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Kyoto is the historic capital of Japan and is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the country. Travelling to and from Tokyo is quick and easy; the bullet train can take visitors between cities in 2 hours and 20 minutes, making it possible to visit both places in one day.

Top 5 things to see and do in Kyoto

Kyoto is a wonder to behold, with many ancient temples to choose from and places to explore. Head to Kyoto during the cherry blossom season and see the streets in a flurry of pink and white blossom.


Arashiyama is famous for its bamboo forests and its monkeys. It's a beautiful experience up close, though it can be quite busy during the high season.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

The famous Torii gates that lead up to this temple are world-renowned and a popular tourist destination. Head here early in the morning to avoid the crowds. If you want to take photos, be mindful that many other tourists want to do the same so move on quickly.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

One of the most recognisable temples in all of Japan, Kinkakau-ji is a tourist hotspot. The top two floors of this temple are covered entirely in gold leaf, which is a spectacular sight. Be prepared for crowds here!

Kifune Shrine

Another picturesque shrine to visit once you have seen Fushimi Inari Taisha is the Kifune Shrine. You can find unique fortunes written on paper that reveal once placed in water.


Gion is the Geisha district, notable for their beautiful kimonos and traditional makeup. During nighttime, you may be lucky enough to spot a Geisha walking around the district. Be respectful, and avoid taking photos unless they agree.

Having comprehensive travel insurance is a must to protect yourself when visiting Japan, especially if you are going during typhoon season or heading to a ski slope.

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