Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is a beautiful and intriguing destination for the adventurous family! On one hand, it is the epitome of traditional Japan – the one of geisha, ancient temples, stone-paved narrow alleyways, pagodas and wooden teahouses. And on another hand, it bristles with the trappings of modern Japanese life, with all its unique idiosyncrasies and nuances. Read on for Little Steps’ top picks of where to stay, eat, and play with the fam in Kyoto!
Both the Hyatt Regency and the Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (pictured) are located close to the city's main attractions, with the latter positioned right next to a metro station. The Westin also boasts ryokan-style rooms set in a Zen garden. For a great self-catering accommodation, try Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto, a stylish property close to all the action in the center of town.
Kyoto is a foodie's paradise! Slurp up handmade ramen noodles at Kyoto Gogyo, or bring your little ones on a culinary journey of bite-sized propotions at a Nishiki Market (pictured)! Nibble on sweet Japanese omelette, candies, ultra fresh sushi, mochi and more, while strolling along and admiring everything on offer. Kids will also love the deep-fried pork cutlets from Katsukura at the Kyoto Train Station.
Check out Nijo Castle - its squeaky nightingale floors keep kiddies enthralled. UNESCO World Heritage Site Kiyomizudera Temple is a must, with its hidden underground grotto (just ask someone to point you in the direction of Tainai Meguri). At night, catch a maiko or geisha at Gion. If you have time, take the 40-minute train to Arashiyama to Bamboo Grove (pictured), and ride on the Sagano Steam Railway past verdant forest and the pristine Hozugawa River. Gorgeous!