Centred around Japan’s former imperial capital, Kyoto Prefecture sprawls north of Osaka on Honshu Island. It’s home to some of the country’s most magnificent temples and one of its three scenic views, as well as charming fishing villages where tradition holds strong.
Things to do in Kyoto Prefecture
From the well-trodden streets of Kyoto to the tranquil waterways of Ine, Kyoto Prefecture will leave you entranced.
Explore the ancient capital of Kyoto. Packed with Shinto shrines, imperial palaces and traditional wooden villas, Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Walk through the red torii gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and admire the mesmerising Arashiyama Bamboo Grove before experiencing a geisha performance in the Gion district.
See the Byōdō-in Temple in Uji.
Established in the 10th century as a rural villa for politician Fujiwara no Michinaga, Byōdō-in Temple is the most famous landmark in Uji. Its impressive Phoenix Hall appears on the 10-yen coin while the underground Treasure House features multilingual displays and artefacts that are of national cultural significance.
Photograph one of Japan’s three scenic views. Forming part of Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park, Amanohashidate is a 3.3-kilometre-long sandbar that connects across Miyazu Bay. Its pine tree-covered stretch can be viewed from the surrounding mountains or traversed on foot. A Shinto shrine sits at one end and a Buddhist temple at the other.
Cruise the picturesque waters of Ine. Overlooking the Sea of Japan, Ine is a traditional fishing village clustered with wooden boathouses known as “funaya”. Join a guided cruise to learn about their unique design, which features boats and fishing gear stored on the bottom level and living quarters above.
Getting around Kyoto Prefecture
Kansai International Airport is the main gateway to Kyoto Prefecture and is just under two hours’ drive from Kyoto city. The high-speed Tōkaidō Shinkansen travels from both Tokyo and Osaka to the Kyoto railway station, from where regional trains connect to smaller towns throughout the prefecture. Kyoto’s efficient subway system is the most convenient way of exploring the region.