2 Days in Kyoto: Travel Guide of What to Do

When we first planned our trip to go to Kyoto and Osaka, we were planning on staying mainly in Osaka because the main reason why we are going was to experience the wizarding world of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan. But because of a very eager Japanese friend who has nothing but praises for Kyoto, we decided to extend our stay in Kyoto. Turned out he was absolutely right.

We fell in love with Kyoto. Its beautiful culture is mind-blowing and captivating. We wish we had more time to explore this timeless city, but we didn’t and chances are with an unplanned itinerary you won’t either. So we are glad to share with you our itinerary and few other suggestions of places to visit.

With the city full of must see places to visit, we have prioritized our itinerary with the places we really wanted to see. Don’t worry we will provide additional places if you wish to stay longer at the bottom.

Day 1

Fushima Inari Shrine:

Probably the most impressive sight in Kyoto. Famous for its trail of thousands of tori gates that lead to the wooded forest of the sacred mount Inari. You will also notice a lot of Fox statues that can be seen through out the shrine, this is because foxes are believed to be Inari’s messengers.

Have you seen the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha where Chiyo/Sayuri run through the mesmerizing and seemingly endless tori gates? Yes. This is the place.

How to get there:

Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (140 yen one way from Kyoto Station). The shrine can also be reached in a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station along the Keihan Main Line.

Admission: Free!! Yey!!!



The shrine famous for its wooden stage and Otowa Waterfalls, is a UNESCO world heritage site. Behind the main hall, you will find the Jishu Shrine. It is a shrine dedicated in finding your mate. There are two large love stones, several feet apart. They say that when you find your way from one stone to another, it will bring you luck in love.

The shrine was fully packed and undergoing construction when we got there, so it was a very busy place.

How to get there:

You can get a taxi from Fushima inari shrine to Kiyomizu-dera for 1600 Yen. Or you can go back to Kyoto station and take a bus. Get off at the Gojozaka Stop on Route 206 bound for Higasihama-dori Kitaoji Bus Terminal or Route 100 bound for Kiyomizu-dera Gion/Ginkaku-ji and walk 10 minutes.

Admission: 300 Yen


Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka Preserved District:

Two of Kyotos most attractive streets. With never ending streets lined with beautifully restored old houses and stores offering must try snacks, you can easily spend a great time here without even knowing.

How to get there:

Just a few steps away from Kiyomizu-dera.

Admission: Free!! Another Yey!!!


Additional place to visit if you have time:


If you still have time and are up for walking, it is 20 minutes away from Kiyomizu-dera. Unlike us,who lost track of time in the streets of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka. We went to Gion on Day 2.

Day 2

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove-

It is exactly as the name suggests it. Upon entering this magical place, it feels like you are being transported to an old samurai movie where they practice their swords skills.

How to get there;

The fastest access from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is provided by the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line). The one way ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen. From Saga-Arashiyama Station, central Arashiyama can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.

Admission: Free!! Yey!! Again!



Tenryuji Temple-

The temple has a beautiful garden which features a pond surrounded by trees and picturesque Arashiyama mountains.

Admission: 500 yen (an extra 100 yen for entrance into the temple buildings)


Togetsuko Bridge:

It is a very well known Arashiyama landmark. Boats are available for rent if you want to see the bridge from a different perspective.

Aside from walking around, another enjoyable and convenient way to roam around Arashiyama is to rent a bicycle. You can rent a bicycle for the whole day for as low as 100 yen.

How to get there:

Tenryuji temple and Togetsuko bridge are about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the Arashiyama Grove.



The place is famous for its restaurants and teahouses that features Geishas or maikos. However, you must book in advance and the price could be very expensive.

If you are lucky, you might get a chance to see a real life geisha just walking the streets of Gion.

How to get there:

Gion can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (20 minutes, 230 yen).

Additional Places to visit if you have time:


  1. Golden Pavilion

  2. Ishibei alley

  3. Nikishi Market

  4. Sanjusangendo

Vlog of our 2 day trip