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"KYOTO - THE HEART OF JAPAN" Top 5 Page for this destination Kyoto by Pixiekatten

Kyoto Travel Guide: 1,922 reviews and 6,228 photos


In my opinion Kyoto is one of the most magnificent cities is the world - from what Ive seen so far! Its a beautiful vibrant city where modern life meets old traditional Japan. Twice I have been to Japan and twice has my journey started and ended in Kyoto.

There's so much to see here and days could be spent exploring. But Kyoto is also a perfect base when visiting Kansai region. Its close to Arashiyama, Kameoka, Osaka, Himeji, Nara, Koyasan and more!

I really hope you will enjoy mu virtual tour!
Thanks for stopping by!


544 - The first "Aoi" festival was held in the city.

8th century - Becoming the capital. The Emperor chose to relocate the capital to a region far from the Buddhist influence because the powerful Buddhist clergy wanted to meddle in Imperial government affairs. In 794 the new city, Heianky¨­¡¡("Heian capital"), became the seat of Japan's imperial court. The city was later renamed to Kyoto ("capital city").

1868 - After more than 1000 years Kyoto was no longer Japan's capital. It was moved to Tokyo (meaning "Eastern Capital").

World War II - United States had Kyoto on the list of targets but in the end it was decided to remove the city from the list and the atomic bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Gion Matsuri is held annually in Kyoto and is probably one of the most famous festival in all of Japan. It is on during the entire month of July and the Yama-boko Junkō, which is the parade with the floats, is the absolute highlight of the festival and is on July 17th. Kyoto's downtown area is closed for traffic on the three nights leading up to the parade. On these nights the streets are lined with night stalls selling food, traditional sweets, beer and much more. On these nights it is also the perfect opportunity to spot the Japanese walking around in beautiful cotton summer kimonos, called yukatas.

On the 17th one has to rise early to get a good spot to watch the parade. The streets get real crowded hours before it starts and people bring food, water and fans to get through the long wait in the hot and humid weather.

The parade consists of about 30 floats that are carried and pulled. It takes about 3 hours and is amazing to watch. Fun part is to hear the Japanese chuckle every time they see a 'gajin' in the parade, a foreigner that is.. I loved the experience and only downside is the complete lack of females in the parade.

  • Last visit to Kyoto: Jul 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (33)

Comments (23)

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2008 at 10:50 PM

    great tips on kyoto! thanks for putting them together!i will definitely try the K-house

  • we2364's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2008 at 7:33 AM

    I should call you Japanese girl :-) Food in China is the best, you should exquisively choose the nice one...because it isn't just food la. Hope you enjoy soon and let me know how you feel CHINA!

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2008 at 2:02 AM

    Glad to read see your J.experience and see your photos. You have been to many places which i have not been to. You are welcome to my Japan photos,. Have a good day.

  • Feb 1, 2008 at 7:17 AM

    Another great page about Japan and the famous Kyoto city!

  • Nov 9, 2007 at 4:35 PM

    I went to that restaurant too, the food was terrific. I forgot to write down its name and location, but I'd love to find it out. If you have those details, please mail me at Thanks!

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2007 at 7:34 PM

    Really interesting tips & pictures! to make more coffee! Greetings from wet & rainy Goa! Blu

  • wathy's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2007 at 1:15 AM

    hahaha betsubara, a perfect excuse for us to have more dessert LOL

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2007 at 1:33 AM

    Hi and welcome back from your trip! How are you? Really enjoyed your tips and photos here... a great page! Hope all is well with you :-) Greetings from the desert / Jess

  • mad4travel's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2007 at 4:25 AM

    Great Kyoto tips. I loved it there, will go back again one day.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    What a lively descriptions! Well... I have to admit that after I came through all the page I became even more interested in visiting. I can understand your enthusiasm about it :))


“Religion, is a smile on a dog.”

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