cherry blossom tree in Kyoto, Japan

21 Most Instagrammable
Places in

Kyoto

The 21 Most Instagrammable Places In Kyoto

Kyoto, a city steeped in tradition and beauty, beckons travelers with its timeless charm and cultural richness. Nestled in the heart of Japan, Kyoto stands as a sanctuary of serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life. As the former imperial capital, it is a living testament to Japan’s illustrious past, where ancient temples and serene gardens coexist harmoniously with bustling markets and vibrant neighborhoods.

For photographers, Kyoto is a treasure trove of visual delights, offering an endless array of captivating scenes waiting to be immortalized through the lens. Wander through the city’s historic streets, where every turn reveals a new perspective on Japan’s rich cultural heritage. From the iconic torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine to the tranquil beauty of Arashiyama’s bamboo forest, Kyoto presents a myriad of opportunities to capture moments of breathtaking beauty.

Immerse yourself in Kyoto’s vibrant cultural scene, where centuries-old traditions are celebrated with reverence and passion. Explore the city’s countless temples and shrines, each offering a glimpse into Japan’s spiritual legacy and architectural prowess. Lose yourself in the tranquility of Zen gardens, where meticulously arranged stones and moss create a sense of timeless harmony.

With so much to see and do in Kyoto, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Fear not, for we’ve compiled a list of the 15 most Instagrammable places in Kyoto, ensuring that you can navigate the city with ease while capturing the essence of its timeless beauty. Join us on a journey through the storied streets of Kyoto, where every photograph tells a story of tradition, elegance, and the enduring spirit of Japan.  Without further ado, here are our top 21 Instagrammable places in Kyoto.

Fushimi Inari-taisha (aka One Thousand Torii)

Photo by @hirokingraphy

A journey to Kyoto would be incomplete without a visit to Fushimi Inari-Taisha, also known as the One Thousand Torii Gates. This sacred shrine is an awe-inspiring testament to Japan’s spiritual heritage and architectural brilliance. As you walk through the seemingly endless corridor of vermilion torii gates, you’ll be immersed in a world of mystique and wonder. Fushimi Inari-Taisha stands as one of Kyoto’s most iconic and revered sites, offering visitors a glimpse into the soul of Japan and an unforgettable experience steeped in tradition and beauty.

Kiyomizu-dera

Photo by @sostalley

No journey to Kyoto is truly complete without a pilgrimage to Kiyomizu-dera, a jewel nestled in the heart of the city. This revered Buddhist temple is a masterpiece of architectural splendor and spiritual significance. Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, Kiyomizu-dera offers breathtaking panoramic views of Kyoto’s picturesque landscape. Steeped in centuries of tradition, the temple beckons visitors with its tranquil atmosphere and profound sense of serenity. From its iconic wooden veranda to the lush greenery of its surrounding forests, Kiyomizu-dera is a sanctuary of beauty and contemplation, a must-visit for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the timeless allure of Kyoto.

Daigo-ji temple

Next on our list of the most instagrammable places in Kyoto is the Diago-Ji Temple.

A visit to Kyoto isn’t complete without experiencing Daigo-ji Temple, a historic sanctuary nestled in serene woodlands. With majestic pagodas, ornate halls, and tranquil gardens, it embodies Japan’s cultural heritage and Buddhist tradition. Wander through its serene grounds to discover a realm of tranquility and introspection, where ancient rituals and prayers seem to echo through time. Daigo-ji Temple stands as a timeless sanctuary, drawing travelers from across the globe to its enduring allure.

Nishiki Tenmanju Shrine (food & street market)

Photo by @emilyw_herself

A Kyoto adventure isn’t complete without a visit to Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine. Here, tradition blends seamlessly with the energy of a bustling food and street market. Wander through lively stalls offering a sensory feast of culinary delights, from freshly caught seafood to artisanal sweets. Amidst the hustle and bustle, find tranquility in the shrine’s serene atmosphere. Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine celebrates Kyoto’s culinary heritage and community spirit, making it a must-visit destination in the city.

Kinkakuji temple (aka Golden Pavillion

No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. This iconic Zen Buddhist temple, adorned in shimmering gold leaf, exudes timeless beauty and spiritual serenity. Set against the backdrop of tranquil waters and meticulously manicured gardens, Kinkakuji captivates visitors with its radiant allure, inviting contemplation and awe.

Visiting Kyoto? Check out our list of the Top 12 things to do in Kyoto!

Yasaka Pagoda and Ninen-zaka neighbourhood

Photo by @cherrielynn

Discover the enchanting allure of Kyoto with a stroll through the historic Ninen-zaka neighborhood, where traditional Machiya townhouses line cobblestone streets, transporting visitors back in time. Amidst this picturesque setting stands the iconic Yasaka Pagoda, a symbol of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual legacy. As you wander through the narrow alleyways and beneath the pagoda’s elegant silhouette, you’ll be immersed in a world of timeless beauty and tranquility. From the vibrant colors of seasonal foliage to the whispered prayers of passersby, Yasaka Pagoda and Ninen-zaka offer a glimpse into the soul of Kyoto, where ancient traditions and modern life intertwine in perfect harmony.

Gion District

Photo by @bokehcola

Discover one of the most Instagrammable places in Kyoto, the iconic Gion District. Here, tradition and modernity intertwine in a cultural symphony. Gion, the heart of Kyoto’s geisha culture, exudes mystique with its narrow alleyways, traditional tea houses, and lantern-lit streets. Explore the historic Hanamachi, where geisha and maiko enchant visitors with their grace. From the sounds of shamisen music to the aromas of kaiseki cuisine, Gion offers a sensory journey through Japan’s cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in its beauty and grace, where every corner tells a story waiting to be captured.

Looking for a great place to stay in Kyoto? Check out the ideally located Hotel Ethnography Gion Shinmonzen!

Sekizan zenin temple

Photo by @mikanino_2016

Discover inner peace in Kyoto at Sekizan Zen-in Temple, a serene sanctuary nestled amidst tranquil landscapes. Wander through lush gardens and serene ponds, soaking in the ancient wisdom and tranquility. This hidden gem offers solace from the bustling streets, inviting quiet contemplation and spiritual renewal. With minimalist architecture and a serene atmosphere, Sekizan Zen-in Temple embodies Zen Buddhism’s essence, offering solace to weary travelers and seekers alike. Experience timeless beauty and inner peace within its hallowed halls, where every step deepens understanding of self and the universe.

Sagano Romantic Train

Photo by @masakin0712

Embark on an unforgettable journey aboard the Sagano Romantic Train through Kyoto’s scenic wonders, including the Sagano Bamboo Forest and Hozugawa River. Experience panoramic views of Japan’s natural splendor as you leisurely traverse lush valleys and towering mountains. This nostalgic railway adventure promises timeless allure and adventure, making it one of Kyoto’s most Instagrammable experiences. Capture the romance of a bygone era while immersed in nature’s tranquility.

Suirokaku Aqueduct

Photo by @ui_hii618love

Explore Kyoto’s engineering marvels at the Suirōkaku Aqueduct, an elegant structure spanning the Kamo River for over a century. Witnessing its graceful arches and intricate brickwork offers a glimpse into Kyoto’s rich heritage and commitment to innovation. Whether admiring its historical significance or seeking tranquility amidst the city’s hustle, a visit to the Suirōkaku Aqueduct promises a memorable experience of beauty and engineering excellence.

Check out our best things to do in Kyoto list!

The Philosopher’s Path and Keage Incline

Embark on a serene journey through Kyoto’s natural beauty along the Philosopher’s Path and Keage Incline. This picturesque trail winds its way alongside the cherry blossom-lined canal, offering moments of contemplation and tranquility amidst the bustling city. As you meander through the lush foliage and peaceful surroundings, you’ll encounter the historic Keage Incline, a former railway track transformed into a scenic pathway. Whether immersing yourself in the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms or marveling at the tranquil waters, the Philosopher’s Path and Keage Incline provide a tranquil escape into Kyoto’s timeless charm and natural splendor.

Kamo-gawa River

Photo by @tomokotoamu

Immerse yourself in Kyoto’s soul with a stroll along the Kamo-gawa River. This serene waterway, the city’s lifeline, offers a tranquil escape from urban bustle. Whether enjoying sunlight filtering through willow trees or the soothing melody of flowing waters, the river invites contemplation and relaxation. With scenic bridges and riverside pathways, it’s ideal for a peaceful afternoon or a romantic sunset walk. Experience Kyoto’s timeless charm as you wander along the Kamo-gawa River.

Furukawacho Shopping Street

Photo by @ui_hii618love

Immerse yourself in Kyoto’s vibrant atmosphere at Furukawacho Shopping Street, a bustling hub of local culture and commerce. Lined with charming storefronts and traditional shops, this lively arcade invites exploration. From quaint cafes serving steaming cups of matcha to artisanal craft shops showcasing exquisite handmade goods, Furukawacho exudes Kyoto’s unique charm. Whether browsing for souvenirs or savoring local delicacies, a stroll promises an unforgettable glimpse into the city’s dynamic street life.

Kyocera Museum of Art

Photo by @pettit0524

Explore the artistry and culture of Kyoto at the Kyocera Museum of Art, a sanctuary of creativity nestled in the heart of the city. Housing a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional works, this museum showcases the rich heritage and artistic brilliance of Kyoto and beyond. From intricate ceramics to captivating paintings, each exhibit offers a unique perspective on Japan’s cultural landscape. Whether immersing yourself in the serene beauty of traditional Japanese art or marveling at modern innovations, the Kyocera Museum of Art promises an enriching experience for art enthusiasts of all backgrounds. Join us on a journey of inspiration and discovery as we celebrate the enduring legacy of creativity at this esteemed cultural institution.

Shojuin temple

Photo by @bechan7

Step into the tranquility of Kyoto’s Shojūin Temple, a hidden gem nestled amidst lush greenery and serene surroundings. As you enter through its ornate gates, you’ll be greeted by the gentle whispers of ancient wisdom and spiritual serenity. This historic temple, known for its exquisite gardens and graceful architecture, offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether admiring the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms in spring or the vibrant hues of autumn foliage, Shojūin Temple invites visitors to reconnect with nature and find inner peace. With its timeless charm and sacred ambiance, a visit to Shojūin Temple is a journey of reflection and renewal, leaving a lasting impression on all who wander its hallowed grounds, making it one of the most Instagrammable places in Kyoto.

Murin-an Garden

Photo by @tomasmeleg

Discover tranquility amidst the beauty of Kyoto at Murin-an Garden, an exquisite retreat nestled in the heart of the city. This hidden gem offers a serene oasis of lush greenery, meticulously sculpted landscapes, and meandering streams. As you wander through its winding pathways and across its arched bridges, you’ll be captivated by the harmonious balance of nature and design. Murin-an Garden’s timeless beauty and tranquil ambiance provide a haven for reflection and relaxation, inviting visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. Whether admiring the seasonal blooms or simply enjoying the soothing sounds of flowing water, a visit to Murin-an Garden is an unforgettable journey into the essence of Japanese aesthetics and serenity.

Kifune Shrine

Photo by @yeomikewhatup

Embark on a spiritual journey to Kifune Shrine, a sacred sanctuary nestled in the lush mountains of Kyoto. As you ascend through the forested pathways, the tranquil ambiance envelops you, inviting reverence and reflection. Dedicated to the deity of water, this historic shrine exudes a serene energy, with its vermilion torii gates and moss-covered stone lanterns. Whether seeking blessings for good fortune or simply admiring the natural beauty of the surroundings, Kifune Shrine offers a moment of tranquility amidst the beauty of nature. With its mystical charm and spiritual significance, a visit to Kifune Shrine is an unforgettable experience, leaving a lasting impression on all who wander its sacred grounds.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Photo by @lulu_camera

Step into a realm of natural wonder at the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, an enchanting oasis of tranquility in the heart of Kyoto. As you venture along the winding paths, towering bamboo stalks create a mesmerizing canopy overhead, swaying gently in the breeze. The soft rustle of leaves and dappled sunlight filtering through the dense foliage create an atmosphere of serene beauty and timeless charm. Wander deeper into the forest, and you’ll discover hidden pathways leading to secluded clearings and peaceful groves, perfect for quiet contemplation or simply immersing yourself in the serenity of nature. Whether capturing the ethereal beauty of the forest with your camera or simply letting the tranquil ambiance wash over you, a visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a journey into the heart of Kyoto’s natural splendor that will leave you spellbound and rejuvenated.

Byodo-In temple

Photo by @biancasoffer

Discover tranquility and beauty at Byodo-in Temple, nestled in Uji’s serene countryside, south of Kyoto. Admire the iconic Phoenix Hall and tranquil pond reflection. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, built over a thousand years ago, epitomizes Japan’s cultural richness. Explore landscaped gardens with vibrant foliage. Whether admiring architecture, meditating by the pond, or soaking in quiet contemplation, a visit leaves a lasting impression on all who wander its hallowed grounds.

Gansenji temple (aka Mysterious Temple)

Embark on an adventure at Gansenji Temple, fondly known as the Mysterious Temple, nestled in Kyoto’s scenic countryside. Traverse winding pathways to its hallowed grounds, filled with anticipation and beckoning secrets. Despite its unassuming exterior, Gansenji Temple hides hidden treasures and enigmatic features, from hidden chambers to cryptic inscriptions, waiting to be explored. Each corner unveils a new layer of mystery and wonder, promising an unforgettable journey into Kyoto’s spiritual landscape.

Kyutei Omuro garden

Photo by @kazoo___

Experience the enchanting oasis of Kyutei Omuro Garden in Kyoto’s historic district. As you enter through its ornate gate, a symphony of colors and scents awaits. Wander along winding pathways unveiling natural beauty and serenity. From vibrant blooms to ancient lanterns, every element evokes harmony. Whether seeking contemplation or marveling at nature’s artistry, a visit to Kyutei Omuro Garden refreshes and inspires.

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