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Travel & Resources: KYOTO
Recommended by Tokyo Journal, Badi, and Barazoku.

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KYOTO -- area code +81-75

General Information

Kyoto Fushimi Inari (c) 2007 by John C. Goss

    Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan and the repository for its traditional arts, spiritual practices, cuisine and urban way of life. It may seem positively sleepy when compared with the light speed pace of Tokyo, but somehow Kyoto manages to retain a small town feeling, even though it's a teeming city of millions. Many Kyoto gays go to nearby Osaka to socialize, so as not to be spotted wandering in Kyoto's quaint cherry and willow-lined nightlife area. Kyoto, and nearby Nara, are both magical, mystical and mesmerizing treasure vaults of cultural wonders and quiet secrets.

Kyoto Ginkaku-ji (c) 2007 by John C. Goss

    Most of Kyoto's major attractions are on three easy bus routes (with English signage and speaker announcements) that depart just outside the main north exit of Kyoto Station. Buy a discount pass from the ticket office there to use these special buses all day. Kyoto also has an excellent subway. North Kyoto must-sees include the Golden Pavilion (northwest), the Silver Pavilion (northeast), and the zen garden compounds of Daitoku-ji (north central). Dozens of additional major temples and shrines are often seen to best effect in specific seasons, so consult your guidebooks for the ideal itinerary on your planned dates. For a slice of Kyoto daily life, don't miss the 400-year-old shopping avenue, Nishiki-Koji Dori, in the center of the city. If you are lucky enough to be in Kyoto during cherry blossom season, head to the hillside parks east of the river and join the hanami (flower-viewing) throngs.

Kyoto Nishiki-Koji Dori (c) 2007 by John C. Goss

    The population of Kyoto is about 1.5 million (that's about 60,000 Utopians).

    Comments from Utopians:

    "After three years of Covid lockdown Kyoto is like a nunnery. There was never a big gay scene here before that (unless you were a club twink), but now I understand why most people get on the train and go to Osaka for gay life. Happily, though, Kyoto is still one of the most beautiful cities on the planet." -- PeterCee, Mar 7, 2023

Popular Spots


Bars and Clubs

Saunas and Hattenba

    • Kyoto Tower Hotel

      Comments from Utopians:

      "Sadly, Sauna Verde is permanently closed. It had been running for years. Another victim of COVID." -- PeterCee, Mar 7, 2023


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