Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Kyoto at a Glance

Historic, bike-friendly and beautiful, this city of temples will surprise you over and over again. 

Kyoto stands by tradition. While the rest of Japan modernizes, many people here live a quieter life in step with the rhythms of the local market, the public baths and the one thousand Buddhist temples found here. 

If traditional architecture and culture are your passions, Kyoto is a must-see. Sublime temples ornately layered with gold and rich wood coexist with neighborhood temples on a scale so small that they are often passed by. Visit the important sites in Kyoto and marvel at their grandeur, but leave yourself open to discovering forgotten little corners bursting with life. 

Kyoto's gorgeous springtime is heavy with the scent of cherry blossoms. Take on the city by bicycle to experience all that it has to offer. When you're tired of pedaling, a restorative bowl of ram-en or a carefully prepared plate of sushi awaits you. 

What to Expect
High Season
March - May, September - November
Low Season
December - February, June - August
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Language: Japanese
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Osaka International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      Most travelers to Japan do not need a visa, especially if leisure is their sole activity and they plan to stay fewer than 90 days. For more information, contact a Japanese Embassy. American citizens can learn more about travel requirements on the U.S State Department website. 

      Getting Around
      Public Transportation
      • Bus Kyoto Station Bus Terminal
      • Railroad Kyoto Station
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather and Seismic EventsNorthern Japan has severe winters and big snowfalls while the southern portions are subtropical. August - October is typhoon season in the south and bad weather can make travel difficult. Japan has earthquakes and since it is an island nation, it is important to pay attention for tsunami alerts and seek high ground if necessary. 

      Safety ConcernsJapan is a safe place to travel, but it is important to use common sense. Keep valuables out of sight and avoid neighborhoods where you feel unsafe. Everyone should keep an eye on their drinks while at bars and clubs to protect themselves from robbery or sexual assault. 

      Health ConcernsAir-pollution and altitude sickness can bother tourists especially those with breathing or heart difficulties.