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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 09, 2020
Headline for Top Cultural Attractions in Kyoto – Japan’s Largest City
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Cultural Attractions in Kyoto – Japan’s Largest City

Kyoto is one of the largest cities in Japan. It is a university town in a fashion and an educational hub. It is also the centre of Japanese culture and heritage with many perfectly preserved temples and castles from the Edo period and Japan's cultural centre for the last thousand years.


Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is located in the Nakagyou Ward about six minutes' drive from Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto. The castle, which was built in 1603 is perfectly preserved in terms of towers, moat and walls. It is a great place to visit to understand the true might and power of the Shogunate at the time. Some of the major highlights at Nijo Castle that you need to look out for, is the Ninomaru Palace, the Higashi Otemon Gate, the Inner Gate and the Hall of Imperial Emissary or Jodan-no-ma.



A famous and iconic shrine that you must have seen in pictures everywhere. The popular orange avenue that is made up of arches called tori to add to about 32,000 in total and are each dedicated to business. The Fushimi-Inari Shrine was dedicated to the goddess of rice cultivation. The fox's statues located in the shrine which has also given it the name, Fox Temple. Foxes are considered messengers to the gods and are said to carry the prayers of the faithful up to them.



The retirement villa of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the Golden Temple was constructed in the 14th century and is named as such because the entire temple is plated in gold leaf. Though today, the villa is a Zen Buddhist Temple and much of it was rebuilt in the 1950s, it is a glorious place to visit if you are looking for something historical in close quarters to a Kyoto apartment hotel. Kinkaku-ji is located on Kinkakujicho in the Kita Ward.


Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Overlooking the city from a grandiose point of view on Otowa Mountain, Kiyomizu-dera temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a very popular tourist destination in Kyoto. If was first established in 790 AD and dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon. Some of the highlights of this historical site however are the woods that surround it and how the leaves turn a brilliant fiery red in the fall. Other highlights include the spectacular views, the main hall and the 30 m tall pillars that hold up the structure which was renovated during the reign of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1633.


Sanjusangen-do Temple

Also known as the Temple of Thirty Three Niches, Sanjusangen-do Temple is located in the Higashiyama Ward and is also dedicated to Kannon; the goddess of mercy. The temple was originally constructed in 1164 but was subsequently destroyed in a fire and later rebuilt in 1266. The façade is divided into thirty-three niches which is how it gets its name. There are some noteworthy artworks within the temple like the Thousand Hands of Kannon: a statue of the goddess dating back to the 13th century.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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