Kyoto is the cultural heart of Japan, offering countless historical sites, delicious local cuisine, and exciting activities for visitors to discover. It’s also one of the best spots in the country to take the perfect photos for Instagram. Kyoto is a beautiful destination year-round. In the spring, tourists flock here for the pale pink cherry blossoms while in fall, visitors enjoy stunning shades of red, orange, and yellow leaves on the trees. In the winter, Instagrammers can get a steamy onsen photo and on summer nights there are lots of gorgeous lantern-lit streets to explore.These are the 10 most Instagrammable things to do in Kyoto. Curate a feed that is sure to build followers by visiting these spots.

10 Visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

A short train ride outside the city center, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a must-see for Instagrammers visiting Kyoto. To get the perfect shot, visitors need to venture a few minutes into the forest where the bamboo trees are at their tallest and thickest. Stand in the center of the path (or place the subject of the photo there) and take the photo from a wide, low angle to get this iconic image.

The bamboo grove is open 24 hours a day with no admission fee necessary, so it’s best to arrive before 8 am during the peak season to beat the crowds.

9 Sunrise Hike at Fushimi-Inari Shrine

Anyone who has searched for tagged photos of Japan on Instagram has seen the classic photo of the orange Torii gates at the Fushimi-Inari shrine in Kyoto. However, many tourists don’t realize there’s a beautiful hike to enjoy at the Fushimi-Inari shrine. It takes approximately two to three hours to complete the roundtrip trek up Mount Inari. Visitors travel through thousands of these orange Torii gates to reach the top.

The density of the gates varies throughout the hike, so the best spot to take Instagram photos is near the beginning of the hike and about halfway up. Ideally, visitors should come for these pictures in the spring or fall for comfortable temperatures. In the summer this area is extremely humid and the mosquitos are out in full force.

8 Enjoy a Traditional Tea Ceremony

A trip to Kyoto isn’t complete without experiencing a traditional tea ceremony and this is some of the best content an Instagram feed can have. Visitors can opt to participate in the ceremony while wearing a real kimono at Kyoto Maikoya.

Out of respect for tradition, it’s not permitted to take photos or videos during the ceremony itself. This is when guests learn about the nuances of making the tea and its significance in Japanese culture. However, at the end of the ceremony, there is plenty of time to take photos in the Kimono in the tatami-style tea room.

7 Watch the Sunset over the Yasaka Pagoda

The Yasaka Pagoda is one of the most well-known historical sites in Kyoto. To get there, visitors venture through the Gion historic district, experiencing the classic architecture and serenity of ancient Japan.

To snap the coveted Instagram shot of the pagoda, it’s best to visit this area as the sun is setting for the warm orange glow on Kyoto’s streets. Walk past the Yasaka Pagoda towards Kiyomizu-Dera and then turn back to face the pagoda. This angle gets the streets of Kyoto and the pagoda in the shot.

6 Marvel at Cherry Blossoms on the Philosopher's Path

Cherry blossom season is one of the most photographic times in Japan. These gorgeous pastel pink flowers bloom each year between January to May, although the peak times vary in different parts of the country. In Kyoto, the best time to see the cherry blossoms is from the end of March to mid-April.

The Philosophers Path is a whimsical walkway lined with Sakura trees that create an otherworldly canopy to walk beneath. The photo opportunities here are endless.

5 Dine at Kichi Kichi Omurice

To set yourself apart from the other Instagrammers visiting Kyoto, make a reservation at Kichi Kichi Omurice for a unique photo and dining experience. This small, intimate restaurant boasts world-class Japanese omelet dishes and incredible entertainment. Chef Motokichi Yukimura is famous for his music dish and the show he puts on while preparing it.

Take a memorable Instagram photo of the mouthwatering food once it's served or pose for a picture with Chef Yukimura himself after dinner.

4 Soak in the Kurama Hot Spring

Japan is famous for its hot springs and the onsen is an experience that travelers shouldn’t miss when visiting Kyoto. One of the best onsens to visit near Kyoto is the Kurama Hot Spring. Spend a night here in a traditional Ryokan to get the full experience.

It’s traditional to be completely naked when bathing in an onsen and you should never take pictures while in a public bath.

However, in a private onsen, it’s possible to set up the shot with discreet framing to capture the beautiful scene for Instagram.

Related: Kyoto Vs. Tokyo: Which Japanese Destination Should You Visit?

3 Stroll Pontocho Alley After Dark

Pontocho Alley is a narrow laneway in Kyoto for pedestrians only. It’s one of the most atmospheric locations in the city, especially after nightfall. The walking street is lit with cozy lanterns and lined with top-tier restaurants where travelers can grab dinner or a drink.

Capture the magic of this alley by framing the photo with the street perfectly centered and the subject walking away from the camera in the middle of the shot.

2 Visit Shirakawa-Dori

Kyoto is full of picturesque buildings, streets, and neighborhoods, but one that visitors simply can’t miss is Shirakawa-Dori. This street is located in Gion and is famous for its beautiful flowers, the bridge over a calm waterway, and historic buildings reminiscent of times long forgotten.

Posing on the bridge in daylight during cherry blossom season is one way to get an instantly Instagrammable photo. However, Shirakawa-Dori also looks amazing at night when lanterns emit a warm glow, casting light onto the street and river.

Related: This Is Why So Many People Are Falling In Love With Kyoto, Japan

1 Canoe on the Kamo River in Spring

Most travelers visiting Japan in the spring are hoping for a photo on the water, surrounded by pink florals as they paddle a canoe. The place to get this shot in Kyoto is on the Kamo River from late March to early April.

Some travelers will want a photo of themselves in the canoe for Instagram, in which case they should travel with a friend or partner who can take the photo of them from the shore. Solo travelers may need to ask a friendly stranger to help them capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience or they can set up a self-timer while leaving their camera and tripod on the riverbank.