7 Unusual Things To Do In Kyoto Japan – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Kyoto, Japan, is a city steeped in tradition and history, offering visitors a myriad of unique experiences beyond the typical tourist attractions. For those seeking unusual things to do in Kyoto Japan, there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From exploring secret gardens and participating in traditional tea ceremonies to wandering through mysterious alleyways and trying out local street food, Kyoto offers a wealth of off-the-beaten-path activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for something different, Kyoto has something special in store for you.

Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine at night

Essential Information

– Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan
– Opening Hours: Always open
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Night owls, photography enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When the sun sets over Kyoto, a different kind of magic envelops the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine. As darkness descends, the thousands of vibrant torii gates that line the pathways are illuminated, casting a mesmerizing glow that beckons visitors to explore this sacred site in a whole new light.

Walking through the torii gates at night offers a unique and almost mystical experience. The soft glow of the lanterns guides your way as you meander through the winding paths, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and mystery. The absence of crowds during the nighttime hours allows for a more intimate encounter with the shrine, where you can truly appreciate the beauty and serenity of this spiritual place.

For photography enthusiasts, capturing the Fushimi Inari Shrine at night presents a rare opportunity to play with light and shadows, creating stunning and ethereal images that showcase the shrine in a different perspective. The interplay of darkness and illumination adds depth and drama to your photos, making for a truly unforgettable visual feast.

Visiting the Fushimi Inari Shrine at night is not only a departure from the usual tourist crowds but also a chance to witness this iconic landmark in a whole new ambiance. Whether you seek a peaceful evening stroll, a unique photography session, or simply a moment of reflection under the starlit sky, exploring the shrine after dark promises an unforgettable experience that will linger in your memory long after you leave.

Explore the Kyoto Railway Museum

Essential Information

– Address: Kankiji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8815, Japan
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)
– Fee: Adults 1,200 yen, Children (ages 3-18) 500 yen
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, History Buffs, Train Enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Kyoto Railway Museum stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its fascinating array of activities that offer visitors a distinctive experience. One of the most unusual features of the museum is the opportunity to try out a train simulator, allowing guests to feel like real train conductors as they navigate through virtual landscapes. Additionally, visitors can participate in a workshop where they can learn about the intricate process of maintaining and repairing trains, gaining insight into the behind-the-scenes work of the railway industry.

Another standout activity at the museum is the chance to ride on a steam locomotive, providing a nostalgic journey back in time to the golden age of train travel. For those seeking a hands-on experience, there are interactive exhibits that showcase the evolution of train technology, allowing guests to touch and explore various train components. Moreover, the museum offers guided tours that delve into the rich history of Japanese railways, shedding light on the significant role trains have played in the country’s development.

In conclusion, the Kyoto Railway Museum offers a blend of educational and entertaining activities that set it apart from traditional museums. Whether you are a train enthusiast or simply curious about Japan’s railway heritage, this unusual attraction promises a memorable and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

Take a ninja lesson at the Ninjadera Temple

Essential Information

– Address: Ninjadera Temple, Kyoto, Japan
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $50 per person
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Kyoto, Japan, one might expect to explore ancient temples, serene gardens, and traditional tea houses. However, an unusual and thrilling experience awaits those who dare to step into the world of ninjas at the Ninjadera Temple. This unique attraction offers visitors the opportunity to take a ninja lesson, immersing themselves in the secretive and mysterious world of these legendary warriors.

Upon arrival at the Ninjadera Temple, participants are greeted by skilled ninja instructors who guide them through a series of hands-on activities. From learning stealthy movements to mastering ninja weapons like shurikens and swords, visitors get a taste of the agility and precision required to be a ninja.

One of the most unusual aspects of this experience is the chance to dress up in traditional ninja attire, complete with a mask and hood. As participants don the iconic black garb, they are transported back in time to an era where espionage and combat skills were essential for survival.

The ninja lesson also includes learning about the history and philosophy behind the ninja way of life. Participants gain insights into the codes of honor, stealth tactics, and strategic thinking that defined these enigmatic figures in Japanese history.

For those seeking a break from the typical tourist attractions, taking a ninja lesson at the Ninjadera Temple offers a truly unforgettable and offbeat experience. Whether you’re a martial arts enthusiast or simply curious about the hidden world of ninjas, this activity promises to be a thrilling and educational adventure in the heart of Kyoto.

Wander through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove at sunrise

Essential Information

– Address: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan
– Opening hours: Always open
– Fee: Free
– Visit duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, photographers, early risers

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove at sunrise, there are a few activities that make this experience truly unique. As the first light of day filters through the towering bamboo stalks, you can witness a serene and almost mystical atmosphere that is unlike any other time of day.

One of the most unusual things to do at this time is to capture the mesmerizing play of light and shadows with your camera. The early morning sun creates a magical interplay of light that dances through the bamboo forest, offering photographers a rare opportunity to capture stunning shots that are bathed in a warm, golden glow.

Another unusual activity is to practice mindfulness and meditation amidst the tranquil surroundings. The quietude of the early morning hours allows you to fully immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of the bamboo grove, offering a chance to start your day with a sense of calm and rejuvenation.

For the more adventurous souls, embarking on a solo stroll through the bamboo grove at sunrise can be a truly introspective experience. The rustling of the bamboo leaves in the gentle morning breeze creates a soothing soundtrack for your contemplative walk, allowing you to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Overall, wandering through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove at sunrise offers a unique and unforgettable experience that allows you to witness the beauty of nature in a whole new light. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, this unusual activity is sure to leave a lasting impression on your Kyoto travel itinerary.

Experience a traditional tea ceremony in a machiya house

Essential Information

– Address: Gion district, Kyoto, Japan
– Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $30 per person
– Visit duration: Approximately 1 hour
– Ideal for: Cultural enthusiasts and tea lovers

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Kyoto, Japan, experiencing a traditional tea ceremony in a machiya house is a unique and immersive way to delve into the rich cultural heritage of the country. Unlike modern tea houses or touristy tea ceremony experiences, a machiya house offers an authentic setting that transports you back in time to the days of the ancient tea masters.

Upon entering the machiya house in the historic Gion district, you will be greeted by a kimono-clad tea master who will guide you through the intricate rituals of the tea ceremony. The traditional tatami room exudes a serene ambiance, enhanced by the subtle aroma of freshly brewed matcha tea.

Participating in a tea ceremony in a machiya house allows you to witness the meticulous preparation of matcha, from the precise whisking of the powdered tea to the graceful movements of the tea master. You will have the opportunity to savor the unique flavors of matcha and traditional Japanese sweets, all while gaining insight into the profound philosophy and etiquette that underpins the art of tea.

Moreover, the intimate setting of the machiya house fosters a sense of connection with Japanese culture and history, offering a glimpse into the refined world of tea appreciation that has been passed down through generations. This authentic experience provides a deeper understanding of the significance of tea in Japanese society and the profound respect for nature and simplicity that it embodies.

In conclusion, experiencing a traditional tea ceremony in a machiya house is a truly unusual and enriching activity that allows you to immerse yourself in the timeless traditions of Japan while enjoying a moment of tranquility and reflection in the heart of Kyoto’s historic Gion district.

Discover the hidden Kifune Shrine in the mountains

Essential Information

– Address: 180 Kurama Kibunecho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1112, Japan
– Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: Free entry, donations welcome
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, spiritual seekers

Why is it so unusual

Tucked away in the serene mountains of Kyoto, the Kifune Shrine offers a unique experience for visitors seeking a blend of nature and spirituality. What sets this shrine apart are the mystical water rituals that take place here. One of the most unusual activities you can partake in is the “omikuji” water fortune telling. Instead of drawing a paper fortune, visitors purchase a paper slip and dip it into the sacred waters of the Kifune River to reveal their fortune.

Another intriguing aspect of this shrine is the “nagashi-somen” tradition, where thin noodles flow down bamboo shoots in a stream of water. Visitors can try their hand at catching the noodles with chopsticks as they rush by—a fun and challenging activity that adds a playful element to the spiritual atmosphere.

For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, the Kifune Shrine offers a unique opportunity to write wishes on paper lanterns and set them afloat on the river. This act symbolizes letting go of one’s desires and sending them out into the universe—a truly special experience that resonates with the tranquility of the surrounding mountains.

In conclusion, the Kifune Shrine stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its blend of natural beauty and spiritual practices. Whether you’re seeking a moment of reflection or a touch of whimsy, this hidden gem in the mountains of Kyoto promises a memorable and enriching experience.

Try forest bathing in the tranquil Sagano Bamboo Forest

Essential Information

– Address: Sagano Bamboo Forest, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan
– Opening Hours: 24/7 (recommended to visit during daylight hours)
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, relaxation seekers

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to unique experiences in Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo Forest stands out as a must-visit destination. While many tourists flock to popular temples and shrines, the concept of forest bathing in this serene bamboo grove offers a different kind of attraction.

Forest bathing, known as “shinrin-yoku” in Japanese, involves immersing oneself in nature to promote well-being. In the Sagano Bamboo Forest, visitors can engage in this therapeutic practice by taking slow, mindful walks along the winding paths surrounded by towering bamboo stalks. The rustling sound of the leaves and the gentle swaying of the bamboo create a calming atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.

One of the unusual activities you can partake in is listening to the unique sounds produced by the bamboo as the wind passes through the grove. This auditory experience adds a sensory dimension to your forest bathing session, enhancing the overall tranquility of the environment.

Another distinctive feature of the Sagano Bamboo Forest is the opportunity to participate in guided meditation sessions amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings. These sessions, led by experienced instructors, help visitors connect with the peaceful energy of the bamboo forest and find inner harmony.

For those seeking a more interactive experience, workshops on traditional bamboo crafts are also available, allowing visitors to learn about the cultural significance of bamboo in Japanese society and create their own handmade souvenirs to take home.

In conclusion, the Sagano Bamboo Forest offers a unique blend of nature, culture, and wellness, making it an unusual yet captivating destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with the natural world.

Share the Post:

Related Posts