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Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

245 Reviews

  • Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
  • Tour code: 2142KYO_N110
Explore the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara on this full-day tour from Kyoto. In the morning, visit UNESCO World Heritage sites Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji, as well as Kyoto Imperial Palace. Then travel to Nara to visit World Heritage–listed Todai-ji temple complex (including Great Buddha Hall) and Kasuga Shrine. Plus, see the famous wild deer that roam Nara (you can even feed them!) and enjoy a Japanese-style lunch. It's a packed day, but by the end you'll have seen some of Japan's most important ancient landmarks.


  • Instant Confirmation
  • Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Your day trip starts with morning pickup for the Kyoto sightseeing portion of your tour. Known as the cradle of Japan's cultural heritage, Kyoto was the country’s capital and home of the Japanese emperor from 794 until 1868. Thus, it boasts many important temples and other sites, several of which make up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.

With your guide, visit some of the highlights of this ancient city, starting with Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun until the mid-1800s. This World Heritage–listed castle was built in 1603 and is noted for the contrast of its solemn appearance with its gorgeous interiors. You have about 50 minutes here to explore.

Next, visit Kyoto's most popular temple, Kinkaku-ji, another World Heritage site and the home to what is perhaps the world's most exquisite Japanese garden. It’s also home to the celebrated Golden Pavilion, a 3-story structure covered in gold leaf and extended out over a pond. Make sure your camera is ready because it makes a great photo op. Spend about 45 minutes here.

Continue your tour to Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of the emperors of Japan. During your 40 minutes here, visit the Shishin-den, where important state ceremonies took place, and get a feel for the Japanese aesthetic of purity, simplicity and calmness as you explore the palace grounds.

Take a break from sightseeing for lunch, and then re-board your coach for the 1-hour drive south of Kyoto to Nara, where you’ll visit two of the temples and shrines that make up the UNESCO World Heritage site the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.

Start at Todai-ji, a temple complex famous for being home to one of the world’s largest bronze statues of the Buddha, housed in the Great Buddha Hall. You have about one hour here to explore the temple grounds and surrounding Nara Park.

Then head to colorful Kasuga Shrine, famous for the 3,000 bronze lanterns that line its interior. You have 40 minutes here before continuing to a section of Nara Park, aka Deer Park, where tame sika deer roam freely and can be hand-fed (special food can be purchased from vendors, if you wish). If time and/or traffic conditions permit, you will also stop at a souvenir shop before heading back to Kyoto, where your day trip ends.

Sample lunch menu (regular):

  • Sukiyaki (a stew-like hot dish with chicken)
  • Tempura (battered and deep-fried seafood and vegetables)
  • Japanese-style omelet
  • Potato salad
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Rice
  • Fruit
Sample lunch menu (vegetarian):
  • Tofu
  • Tempura (battered and deep-fried vegetables)
  • Vegetable spring roll
  • Potato salad
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Rice
  • Fruit

Recent Photos of this Tour

Schedule details

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Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
2015: Tour departs from New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto (click on the 'View additional info' link on the Overview tab to see a map of New Miyako Hotel); pickup beforehand from other select Kyoto hotels is available

2016: Tour departs from Kyoto Avanti Hotel or selected hotels in Kyoto
Departure Time:
2015: 8:35am from Kyoto New Miyako Hotel

2016: 8:25am from Kyoto Avanti Hotel

Hotel pickups commence prior to this time, you must contact the local service provider to verify your exact pickup time.

10 hours (approx.)
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point

Pricing information

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Pricing information

Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

  • Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned coach
  • Entrance fees, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup (select hotels only)
  • Local tax
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Entrance to Treasures Hall
  • Entrance to Manyo Botanical Gardens at Kasuga Shrine
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless you are booking within 7 days of travel. In this case, confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible - if assistance is required, passenger must have his or her own caregiver
  • Some parts of roads on this tour are gravel and include steep inclines
  • Vegetarian lunch option is available; please advise at time of booking if required
  • Please note that on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed; on these days, you will visit Kitano-tenmangu Shrine; the same is true for the period before and after the public viewing of Kyoto Imperial Palace in spring and autumn, May 14-17 due to the Aoi Festival, New Year's holidays and whenever there is an Imperial Household event
  • On Jan 25, Apr 25, Jul 25 and Oct 25, Nishi Hongan-ji Temple will serve as the alternative for Kitano-tenmangu Shrine, when applicable
  • Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays (or Wednesdays if Tuesday is a national holiday) in January, July, August and December, as well as over the New Year's holidays; you will visit Ryoan-ji Temple on these days
  • During the Gion Festival (July 14-16), drop-off service at Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto and Hotel Monterey Kyoto will be unavailable due to traffic restrictions
  • The tour may not visit Nara Nagomikan if it is closed or due to traffic conditions
  • Please note, hotel pickup is available from selected hotels in Kyoto. If you cannot find your hotel on the list, please choose the nearest offered hotel or meet directly at the meeting point
Terms and Conditions:
If you cancel at least 8 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Voucher Info:
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Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: Elisha P, November 2015

Great day and a wonderful lunch in the heart of Kyoto. This tour covers a lot of ground that might otherwise be difficult to pack into a day trip yourself. Highly recommended

Reviewed by: John H, November 2015

Full day tour with knowlegeble and helpful tour guide

From USD $122.27

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Tour code: 2142KYO_N110