Kyoto has a strong image of shrines and temples, but that is not all Kyoto has to offer! Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and has abundant nature so there are many activities for active children and families to enjoy. This time we will introduce activities that can be enjoyed by children and families even on rainy days and cold winter days.
1. Enjoy Cycling in Kyoto with Children
Our first recommendation is cycling! Cycle through the town of Kyoto with your family while enjoying the seasonal nature. If you use a bicycle, you can go to various places without traffic congestion! Please consider your destinations according to your child’s age and physical strength.
For more on cycling in Kyoto, see
2. Go to the top of Fushimi Inari with Children
How far do the red torii gates in Fushimi Inari go? They continue to the summit of Mt. Inari! Going up, the number of people decreases and you can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere, so it will be an unforgettable memory for your family. This is a good activity to do with kids aged 6 and up. You can sometimes even see parents climbing while babywearing their smaller children. It takes about 3 hours round trip.
For more on Fushimi Inari, see
3. Hiking at Keage Incline
Keage Incline is a slope railway that forms a section of a boating route via Lake Biwa Canal in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. It is located between Nanzen-ji Temple and Keage. It was used from 1891 to 1948 and is now a national historic site and a tourist attraction. In the spring the cherry blossom trees lining the incline bring in many tourists.
It is about a 3 minute walk from Keage Station on the subway or a 5 minute walk from Hosshoj-ji city bus stop.
From Awataguchi Yamashita-cho to Nanzenji Kusakawa-cho Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi
4. Hozugawa River Cruise – Thrilling for Parents and Children
Your family can enjoy the Hozugawa River cruise, a ride that lasts about 2 hours. In some parts of the ride the rapids cause splashing water and you may even think you will hit rocks along the way, sure to be thrilling for everyone. Even on a rainy day or winter, the boats have covers and even a stove to keep you warm, so this is something you can do even when the weather isn’t great.
For more on the Hozugawa River Cruise, see
5. Enjoy Hiking and Japanese Tea in the Countryside
One of the tours offered by Kyoto with Kids: Family Tours is a Family Picnic in a Tea Field is perfect for active families. For those interested, we can add trekking in the unique mountains of the area. Along the way there are spots where you can see fossils which is exciting for both parents and children!
For more on Kyoto with Kids: Family Tours – Family Picnic in a Tea Field, see
6. Enjoy Swimming in Summer and Ice Skating in Winter with your family
For families who want to stay active even on rainy days or cold winter days, check out Kyoto Aquarena. Take the Hankyu train and get off at Saikyogoku, about 10 minutes from the center of Kyoto. There is a large indoor pool here and an indoor skating rink in winter. Recommended for families who like spots not in guidebooks!
64 Daijidangoden-cho Nishikyogoku Ukyo-ku Kyoto-shi
For Families with Active Children – How about a hotel with a pool?!
Kids and families who love pools can choose a hotel with a pool where they can swim anytime. My favorite hotel is The Westin Miyako Kyoto. The indoor pool is 20m long with 4 lanes. The outdoor pool for summer is shallow so perfect for families with small children. It was renewed in 2019 and the renewal plans included adding a hot tub.
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
1 Kacho-cho Awataguchi Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi
Active kids and families will be satisfied with what Kyoto has to offer!
Kyoto may be mostly known for temples and shrines, but there are activities that will satisfy even the most active families. We hope that you and your family will enjoy some of these more active experiences. Traveling with kids gives you the perfect chance to do something a little different from what is listed in the guidebooks to get you and them moving a little more during your trip.