Fushimi InariI've spent a good amount of time rambling on to my family about how much I loved Fushimi Inari. The shrine is an obvious choice among tourists, and for good reason; it's really gorgeous. Yes, this place is insanely crowded, but trust me, it’s worth it.
For this shrine, the most important thing is to move past the main shrine area quickly (after buying a cute fox charm, of course!) and start the hiking trail, which boasts some of Kyoto’s most scenic spots. This includes a fantastic view at the top!
RyoanjiRyoanji is one of Kyoto’s many UNESCO world heritage sites and is easily one of the most beautiful temples I visited during my trip. It’s most famous for its zen rock garden that has a total of 15 rocks, but only 14 can be seen at any given time.
The part that I enjoyed most though was walking through the magnificent temple gardens (The picture above remains as my laptop wallpaper). This place is definitely worth visiting, especially during autumn as the temple grounds are covered in maple trees.
Kurama deraSituated at Mt Kurama at the north of Kyoto city, this mountain temple seems to be ignored by tourists (especially international tourists). There are lots of little shrines along the way to the main temple and the whole area is incredibly mystical.
It’s a natural, forested area that requires a lot of walking, but even so, this place has a sort of magical charm to it, almost like you’re stepping into the world of spirited away.
Kifune shrineAt the other end of the kurama hiking trail is Kifune shrine, a pretty shrine with a wonderful view of the river flowing beside it. The atmosphere of the shine is so peaceful and calming.
Kinkaku-ji Last but definitely not the least we have probably the most famous temple in Kyoto- Kinkaku-ji. As one of Kyoto's many UNESCO world heritage sites, Kinkaku-ji truly lives up to its reputation as a sight to behold.
Although the temple is rather crowded, the path designated leads to some really beautiful viewpoints, as well as cute coin tosses. This is also the place to get English fortunes!
Kyoto is probably one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. If you love Japanese traditional culture, this is the place to go and I hope this list helps you figure out which temples and shrines you may want to visit!