Discover tranquil temples, Imperial palaces and ancient shrines on this 9-hour full-day Kyoto sightseeing tour. Explore top city attractions such as Nijo Castle and the ornate gardens of Kinkaku-ji Temple. Visit the Kiyomizu Temple and the Kyoto Imperial Palace, once home to the Imperial family. Marvel at the Heian Shrine and behold the Thousand Armed Kannon at Sanju-Sangendo Hall. This tour is ideally suited to those short on time keen to explore Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage. Please note there’s quite a lot of walking involved.
- Instant Confirmation
- Comprehensive tour of the city
- All entrance fees included
- Buffet lunch included
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Hotel pickup included
Following a morning pickup from your Kyoto hotel, meet your guide and hop aboard your air-conditioned coach to begin your city tour. Widely considered to be the cradle of Japan's cultural heritage, Kyoto was the country’s capital and the Emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. Today it stands as Japan’s seventh largest city, with a population of 1.4 million people and a modern face which belies its status as Japan's most traditional city.
Head first to Nijo Castle, noted for the stark contrast between its solemn appearance and beautiful interior. Built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun, Nijo Castle is a joy to explore. Wander past the inner walls to Honmaru Palace and its garden, and hear of their history and heritage from your guide. Discover Ninomaru Palace with its five connecting buildings made of cypress — lavishly decorated in gold leaf — and admire the kitchens, guard house and extensive gardens.
Continue on to the Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto's most popular temple. Explore the authentic and exquisite Japanese garden — widely considered to be the most authentic and exquisite of its kind in the world — and the celebrated Golden Pavilion.
Follow your guide on a walk through the Kyoto Imperial Palace, where the Japanese taste for simplicity and calmness can best be appreciated. (Please note that before entering the Kyoto Imperial Palace you will be required to fill out a form with personal information such as your full name, sex, age, and nationality.) The palace was the residence of the Imperial family until the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868, and its history is fascinating. Marvel at the Shishinden Imperial state chamber — where enthronement ceremonies took place — and gain valuable insight into ancient Japanese royalty.
Admire the brightly colored Heian Shrine, then visit the Buddhist temple of Sanju-Sangendo Hall — where famous deity the Thousand Armed Kannon sits in wait — and marvel at the 1,000 life-size statues flanking the grand hall.
Follow your guide along a quaint old lane lined with pottery shops to conclude your tour at the Kiyomizu Temple, and enjoy panoramic views over the entire city of Kyoto from your vantage point on its lofty terrace.
After approximately nine hours exploring Kyoto’s many top attractions, return to your original departure point with your guide to conclude your tour.
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8:40am from Karasuma Kyoto Hotel (Front)
8:20am from Kyoto Hotel Okura (Lobby)
8:25am from Kyoto Avanti B1F (Sunrise Tour Desk)
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 Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple
- Professional guide
- Transport by air-conditioned coach
- Entrance fees
- Hotel pickup (selected hotels only)
- Local tax
- Gratuities (optional)
- 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
- Wheelchair accessible - if assistance is required, passenger must provide their own carer
- Some parts of road on this tour are gravel and steep inclines
- Infant rates apply provided they do not occupy a seat
- Infant meals not included
- 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
- On Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays, Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed. On these days, the tour will visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The same is true of 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 be visited instead of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
- On Tuesdays (or Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday) in January, July, August, and December and over the year-end New Year's holidays, Nijo Castle is closed. The tour will visit Ryoan-ji Temple instead
- During the Jidai Festival on October 22, Heian Jingu Shrine is closed to the public and will be replaced in the itinerary by Chishaku-in Temple. If the Jidai Festival is postponed, we will follow suit with the itinerary change
- During the Gion Festival (July 14 - 16), drop-off service to Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto, and Hotel Monterey Kyoto will be unavailable due to traffic restrictions
- Connection to the Kyoto Maiko Dinner is available at Kyoto Hotel and Kiyomizu-dera Temple's bus parking lot. Connection to the Kyoto Night Tour is available at Kyoto Hotel Okura and Kiyomizu-dera Temple's bus parking lot
- This tour will not enter Heian Jingu Shrine's Shin-en garden
- Please inform us if you would like a vegetarian menu at the time of booking
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: Joshua S, August 2016
Everything I wanted to see of Kyoto in one day. Other than Arashiyama. It would be nice if they could sneak that in somehow, but the tour is packed full already. We really liked our tour guide, KC. Knowledgable, very nice, polite. Would recommend.
Reviewed by: Graham B, August 2016
Excellent tour covering some fascinating sites. Guide was excellent on Japanes history.