Summary of Recommended Tourist Attractions in Kyoto City Center Area.

This article introduces the main tourist destinations in the Kyoto City Center Area.
You can enjoy not only sightseeing but also gourmet dining and shopping at places like Nishiki Market and Nijo Castle.
If you’re considering a trip to Kyoto, be sure to give this article a read.

Nishiki Market

In the heart of Kyoto, Nishiki Market is a culinary haven that beckons food lovers from around the world.
Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” this bustling market offers an array of Japanese culinary delights.

As you explore the market’s narrow lanes, you’ll encounter vendors selling fresh seafood, colorful pickles, and delectable street food.
Don’t miss the opportunity to taste yuba, a local specialty made from tofu skin, or enjoy a skewer of grilled yakitori.
And of course, savor matcha-flavored treats like mochi and ice cream, showcasing Kyoto’s love for green tea.

It’s not just about food; Nishiki Market is a sensory journey through Kyoto’s flavors and culture.
Engage with friendly locals, and learn about the history and traditions of Kyoto’s culinary scene.

For anyone seeking to experience the heart and soul of Kyoto through its cuisine, Nishiki Market is a must-visit destination.

It’s a place where every bite tells a story, and where foodies and curious travelers can delight in the magic of Japanese gastronomy.
Don’t miss the chance to explore Kyoto’s culinary wonderland at Nishiki Market!

Information

  • Address: 609 Nishidaimonjicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • by train
      • Subway Karasuma Line “Shijo” Station and it’s about a 3-minute walk.
      • Hankyu Kyoto Line “Karasuma” Station and it’s about a 3-minute walk.
      • Hankyu Kyoto Line “Kyoto Kawaramachi” Station and it’s about a 4-minute walk.
      • Keihan Main Line “Shijo” Station and it’s about a 10-minute walk.
    • by bus
      • Take City Bus Route 5 from Kyoto Station and get off at “Shijo Takakura (in front of Daimaru Department Store).” It’s about a 2-minute walk.
  • Phone Number: 075-211-3882(Promotion Association)
  • Closed on: based on the store
  • Opening Hours: based on the store
  • Admission Fees:based on the store
  • Official Website: Nishiki Market

Kyoto International Manga Museum

In the heart of Kyoto, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is a haven for manga enthusiasts and art lovers.
This unique museum is a treasure trove of creativity, where you can explore the world of manga and experience the magic of storytelling.

Housed in a former elementary school, the museum boasts an extensive collection of manga from Japan and around the world.

The best part?
You can immerse yourself in these captivating stories right on the spot.
The open shelves, filled with thousands of manga, allow visitors to pick up a book and start reading.

The museum’s atmosphere is vibrant and welcoming, making it an excellent place to learn about the rich manga culture of Japan.
Whether you’re a dedicated fan or a newcomer to the world of manga, a visit to this museum is sure to inspire your imagination.

Come and discover the art of manga in a place where stories come to life!

Information

  • Address: Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0846 Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • by railways
      • Kyoto city subway, Karasuma line or Tozai line, Karasuma Oike station, take exit No 2 and turn right immediately, turn left at the Karasuma Oike crossroad, and walk for about 2 minutes.
    • by bus
      • Number 15, 51, and 65, right in front of the Karasuma Oike bus stop.
  • Phone Number: 075-254-7414
  • Closed on: Every Wednesday (or the following day if it’s a holiday).
  • Opening Hours: From 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM (last admission at 5:00 PM).
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults: 900 yen
    • Junior and Senior High School Students: 400 yen
    • Elementary School Students: 200 yen
    • *Special exhibitions may require an additional fee.
  • Official Website: Kyoto International Manga Museum

Nijo Castle

Compared to other temples and shrines, the history of Nijo Castle is relatively new, as it was built in the year 1603.
Originally, it was used as an accommodation for the shogun during his visits to Kyoto and for the protection of Kyoto.

It stands as a testament to Japan’s rich history and imperial heritage.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is a captivating blend of architectural grandeur and serene gardens, providing a window into the country’s past.

Built during the Edo period, Nijo Castle is renowned for its “Nightingale Floors” that chirp melodiously as you walk, serving as an ancient security system.
The splendid interiors, adorned with intricate artwork, transport you to a time of shoguns and emperors.

The castle’s expansive gardens, with their tranquil ponds and blossoming cherry trees, offer a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Nijo Castle is a cultural gem that encapsulates the essence of Kyoto’s imperial legacy, leaving visitors inspired by its historical significance.
A must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore the rich tapestry of Kyoto’s heritage.

Information

  • Address: 541 Nijojo-cho, Nijo-dori Horikawa Nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Get off at Nijo Castle Station on the subway.
  • Phone Number: 075-841-0096
  • Closed on:
    • New Year’s holidays
    • Tuesdays (January, July, August, December)
  • Opening Hours: 8:45 AM – 4:00 PM
    • (Castle closes at 5:00 PM, Nijo Maru viewing reception until 4:10 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • General Admission: 800 yen
    • Middle and High School Students: 400 yen
    • Elementary School Students: 300 yen
    • Note: General admission, when combined with Nijo Maru Goten (Nijo Maru Palace) viewing, is 1,300 yen. Middle and high school students and younger can also view Nijo Maru Goten with the admission fee only.
  • Official Website: Nijo Castle

Kyoto Imperial Palace

the Kyoto Imperial Palace offers a captivating insight into Japan’s imperial heritage.
Steeped in history and surrounded by serene gardens, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit for travelers seeking a taste of Japanese royalty.

Built during the Edo period, the palace boasts exquisite architecture and lush gardens.
Stroll through the regal halls adorned with intricate artwork and imagine a time when emperors and shoguns ruled.

The expansive gardens, dotted with cherry blossoms and tranquil ponds, provide a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Kyoto Imperial Palace is a cultural gem that allows visitors to bask in the elegance of Japan’s imperial past, leaving them inspired by its historical significance.
It’s a place that evokes a sense of imperial elegance, making it a must-see for travelers.

Come and explore Kyoto’s royal heritage at the Kyoto Imperial Palace!

Information

  • Address: 3 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 5-minute walk from Imadegawa Station on the subway.
  • Closed on:
    • Mondays (If Monday is a public holiday, it will be closed on the following day)
    • New Year’s holidays and on days when events are held.
  • Opening Hours:
    • September and March: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Last entry at 3:50 PM)
    • October – February: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Last entry at 3:20 PM)
    • April – August: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:20 PM)
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Official Website: Kyoto Imperial Palace

Seimei Shrine

Tucked away in the enchanting city of Kyoto, Seimei Shrine is a hidden gem that beckons travelers seeking a glimpse into Japan’s mystical traditions.

This sacred sanctuary is dedicated to the legendary Onmyoji, Abe no Seimei, and is a place of solace and spirituality.
According to the remaining historical records, Seimei Shrine was originally established on a vast scale.

It was founded in the year 1007 during the Kanpō era, and the shrine extended in all four cardinal directions.

However, following the upheaval of the Ōnin War and the subsequent consolidation of power by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, changes in the city’s management and the effects of war led to a reduction in the size of Seimei Shrine.

Over time, the shrine fell into disrepair until in 1950, during the Showa era, expansion work was carried out at the Seimei Shrine located on Horikawa Street, leading to the reconstruction of the shrine in its present form.

The famous figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu also paid a visit to Seimei Shrine, and it’s worth checking out the ema (votive plaques) that were dedicated at the shrine during his successful Olympic journey, where he won a gold medal.

Information

  • Address: 806 Seimeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 602-8477, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • Approximately 2 minutes on foot from the Ichijo Modohashi/Seimei Shrine-mae bus stop.
    • Approximately 2 minutes on foot from the Horikawa-Imadegawa bus stop.
  • Phone Number: 075-441-6460
  • Closed on: Open year-round
  • Visiting Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • The office closes at 4:30 PM
    • Fortune-telling consultations are available from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
  • Admission: Free for shrine visit
    • Fortune-telling consultations cost 2,000 yen per session.
  • Official Website: Seimei Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine


In Kyoto’s Kamigyo Ward, there is the renowned Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, also known as “Kitano-san” or “Kitano no Tenjin-san,” considered the head shrine among the approximately 12,000 Tenmangu and Tenjin shrines nationwide.

This shrine, dedicated to the famous historical figure Sugawara no Michizane, is widely revered as a sacred place filled with heavenly energy in Japanese history.

Sugawara no Michizane’s divine virtues span a wide range, with a particularly well-known reputation as a god of scholarship.
As a result, it is quite common for individuals preparing for entrance exams or qualification tests to visit this shrine frequently.

While Kitano Tenmangu is the head shrine of Tenmangu and Tenjin shrines, it wasn’t the first to be established.
The origins can be traced back to the middle of the Heisei era when a temple dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane was initially built in Shiga Prefecture.

Subsequently, based on a divine oracle, the current location of Kitano Tenmangu was chosen, and it received its present name in 987.

Interestingly, Kitano Tenmangu’s reputation as a shrine dedicated to the god of learning became widely recognized during the Edo period.
If you’re preparing for exams, visiting Kitano Tenmangu is highly recommended.

Information

  • Address: Umekoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • A short walk from the “Kitano Tenmangu-mae” bus stop (Routes 50 and 101)
    • a 5-minute walk from the Keifuku Electric Railroad “Shirakumemachi Station.”
  • Phone Number: 075-461-0005
  • Operating Hours:
    • Main Gate: 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM (During autumn foliage illumination and New Year, open at night as well)
    • Shrine Office and Offering Hall: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (During the autumn foliage illumination period: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM)
    • Prayer Services: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Admission Fees:
    • Treasure Hall:
      • Adults 1,000 yen
      • Middle and High School Students 500 yen
      • Children 250 yen
    • Plum Garden Flower Garden:
      • Adults 1,200 yen
      • Children 600 yen (includes tea and sweets)
    • Momiji Garden (Autumn Foliage Garden):
      • Blue Momiji – Adults 500 yen, Children 350 yen
      • Red Momiji – Adults 1,000 yen, Children 600 yen (includes tea and sweets)
  • Official Website: Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Ninna-ji Temple

Established by Emperor Uda in the year 888 during the Heian period, Ninnaji Temple is a prestigious temple with a history of imperial clergy serving as its head priests until the Meiji era.

Although it was reduced to ashes during the Ōnin War, it was reconstructed in 1634 according to the wishes of Tokugawa Iemitsu.

In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and in autumn, you can enjoy the vibrant fall foliage.
Additionally, with ponds and stone gardens, it’s a place where you can fully experience the essence of Kyoto.

Passing through the red-lacquered gate, you’ll encounter the five-story pagoda, designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Its majestic presence is truly a sight to behold and worth a visit.

In addition to the five-story pagoda, there are several other Important Cultural Properties at Ninnaji Temple, and it is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its cultural treasures in the ancient capital of Kyoto.

Information

  • Address: 33 Mimurodainai, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • 3 minutes on foot from Keifuku Electric Railroad, “Mimuro Jinja Station”
    • 1 minute on foot from City Bus, “Mimuro Jinja Station”
    • 15 minutes on foot from JR Sagano Line, “Hanazono Station”
  • Phone Number: 075-461-1155
  • Closed: None
  • Visiting Hours:
    • 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
    • *December to February: 4:30 PM (Last entry at 5:30 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • Ninna-ji Temple Garden:
      • Adults 800 yen
      • High School Students and below free
    • Reihokan (Limited-time exhibition):
      • Adults 500 yen
      • High School Students and below free
    • Mimuro Flower Festival Special Admission:
      • Adults 500 yen
      • High School Students and below free
  • Official Website: Ninna-ji Temple

Conclusion

I introduced the main tourist attractions in the central area of Kyoto City.
In Kyoto, you can not only feel the history but also enjoy the changing seasons of nature.
Please consider taking a trip there.

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