This past July I went to Japan for the first time and traveled around Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. It was an amazing experience, but I had some mishaps along the way. Here are 5 tips for traveling in Kyoto (and what not to do!).
1. Pick a handful of temples + site to explore (& stick to them!) - There are too many things to see to be able to do them all (unless you're there for an extended period of time). Do some research and figure out the ones that you personally want to see the most. My favorites are Fumishi Inari and the Golden Pavilion.
2. See the temples within proximity of your top picks - Pick a region to explore each day and stick to it to maximize your time sightseeing in Kyoto.
3. Plan your accommodations wisely (DON’T WAIT!) - Everything books up fast! I strongly recommend you stay half the time in Arashiyama and half the time by Gion (not mentioned in the video).
4. Spend a full day exploring Arashiyama & Sagano - The bamboo groves are obviously a must-see, but there's so much more to do in this area. Walk through the gardens, explore the temples, and just have a great time wandering.
5. Hang out in Gion without a schedule - This place is magical. It feels like the walls are full of secrets and there's always the prospect of a Geisha waiting right around the corner. Spend as much time here as possible!
Do you have any other tips for traveling in Kyoto?