Kyoto is ideal for travellers looking to explore a major Japanese city other than Tokyo and Osaka. The region has many natural attractions that attract tourists from all over, while locals also pay regular visits. One of the most convenient ways to reach Kyoto is through a traveling train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Beyond the comfort and convenience, the train route from Tokyo to Kyoto is so scenic you would not want to miss it. The best part is that the return journey back to the capital city is equally hassle-free. You can simply book a round-trip train ticket or take another train from Kyoto to Tokyo once you are done with your adventure.
Arashiyama is the top choice for many tourists faced with choosing between the myriads of options available for a day trip from Kyoto. The reason for this is not far-fetched. The town is one of the most iconic in Japan and holds many notable attractions that visitors love. From the stunning bamboo forest and ancient temples to being home to one of the only few natural onsen (hot springs) in Kyoto, Arashiyama is a top choice for many reasons. You can choose to explore this town by yourself or engage the services of a tour guide. Your tour guide will advise you on the best places to visit, but if you are traveling alone, you must know how to utilize your trip thoroughly.
Places to visit while in Arashiyama include the famous Sagano Bamboo Forest, the Togetsukyo Bridge, and the Hozugawa River.
There are more places to visit if you have enough time. There is a beautiful trail along the promenade that leads to the heart of the village. If you love physical activities, you’ll enjoy walking it. Finally, the Tenryuji temple is a must-visit for anyone visiting Arashiyama, as it is recognised as one of Kyoto’s top five Zen temples. UNESCO also recognises it as a World Heritage Site.
If you are on a food adventure, you should not miss visiting Kobe as a day trip from Kyoto. This famous city is known for many things, but its beef and sake are top of the list. Many restaurants across the city serve premium cuts of beef as their main menu. While it may not be cheap, the price is worth it. Just ensure you choose a reputable restaurant that won’t charge you for premium beef while serving regular wagyu beef. Visit a sake brewery to get the best sip of the local drink, and you already have a trip worth remembering for a long time.
Apart from the juicy meals prepared from the local ingredients, Kobe is also a sight to behold. It has a landscape that will look good from any camera angle. Sandwiched between the sea and mountains, every view is picturesque and breathtaking. There are a few attractions you must not miss while visiting Kobe, though. They include the famous Kobe Port Tower, where you can get a bird eye view of the city. Another spot you can get a good view of the town is Rokko Mountain, and you can get there by riding the Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway. Lastly, you can visit Kawasaki World, a showroom of Kawasaki Industries where you can view motorcycles, ships and aircraft.
Finally, we have Nara, a town history lovers will enjoy visiting. It was Japan’s ancient capital city and one of the most popular day trips from Kyoto. You are unlikely to forget a visit to Nara for a long time. The city is famous for its local deer population. While they are concentrated at Nara Deer Park, you can find them in many other places, especially around Todai-ji Temple and Mount Wakayama. They are considered divine, and harming them was once punishable by death. In modern times, the offense attracts hefty fines, so do not allow the cheeky animals to lead you into trouble.
The parks and temples are also top attractions that draw the attention of many tourists. The temples are ancient and hold significant religious and historical importance to the people. Since you can’t visit all the temples in a day, you can start with the iconic Todai-ji temple. It holds the second-largest Buddha statue in Japan and the world’s second-largest wooden structure. Other shrines to visit include the Kasuga-Taisah, a stunning Shinto shrine which dates back to 758 AD and the Kofuku-ji temple. These temples and Shrines are part of the monuments recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and regarded as Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.
Deciding on three possible day trips from Kyoto is challenging for any traveler. The region has some of the country’s most scenic attractions and notable monuments. It also has a rich history that you will be pleased to discover bit by bit during your adventure.