Kyoto City Tour: Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace and Handicraft Center
- Instant Confirmation
- Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
- Buffet lunch included
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
Nijo Castle was constructed in 1603 for the Tokugawa shogun. Note the contrast between the castle’s solemn exterior—with massive gate, stone walls and moat—and brightly decorated interiors that shimmer with gold leaf. Hear about the squeaky ‘nightingale’ floors, designed to make noise that warned residents of intruders.
Continue to the second World Heritage site on your tour, Kinkaku-ji Temple, the most popular temple in Kyoto. Learn from your guide about the history of the temple as you view its exquisite Japanese gardens and breathtaking Golden Pavilion.
Next up, head to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, where the imperial family lived from 794 until 1869 when the capital moved to Tokyo. As you hear about its fascinating history, your guide shows you around the stunning palace, including the Shishinden, considered one of the most important buildings on the grounds. Imperial coronations and other royal ceremonies have taken place in the Shishinden.
Take a break from sightseeing for a delicious Japanese-style lunch, then travel by coach to the Kyoto Handicraft Center.
At the Handicraft Center, experience the Japanese arts firsthand during a workshop on traditional crafts. Choose to make either a woodblock print or cloisonné pendant with a staff artist who teaches you about the craft and provides the necessary materials. Afterward, take your artwork home with you as a souvenir of your time in Kyoto.
Your tour ends after the craft-making workshop. You may want to browse in the Handicraft Center’s excellent gift shop before making your own way back to your hotel.
- Nijo Castle, will be closed every Tuesday in January, July, August and December. Instead you'll visit Ryoan-ji Temple, famed for its zen gardens and temple.
- Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Instead you'll visit Kitano-tenmangu Shrine, one of Japan's most important shrines honoring the Shinto god of education and scholarship.
Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.
Hotel pickups commence prior to this time, you must contact the local service provider to verify your exact pickup time.
Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.
Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace including Lunch
- Hotel pickup (from selected Kyoto hotels only)
- Transportation by Motorcoach
- Admission Fees
- Buffet lunch
- Handicraft Center activity (woodblock or cloisonné)
- English speaking guide
- Hotel drop-off
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 7 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
- Pickup is available for this tour at selected central Kyoto hotels; if you are not staying at one of the selected hotels, please choose the most convenient one from the list at checkout
- You will be asked for your full name, nationality, gender and age to follow the necessary procedures before entering Kyoto Imperial Palace
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
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.
Reviewed by: Barbara L, August 2015
Excellent tour and guide.
Reviewed by: Ngakane C, March 2014
Was a great introduction to a fantastic city. The tour guide and bus driver were very professional, curteous and knowledgeable. Really enjoyed everything we saw and visited and ate! I was travelling with my six year old son and he also had a memorable trip. Definitely will recommend this tour to family and friends.