We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Guide to Kyoto for Families

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

96%
Found this guide helpful

Kyoto is a beautiful, classic city, rich in Japanese history and resplendent in temples, shrines, and natural beauty. While Kyoto has a lot to offer culturally, sometimes it can be a difficult city to navigate with children, young or old. So check out this guide for a few travel tips and ideas for families in Kyoto, and discover all of the city's fun, interactive elements!

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie

10 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Lookouts

Rental Kimono Okamoto Kiyomizuzakaten

Gift & Speciality Shops

Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Monkey Park Iwatayama

Zoos

Kyoto Municipal Zoo

Zoos

Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum

Speciality Museums

Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Theme Parks

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Maruyama Park

Parks

Nishiki Market

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Madison S's City Tips

  • If traveling with very young children, note that Yasaka Taxi Service can be booked in advance to provide a children's safety seat for your journey. Have your hotel concierge call.
  • Breast feeding in public is not done in Japan. However, department stores and train stations will have areas for mothers to do this comfortably, generally located beside restrooms.
  • Not all restrooms in Kyoto have toilet paper — especially not the public ones in parks or by shrines. Keep your bag well-stocked when you go out, just in case!
  • Save
    Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Built to honor Kannon, the goddess of mercy, Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist temple overlooking Kyoto from on high. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the most-visited temple in Kyoto, and with good reason! Its wide breadth and stunning natural environment make it a great place to take kids, where they'll have plenty of room to wander, and just as much to see. Visitors are welcome to drink the sacred waters of the Otowa Waterfall, to view the seasonally dressed Jizō statuettes, and to burn incense sticks. A wonderful introduction to Kyoto's heritage for the entire family.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It is especially lovely to visit during fall or spring, as maple leaves or cherry blossoms will be in bloom, respectively. It makes for gorgeous views on the hill.
    • On entering the temple, to the left is the Tainai-Meguri. Made for Daizuigu Bosatsu, who was able to grant wishes, the area is kept completely dark — good for a peaceful moment.
    • There are separate entry fees to the Tainai-Meguri and to the Kiyomizu-dera temple.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 56 things to do in Higashiyama
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good, but very crowded 15/08/2018
    • Under Construction 14/08/2018
    • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    Address:
    1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku
    Higashiyama, Kyoto 605-0862
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-551-1234
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Rental Kimono Okamoto Kiyomizuzakaten
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    While at Kiyomizu, a fun and engaging stop to make is the Okamoto Rental Shop. Here, a variety of options are available to try out traditional Japanese kimono, and staff members help guests dress and even style their hair. It makes for some unforgettable family photos, and involves a bit of pampering that even teenagers won't argue with.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Be aware that more extensive kimono cost more to rent, and that hair is an additional small fee on top of the rental price.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 25 Shopping in Higashiyama
    • Great kimono experience for day trip from Osaka! 03/06/2018
    • Beutiful Kimono selection with professional customer service (Gion Location) 09/05/2018
    • Rental Kimono Okamoto Kiyomizuzakaten
    Address:
    2-237-1-1 Kiyomizu Higashiyamaku
    Higashiyama, Kyoto 605-0862
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-525-7115
    Other:
  • Save
    Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Built in the name of Inari, the Shinto god of rice, the Fushimi Inari shrine rests at the base of Mt. Inari, which looms in the distance as an impressive backdrop. The main attractions here are the thousands of brightly-coloured 'torii' gates, each donated by a Japanese business to bring luck and fortune. For a family that enjoys the outdoors, Inari Shrine's 'Senbon Torii' climbs all the way up the mountain. You can hike the trail for as long as you like — it takes about three hours total to arrive at the summit!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Foxes are regarded as Inari's messengers. Many fox statues can be found scattered around the shrine, with keys in their mouths. The keys are for opening Inari's rice granaries.
    • In the walk up to the base of the shrine, sweet shops selling some of the city's best 'tsujiura senbei' cookies can be found. Grab a few to enjoy, and water for the hike!
    • As the shrine is a popular tourist destination, go either very early (sunrise) or very late (sunset) if photos or lines are a concern. Otherwise, be prepared to share space!
    • The Yotsutsuji intersection, little less than halfway up the mountain, is a circular summit where good panoramic views are available without having to climb to the top.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Fushimi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great walking 15/08/2018
    • Wonderful to see 15/08/2018
    • Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
    Address:
    68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho
    Fushimi, Kyoto 612-0882
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-641-7331
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
    Other:
  • Save
    Monkey Park Iwatayama
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Iwatayama Monkey Park, located on scenic Mt. Arashiyama, is home to over 150 Japanese macaque monkeys. Though the animals are wild and live in carefully cared-for habitats, the draw to Iwatayama is that visitors can purchase food to feed the animals themselves. Kyoto is a very traditional city, and the Monkey Park is just the place to take a break from shrines and nature walks (which are sure to pack your itinerary), to have some family fun and interact with furry friends.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Make sure to factor travel into your trip: It is a relatively lengthy train ride and a 20-minute uphill hike to the zoo. (The hike, however, isn't steep and offers rest areas.)
    • The zookeepers also do daily feedings, wherein all of the monkeys climb down to eat chestnuts and interact with keepers. It's an impressive sight, so try to catch it!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 1 388 things to do in Kyoto
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth the hike 14/08/2018
    • loved this park!!! monkeys everywhere ❤️❤️❤️ 13/08/2018
    • Monkey Park Iwatayama
    Address:
    8 Genrokuyamacho, Nishikyo-ku
    Kyoto 616-0022
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-872-0950
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Kyoto Municipal Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    While not everyone's cup of tea, if you and your family would like to see more than just monkeys, why not spend a morning at the Kyoto Zoo? The second oldest zoo in Japan is home to over 170 species, and boasts interactive exhibits as well a section called 'Fairy Land:' an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and other fun attractions that riders of all heights (and constitutions) can enjoy.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The main zoo also contains a children's area, which includes rabbits, small pigs, birds, tortoises, and more! Many of these animals can be handled, so do check it out.
    • Many of the zoo's accommodations were built in the early 1900's. As such, some areas are quite small. The zoo is expanding, but visitors are sometimes shocked by the enclosures.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #283 of 1 388 things to do in Kyoto
    • Beautifully maintained with lots of lovely animals 07/08/2018
    • Fun day 09/07/2018
    • Kyoto Municipal Zoo
    Address:
    Okazaki Hoshojicho, Sakyo-ku
    Okazaki Park
    Kyoto 606-8333
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-771-0210
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:00 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum first opened its doors in 1972, and today houses 19 such steam locomotives. Built to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Japan Railways, the center of the museum boasts a historic 20-track roadhouse (circa 1914) and classic trains that make their way around the tracks three times each day. Sure to be a wonderful stop for a hands-on historical experience.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Call ahead to find out what time the trains will be running. They make three rounds per day.
    • The museum has one air-conditioned carriage running during the summer so that guests can take a seat on board to cool off and get out of the sun.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Kyoto
    • Magnificent Collection of Steam Locomotive 03/03/2016
    • Value Experiences The Trains Industrial Revolution 14/12/2015
    • Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum
    Address:
    Kankijicho, Shimogyo-ku
    Kyoto 600-8835
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-314-2996
    Hours:
    Thu - Tue
    10:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Toei Kyoto Studio Park
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Toei Kyoto Studio Park is an interactive film set where guests can view the taping of period dramas. Over 200 per year are shot on this re-created Edo period street, where ninjas, samurai, and geisha run amok over the ancient landscape, and everything from magic shows to sword demonstrations awaits on each corner.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • If possible, go mid-week to avoid lines and crowds.
    • Be aware that all Studio Parks shows are in Japanese. However, many of the demonstrations and short plays are easy to follow along with, even if you do not speak it.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 36 things to do in Ukyo
    • Not much to see 29/04/2018
    • Time Travel to Samurai Land 18/04/2018
    • Toei Kyoto Studio Park
    Address:
    10 Higashi-Hachigaokacho, Uzumasa, Ukyo-ku
    Ukyo, Kyoto 616-8586
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 570-064-349
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$0
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Sannenzaka Ninenzaka
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Be transported back to old Japan on the traffic-free streets of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, where restored traditional teahouses and shops boast atmospheric wooden frames and geisha and maiko can be seen gliding by in full regalia. A wonderful place to eat, explore, and imagine.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Kasagiya is a popular traditional tea and sweets house off of Ninenzaka. It is easy to miss; look for a dark blue sign and vending machine, and voila! Be aware it's cash only.
    • During the spring height of cherry blossom viewing season, these streets are especially crowded. Going after sunset will assure the traffic clears a little.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 1 388 things to do in Kyoto
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • On the way to the Kiyomizu temple 20/07/2018
    • Very good and expressive! 05/07/2018
    • Sannenzaka Ninenzaka
    Address:
    Higashiyama-ku
    Kyoto 605-0001
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Other:
  • Save
    Maruyama Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    At the heart of Maruyama Park is the weeping cherry blossom tree. Especially beautiful in bloom during the spring, this tree is also lit up at night to add a mysterious air to the location. The park is popular with nature lovers, as it has wide open spaces to roam and beautiful foliage any time of the year. A great spot for a picnic or to relax among natural beauty.

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • For Hanami season (April), Japanese families have picnic lunches under the blooming cherry trees. It will be crowded, but worth visiting to experience the cultural celebration.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 56 things to do in Higashiyama
    • Cherry blossom 🌸 tree 12/08/2018
    • Nice Stop Between Temples 11/06/2018
    • Maruyama Park
    Address:
    473 Maruyamacho, Higashiyama-ku
    Higashiyama, Kyoto
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-561-1350
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
    Other:
  • Save
    Nishiki Market
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Madison S Says:

    Tucked into downtown Kyoto, Nishiki Market is a historic site where Kyoto's traditional local foods, drinks, and spices can be bought fresh. It's open until late, but go early for the fishmongers' best catches, and stay to explore the colorful wares on sale. The market is atmospheric, with its big wooden pots and its food frying openly on classic-style griddles. You may have a difficult time convincing your kids to try squid on a stick ... but trust me, they'll thank you for it afterwards!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • Pace Yourself! The roasted chestnuts are amazing, but so are the deep fried doughnuts, the shucked oysters, and the chili shrimp ... you get the picture. Look first, then decide!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #66 of 1 388 things to do in Kyoto
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A long street with lots to see and eat 14/08/2018
    • Fantastic Market 14/08/2018
    • Nishiki Market
    Address:
    Nakagyo-ku
    Kyoto
    Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone:
    +81 75-221-4003
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo