Surrounded by the hills of central Honshu, Kyoto is an incredibly peaceful place. It is home to over a thousand temples, symbols of Japanese culture and gardens that change colors with the seasons. The city has more than 17 designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Kyoto has thrived as a hub for Japanese culture, art and education for centuries.
travel medical insurance or
so you can enjoy Kyoto to the fullest, with less worry about unexpected events.
Top Tourist Destinations
Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine
Built in honor of Inari, the Shinto god of rice, this shrine features a spectacular four-kilometer avenue of bright orange arches. Wander through the trails surrounding its network of ornate shrines. Peer at the dozens of stone and bronze foxes (the sacred messengers of Inari) that line the paths along with the gates. Buy traditional Japanese goods from the shops and stands.
Located in West Kyoto, Arashiyama is a small town on the bank of the Oi River, popular for its scenic beauty. Walk through the famed Jogetsu-Kyo Bridge. Dine at the shops and restaurants surrounding the bridge. Other famous landmarks of Arashiyama include the Jenryu-Ji temple and the bamboo groves. Don't forget to enjoy the hot spring footbaths located near the groves.
Located on the eastern bank of the Kamogana River, Gion, the famous geisha district, is an eclectic mix of modern architecture and Japanese traditions. It's filled with historic teahouses, willow-lined roads, kaiseki restaurants and traditional Japanese guesthouses known as ryokan. You might catch a glimpse of geishas serving at the teahouses.
Kinkakuji Temple, also known as Golden Pavilion, is a Buddhist Zen temple. Lying along a serene lake, the temple takes its name from the gold leaf that wraps its exterior. The beautiful gardens, old stone pagoda, and the teahouse serving traditional beverages will transport you to ancient Japan.
Nishiki is a narrow five-lane market crammed with a hundred or more shops. Here you can find delicious treats, handmade traditional crafts, ceramics, textiles and much more. Head over to the fresh food section and sample the delicious dumplings, pickles, roasted tea and fish cakes. Make sure you don't eat while walking, as it's prohibited in the market. Find a good place to sit and enjoy your dish.
Key Guidelines for Travelers
The best time to visit Kyoto is from March to May and September to November. The weather around these months is mildest. Summer in Kyoto (June-August) averages around 28°C (82°F). The days are hot and humid, making it less comfortable for outdoor activities. January is the coldest month of the year.
Getting Around the City
Most of the tourist attractions are located on the periphery of the city. Thus, they're inaccessible by the city's public transport system. Hailing a taxi is the best way to get around the area on the outskirts of Kyoto. Buses are a good way to travel within the city. They offer announcements in both Japanese and English, thus making them tourist-friendly. Buy ICOCA, a rechargeable smartcard, to pay for the metro and buses.
Japan enjoys a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world. However, risks of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis do exist. To stay prepared, keep these tips in mind.
- When checking into a hotel, make sure you're aware of all emergency evacuation routes.
- Pay attention to local media to stay advised of weather and seismic advisories.
- Be especially mindful of weather forecasts from June to September, as this is the tropical cyclone season.
Although tap water is safe for drinking in Kyoto, bottled water is preferable for travelers. Kyoto is well-known for its delicious cuisine. Make sure you eat at places frequented by others. Always eat food that is served hot. This will prevent the risk of an upset stomach. If you're planning to eat ‘fugu' fish, dine at a licensed restaurant. Fugu is a poisonous pufferfish. It must be prepared by an experienced chef to be safe.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Kyoto – FAQs
With its tranquil temples, tea houses, and wooden ryokan, Kyoto will serve as a perfect destination for a peaceful retreat. However, even a tranquil vacation isn't without its risks. Sudden injuries can occur even when sightseeing, and illnesses can pop up without warning. If something were to happen that required medical treatment, you would want to make sure you're covered with travel medical insurance.
Why should I buy travel medical insurance for my trip to Kyoto?
Kyoto is home to cutting-edge medical facilities, but they come at a price. Your domestic health insurance plan will likely not provide adequate coverage outside your home country. If you were to require hospitalization or medical treatment in Kyoto, you could be required to pay for everything out of your own pocket. This is why travel medical insurance is critically important.
If you become ill or sustain an injury during your trip to Kyoto, your travel medical insurance can provide coverage. It can protect you from incurring medical bills that could damage your finances for years to come.
What should I look for in my Kyoto travel medical insurance?
Similar to your domestic health insurance, travel medical insurance can provide you with financial coverage should you need to go to the hospital, be admitted to urgent care or see a doctor due to an unexpected medical issue in Kyoto.
If your medical condition were to be severe enough that emergency medical evacuation is required, there are insurance plans that can provide that coverage as well. To save yourself from paying huge medical bills, travel medical insurance is a smart investment for any prepared traveler.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Kyoto – FAQs
Any number of things can cause a trip to be canceled. A natural disaster could leave your destination unsuitable for travel. Likewise, you could get sick or injured and be unable to make the trip at all. Most of the travel arrangements you've made will have been prepaid, and some of them might not be refundable. Canceling your travel plans could result in you being out all the money you've paid with no recourse. This is why you need trip cancellation insurance.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my trip to Kyoto?
A trip to Kyoto will require a fair bit of planning. To get the best deals on flights or hotels, booking in advance is often necessary. However, illnesses, injuries, family emergencies or natural disasters could dash your travel plans, leaving you footing the bill for trip you can't even take.
Hotels and airlines can charge hefty fees for cancellations, and some bookings might not be refundable at all. Trip cancellation insurance can provide you with a way to be reimbursed for these fees and nonrefundable reservations, giving you the financial freedom to make future travel plans.
What should I look for in my Kyoto trip cancellation insurance?
With trip cancellation coverage, your insurer can reimburse you for any nonrefundable costs you might incur when you cancel your trip for a covered reason. But there are more options available with your travel insurance. Some additional benefits may include:
The exact coverage offered can vary by plan. Be sure to read the policy wording of the plans available to you carefully. This way you'll have a thorough understanding of what is and isn't covered, so you can choose the options that fit your needs the best.
Before You Go to Kyoto – Do This
- Check for weather forecasts and special warnings on the official website of Japan Tourism when you plan for your trip.
- Make copies of your identification and have them with you when you're sightseeing in Kyoto. Leave your original copies at the hotel.
- Buy suitable
travel medical insurance or
for yourself and your travel companions so you can be covered.