Vacation rentals in Kyoto
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|4.2K properties include access to wifi|
Rentals with dedicated workspaces
|1.5K properties have a dedicated workspace|
|140 properties allow pets|
|1.8K properties are a good fit for families|
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Your guide to Kyoto
Welcome to Kyoto
Kyoto is one of the most charming cities in the world. For more than a millennium — until 1868 — it was the imperial seat of Japan, and all that power was a magnet for opulence, artists and artisans, and religion. Today, the city remains at the heart of the country’s cultural traditions, with thousands of palaces, temples, and shrines, not to mention its famous geisha districts.
Wandering through Kyoto can mean stopping at every turn, delighted by the curve of a rooftop or the ancient timbers framing a shop. Despite 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the gilded Kinkakuji (Gold Pavilion), and districts like Higashiyama, whose streets could double as the set for a historical epic, Kyoto is not a living museum. With more than 1.5 million residents, the city boasts countless cocktail bars, chic restaurants, and street-food stalls, and a thriving music scene.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kyoto
If there’s a peak time to visit Kyoto, it may be late March through early May, when the temperatures are comfortable, the monsoons have yet to start, and the city seduces the eye with cherry blossoms (peak time: early April). Crisp, dry autumns also make for wonderful strolls around the city. Exploring Kyoto during the extremes of winter and summer will take a little more effort — and good rain gear. The heat and humidity peak June through August, when the temperatures stay in the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit and tropical rainstorms regularly sweep through the area. That doesn’t stop the city from turning out for the Gion Matsuri in mid-to-late July for parades, traditional dress, and street food. In winter, it rarely freezes or snows here, but the constant drizzle can make the cold feel colder. That said, the city entrances visitors even in the coldest months. During late December, thousands of paper lanterns line Arashiyama’s bridges and lanes, and in early January, New Year crowds throng many of the shrines.
Top things to do in Kyoto
Visiting this five-block-long covered food market in central Kyoto, which is open from midmorning to early evening, is a must for food lovers. Picture barrels of pickles and dried vegetables, display cases of exquisite wagashi (sweets), and heaps of frilly dried fish. You can snack on meat skewers or crackly senbei as you wander through the market, or pore over the shelves of cooking implements and jarred preserves, looking for gifts to bring home. Afterward, peek in at the nearby Tenmangu Shrine or wander over to the Gion, the city’s most famous geisha district.
On the west side of Kyoto, just as the dense inner city gives way to the slopes of the surrounding mountains, this charming district thrums with tourists — with pockets of serenity nearby. Wander along the wide, shady paths that snake through the famous bamboo grove. Visit a host of temples, from the tiny thatch-roofed Gio-ji through the expansive Tenryu-ji, with its showstopper garden and majestic views of the mountain peaks. Spend a few hours at the Fukuda Art Museum admiring paintings from the Edo Period.
This mile-long path, located in the northern part of the Higashiyama district, leads between two of Kyoto’s best-known sites — Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion) and the neighborhood surrounding Nanzenji Temple — and the journey is just as rewarding as either destination. The paved walkway traces the route of a narrow canal, shaded by thousands of cherry trees, and offers plenty of reasons to detour in the form of temples, cafes, and boutiques.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Kyoto?
Kyoto experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures often reaching 95°F (35°C), while winters can be cold with temperatures dropping to around 35°F (2°C) and occasional snow. Spring and fall are mild and are often considered the most pleasant times to visit, particularly for their cherry blossoms and autumn leaves respectively.
What are some of the best things to do in Kyoto?
Visitors in Kyoto often explore the city's many temples, including the historic Kiyomizu-dera. They also enjoy strolling through the scenic Philosopher's Path, wandering the bustling Nishiki Market, and taking part in a traditional tea ceremony. Boat rides along the Hozu River are also popular.
What is the best time of year to visit Kyoto?
The most popular times to visit Kyoto are spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) due to their pleasant temperatures and stunning natural beauty. Spring is known for the cherry blossom season, while fall is famous for its vibrant autumn leaves. Events like Aoi Matsuri in May and Jidai Matsuri in October also draw many visitors.
What are the best places to stay in Kyoto?
Downtown Kyoto and Higashiyama are popular for their proximity to temples, shops, and restaurants. Gion is often recommended for its traditional environment and teahouses, while Arashiyama is praised for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. The area near Kyoto Station is also frequently chosen for its ease of transportation.
What are the best places to visit in Kyoto?
Kyoto is known for its historical and cultural sites. These often visited sites include the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), the thousand Torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Zen garden of Ryoan-ji, and the bustling Nijo Castle. The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is another frequently visited natural attraction.
What are some hiking trails in Kyoto?
Kyoto has several hiking trails that attract nature lovers. The trail up Daimonji Mountain provides panoramic views of the city, while the Mount Atago hike leads to Atago Shrine. The trail between Kibune and Kurama through lush forests and historical sites is also popular among hikers.
What are some family activities to do in Kyoto?
Families often enjoy visiting Kyoto's famous temples, such as Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari Shrine. They also explore Kyoto International Manga Museum, and participate in traditional tea ceremonies. A trip to Kyoto Railway Museum or a walk in the bamboo forest of Arashiyama are also frequently suggested activities for the entire family.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in Kyoto?
In Kyoto, you can explore historical landmarks like Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion, and Fushimi Inari Shrine with its iconic red torii gates. Take a leisurely walk along the Philosopher's Path, or venture out to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. For nature lovers, a visit to Ohara, a rural village surrounded by mountains and forests, is often recommended.
Are there vacation home rentals with a dedicated workspace in Kyoto?
Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 10 vacation home rentals in Kyoto featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.
How much does it cost to stay in vacation home rentals in Kyoto?
Experience the best of Kyoto with our vacation home rentals, starting at about $100 per day, before taxes and fees. Embrace comfort and style while staying within your budget in your home away from home.