When traveling, you always have to pay attention to transport. When you head to Kyoto from Osaka or Tokyo, you’re probably going to find yourself at Kyoto Station. Under you, you’ll find the subway system of Kyoto, the trains, and buses, all waiting to take you to the sightseeing spots of this ancient capital. But as taking all these forms of transport can get a bit expensive, it may be a better idea to buy a subway one-day pass (or the one-day bus pass) and move around Kyoto cheaply and easily by using the subway. This time I have a one-day itinerary for Kyoto that uses the subway one-day pass to the max! So come and enjoy Kyoto together with me!
With the one-day pass, you get to ride the subway as many times as you want for one day. And with this pass, you get discounts at some sightseeing spots.
※From October 2021, the price has been changed to ¥800 (Child：¥400).
You can buy it at subway stations from the ticket machines. Adults: ￥800, children: ￥400.
There are two subway lines in Kyoto, Tozai Line, and Karasuma Line, and if you have to change from one to the other, you can do that at Karasuma Oike Station.
9:00 am From Kyoto Station to Higashiyama and onward to Heian Shrine *Change trains at Karasuma Oike Station
The first thing you’re going to see when approaching Heian Shrine is this huge, stately torii gate. There are many things to see at the shrine, like the Daikokuden palace, dragon bridge, and the beautiful Japanese garden. You can also find the shopping center Toni Toni by Heian Shrine, so you could pop in for a bit of shopping after the shrine visit!
Not too far from Heian Shrine, there is Murin-an , a villa constructed by the Meiji period politician Yamagata Aritomo. The name Murin-an means no neighbors, and you can probably guess why this place was named that. The tea room and the garden let you enjoy Japanese architecture. The garden has the mountain of Higashiyama as its shakkei, borrowed scenery, and it’s easy to relax in it, surrounded by the calmness of nature.
After going to two different sightseeing spots, it’s time for lunch! Kikusui is located close to Nanzen-ji Temple, and for lunch you can choose between western and Japanese options. From appetizers to dessert, you get 10 dishes, so you’re sure to leave this restaurant satisfied. The Japanese architecture of the restaurant makes you appreciate the food even more. From morning up until now, you’ve gotten to appreciate the soothing effect of Japanese architecture!
|Address||31 Nanzenji Fukuchicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture|
|Open Hours||11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Lunch: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (Last orders taken at 2:00 p.m.) Café: 2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Dinner: 5:30 p.m.-8:00p.m. (Last orders for full courses is at 8:00 p.m.) (Last orders for a la carte at 9:00 p.m.)|
Now that we have full tummies, it’s time to head to the World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle! The defenses of this castle are strong, as it used to be the Kyoto abode of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. If you’re interested in Japanese history, this castle is definitely worth a visit, as it was the place where “Taisei Hokan,” Restoration of Imperial Rule, took place.
|Address||541, Nijojo-cho, Nijo-dori Horikawa Nishi iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8301|
|Open Hours||8:45am - 4pm (the castle closes at 5pm) *Ninomaru Palace viewing hours: 9am - 4pm 【July・August】 8am - 5pm(the castle closes at 6pm) 【September】 8am - 4pm(the castle closes at 5pm)|
Shimogamo Shrine is a famous shrine in Kyoto to pray for matchmaking, and you go through the primordial forest of Tadasu no Mori when you enter it, so you’re surrounded by the vast mystery of nature. You can also find shrines for the Chinese zodiac at Shimogamo Shrine, so you can pray at the shrine of your own zodiac! There is also a shrine for eternal beauty called Kawai Shrine that is really popular among women!
*Chinese characters for the shrines: 子=mouse, 丑=ox, 寅=tiger, 卯=rabbit, 辰=dragon,巳=snake, 午=horse, 未=sheep, 申=monkey, 酉=rooster, 戌=dog, and 亥=pig.
|Address||59, Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-0807|
|Open Hours||6:30a.m. - 5:00 p.m.|
After praying at the shrine, walk toward Imadegawa Station, but stop on the way to play at Kamo River Delta. There are stepping stones shaped like turtles and birds in the river, and jumping on them is fun, and you can often see families come here to play by the river.
|Address||It runs from north to south of Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu|
|Open Hours||Does not close|
After a day of sightseeing, it’s time for shopping, and while Teramachi Shopping Street may be more famous, Porta is a great place for shopping right below Kyoto Station! You can find almost anything here, from trendy clothes and Japanese “zakka (everyday items)” to souvenirs, so it’s easy to spend quite some time here!
|Address||902, Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 600-8216|
|Open Hours||Shopping 11:00am-20:00pm Cafe & Restaurants 11:00am-9:00pm ※Please note that some stores have different business hours.|
After a full day of sightseeing & shopping, it’s time for a luxurious dinner! You can enjoy a great atmosphere and views at one of the most famous landmarks of Kyoto, Kyoto Tower, in its lounge bar Kuu. The perfect ending to your day in Kyoto would be a nice cocktail that you can have while gazing down at the city of Kyoto below you. The night view of Kyoto is worth a million dollars and is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
|Address||13th floor of Kyoto Tower, 721-1 Higashishiokoji-cho, Shichijo-sagaru, Higashinotoin Street, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.|
|Open Hours||Café: 3 p.m.-8 p.m. (Last orders at 7:45 p.m.) On Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays KUU opens at 12 noon. Bar: 6 p.m.-11 p.m. (Last orders at 10:30 p.m.)|
|Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|