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  • Writer's pictureDavid Cheung

Things you can enjoy in Kyoto for free


Kyoto is a city that offers a wealth of cultural experiences, and fortunately, many of these experiences are available for free. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or nature, there are plenty of things to see and do in Kyoto that won't cost you a yen. In this article, we will highlight some of the best things to do for free in Kyoto.


Visit Kyoto's Temples and Shrines


Kyoto is home to over 1,600 temples and shrines, and many of them are free to enter. Some of the most famous include Kiyomizu-dera, Ginkaku-ji, and Fushimi Inari-taisha. Each temple and shrine is unique and has its own story to tell, and visiting them is a great way to experience the city's rich history and culture.


Stroll through Kyoto's Parks and Gardens


Kyoto is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, many of which are free to visit. Some of the most popular include the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, Maruyama Park, and the Philosopher's Path. These green spaces are perfect for taking a relaxing stroll, enjoying a picnic, or simply taking in the natural beauty of Kyoto.


Explore Kyoto's Downtown Areas


Kyoto's downtown areas, such as Gion and Pontocho, are known for their historic architecture, charming streets, and vibrant atmosphere. These areas are perfect for taking a leisurely walk and exploring the city's shops, cafes, and restaurants. You might even catch a glimpse of a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) on their way to an appointment.


Watch a Traditional Japanese Performance


Kyoto has a rich tradition of performing arts, including kabuki, noh, and bunraku puppet theatre. While attending a performance can be expensive, there are often free performances or rehearsals available at some of the city's temples and shrines. These performances offer a unique glimpse into Japan's cultural heritage and are not to be missed.


Join a Free Walking Tour


Many companies in Kyoto offer free walking tours, which are a great way to explore the city and learn about its history and culture. These tours are typically led by knowledgeable locals who are passionate about sharing their city with visitors. Some popular walking tours include the Kyoto Free Walking Tour and the Machiya Machi Walk.


Kyoto is a city that offers a wealth of experiences for free, from visiting temples and shrines to exploring its downtown areas and green spaces. By taking advantage of these free activities, visitors can experience the city's rich history and culture without breaking the bank. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or performing arts, there's something for everyone in Kyoto.

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