The two major sights in central Kyoto are the opulent Nijo Castle and the more modest Imperial Palace. Visiting the latter requires permission, and you must join a guided tour. Central Kyoto is a big shopping destination: west of the Kamogawa to Karasuma-dori and on the north–south axis between Shijo-dori and Oike-dori, there are department stores, specialty shops, and restaurants. The walk (from 20 to 30 minutes) down Sanjo-dori from the south end of Nijo Castle to eastern Kyoto is loaded with tea- and coffeehouses, international cuisine, high-end boutiques, and museums.
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