What to Do / Eat in Kyoto, Japan

Cemetery near Kiyomizu Temple – This was one of the most visually striking cemeteries I’ve ever seen.

Fushimi Inari – Famous for its rows upon rows of bright orange gates, this is one of those must-sees when you’re in Japan.

Gekkeikan Sake Museum – Though there isn’t a whole lot to do/see at the Gekkeikan Sake Museum, there’s some interesting stuff here on how sake is made and the history of the brand.  Plus, the very cheap ticket includes some free sake, so there’s that.

Nijo Castle – Seeing Nijo Castle is one of those things that feels like a requirement as a tourist, and with good reason.  It’s quite memorable.

Pug Cafe – If you love dogs, the Pug Cafe in Kyoto is an absolute must-visit.  It’s delightful.

Shrines and Temples – There are thousands of shrines and temples in Kyoto; here’s a few of the more memorable ones I saw.

Temple cemeteries – Many temples in Kyoto have neighbouring cemeteries, which are surprisingly interesting to wander around.

Toji Temple Market – On the 21st day of every month, Toji Temple becomes a bustling market that’s absolutely packed with people, but well worth visiting.

Brulee – There’s a place in the Sanjo-kai Shotengai Shopping Arcade that sells creme brulee doughnuts.  They’re just as delicious as you’d hope they would be.

Fu-ka – Fu-ka is a tiny little restaurant in a residential area of Kyoto that serves the best omurice I’ve ever had.

Gogyo Ramen – Gogyo specializes in burnt ramen, which sounds odd, but which is crazy delicious.

Menbakaichidai – This place specializes in what they call “fire ramen,” in which they light your bowl of ramen on fire in what is essentially an explosion in your face.  The ramen itself is just okay, but it’s easily worth visiting for the experience alone.

Omen – Omen serves seriously delicious udon noodles that you dip into an ultra-flavourful bowl of broth.

Takoyaki in the Nishiki Market – Octopus balls are one of Japan’s most famous street foods.  There’s a stall in the Nishiki Market that sells a seriously delicious, cheese-filled version.

Tenkaippin – Tenkaippin is a local chain that serves a bowl of ramen that might just be too rich for me, which I never thought I’d say.  It’s basically gravy soup.