. The festival was started to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of transferring the capital to Kyoto. Around 2500 people wearing costume ranging from the 8th to the 19th century parade from the imperial palace to Heian-jingu shrine on October 22 every year.
March 6 – March 15
This special event is held in March every year as a tourism campaign. “Hanatouro” or “Hanatoro” literally means “Flower and light road”. Thousands of lanterns are placed along selected paths in Higashiyama from Sanjo to Gojo. They also exhibit flower arrangements in Maruyama-koen park. Temples and a shrine in this area light up their buildings and trees.
As you can see, Kyoto has a lot to offer and as the cultural capital of Japan, you will for sure enjoy passing some time there.
We hope you enjoy this Kyoto guide! Best Design Guides wants to be an inspiration for all the travelers and design lovers!