Two Day Itinerary for Kyoto

If you only have a short amount of time in Kyoto, have no fear! While you should be there longer, life doesn't always allow you the most amount of time! I promise you can see so much in two days.

Need more? Here is everything you can't miss in Kyoto. 

Here is a perfect itinerary to see Kyoto in only two days...

Day one

Start the morning eating at Sizuya Gion. This small bakery, by the gates of the Yasaka Shrine, is the perfect way to start your day. The inside has a small seating area where you can eat freshly baked bread, delicious sandwiches, and decadent pastries.

Note: The tour buses seemed to roll in around 9/9:30 am and the bakery (and attractions) got extremely crowded. I suggest starting your day before then if possible.

 Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

 Marauyama Park

Marauyama Park

Head across the street and into Yasaka Shrine after breakfast. Wander the gorgeous gardens, temples, and other attractions in the area. Behind the shrine is Marauyama Park which is gorgeous anytime of year. In April though it comes alive with cherry blossoms!

 Udon Noodle Set at Omen Kodai-Ji

Udon Noodle Set at Omen Kodai-Ji

For lunch, stop in at Omen Kodai-ji. This is a branch of Kyoto's famous Omen noodle chain and a perfect place to stop while exploring. Try the signature udon noodles served in broth with a side of fresh veggies.

After lunch, walk past Kodai-ji another gorgeous buddhist temple. Then continuing exploring over at the beautiful Chion-in.

 Gion as the lights come on at dusk

Gion as the lights come on at dusk

As dusk approaches head back to Gion. Walk the streets as the lights twinkle on, illuminating the tea houses and shops. 

 Traditional Japanese Desserts in Kyoto. Don't miss this place.

Traditional Japanese Desserts in Kyoto. Don't miss this place.

For a nice sweet break, stop in here for amazing traditional Japanese desserts. You can't miss it, the restaurant is attached to a gorgeous koi pond that many people stop at to take a picture. 

If you want to save time you can also grab sweets at one of the many streets vendors on the main strip leading up to Kiyomizu-dera.

 Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera

For a gorgeous night view go to into Kiyomizu-dera.

As the night winds down, head over to Kyoto Station. Take your pick from the many different restaurants and food stands. If you're on a budget and want cheap food, head down to the bottom most basement levels for a to-go box of food. There are over 100 stalls down here offering different specializes. Most stalls hold sales after 5 pm and you can find the already cheap food with discount stickers of up to 50% off.

Kyoto Station also has many sit-down restaurants, simply head up to the top floors for tons of different offerings from American to Italian and Ramen to Steakhouses.

Day two

In the morning head to Kyoto Station and grab breakfast at one of the many bakeries inside.

From Kyoto Station take the Nara Line(JR train) out to Fushimi Inari Taisha. The ride will only take about 10 minutes total.

 The gorgeous Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

The gorgeous Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

From the train stop you will see the huge shrine. Walk up to the gates and follow the winding paths through hundreds of orange torii gates. Do be aware that the gates wind 4 km up a mountain side that at some points is very steep. The ground is always well maintained but be careful which footwear you choose in the morning.

 Coffee Stop at Vermillion Cafe near the Fushimi shrine

Coffee Stop at Vermillion Cafe near the Fushimi shrine

As you head down the mountain stop in at Vermillion Cafe for some amazing drinks to give you a caffeine boost!

Take the same train back to Kyoto Station and transfer to the San-in Line line (JR train). Take that line out to Arashiyama. This time you are on the train for about 6 stops and will depart at the Saga-Arashiyama Station.

From the train stop, follow the massive crowds to the main tourist district. 

Cross the bridge and have some lunch at Togetsu Cafe. The food is relatively inexpensive, the windows overlook the main road and bridge for some amazing people watching, and the seats of chargers for your electronics.

 You can get so incredibly close to the monkeys in Monkey Park!

You can get so incredibly close to the monkeys in Monkey Park!

 The scenery is like out of a dream on the walk up to Monkey Park!

The scenery is like out of a dream on the walk up to Monkey Park!

After lunch head to Monkey Park. Admission is 500 Yen and after you pay you are in front of the trail to the main pavilion. The trail takes around 20 minutes. The steps are mostly man-made but it is pretty steep. Spend some times enjoying nature on the way up. Once at the top there will be hundreds of monkeys so close to you! It truly is an amazing experience.

 Bamboo forest outside of Kyoto

Bamboo forest outside of Kyoto

After walking down from the Monkey Park, head over to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Do know that the crowds are always thick but if you stay as dusk starts to kick in it will thin out a bit.

 Musashi Sushi in Kyoto Train Station

Musashi Sushi in Kyoto Train Station

At your leisure, take the same train back to Kyoto Station. I suggest eating at the awesome conveyor belt sushi restaurant in the train station. It is actually a chain and is called Musashi Sushi (there is another one here). But even though it is a chain you should eat here because it is delicious, extremely fresh, and SO CHEAP.


And there you go, that is 48 hours in Kyoto!

While there is still so much more to see, this does cover a good amount of the top attractions! Head here for more help planning your trip in Kyoto. 

One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...

A super common question I get is: what camera do I use for my travels. The body is a Nikon D3300 and this is the wide angle lens I use and love - I am seriously obsessed with it. 

My full guide that includes all the camera gear I take on every trip is here.

 

And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette@gmail.com). 

For Your Pinterest

 Only have two days, or under 48 hours, to see Kyoto? Have no fear! Here are all the top things to do when you are in Kyoto even if you have limited time. 

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