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Most Instagrammable Spots in Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

Collection of 6 places
A widely worshipped holy palace Kiyomizu-dera
Ancient Temple

Kiyomizudera (清水寺, literally "Pure Water Temple") is one of the most renowned temples of Japan: founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, its name derives from the fall's pure waters, Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below: it affords visitors a beautiful view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. When you visit the temple, simply put your hands together when in front of the statue of Kannon and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Kyoto 360° View Kyoto Tower
Panoramic Point

Standing 131 meters tall just across from Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower (京都タワー) is Kyoto's tallest structure and an unusual modern iconic landmark in the city famous for its ancient temples and shrines. The tower was completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the Shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics. A viewing platform is located 100 meters above ground and affords a 360-degree view of Kyoto and as far as Osaka on clear days: Kyoto Tower stands on top of a commercial building, which contains souvenir shops, restaurants, and a hotel.

The Golden Pavillion Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺), officially named Rokuon-Ji (鹿苑寺), is a Zen Buddhist temple whose top two floors are entirely covered in gold leaf and a different style for each floor, that's one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors every year. Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955. It has been appointed as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations making up the Historical Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites.

The god of Rice Temple Fushimi Inari-taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the god Inari, located in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto, Japan.

One thousand statues of Sanjūsangen-dō

Sanjūsangen-dō (三十三間堂, lit. thirty-three ken (length) hall) is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as "Rengeō-in" (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjūsangen-dō belongs to and is run by the Myōhō-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.

For a less touristy and more rural area Arashiyama

Arashiyama is the second-most important sightseeing district in Kyoto: filled with temples and shrines, its the star attraction is the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Arashiyama is in the far west of Kyoto, tucked along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains (meaning “Storm Mountains”). It’s a fair distance from the center of Kyoto: whether you go by train, bus, bicycle or taxi, you’re generally looking at about a 30-minute trip, still, it’s worth it for the number of great sights here. Arashiyama is a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty.