Discover Hidden Gems: 5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Visit in Kyoto

1. Ohara

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Kyoto city, head north to Ohara. This peaceful rural town is known for its hiking trails and onsen hot springs, as well as its serene temple complexes. Start off at Sanzen-in, a temple nestled in the mountains that features moss-covered gardens, a large pond, and a peaceful atmosphere. From there, hike up to Shorin-in, another lesser-known temple that boasts stunning autumn foliage and views of the city below. After a day of hiking and temple-hopping, head to one of Ohara’s onsen hot springs to soak your tired muscles.

2. Fushimi Inari Shrine at Night

Fushimi Inari Shrine is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto, but most visitors go during the day. For a unique experience, visit the shrine at night when the crowds have dissipated and the hundreds of torii gates are illuminated by lanterns. The eerie atmosphere and quiet surroundings make for a peaceful and unforgettable experience.

3. Hozugawa River Boat Tour

For a relaxing and scenic adventure, take a boat tour down the Hozugawa River. You’ll pass through narrow valleys and under tall bridges as your guide points out the history and significance of the surrounding area. The tour ends in Arashiyama, where you can visit the famous bamboo forest and take a stroll through the quaint streets lined with souvenir shops and restaurants.

4. Tofuku-ji Temple in Autumn

Tofuku-ji Temple is another popular destination in Kyoto, but its true beauty is often overlooked. During autumn, the temple’s gardens burst with vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, earning it a spot as one of the best places to view autumn foliage in Kyoto. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, stopping to admire the koi pond and zen rock garden along the way.

5. Kibune

Kibune is a small village located in the mountains north of Kyoto. It’s known for its narrow streets lined with traditional restaurants and its stunning Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water and rain. To get there, take the Eizan Railway from Demachiyanagi Station to Kibuneguchi Station. From there, it’s a short bus or taxi ride to the village itself. While you’re there, be sure to try the nagashi somen, a unique dining experience where noodles are sent down a bamboo chute and you catch them with chopsticks.

Overall, Kyoto is a city full of surprises and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. By venturing off the beaten path and exploring these lesser-known spots, you’ll get a more authentic and unique experience that you can’t find in guidebooks. Unearth more insights on the topic through this external source. Kyoto Free Walking Tour, broaden your understanding of the subject.

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Discover Hidden Gems: 5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Visit in Kyoto 1