Exploring Kyoto on foot provides an intimate experience of the city’s historic charm. You can walk at your own pace, allowing you to fully immerse in the rich culture and beauty of Kyoto. Here are a few recommended walking routes.
Route 1: Kiyomizu-dera to Gion
Start: Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Start your walk at the beautiful Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The temple’s wooden terrace offers spectacular views of Kyoto.
After exploring Kiyomizu-dera, stroll through the narrow, picturesque streets of Higashiyama District. You’ll pass traditional shops, teahouses, and restaurants.
End your journey in Gion, the famed geisha district. If you’re lucky, you might spot a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) on their way to appointments.
Route 2: Kyoto Imperial Palace to Nijo Castle
Start: Kyoto Imperial Palace
Start your walk in the spacious park surrounding the Kyoto Imperial Palace, a great spot for a picnic.
Next, head south towards Nishiki Market. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, it’s the perfect place to try local delicacies.
End: Nijo Castle
End your walk at Nijo Castle, renowned for its beautiful gardens and “nightingale floors”.
Route 3: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove to Togetsukyo Bridge
Start: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Start your day at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. This otherworldly path provides great photo opportunities.
Just beside the Bamboo Grove is Tenryu-ji Temple, known for its stunning garden.
End: Togetsukyo Bridge
Finish your walk by crossing the Togetsukyo Bridge. The surrounding scenery is especially beautiful during the cherry blossom and autumn foliage seasons.
Walking allows you to experience Kyoto up close, observing its details, hidden corners, and the daily life of its residents. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of water, especially during warmer months. Enjoy the freedom and serenity of exploring Kyoto at your own pace!