Best Free Things to Do in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of Japan’s most popular destinations, known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and unique culture. While there are plenty of attractions that require an admission fee, there are also many free things to do in Kyoto that allow you to experience the city’s beauty and culture without breaking the bank.

Exploring Kyoto’s shrines and temples is a must-do when visiting the city. From the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine to the peaceful Nanzen-ji Temple, there are countless places to visit that won’t cost you a penny. Take a stroll along the Philosopher’s Path or visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace to get a glimpse of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage.

If you’re looking for unforgettable walks in Kyoto, head to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove or hike up to the top of Mt. Kurama for breathtaking views of the city. You can also take a leisurely walk along the Kamogawa River or explore the bustling Nishiki Market to experience Kyoto’s vibrant atmosphere. With so many free things to do in Kyoto, you can easily plan a trip that fits your budget and interests.

Key Takeaways

  • Kyoto offers a wealth of free activities that allow you to experience the city’s beauty and culture without breaking the bank.
  • Exploring Kyoto’s shrines and temples is a must-do, with countless free attractions to choose from.
  • Unforgettable walks in Kyoto can be found at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Mt. Kurama, the Kamogawa River, and Nishiki Market.

Exploring Kyoto’s Shrines and Temples


Kyoto is home to some of the most beautiful and historic shrines and temples in Japan. These religious sites are not only significant for their cultural and spiritual importance, but they also offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich history and traditions. Here are a few of the must-visit shrines and temples in Kyoto:

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most iconic and breathtaking shrines in Kyoto. Located at the base of Mount Inari, this Shinto shrine is famous for its thousands of torii gates that line the hiking trails up the mountain. As you walk through the gates, you’ll be surrounded by the peacefulness of the forest and the vibrant colours of the gates. The hike to the top of the mountain takes around 2-3 hours, but you can turn back at any time.

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine is located in the heart of Kyoto’s Gion district and is one of the most popular shrines in Kyoto. The shrine is known for its beautiful lanterns and is especially beautiful at night when they are lit up. During the Gion Matsuri festival, which takes place in July, the shrine is the centre of the festivities and is a must-visit for anyone in Kyoto during that time.

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning example of Japanese feudal architecture. The castle was built in the early 1600s and was the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns when they visited Kyoto. The castle is famous for its “nightingale floors” which squeak when walked on, alerting the residents of any potential intruders. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Kyoto.

These are just a few of the many shrines and temples that Kyoto has to offer. Whether you’re interested in the history and culture of Japan or simply looking for a peaceful and spiritual experience, Kyoto’s religious sites are not to be missed.

Unforgettable Walks in Kyoto


Kyoto is a city that is best explored on foot. Walking through the city’s charming neighbourhoods and parks is an experience that you will never forget. Here are three of the best walks in Kyoto that you can enjoy for free.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the most photographed spots in Kyoto. Walking through the grove is a surreal experience that you won’t find anywhere else. The tall bamboo stalks create a canopy that filters the sunlight and creates a serene atmosphere. The grove is located in the Arashiyama neighbourhood, which is also home to several temples and shrines.

Higashiyama District

The Higashiyama District is a charming neighbourhood that is home to several temples, shrines, and traditional Japanese houses. The neighbourhood is located at the base of the Higashiyama Mountains, which provides a stunning backdrop for your walk. The narrow streets are lined with shops selling traditional Japanese souvenirs and snacks. Walking through the neighbourhood is like taking a step back in time.

Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Kyoto. The park is home to several cherry blossom trees that bloom in the spring, creating a stunning landscape. The park is also home to a large pond, several bridges, and a traditional Japanese teahouse. Walking through the park is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet.

In conclusion, walking through Kyoto is a great way to explore the city and discover its hidden gems. Whether you’re walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the Higashiyama District, or Maruyama Park, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience. So put on your walking shoes and start exploring!

Experiencing Kyoto’s Markets


If you’re looking to experience the local culture and cuisine of Kyoto, visiting the city’s markets is a must-do. From fresh seafood to traditional sweets, you’ll find a wide variety of delicious and unique foods to try. Here’s a closer look at one of the most famous markets in Kyoto.

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market, also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” is a lively and bustling covered market that has been around for over 400 years. With over 100 shops and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to explore and sample some of Kyoto’s best cuisine.

One of the most popular foods to try at Nishiki Market is sushi. You’ll find a variety of sushi shops throughout the market, each with their own unique style and ingredients. Whether you prefer traditional nigiri or more modern sushi rolls, you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

In addition to sushi, Nishiki Market is also known for its fresh seafood. You’ll find vendors selling everything from octopus and squid to eel and crab. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the more unusual seafood offerings like sea urchin or jellyfish.

But Nishiki Market isn’t just about food. You’ll also find shops selling traditional Kyoto crafts like pottery, textiles, and lacquerware. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir or gift for someone back home.

Overall, Nishiki Market is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the local culture and cuisine of Kyoto. With so much to see, taste, and explore, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

Kyoto’s Cultural Heritage


Kyoto is a city steeped in culture and history, and there are many ways to experience its rich heritage for free. Here are some of the best cultural attractions to explore in Kyoto.

Geisha District

One of the most iconic images of Kyoto is that of the geisha, or traditional female entertainers. The geisha district, also known as Gion, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture. Here you can see geishas and maikos (apprentice geishas) walking along the streets in their traditional attire, including the beautiful kimono and white makeup.

Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Kyoto Imperial Palace is a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture and design. Once the residence of the Japanese royal family, the palace is now open to the public for free. Take a stroll through the beautiful gardens and admire the intricate details of the buildings.

Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design

For a deeper dive into traditional Japanese crafts, head to the Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design. Here you can learn about the history and techniques of silk weaving, pottery, lacquerware, and other crafts that have been passed down through generations. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing contemporary design and craftsmanship.

In addition to these attractions, Kyoto is also home to many festivals and events that celebrate its cultural heritage, such as the Kimono Fashion Parade and the Kimono Forest. Whether you’re interested in ancient traditions or modern design, there’s something for everyone in Kyoto’s cultural offerings.

Kyoto’s Stunning Landscapes


Kyoto’s natural beauty is a must-see for any visitor to the city. From the stunning gardens to the picturesque landscapes, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best spots to enjoy Kyoto’s stunning landscapes for free.

Cherry Blossom Season

If you’re lucky enough to visit Kyoto during cherry blossom season, you’re in for a treat. The city is filled with cherry blossom trees, and the blooms create a beautiful pink and white canopy over the streets. Some of the best spots to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto include Maruyama Park, Philosopher’s Path, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park.

Mt. Atago

For panoramic views of Kyoto, head to Mt. Atago, the city’s tallest peak. The hike to the top is challenging, but the views are worth it. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Osaka. There are also several shrines and temples along the way, including the Atago Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of fire.

Takao to Hozukyo

The Takao to Hozukyo area is a beautiful stretch of the Kiyotaki River that runs through the mountains. The area is known for its stunning autumn foliage, but it’s beautiful year-round. You can take a leisurely hike along the river, stopping to admire the waterfalls and rock formations along the way. The area is also home to several temples and shrines, including the Jingo-ji Temple and the Saimyo-ji Temple.

Kyoto’s stunning landscapes are a testament to the city’s natural beauty. Whether you’re admiring the cherry blossoms or hiking to the top of Mt. Atago, there’s no shortage of breathtaking views to enjoy.

Kyoto on a Budget


If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto, you might be worried about the cost of exploring this beautiful city. However, there are plenty of free things to do in Kyoto that won’t break the bank. With a little planning, you can enjoy the best of what Kyoto has to offer without spending a fortune.

One of the best ways to save money in Kyoto is to take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system. The buses and trains are affordable and efficient, and they can take you to all of the major sights and attractions in the city. You can purchase a Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass for just ¥600, which allows you to ride the buses as many times as you like in a day.

Another great way to save money in Kyoto is to visit some of the city’s free attractions. There are many temples, shrines, and parks that you can explore without spending a single yen. Some of the best free things to do in Kyoto include:

  • Walking along the Kamogawa River
  • Visiting the Samurai shrine at Sengakuji
  • Admiring the beautiful Japanese countryside at Mt. Kurama
  • Enjoying the Bamboo forest at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

You can also take a stroll through the historic neighbourhoods of Kyoto, such as Gion and Pontocho, where you can see traditional Japanese architecture and sample some of the city’s best street food.

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation in Kyoto, there are plenty of options available. You can find budget-friendly hostels, guesthouses, and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) that offer comfortable and clean rooms at a reasonable price. Many of these places also offer free breakfast and Wi-Fi.

Finally, if you want to save money on food in Kyoto, you can try some of the city’s local specialties at affordable prices. Some of the best budget-friendly options include:

  • Street food in Nishiki Market
  • Ramen at Kyoto Ramen Koji
  • Curry at CoCo Ichibanya

By following these tips, you can enjoy all that Kyoto has to offer without breaking the bank. With its rich history, beautiful temples, and stunning natural landscapes, Kyoto is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Japan on a budget.

Kyoto’s Unique Festivals and Events


Kyoto is a city that is steeped in tradition, and nowhere is this more evident than in its many festivals and events. From the famous Gion Matsuri to the lesser-known kimono fashion parade, there is always something exciting happening in Kyoto.

Kimono Fashion Parade

The kimono fashion parade is a unique event that takes place in Kyoto every year. During the parade, participants don traditional Japanese clothing and walk along the streets of the city. The parade is a celebration of Japanese culture and is a great way to experience the beauty of the kimono.

If you are interested in attending the kimono fashion parade, be sure to check the schedule in advance. The parade usually takes place in the spring or fall, and the exact date can vary from year to year.

Other Festivals and Events

In addition to the kimono fashion parade, Kyoto is home to a wide variety of other festivals and events. Some of the most popular include the Gion Matsuri, which takes place in July and features colourful parades and street parties, and the Jidai Matsuri, which celebrates Kyoto’s rich history and culture.

Other notable festivals and events in Kyoto include the Aoi Matsuri, the Kurama no Hi Matsuri, and the Daimonji Gozan Okuribi. No matter what time of year you visit Kyoto, there is sure to be a festival or event happening that you won’t want to miss.

Overall, Kyoto’s festivals and events are a great way to experience the city’s rich culture and history. Whether you are interested in traditional Japanese clothing, delicious food, or lively parades, there is something for everyone in Kyoto.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top free activities to do in Kyoto?

Kyoto is a city rich in culture and history, and there are plenty of free activities to do. Some of the top free activities include visiting the Fushimi Inari Shrine, walking along the Philosopher’s Path, exploring the Geisha district, and hiking in Arashiyama.

Where can I find the best free parks in Kyoto?

Kyoto has many beautiful parks that are free to visit. Some of the best free parks include Maruyama Park, which is known for its cherry blossom trees, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

What are some of the best nature spots to visit around Kyoto?

Kyoto is surrounded by beautiful nature spots that are free to visit. Some of the best nature spots include Mount Kurama, which is great for hiking, and the Kamo River, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

What are the must-see areas in Kyoto without spending any money?

There are many must-see areas in Kyoto that won’t cost you a penny. Some of the top areas include the Gion district, which is known for its traditional architecture and geisha culture, and the Nishiki Market, which is a vibrant food market that has been around for centuries.

Are there any free temples to visit in Kyoto?

Yes, there are many free temples to visit in Kyoto. Some of the top free temples include the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is known for its stunning views of the city, and the Ryoan-ji Temple, which is famous for its rock garden.

What are some unique and free experiences to have in Kyoto?

Kyoto has many unique and free experiences to offer. One of the top experiences is visiting the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which is free on certain days of the month. Another unique experience is walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, which is a beautiful and peaceful place to explore.

Why Opt for a Personal Loan in Singapore for Your Kyoto Journey

Choosing a personal loan sets you free to make the most of your Kyoto, Japan adventure without straining your wallet. You won’t need to tighten your finances or overhaul your lifestyle just to travel.

As long as you can prove your steady monthly income, you qualify for a personal loan in Singapore. With an annual income of at least $20,000, you can borrow up to 6 times your monthly earnings from Accredit Moneylender to fully fund your trip.

Since personal loans are unsecured, you won’t risk losing any collateral if you can’t repay. Licensed moneylenders in Singapore offer quicker loan approvals compared to banks.

Before your next journey, craft a travel plan and budget wisely. This way, you can savor local delicacies instead of instant noodles without financial worries.

If you seek a Singaporean personal loan for your upcoming holiday, Accredit Moneylender may provide a tailored solution. Act now!

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