Kyoto, the Ancient City, the Old Capital, and the location of quite a few great anime. Our favorite Manslayer, Kenshin, has roamed these roads. The Great Detective Conan has investigated here, too! You can find the list of our top 7 anime shot in Kyoto below. Kyoto Animation is based here as well, attracting anime fans with their exclusive goods that can only be found in Kyoto.
Steeped in history, Kyoto is one of the ten largest cities in Japan and a popular tourist destination spot for residents and foreigners alike. Kyoto proper has imperial palaces, temples, shrines, bamboo forests, hot springs, and delicious traditional and modern cuisines. There’s plenty to see and do in Kyoto for everyone. If shopping and temple hopping aren’t your things, try hiking up Mount Hiei or experiencing a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with Japan’s famous and popular Uji tea.
If Kyoto’s deep history and many shrines don’t attract you, how about exploring some of our favorite anime that have scenes or are set here?
Like Tokyo Tower, Kyoto Tower is iconic. Earlier in 2019, there was a Detective Conan event held for only two Saturdays! If you love Detective Conan like we at Honey’s do, take the bus to Kamigamo Shrine, Rokkakudo, and Ichihime Shrine to see the real-life scenes from Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter. This is easily done with a Kyoto City All-Day bus pass (Adults ￥500 / $5) or the Kyoto Sightseeing One—(Adults ￥1,200 / $12) or Two-Day (Adults ￥2,000 / $20) Pass Card.
Rurouni Kenshin spends some time in Kyoto as well. An anime fan can’t afford to miss the inspiration for temples portrayed in the Rurouni Kenshin anime as well as in the movie. Ninna-ji Temple’s Omuro Sakura trees bloom the latest in all of Japan and are one of the reasons the temple is so famous. Konkai Komyoji Temple is famous for its autumn leaves and Zuishin-in Temple where the movie filmed its crime scene are not to be missed, either.
Fans of The Eccentric Family cannot afford to miss exploring the Demachiyanagi area. From Kyoto Station, take the subway for about 12 minutes to Kuramaguchi Station where you’ll get off and head to Shimogamo Shrine, Goryo Shrine, and Saienji Temple among other shrines and temples from the show. Take a quick soak in Kuramayu, a traditional bathhouse, before heading on to walk through Tadasu no Mori. The scenery is beautiful and even non-fans of the show will love it.
Fushimi Inari Taishi, as seen in Inari Kon Kon, isn’t a shrine to be missed. It’s a short train ride to JR Inari Station and visitors will enjoy walking through the street lined with shops and food stalls before reaching the main hall behind the Romon Gate. Walk through the Senbon Trail, the thousands of red torii gates, hike up Mount Inari (it’s about an hour or two to the summit), and eat some of the local foods such as Kitsune Udon and aburaage (fried tofu). It’s free to go and it’s always open!
Other Kyoto foods not to miss are matcha sweets, yuba (tofu skin), yatsuhashi, soba, and Shojin Ryori (Japanese Buddhist cuisine, which is entirely vegetarian).
New Years, Sakura season, Golden Week, and autumn are Kyoto’s peak seasons and arguably the most beautiful times of the year to go. The city is packed during this time with tourists and foreigners alike. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare yourself for very little personal space on buses and trains.
Fans will love exploring Kyoto not only for its history, but for all of the spectacular scenes and backgrounds portrayed in some of the most famous anime of all time. Personally, I’ve been to Kyoto more times than I can count on both hands. While New Year’s Day at Fushimi Inari was jammed pack with people, the year I went, it snowed and was absolutely stunning, making it one of my fondest memories. If you’re visiting Japan, or already live here and haven’t been to Kyoto yet, Honey’s highly recommends you go and check out all of the amazing things it has to offer.