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
- Please note: Make sure you select the correct pickup location at checkout, as failure to appear at the pickup location at the scheduled time and location may result in a cancellation of your reservation with no refund
- Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed on Monday and, if Monday is a national holiday, Monday will be open and the following day will be closed. When Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed, you will visit Kitano-tenmangu Shrine instead. The schedule applies to the period before and after the public viewing of Kyoto Imperial Palace in April and Oct, and the Aoi Festival from May 14-17, as well as other Imperial Household events
- 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: Pallavi M, October 2016
You cant ask for more! The Kyoto tour was very good! I am amazed at the effortless experience these tour operators provide us with meticulous planning!! The full day tour included the most important places out of the innumerable historical places in Kyoto. English speaking enthusiastic guide gave basic information of Japan and Kyoto in a lighter vein. We had 45 mins stop for most places that included Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Buddhist temple of Sanju-Sangendo Hall and the Kiyomizu Temple that offered panoramic views of Kyoto. Kiyomizu being the last stop, we left the tour to soak in the environment. I would have liked more time in each place but that is the compromise you need to do.
Reviewed by: Karineh G, October 2016
All in all, a great way to see Kyoto if you only have a day. Our guide was great fun and very helpful. The most impressive place was by far the Kiyomizu-dera temple complex.