Top 4 Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan.

Fushimi Inari-taisha Kanji

By far Kyoto has been one of our favorite vacations we have been on! Despite the heat and having to carry a 15lb baby on our backs everywhere we went, it was all so worth it! I can’t wait to go back again. Maybe next time I

‘ll go when it’s winter time! The pictures I have seen of these places in the winter are incredible.

These are my top 4 places that you must see if you go to Kyoto.

1. Fushimi Inari-taisha

Fushimi Inari-taisha Torri gats
Fushimi Inari-taisha. Some of the first gates you come to.

The shrine of Inari (the god of rice), was built in 711.  All of the Torri gates were donated by Japanese businesses to worship Inari. This place was just so insane to look at. There were so many shrines along this walk. Approximately 3,200 and it takes about 2-3 hours to hike, but you could turn around and go back when ever you’d like so it doesn’t have to take that long.

Fushimi Inari-taisha Kanji
My favorite picture!

You could really feel the amount of history that was around you. It just felt so surreal to be there! I loved how one side of the gate is blank and the other has the kanji. It took us a while to notice until we went to look back at each other.

Fushimi Inari-taisha Torri gates
Such a peaceful walk.

2. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera temple
Full view of Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Built in 1633…how is this still standing? Kiyomizu-dera Temple has many Important Cultural Properties, including buildings and Buddhist images. Along the ravine below the main hall are cherry and maple trees.

Incense bowl in Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Incense bowl in Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Incense is used in a lot of religions, its is a method of purifying the surroundings, bringing forth an assembly of buddhas, bodhisattvas and gods.

Otowa-no-taki Waterfall
Otowa-no-taki Waterfall

3.Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Temple)
Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Temple)

Kinkaku-ji is one of Kyoto’s leading Buddhist temples. It was built at the end of the 14th century. My favorite thing about this was the reflection on the pond. There isn’t much else around this temple to look at, but I promise the temple alone is worth going for!

4. Feed the Monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park

Japanese macaque and a coy fish
Japanese macaque being preyed upon by a vicious oversized Coy fish.

This one is a good hike up the side of Itawa Mountain, but its a beautiful walk through the woods and there are a lot of resting stops for out of shape people like me! The Japanese macaques are seen and heard all along the way up to the top.

Adriana Johnson feeding a Japanese macaque
Me living a life long dream of mine and feeding a monkey!

You can buy some, “monkey food” for I think 100 yen (I believe they were just apple slices), and feed the monkeys! This monkey only had one eye! lol

Japanese man looking at American baby.
Sweet Japanese man.

Don’t forget to engage with the local people. They were all so kind and they also loved Isaac! 😂

There you go guys! Those were my absolute favorite things I did in Kyoto! If you have ever gone I would really love to hear what your favorite things were that you did.



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  1. After battling the monkeys in India, I may pass on the feeding of the monkeys in Kyoto but the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine is beautiful. Is it orange or red? What is the history of it? Japan is definitely on my bucket list and cant wait to get there and explore!


    1. I bet India is beautiful! That has been a place we have talked about wanted to see for a while! The Fushimi Inari shrine is actually orange. 😊 It was built to worship to the god Inari (the god of rice). The earliest structures were built in 711 in southwestern Kyoto, then relocated in 816 to where it is now.