Kyoto City relaunches, the definitive guide for foreign visitors to the old capital

If you have ever connected to the Kyoto WIFI network at one of the more than 1,000 access points around the city, you will be familiar by now with the Kyoto Official Travel Guide at, which is the first page to pop up on your screen. Now, Kyoto City has launched a highly anticipated rebrand of the website, helping overseas visitors to the old capital make their trip the most memorable that it can be.




With the rapid growth of inbound tourism to Japan—foreign tourists to Kyoto topped 4 million in 2018—and the needs of these visitors ever changing, the City of Kyoto saw an opportunity to restructure and expand the Guide. Rather than serving merely as a resource on the basics of navigating the city and major sightseeing spots, the goal was to encourage visitors to engage more deeply with the local culture, customs and people. The site is accessible in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Korean, Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese Chinese (the earlier version of the website at is still available in an additional seven languages). There are also overseas (Tabimae or “Before your visit”) and in-Japan (Tabinaka or “During your visit”) versions.




In preparation for the third, major overhaul of the Kyoto Official Travel Guide, Kyoto City undertook a year-long period of research, and a number of new content categories were added based on a wealth of interviews and questionnaires with foreign tourists. Kyoto Journal is delighted to be one of Kyoto Official Travel Guide’s media partners, with several of its interviews with creative Kyotoites up on the “People” section of the site. The new “Streets” section offers intimate and personal stories about some of Kyoto’s streets, while “Nature” offers a number of scenic running, cycling and trail running routes around the city. Another new category that was a direct result of visitor input was “Coffee & Matcha,” as Kyoto coffeehouse culture has earned a reputation around the world.


The Kyoto Official Travel Guide also features an “Enjoy, Respect Kyoto” page that seeks to enable greater cross-cultural understanding and improve local and tourist interaction, by providing visitors with an introduction to local customs and etiquette. It also includes an explanation of the “dos and don’ts” while exploring certain areas like Gion, where there are strict rules regarding photography and encounters with geisha.

Explore the new site and discover even more about this great city!


We are immensely grateful to Kyoto City for generously supporting Kyoto Journal’s recent exhibition at The Terminal Kyoto, KYOEN. Find out more.

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