If Tokyo is Japan’s business center, Kyoto is Japan’s cultural center, and a must for any first time visitor to Japan. It was Japan’s ancient capital for over 1000 years, until 1869, and its 2000 temples and shrines attract Japanese pilgrims as well as international visitors. While 4 days or more are ideal for a first visit to Kyoto, if you only have 24 hours, here are my recommendations to make the most of your time.
1. Take the Shinkansen to Kyoto
There’s no airport in Kyoto (the closest major airport is Osaka), and chances are, if you only have 24 hours in Kyoto, you’re flying in and out of Tokyo. Fortunately, thanks to Japan’s extensive and highly developed rail network, it’s easy to get to Kyoto from Tokyo on the Shinkansen, or bullet train. The fastest Shinkansen, the Nozomi, gets you between the two cities in just over 2 hours, although the Nozomi trains aren’t covered by the Japan Rail…