Kyoto is one of the most popular destinations in Japan, known for its rich culture, history, and natural beauty.
But how much does it cost to visit this amazing city? In this blog post, I will share some tips and tricks on how to plan a trip to Kyoto on a budget, without compromising on the quality of your experience.
Cost of a trip to Kyoto, Japan
When to Go
The best time to visit Kyoto depends on your preferences and what you want to see. If you want to enjoy the cherry blossoms, you should go in late March or early April. If you want to see the autumn colors, you should go in late October or early November.
However, these are also the peak seasons, which means higher prices and more crowds. If you want to save money and avoid the crowds, you should go in the off-season, such as winter or summer. The weather might not be as pleasant, but you can still enjoy the attractions and festivals.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling to Kyoto, but there are ways to save money on this. One option is to stay in a hostel, which can cost as low as 2,000 yen per night. You can find many hostels in Kyoto that offer clean and comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and friendly staff. Another option is to stay in a capsule hotel, which is a unique Japanese experience. A capsule hotel is a type of hotel that offers small pods that fit one person, with shared facilities such as bathrooms and lounges.
A capsule hotel can cost around 3,000 yen per night. A third option is to stay in an Airbnb, which can give you more privacy and space. You can find many Airbnb listings in Kyoto that range from traditional houses to modern apartments. An Airbnb can cost around 5,000 yen per night.
How to Get Around
Kyoto is a relatively compact city, which means you can explore most of it by walking or biking. Walking is a great way to enjoy the scenery and discover hidden gems along the way. Biking is also a popular and convenient way to get around Kyoto, as there are many bike rental shops and bike lanes in the city. You can rent a bike for around 1,000 yen per day.
If you need to use public transportation, you can use buses or trains. Buses are cheaper than trains, but they can be slower and less frequent. A bus ride costs 230 yen per ride or 600 yen for a one-day pass. Trains are faster and more reliable than buses, but they can be more expensive and confusing. A train ride costs around 300 yen per ride or 1,200 yen for a one-day pass.
What to See and Do
Kyoto has countless attractions and activities that cater to different interests and tastes. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Visit the temples and shrines: Kyoto has over 2,000 temples and shrines that showcase the beauty and diversity of Japanese culture and religion. Some of the most famous ones are Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Kiyomizu-dera (the Pure Water Temple), Fushimi Inari Taisha (the Thousand Torii Gates), and Ryoan-ji (the Zen Rock Garden). The entrance fees vary from 300 yen to 600 yen per temple or shrine.
- Explore the gardens and parks: Kyoto has many gardens and parks that offer a tranquil and relaxing escape from the city noise. Some of the most beautiful ones are Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Philosopher’s Path, Maruyama Park, and Imperial Palace Park. The admission fees vary from free to 500 yen per garden or park.
- Experience the geisha culture: Kyoto is one of the few places where you can still see geisha (or geiko) and maiko (geisha apprentices) in their traditional attire and makeup. You can watch them perform dances and songs at Gion Corner or Pontocho Kaburenjo Theater, or book a private dinner with them at an ochaya (tea house). The prices range from 3,000 yen to 50,000 yen per person.
- Enjoy the food and drinks: Kyoto is famous for its cuisine, which reflects its history and geography. You can try some of the local specialties such as kaiseki (multi-course meal), tofu (soybean curd), yudofu (boiled tofu), soba (buckwheat noodles), matcha (green tea), sake (rice wine), and wagashi (traditional sweets). You can find many restaurants and cafes in Kyoto that offer these delicacies at various price ranges.