Central Kyoto is a vibrant, dynamic district in a Japanese city which combines the architecture of ancient temples with futuristic buildings, narrow streets, and fascinating museums.
There are many incredible areas of historical significance to visit in Central Kyoto. Nijō Castle, the former residence of the Shogun is one of the most popular places to begin a Kyoto adventure. Discover ornate palaces, tranquil gardens, and the famous Nightingale Floor which chirps like a bird as visitors walk across. Kyoto Imperial Palace is also close to downtown, with intricately designed temples, artistic interiors, and sculpted gardens it has a fascinating history that is ripe for discovery. Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Kyoto. The 10,000 vermillion coloured Torii Gates are both striking and spectacular to walk through as visitors climb the mountain trail. Once at the summit, the panoramic views of the city and its surrounding areas are breathtaking. A visit to Nishiki Market should be on any visitor’s Kyoto itinerary, as this bustling market has five long shopping streets with over a hundred stalls and restaurants. It’s also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” as many of the traders specialise in seafood, local produce, and seasonal food. Central Kyoto is home to the Aquarium, the Kyoto Tower with its circular skyline restaurant and viewing platform, and a charming labyrinth of streets which evoke the history of Kyoto. If visiting the city during cherry blossom season, take a walk by the canal on the Philosopher’s Path, as it’s one of the best places to view this natural wonder.
Central Kyoto is easy to reach from many tourist attractions in Kyoto on foot or via subway. Many subway stops take in much of the central district, and travellers can jump on and off or change routes easily to traverse the city. Kyoto Station is the best place to start, as all areas can be reached from this station. Central Kyoto can be accessed on foot, even the furthest attractions are within 30 to 40 minutes’ walk from the main station with many temples, shrines and areas of historical interest on route.
The city of Kyoto was arranged in accordance with Feng Shui tradition and follows an organised grid pattern, with the Imperial Palace looking south, Ukyō to the west and Sakyō to the west. The city, one of the best preserved in Japan, has over 2,000 areas of religious significance, 400 Shinto shrines and around 1,600 Buddhist temples. These historical attractions and Kyoto’s vibrant, eclectic atmosphere and outlying areas of natural beauty continue to attract millions of visitors every year.