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  • Writer's pictureKyoto Localized

Less Crowded Places in Kyoto, Japan Amid Coronavirus

Updated: Mar 21, 2020


While many people have chosen to stay indoors and postpone trips, some intrepid travelers have chosen to pursue their plans. If you are one of these travelers who seem unfazed by the coronavirus in Kyoto and you still want to paint the town red, we’ve got some good recommendations for you to stay out of trouble.

Here are some of the best places in Kyoto to avoid the crowds:

1. Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

Old Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art | Image Courtesy of Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

The Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art — one of Japan’s oldest public art museums — is set to reopen on April 4, 2020, after being closed for an expansion since 2017. Prior to the public opening, the museum will hold private previews on March 19, 20, and 23.

Other museums in Kyoto that will reopen soon are Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art (TBA), The Museum of Kyoto (March 20), The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (TBA), and Kyoto National Museum (March 23). These museums have been temporarily closed in view of the global novel coronavirus outbreak.

2. Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple | Image Courtesy of Teo Romera / Flickr

Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kita is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto for its stunning golden facade and classic architecture juxtaposed with a natural landscape in the background. At this time, Kinkaku-ji Temple remains free from tourists and group tours, so you better take your chances now get those stunning photos for yourself.

3. Sagano Bamboo Forest

Sagano Bamboo Forest | Image Courtesy of wkc Chen / Flickr

Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama is one of the most photographed sights in Kyoto. But at this time, the site has been nothing but an empty tourist attraction. Local merchants have come together to encourage tourists that now is the best time to visit Arashiyama as its completely free from people. “Suitemasu Arashiyama,” the campaign that locals ran to promote the district, which literally means “Empty Arashiyama” or “There are a few people in Arashiyama.”

4. Monkey Park Iwatayama

Monkey Park Iwatayama | Image Courtesy of Andrew Schaffer / Flickr

Located 3.5 kilometers away from Bamboo Forest is Monkey Park Iwatayam, home to more than 170 snow monkeys or Japanese macaques. Part of the locals’ Arashiyama promotion is Monkey Park Iwatayama as they said it’s been a long since there are more monkeys than people at the park. At the top of the park is a lookout point where you can see Kyoto in all its glory. And just a few minutes walk away is Togetsukyo Bridge over Oi River spread across the foothills of Mount Arashi, one of the most breathtaking spots in Kyoto.

5. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera | Image Courtesy of Sue Ann Simon / Flickr

Kiyomizu-dera in Higashiyama is one of the most visited temples in Japan, but right now, it’s a ghost town. The temple requires a short walk from the foothills. Souvenir shops and local restaurants line up the sidestreet for a dose of food trip experience and souvenir shopping. No regret because at the top you will be greeted by a 360-degree view of the city.


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has a rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours, you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.


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