Tour Kyoto’s famous landmarks all in one day, traveling by rail from Osaka! Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites in the former royal capital, including Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) and Kiyomizu Temple. You'll observe classical Japanese life in the elegant gardens of Heian Shrine, explore the Kyoto Imperial Palace and view 1,001 Bodhisattva statues at Sanjusangendo Hall. A local guide offers informative commentary throughout your day trip, including lunch, until you return to Osaka by train.
- Instant Confirmation
- Day trip (destination A to B)
- Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
- Lunch included
- Rail Tour
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
Start your full-day tour of Kyoto highlights at Nijo Castle, a 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage site that housed Tokugawa shoguns for 265 years. View the castle’s impressive fortifications such as the wide moat, heavy gate and massive stone walls — in contrast with its lavish interiors decorated in gold leaf. Explore the lovely gardens that feature groves of plum and cherry trees, with great photo opportunities during any season.
Note: When Nijo Castle is closed you’ll visit Ryoan-ji Temple instead.
Next, your guide reveals the splendor of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinkaku-ji Temple, home to the celebrated Golden Pavilion. Stroll through one of the world's most authentic Japanese gardens at Kyoto's most popular Zen temple before heading to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. This ancient palace was the residence of the imperial family until the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868, and clearly shows the Japanese aesthetic for purity, simplicity and tranquility.
Note: When the Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed, the tour will visit Kitano Shrine (Kitano Tenman-gu) instead. This famous shrine, known as the god of study, has been designated a national treasure. It is especially worth seeing for its Japanese plum blossoms and colored leaves.
After a Japanese-style lunch (vegetarian option available) and the opportunity to shop at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, re-board the coach for Heian Shrine. Your guide will point out the brightly colored shrine with its vermilion pillars and green roof that, along with enchanting inner gardens and ponds, reflect the elegance of life in the ancient Japanese court.
At Sanjusangendo Hall, explore Japan's longest wooden structure, which honors the goddess of mercy. You’ll be rewarded with the sight of the 1,000-armed wooden statue of Kannon, in addition to 1,001 Bodhisattva statues standing alongside her.
Continue your tour with a visit to Kiyomizu Temple, another spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy panoramic views of Kyoto from its lofty terrace, surrounded by cherry and maple trees. This is a great place to take in the changing seasons — especially the breathtaking canopy of blossoms in spring.
Your tour concludes with a guided trip on the JR rail back to Osaka Station, where you’ll make your own way back to your hotel.
Recent Photos of this Tour
Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.
Pickup is available from select hotels in Osaka only (Hotel Granvia Osaka, Hilton Osaka, Swissotel Nankai)
- 7:15am from Hotel Granvia Osaka
- 7am from Hilton Osaka
- 6:45am from Swissotel Nankai
Hotel pickups commence prior to this time, you must contact the local service provider to verify your exact pickup time.
Tour concludes upon arrival at Osaka Station at approximately 6:30pm.
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 Day Tour of Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and Sanjusangendo from Osaka
- Hotel pickup (from selected Osaka hotels only) to the Osaka station
- Round-trip JR rail ticket from Osaka to Kyoto
- Japanese Lunch
- Admission fees
- English-speaking guide
- Gratuities (optional)
- Hotel drop-off
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
- Wheelchair accessible - if assistance is required, passenger must provide their own carer
- 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
- Some parts of pathway on this tour are gravel
- 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
- During the Jidai Festival on October 22, Heian Shrine is closed to the public and will be replaced by Chishaku-in Temple.
- During the Gion Festival (July 14-16), drop-off service to Karasuma Kyoto Hotel and Hotel Monterey Kyoto is unavailable due to traffic regulations.
- On Tuesdays in January, July, August, and December, or Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday, Nijo Castle is closed. The tour will visit Ryoanji Temple or Daitokuji Daisen-in Temple instead
- You will be asked for your full name, nationality, gender and age to follow the necessary procedures before entering Kyoto Imperial Palace
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: Steve G, August 2016
This is second time using Kyoto tour. First time my wife and I enjoyed the tour 13 years ago. This time bringing our children along. Lunch break was held at same location which was all familiar. It's worth it and no complains.
Reviewed by: Ciaran H, July 2016
Really great tour. Guide was fantastic and the lunch stop was good, compared to the quality of most tour lunch stops.
The guides were very informative and had a great depth of knowledge. Come highly recommended from me.