Kyoto Prefecture is a heaven of mushrooms, matcha and more
Break the tourist mould and head outside of the city to uncover the rest of what Kyoto has to offer.
Once home to the capital city of Japan, this prefecture is a treasure trove for tourists aiming to immerse themselves in rich history, long-standing tradition and spectacular views of nature. Located in the center of the Kansai region, Kyoto prefecture draws huge numbers of domestic and overseas tourists all year round. Explore ancient temples and scenic city districts one day then hop on the train to see the landscape dramatically transform before your eyes.
There are so many things to do and see within the city of Kyoto alone that to fully experience what this historic prefecture has to offer would keep anyone coming back for more.
Take a stroll through Kyoto’s old town, the Higashiyama district.
Kyoto City is not a destination that you should, or could, miss but it can get very busy during Spring and Autumn when the city is in its postcard-perfect seasonal transition. Visit in the summer for a different kind of crowd, gathered for the rowdy revelry of the spectacular Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s most famous festivals. The winter is quietest but comes with the risk of rain (most of Kyoto’s sights are outdoors).
Whether you plan your trip according to visiting the multiple World Heritage Sites like Kinkaku-ji or just choose to relax in one of the city’s many stylish cafes there’s always something new to add to the itinerary. You could spend weeks making endless cultural discoveries in Kyoto City alone but if you can tear yourself away from tradition, the surrounding prefecture also has a wealth of historic and natural gems to uncover.
In nearby Arashiyama, you can walk through the Sagano Bamboo Forest, Kyoto’s natural wonder of Moso Bamboo.
Amanohashidate is one of Japan’s “three scenic views.”
North of Kyoto City lies the Tango region which has some beautiful beach resorts along its coastline, including Amanohashidate, a long sandbar covered with pines that stretches across the mouth of Miyazu Bay and is known as the Bridge to Heaven.
Head north to cross the bridge to heaven at one of Japan’s top three scenic views, or forage for prized matsutake mushrooms in the mountains of Tamba.
Tamba is the mountainous region between Tango and Kyoto City and a source of highly-valued matsutake mushrooms, selling for around $200 per kilo, though there’s plenty of hiking and outdoor activities if you’re not a fan of fungi. Wash it all down anyway with award-winning Tamba wine.
Wazuka and Uji
Beautiful tea fields in Wazuka
Just south of Kyoto City on the way to Nara, Wazuka is the perfect place to drink green tea. The town has been producing it for more than 800 years. You can easily spot the beautiful rolling green hills of tea leaves.
However, it is nearby Uji that is all about matcha (powdered green tea) immersion. You can try matcha-flavored anything— including soba and sweets—buy matcha souvenirs, make your own matcha and experience a traditional tea ceremony.
Plan your trip to Kyoto with the links below!