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Kyoto Day Trip From Tokyo: What to Do in Kyoto, Japan

Updated: Feb 6, 2023


So you want to do a Kyoto day trip from Tokyo but overwhelmed what to do and how to go about it. We’ve got your covered.

“How far is Kyoto from Tokyo?” you might ask. Kyoto is 457 kilometers away from Tokyo. Kyoto is quite far, can you do a day trip from Tokyo? Absolutely!

From Tokyo to Kyoto, the best mode of transportation is through the shinkansen or bullet train. The Nozomi line takes approximately 3 hours one way and costs about 13,000 yen one way per person.

Here are a couple of things you can do for your Kyoto day trip from Tokyo:

1. Visit Temples and Shrines

Fushimi Inari Shrine | Image Courtesy of Nicholas Doherty / Unsplash

Kyoto is one of Japan’s main religious centers with over 1,600 temples and shrines. If you are looking to explore the city on a deeper level, we highly recommend visiting some of the most popular temples in Kyoto to feed both your soul and wanderlust. Some worth adding to your Kyoto itinerary is Kiyomizudera, Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari Shrine.

2. Explore Gion

Geishas in Gion | Image Courtesy of a.canvas.of.light / Flickr

Kyoto is also home to many geisha (female professional entertainers) and maiko (apprentice geisha) so it pays to get a glimpse of these iconic Japanese beauties. The best place to spot geishas is Gion. It’s the geisha district of Kyoto, after all. Since Gion is also the entertainment capital of the city, you can find ryotei (“luxurious traditional restaurants”) and izakaya (“traditional pubs”). Some must-visit tourist spots in Gion are Yasaka Shrine, Yasaka Pagoda, Gion Shirakawa, and Shinbashi Dori.

3. Visit Top Tourist Attractions in Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove | Image Courtesy of Walter Mario Stein / Unsplash

Don’t mind crowds? There are quite many things to do in Kyoto that you should not miss. View Kyoto City at night from Kyoto Tower; feed snow monkeys at Monkey Park Iwatayama; enjoy soundscape at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove; shop foreign and local goods at Aeon Mall, Porta Mall, Yokai Street, Shijo Dori, and Kawaramachi Dori. Want a cultural experience? Join a tea ceremony or watch geisha performances. Is Kyoto worth a day trip? Yes! There’s literally at least one worthwhile thing to do in Kyoto for every type of traveler.

4. Embark on Food Adventure

Nishiki Market | Image Courtesy of Aussie Assault / Flickr

Your Kyoto day trip from Tokyo won’t be complete without tasting local delicacies. Go on a food and drink binge on Pontocho Alley and Kayamachi Dori. Nishiki Market also can’t be any more perfect to find a wide variety of gastronomic delights in one place. If you don’t know which foods to find at the market, you should definitely look for tako tamago, takoyaki, and fugu. Looking for the best places to eat in Kyoto? Check out this Kyoto food guide.

5. Join Free Walking Tours in Kyoto

Kiyomizudera Image Courtesy of Mai Hoang Unsplash

Pressed for time? No worries. Maximize your Kyoto day trip from Tokyo by joining free walking tour Kyoto. Kyoto Localized can take you to some of the most relevant spots in the city within a day, so you don’t leave Japan with regrets. Part of your Kyoto itinerary will be Yasaka Pagoda, Gion Shirakawa, Maruyama Park, Chionin Sanmon, Kiyomizu Temple, and Sannei Zaka.


Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travelers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our walking tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!

A great experience for: Day Tours in Tokyo, Night Tours in Tokyo, Group Tours in Tokyo, Private Walking Tours, University Walking Tours, Things To Do at Night in Tokyo, Activities in Tokyo, Tokyo Sightseeing Tour, Tokyo Tourist Attractions.


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