Kyoto is a city that is rich in culture and history, with so much to explore and discover. It is a popular tourist destination, and understandably so. However, visiting Kyoto on a budget can be a bit of a challenge. The good news is that there are plenty of cheap things to do in Kyoto that will allow you to explore the city without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to explore Kyoto on a budget is by foot. Many of the city’s top attractions are located within walking distance of each other, and walking allows you to take in the sights and sounds of the city at your own pace. From temples and shrines to parks and gardens, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Kyoto. And the best part is that most of these attractions are either free or very affordable.
- Kyoto is a city rich in culture and history, with plenty of cheap things to do.
- Exploring Kyoto on foot is a great way to see the city’s top attractions on a budget.
- From affordable sightseeing spots to budget-friendly experiences, there is something for every budget in Kyoto.
Exploring Kyoto on Foot
Kyoto is a city that is best explored on foot. Walking is not only the cheapest way to get around, but it also allows you to discover hidden gems that you might miss if you were travelling by car or bus. Here are some of the best areas to explore on foot in Kyoto.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto that is famous for its bamboo grove. Walking through the grove is a magical experience that will transport you to another world. The towering bamboo stalks create a peaceful and serene atmosphere that is perfect for taking photos. The best time to visit is early in the morning when the crowds are smaller.
Historic Walking Areas
Kyoto is a city that is steeped in history, and there are many areas that are perfect for exploring on foot. The Gion district is one of the most famous, and it is home to many traditional teahouses and restaurants. Walking through the narrow streets of Gion is like stepping back in time. Another area that is worth exploring is Higashiyama. This district is home to many temples and shrines, including Kiyomizu-dera, which offers stunning views of the city.
Scenic Walking Areas
Kyoto is also home to many scenic walking areas. One of the most popular is the Philosopher’s Path. This path follows a canal and is lined with cherry trees, making it a beautiful place to visit in the spring when the trees are in bloom. Another scenic area is the Kamogawa River. Walking along the riverbank is a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
Exploring Kyoto on foot is a great way to experience the city’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, exploring historic areas like Gion and Higashiyama, or taking in the scenery along the Philosopher’s Path or Kamogawa River, there’s something for everyone. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to discover the beauty of Kyoto on foot!
Affordable Sightseeing Spots
If you’re looking for budget-friendly things to do in Kyoto, you’re in luck. Kyoto is home to many affordable sightseeing spots that won’t break the bank. Here are some of the best affordable sightseeing spots in Kyoto that you can visit without spending too much money.
Temples and Shrines
Kyoto is famous for its many temples and shrines, and luckily, many of them are affordable to visit. Some of the must-visit temples and shrines include Sanjusangendo Temple, Eikando Temple, Tōfuku-ji Temple, Nanzen-ji Temple, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. These temples offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage and are perfect for those on a budget.
Kyoto is also home to several castles that are affordable to visit. One of the most famous castles is Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion. This World Heritage Site is a must-visit for anyone visiting Kyoto. Another affordable castle to visit is Nijo Castle, which was built in 1603.
Kyoto is home to many speciality museums that are affordable to visit. Some of the must-visit museums include the Kyoto Railway Museum, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and the Kyoto National Museum. These museums offer a unique glimpse into Japan’s history and culture and are perfect for those on a budget.
Kyoto is also home to many architectural buildings that are affordable to visit. Some of the must-visit buildings include the Kyoto Tower, the Kyoto City Hall, and the Kyoto Station Building. These buildings offer a unique glimpse into Japan’s modern architecture and are perfect for those on a budget.
In conclusion, there are many affordable sightseeing spots in Kyoto that you can visit without breaking the bank. Whether you’re interested in temples and shrines, castles, speciality museums, or architectural buildings, Kyoto has something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring Kyoto on a budget today!
If you’re travelling on a budget, there are still plenty of amazing experiences to be had in Kyoto. Here are some budget-friendly options that you won’t want to miss:
Tea Ceremony Experience
One of the most traditional and unique experiences you can have in Kyoto is participating in a tea ceremony. While some tea ceremonies can be expensive, there are also budget-friendly options available. For example, you can visit Tea Ceremony Koto, which offers a 30-minute tea ceremony experience for just ¥1,000 per person. During the ceremony, you’ll learn about the history and significance of the tea ceremony, as well as how to properly prepare and drink matcha tea.
Day Trips to Nara
While Nara is technically a separate city from Kyoto, it’s close enough that you can easily take a day trip to explore its many attractions. Nara is famous for its deer park, where you can feed and interact with hundreds of friendly deer. You can also visit Todai-ji Temple, which houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha, and Kasuga-taisha Shrine, which is known for its thousands of lanterns. To get to Nara from Kyoto, you can take the JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station.
Monkey Park Visit
If you love animals, a visit to the Iwatayama Monkey Park is a must. Located in Arashiyama, this park is home to over 170 Japanese macaque monkeys. You can hike up to the top of the mountain to see the monkeys up close, and even feed them from inside a cage. Admission to the park is ¥550 per person, and it’s open year-round (though the monkeys are most active in the winter months). To get to the park, take the Keifuku Electric Railroad to Arashiyama Station, then walk about 20 minutes to the park entrance.
Overall, there are plenty of budget-friendly experiences to be had in Kyoto. Whether you’re interested in traditional tea ceremonies, day trips to nearby cities, or interacting with animals, there’s something for everyone.
Cheap Eats in Kyoto
When it comes to food, Kyoto has a lot to offer. From traditional kaiseki restaurants to street food at markets, there’s something for everyone. And the best part? You don’t have to break the bank to eat well in Kyoto. Here are some of the best cheap eats in Kyoto that you shouldn’t miss.
Matcha is a type of green tea that is finely ground into a powder. It’s a staple in Japanese cuisine and is used in everything from sweets to savoury dishes. If you’re a fan of matcha, you should definitely try a matcha tasting in Kyoto. Many tea shops offer matcha tastings for a reasonable price, and it’s a great way to sample different grades of matcha and learn about the tea’s history and production. Some popular tea shops to try include Ippodo Tea Co. and Fukujuen.
If you’re looking for a great deal on food, check out some of Kyoto’s lunch deals. Many restaurants offer lunch sets that include a main dish, rice, miso soup, and pickles for a fraction of the price of their dinner menus. Some popular options include soba noodles at Omen Kyoto, udon noodles at Yoshikawa Tempura, and sushi at Kura Sushi.
Street Food at Markets
Kyoto is home to many markets that offer a wide variety of street food. Nishiki Market is one of the most popular markets in Kyoto, and it’s a great place to try local specialties like yatsuhashi (a sweet rice cake) and takoyaki (octopus balls). Other markets to check out include the Kyoto Handicraft Center Market and the Toji Temple Market.
In conclusion, Kyoto has a lot of cheap eats to offer. Whether you’re a fan of matcha, looking for a great lunch deal, or want to try some street food at a market, there’s something for everyone. So go ahead and indulge in some delicious food without breaking the bank.
Affordable Shopping Districts
If you want to do some shopping on a budget, Kyoto has plenty of affordable shopping districts. Here are two of the best:
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Shinkyogoku is a bustling shopping district that’s perfect for budget-conscious travellers. This pedestrian-only street is lined with shops selling everything from clothing and accessories to souvenirs and snacks. Some of the highlights of Shinkyogoku include:
- Daiso – This popular chain store sells a wide variety of household goods, beauty products, and snacks, all for just ¥100 each.
- Ichiran Ramen – If you’re hungry, head to Ichiran Ramen for a delicious bowl of noodles. Prices start at around ¥800.
- Don Quijote – This discount store has everything you could possibly need, from electronics and cosmetics to clothing and souvenirs.
Kawaramachi is another popular shopping district in Kyoto. This area is home to several large shopping malls, including:
- AEON Mall Kyoto – This mall has over 180 shops, including popular clothing brands like Uniqlo and H&M. There’s also a food court and a cinema.
- Yodobashi Camera – This electronics store is a great place to pick up a new camera, phone, or other gadget. There’s also a large selection of anime and manga merchandise.
- Fujii Daimaru Department Store – This department store has several floors of clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. There’s also a food hall on the top floor.
Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, snacks, or a new outfit, Shinkyogoku and Kawaramachi have plenty of affordable options. Happy shopping!
Budget Accommodation Options
If you’re looking for affordable accommodation options in Kyoto, there are plenty of choices available. From budget hotels to hostels and traditional Japanese inns, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and budget.
One great option for budget accommodation is to stay in a hostel. Kyoto has a number of hostels that offer clean, comfortable rooms at affordable prices. Some popular options include K’s House Kyoto, Piece Hostel Sanjo, and Guesthouse Kyoto Costa del Sol.
Another option for budget accommodation is to stay in a budget hotel. There are many budget hotels in Kyoto that offer basic amenities at affordable prices. Some popular options include Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select, Hotel M’s Plus Shijo-Omiya, and Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, you might consider staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. While ryokans can be more expensive than other budget options, they offer a unique cultural experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Some affordable ryokans in Kyoto include Ryokan Shimizu, Ryokan Watazen, and Ryokan Uemura.
No matter what your budget, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options in Kyoto. By choosing a budget hotel, hostel, or ryokan, you can save money on your accommodation and spend more on exploring all that Kyoto has to offer.
When it comes to getting around Kyoto, there are plenty of affordable options available to you. Here are some transportation tips to help you save money while exploring the city.
Using Public Transit
Kyoto has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, trains, and subways. The buses are the most convenient and affordable way to get around the city. You can buy a one-day bus pass for 600 yen, which allows you to ride any bus in the city an unlimited number of times for the day.
If you prefer to take the train, the Kyoto Subway is a great option. The subway system has two lines that cover most of the city. You can buy a one-day subway pass for 600 yen, which allows you to ride the subway an unlimited number of times for the day.
Rail Pass Benefits
If you plan on doing a lot of traveling around Japan, consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass. This pass allows you to travel on all JR trains throughout the country, including the Shinkansen bullet train. The pass is valid for 7, 14, or 21 days and can save you a lot of money if you plan on doing a lot of traveling.
If you’re only planning on staying in Kyoto, consider purchasing a Kansai Thru Pass. This pass allows you to ride on all non-JR trains and buses in the Kansai region, including Kyoto. The pass is valid for 2 or 3 days and is a great way to save money if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing in the area.
When purchasing a rail pass, be sure to compare prices and benefits to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your needs. Some passes may offer unlimited travel, while others may be cheaper but require you to buy individual tickets for each trip.
Overall, using public transit and purchasing a rail pass can help you save money while exploring Kyoto. Be sure to plan ahead and compare prices to find the best deals for your needs.
Planning Your Visit
If you’re planning a visit to Kyoto on a budget, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your trip. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kyoto is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these times, you can witness the beautiful cherry blossoms or autumn leaves at the temples and parks in Kyoto. However, keep in mind that these seasons are also peak tourist seasons and prices may be higher. If you’re looking to save money, consider visiting during the winter months (December to February) when prices are lower and the crowds are thinner.
To save money on your trip to Kyoto, consider booking your flights and accommodations in advance. Check out websites like TripAdvisor to read reviews and find points of interest and experiences in Kyoto. You can also look for budget-friendly accommodations like hostels or capsule hotels. If you’re flying to Kyoto, consider flying into Itami or Kansai International Airport and look for deals on airlines like ANA.
When visiting Kyoto, it’s important to respect the local customs and follow community guidelines. For example, when visiting temples or shrines, remove your shoes and dress modestly. Be mindful of noise levels and keep your surroundings clean. Also, be aware of local festivals and events that may affect your travel plans.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can plan a budget-friendly trip to Kyoto without missing out on all the amazing experiences this city has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some hidden gems in Kyoto that won’t break the bank?
Kyoto has many hidden gems that are budget-friendly. One of them is the Philosopher’s Path, a picturesque walking trail that runs along a canal and is lined with cherry blossom trees. Another hidden gem is the Kurama-dera Temple, located in the mountains, which offers stunning views of the city. You can also visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, a former residence of the Emperor of Japan, which is free to enter.
Where can I find the best budget-friendly street food in Kyoto?
Kyoto has many street food options that won’t break the bank. You can try out Yatsuhashi, a local sweet made from rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon, which is available in many shops around the city. Another option is Takoyaki, a ball-shaped snack made from batter and filled with diced octopus, green onion, and tempura scraps. You can find Takoyaki in many street food stalls around Kyoto.
What are some free activities to do in Kyoto?
Kyoto has many free activities that you can enjoy. You can visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is famous for its thousands of torii gates that lead up to the mountain. You can also visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a serene forest with towering bamboo stalks. Another free activity is visiting the Gion district, where you can catch a glimpse of traditional Japanese culture.
What are some affordable souvenirs to bring back from Kyoto?
Kyoto has many affordable souvenirs that you can bring back home. You can buy traditional Japanese tea, which is available in many shops around the city. Another option is to buy a Tenugui, a Japanese hand towel that comes in many designs and is used for various purposes. You can also buy chopsticks, which are available in many shops and come in various designs.
Are there any discounts or deals for attractions in Kyoto?
Yes, there are many discounts and deals available for attractions in Kyoto. You can buy a Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass, which allows you to use the buses in the city unlimited times for one day. You can also buy a Kyoto Subway and Bus One-Day Pass, which allows you to use both the subway and buses in the city unlimited times for one day. Many attractions also offer discounts for students, so make sure to bring your student ID.
What are some budget-friendly accommodations in Kyoto?
Kyoto has many budget-friendly accommodations, including hostels and guesthouses. You can also try out capsule hotels, which are a unique experience and offer affordable accommodation. Another option is to stay in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, which offers a glimpse of traditional Japanese culture. Make sure to book in advance to get the best deals.
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Remember to draft a travel plan and budget for a fulfilling holiday, indulging in local cuisine instead of instant noodles, all while keeping your peace of mind.