Kyoto is one of the most popular cities for people around the world to visit. The city draws crowds of travelers all time of the year.
Kyoto in winter is cold, but there are many special events and festivals that happen in December. You can even go visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple at night during Kiyomizu-dera Temple Night Illumination event. You can check out all different types of Kyoto tours hosted by GoWithGuide, but if you are specifically looking for recommendations in December, below are 5 of the best places to visit in Kyoto!
Kiyomizu-dera – Kyoto’s most popular tourist attraction
Kiyomizu-dera is a Kannon temple where the goddess Kannon is worshipped. Among Kyoto’s temples, Kiyomizu-dera has a particularly long history, and is a registered World Heritage site. It is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions.
Enjoy the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Kiyomizu-dera Kiyomizu-dera was constructed on Mt. Kiyomizu (Mt. Otowa). The main temple at Kiyomizu-dera, which is also referred to as the “Kiyomizu-dera stage,” was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1633. The main temple building, constructed early in the Edo period, is a National Treasure. It is supported by more than 100 keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) trees and not a single nail is used. Jojuin, in the northern area of the temple grounds, features the Moon Garden, which... Check out all the different tour itineraries that GoWithGuide has for visiting Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto.
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Shoren-in, associated with the Emperor. Its pond garden and fusuma (sliding doors) paintings are exquisite
Shoren-in was also used as a temporary Imperial Palace. The pond garden which can be viewed from the Kacho-den guesthouse has a beauty to warm the heart.
Lighting up of the bamboo forest and the garden in blue to signify the blue image of the Buddhist god of fire (Blue Cetaka) Shoren-in was built 850 years ago as a temple of the Tendai sect. In the Edo Era, the Imperial Palace had burned down and so the temple became the temporary palace, with many men in the Imperial family becoming chief priests so it became a temple with deepening connections with the Emperor. It has been said that the monk Shinran Shonin planted the now-800-year-old camphor trees which have become Natural Monuments in fron...
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Kinkakuji – the World Heritage site of gold that glitters with nature in each season
Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The dazzling appearance of the reliquary hall on the temple grounds, which is decorated with gold leaf, is what Kinkakuji is known for.
Kinkaku glitters with gold Kinkaku is a three-story building made of wood. The first story is in the style of a Heian palace, the second story is in samurai-house style, and the third story is in the style of a Zen Buddhist temple. The second and third stories are covered in gold leaf, as is the inside of the third story, except for the floor. The Kinkakuji seen today was rebuilt in 1955 after the building was destroyed by fire in 1950. Major repairs were carried out in 1986, when the gold leaf was reapplied so as to achieve the appearance see...
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
- Adult: 400 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Enjoy Kyoto at its Most “Kyoto-esque”: Gion
Gion is hugely popular with tourists for its bustling downtown streets.The famous Yasaka Shrine is on the outskirts of Gion. Maiko and geisha (known locally as geiko or geigi) entertain guests with songs and traditional Japanese dances, and the houses where one can enjoy the company of geisha, gathered together in the entertainment district, are well known.
Experience Japan’s Traditional Arts in Gion If you say “Kyoto-esque,”many tourists probably imagine maiko and geisha. Even though the figure of a geisha dressed in kimono dancing a traditional dance for a gathering in a tatami-roomed tea house can often be seen in movies and elsewhere, it is said that this image is uniquely representative of Kyoto.Gion preserves that image, and, even within Kyoto, is itself a popular sightseeing destination. To begin with, try walking down Gion’s main avenue, Hanamikoji Street. Hanamiko...
The guardian deity of the Hanamachi (geisha quarter) providing hope through protection against evil, the warding off of disease, and prosperity of business.
A shrine located close to Hanamachi that was the origin for Kyoto’s Gion district. It has been popular as a place to earn the grace of the gods through protection against evil, warding off of disease, business success, matchmaking and beauty among other things.
A venerable shrine for the Gion Festival Yasaka Shrine was established in 656, approximately 150 years before the transfer of the capital to Kyoto. Affectionately called Gion-san, it can be visited from a walk through Hanamachi. Its guardian deity is known as Susano Kushi-inada Hime Yahashiranomiko-kami. Revered from all over Japan as the capital underwent development, even today, it has 3000 branch shrines all over the nation. The Gion Festival which is the great annual summer festival for Kyoto which lasts for almost a month from July 1st.
Need help planning your itinerary for Kyoto in December?
No worries - you can get help from a professional local tour guide in Kyoto or join a private tour group to have a hassle-free experience in Kyoto this December. That means eliminating the concern of language or cultural barriers, getting lost in Japan, and not knowing where the most authentic places to eat are! Check out all the different activities that are occurring in Kyoto for a better idea of what you would like your customized itinerary to include, and then feel free to send a message to any of the Kyoto tour guides for a personalized trip schedule as well as a price quotation. Trust me, having a private guide is going to make your trip so much more convenient and memorable as you can have all your questions answered immediately about Kyoto and its cultural attractions.