The Ancient City of Kyoto Tour (Full-Day, Morning or Afternoon)

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Explore Kyoto, learn about its history and visit its most beautiful sights! Nijo Castle, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Jingu Shrine, Sanjusangendo Temple and the Kiyomizudera Temple are just some of the interesting places you'll get to see.

Highlights
  • See some of Kyoto's remarkable UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites - Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera
  • Walk through the Kyoto Imperial Palace, former residence of the Imperial family
  • Visit the Heian Jingu Shrine and Sanjusangendo Temple
  • Enjoy Japanese-style lunch
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide throughout
  • With pick-up from select Kyoto hotels

Description

Experience Kyoto, Japan's capital from 794 - 1868. Visit Nijo Castle, the residence of the Tokugawa era shoguns, and the gold-leaf covered Golden Pavilion, which houses sacred relics of Buddha and is surrounded by exquisite gardens renowned for their beauty. Walk through Kyoto Imperial Palace and see its elegant interiors. Visit Heian Jingu Shrine, a partial replica of the Imperial Palace. Walk through Sanjusangendo Temple, Japan's longest wooden structure, famous for its 1,001 human-sized Kannon statues, and browse through the specialty shops leading up to Kiyomizudera Temple for a sweeping view of the city.

Nijo Castle

The Kyoto Residence of the Tokugawa Shogun built in 1603, Nijo Castle is noted for the contrast of its solemn appearance and gorgeous interiors.

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

The most authentic and exquisite Japanese-style garden in the world, plus the celebrated Golden Pavilion.

Kyoto Imperial Palace*

The ancient Imperial Palace clearly shows the Japanese taste for purity, simplicity and calmness.

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

The main shrine has been designated a national treasure. It is famous as the God of Study.

Enjoy Japanese and Western-style buffet lunch before we continue to Heian-Jingu Shrine.

Heian Jingu Shrine

Graceful old court life is reflected in the brightly colored shrine with its vermilion pillars and green roof, and in its enchanting inner gardens and ponds.

Sanjusangendo Hall

A renowned long wooden hall housing 1,001 statues of the Buddhist deity Kannon that date back to the 13th century.

Kiyomizudera Temple

A quaint old lane lined with pottery shops leads to the temple. Enjoy a sweeping view of the entire city from its lofty terrace.

selected Kyoto hotels.

  • Children 5 years old and below are free of charge, provided they sit on an adult's lap. If they need a seat, they will be charged (child rates).

  • *The Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed every Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday) and whenever there is an Imperial Household event. On these days, tour will visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine instead.

  • Please note that you are required to follow necessary procedures before entering the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Please give your full name, nationality, gender and age upon entry.

  • Please provide advance notice if your party consists of 5 or more Japanese citizens. Your party's entry to the Kyoto Imperial Palace may be denied if advance notice is not given.

  • On Tuesdays (Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday) in January, July, August, and December, Nijo Castle is closed. The tour will visit Ryoanji Temple or Daitokuji Daisen-in Temple instead.

  • Drop off service to the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel is not available during the Gion Festival (July 14 - 17).

  • Pick-up service from Kyoto Hotel Okura, Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, Hotel Monterey Kyoto and Nikko Princess Kyoto will not be available during the Gion Festival (17 July) and the Jidai Festival (22 October) due to traffic restrictions.

  • Connection point for Kyoto Maiko Dinner will change from Rihga Royal to Kyoto Hotel Okura (Kiyomizu Temple still available also).

  • This tour will not enter Heian Jingu Shrine's Shin-en garden.

  • Vegetarian option is available.

Includes

  • Admission

  • Bus fare

  • English-speaking guide
Select travel date Please choose your date Can I change my date after booking? Enter number of travelers Choose your option View details and schedule Starting at BEST PRICE GUARANTEED ADD TO CART You will receive your confirmation and voucher by email. Special Promo off Yes! * You can change your date after booking. Once confirmed, you will receive a voucher with all the information about your activity including the provider's local contact details, which you can contact if you have any question or if you need to change the date. We will try our best to accommodate your request. *Subject to availability. Fees might apply. Please check our terms and conditions for more information. Please provide number of traveler(s). Please select option package. Please provide number of traveler(s) and select an option Sorry, this activity is not bookable at this time. Adult ( Age & over ) From Child ( Age & over ) From Infant ( Age & over ) Free
Morning Tour

Duration: 4 - 5 hour(s)
Available: Daily
Pick-up: Available
Inclusions: Admission / Bus fare / English-speaking guide

Schedule

  • 08:50

    Pick-up from select Kyoto hotels or Check-in at AVANTI Sunrise Tours Desk

  • Nijo Castle (50 mins)

    The grounds consist of two concentric rings of fortification, the Honmaru (main circle of defense) and the Ninomaru (secondary circle of defense), along with beautiful gardens and various support buildings.

  • Kinkakuji Temple (45 mins)

    Visit this World Heritage Site, also known as the Golden Pavilion. The wooden architecture is covered in thin layers of pure gold and is surrounded by a beautiful pond.

  • Depending on the day, you will visit one of the following:

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace (All Days Except Mondays) (40 mins)

    Located within the beautiful gardens of Kyoto Gyoen, this architectural beauty was the residence of the Emperor of Japan until 1869.
    *Closed on Mondays except when Monday is a national holiday. The following Tuesday will be closed instead. Also closed from Dec 28 2016 to Jan 4 2017.

  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (Mondays and Days when Imperial Palace is Closed) (40 mins)

    This shrine's main hall is a designated national treasure and is famous for housing the God of scholarship. The shrine is especially beautiful during the plum blossom and autumn leaf seasons.

  • 12:40-13:00

    Tour will disband at Kyoto Station

Adult ( Age & over ) From Child ( Age & over ) From Infant ( Age & over ) Free
Afternoon Tour

Duration: 3:30 - 5 hour(s)
Available: Daily
Pick-up: Available
Inclusions: Admission / Bus fare / English-speaking guide

Schedule

  • 14:00

    Pick-up from AVANTI Sunrise Tours Desk or Handicraft Center

  • Heian Shrine (25 mins)

    One of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. The architecture is modeled after the Kyoto Imperial Palace and is home to one of the largest torii (Japanese-style main gates) in all of Japan.

  • Sanjusangen-do (30 mins)

    This Buddhist temple received the name of Sanjusangen-do (Hall of 33 spaces) because of the architecture of its 120 meter long hall. The hall holds 1,000 statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon, one of the most important Buddhist deities in Japan.

  • Kiyomizudera Temple (70 mins)

    Offering sweeping views of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple famous for its architecture (not a single nail was used in the construction of the temple) and its waters, which are said to have wish-granting powers!

  • 17:30

    Drop-off at select Kyoto Hotels

Adult ( Age & over ) From Child ( Age & over ) From Infant ( Age & over ) Free
1-Day Tour with Lunch

Duration: 9 - 10:30 hour(s)
Available: Daily
Pick-up: Available
Inclusions: Lunch / Admission / Bus fare / English-speaking guide

Schedule

  • 08:50

    Pick-up from select Kyoto hotels or Check-in at AVANTI Sunrise Tours Desk(08:25)

  • Nijo Castle (50 mins)

    The grounds consist of two concentric rings of fortification, the Honmaru (main circle of defense) and the Ninomaru (secondary circle of defense), along with beautiful gardens and various support buildings.

  • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) (45 mins)

    The top two floors of this gorgeous Zen temple are completely covered in gold leaf and surrounded by one of the most exquisite Muromachi Period gardens in the area.

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace (All Days Except Mondays) (40 mins)

    Located within the beautiful gardens of Kyoto Gyoen, this architectural beauty was the residence of the Emperor of Japan until 1869.
    *Closed on Mondays except when Monday is a national holiday. The following Tuesday will be closed instead. Also closed from Dec 28 2016 to Jan 4 2017.

  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (Mondays and Days when Imperial Palace is Closed) (40 mins)

    This shrine's main hall is a designated national treasure and is famous for housing the God of scholarship. The shrine is especially beautiful during the plum blossom and autumn leaf seasons.

  • Lunch

    After a Japanese/Western Buffet lunch, continue your visit!

  • Heian Shrine (25 mins)

    One of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. The architecture is modeled after the Kyoto Imperial Palace and is home to one of the largest torii (Japanese-style main gates) in all of Japan.

  • Sanjusangendo (30 mins)

    This Buddhist temple received the name of Sanjusangendo (Hall of 33 spaces) because of the architecture of its 120 meter long hall. The hall holds 1,000 statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon, one of the most important Buddhist deities in Japan.

  • Kiyomizu Temple (70 mins)

    Offering sweeping views of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple famous for its architecture (not a single nail was used in the construction of the temple) and its waters, which are supposed to grant wishes!

  • 17:30

    Drop-off at select Kyoto hotels

It was fun and very interesting afternoon with our tour guide Kay Zee (I hope I spelled his name correctly). He’s very knowledgeable about the temples we visited and also very engaging. He’s also a good story teller and knows a lot of trivia about Kyoto. I also learned something about geisha as relayed by our guide.
Overall great tour and great experience with our guide.
Highly recommended.

Jerry Palo

Read our 6 review(s)
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  • (For Pick-Up) ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto (Nijojo-Mae,Horikawa-Dori,Nakagyo-Ku Kyoto) Time: 08:50:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto (Karasuma Takatsuji Higashi-iru Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:10:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Karasuma Kyoto Hotel (Shijo-sagaru Karasuma-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:15:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Kyoto Hotel Okura (Kawaramachi-Oike Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:00:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (Gojo-sagaru Horikawa-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:50:00

  • (For Pick-Up) AVANTI Sunrise Tours Desk (Kyoto AVANTI) Time: 08:30:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto (1 Taimatsu-cho Shiokoji-sagaru Higashihorikawa-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:40:00

  • (For Check-Out) Kyoto Station Hachijo Exit Sightseeing Bus Parking Lot (8-3, Higashishiokoji Takakuracho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto) Time: 12:40:00

Pick-up Time & Location

  • (For Pick-Up) ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto (Nijojo-Mae,Horikawa-Dori,Nakagyo-Ku Kyoto) Time: 08:50:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto (Karasuma Takatsuji Higashi-iru Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:10:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Karasuma Kyoto Hotel (Shijo-sagaru Karasuma-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:15:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Kyoto Hotel Okura (Kawaramachi-Oike Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:00:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (Gojo-sagaru Horikawa-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:50:00

  • (For Pick-Up) AVANTI Sunrise Tours Desk (Kyoto AVANTI) Time: 08:30:00

  • (For Pick-Up) Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto (1 Taimatsu-cho Shiokoji-sagaru Higashihorikawa-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city) Time: 08:40:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) Kyoto Station Hachijo Exit Sightseeing Bus Parking Lot (8-3, Higashishiokoji Takakuracho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto) Time: 12:40:00

Price & Options

View details and schedule Free Not Available onwards To

Notes

Restriction(s)
All Packages
  • Please note that Kiyomizudera temple contains many stairs. However, wheelchair accessibility is available but will be taking a different path from the regular tour group.

Requirement(s) - Others
All Packages
  • Guests will be asked to provide personal information such as full name, nationality, gender, and age before entering the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Additional Note(s)
Morning Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays in January, July, August and December. In these circumstances, the tour will visit Ryoanji Temple or Daitokuji Daisen-in Temple instead.

All Packages
  • Pick-up and drop-off services may not be available for some hotels on during certain festivals due to traffic congestion. In these circumstances, please arrange for pick-up and drop-off at an unaffected hotel. Such arrangements will be done on a case-by-case basis.

  • Children (ages 0-5 years) will be able to participate for free under the following conditions. Tour: An individual seat will not be provided. Please have them sit on the lap of their parent or guardian. If there are seats available, they are welcome to use it, however they will not be getting a priority in seating. An individual meal or snack will not be provided as well. If you would like any of the above for children (ages 0-5 years), please book them as a child.

Morning Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed to the public on the following days. During these times, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine will be visited instead: (Mondays, Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday, May 14-17 for the Aoi Festival, New Year's holidays, and whenever there is an Imperial Household event).

Morning Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • The tour will visit Nishi Hongan-ji Temple instead of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on June 25, Sept. 25 and Dec. 25.

Afternoon Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • During the Jidai Festival on October 22, the 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.

Afternoon Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • Areas requiring admission fee at Heian Jingu Shrine will not be visited.

Afternoon Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • During the Gion Festival (Sakimatsuri, July 15 - 16), drop-off service to Karasuma Kyoto Hotel and Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto will be unavailable due to traffic restrictions.

Afternoon Tour,
1-Day Tour with Lunch
  • Please note that due to repair and restoration work, part or all of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple Main Hall will not be visible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click HERE to send an inquiry about this activity.

Reviews

It was fun and very interesting afternoon with our tour guide Kay Zee (I hope I spelled his name correctly). He’s very knowledgeab...le about the temples we visited and also very engaging. He’s also a good story teller and knows a lot of trivia about Kyoto. I also learned something about geisha as relayed by our guide.
Overall great tour and great experience with our guide.
Highly recommended.
more

Jerry Palo

I enjoyed this half day tour. The bus is comfy. Our tour guide nicknamed Kay Zee is a knowledgeable and cheerful guide. His funny ...lines make stories about Kyoto a very engaging sharing of anecdotes about the city.
I wish I have done a full day tour then I could have seen more attractions.
Highly recommended. Thank you to Kay Zee and thank you to JTB sunrise tours
more

Jerry Palo

This tour is a good start for someone like me; first time in Kyoto and clueless but curious!
As one of your classical bus ...
tour, it goes to those major sites that can’t be missed! Plus, it gave me ideas on what to do and where to go in Kyoto for the rest of my trip.
The sweet lady that was my guide was wonderful at picking up the points on where to look. My personal favorite, was the Sanjusangen-do visited in the afternoon. It was first a little scary to have over a 1000 statues looking at you, but at the artistic talent taken to create the life-like statues of the Japanese idols is a personal must see!
Also the Kyoto Handicraft Center visited during lunch had some pretty cool stuff! Kimonos, artwork, jewelry, and even some anime goods. A great place to get an idea for what to buy for an “omiyage”!
Fun and overall interesting, after this trip, I can see why my friends said Kyoto is rich in culture.
more

Kyoto Beginner

We took the monring tour only, with friends and family. The tour was fast, but informative. It really gave you a taste of Japan, t...hat made you itch for more. There is a lot compressed into this tour so time is really of the essence, still we did have time to enjoy and walk around the tour sites. Very good and would definitely recommend. more

Haz

I attended with my wife the afternoon tour. Pick up location was very broad. We ended up looking for the tour guide office for ove...r 15' as it was not indicated that the locqtion is at the basement level of a Mall near the Kyoto station. As a result, we were 2' late. Thankfully the bus that have already left came back because they needed to return a couple of passangers who were wrongfully assigned to our tour.

The first two visits to our tour were great! Very knowledgable tourguide and great Shrines!

On the third one, we were dropped at this great location at the bottom of the shrine. There were a number of stairs that we needed to climb. My wife has an issue with her knee, she wears a knee protective sleeve and she needs to avoid stairs. The tourguide told us there was a longer way to go to the shrine that was built for wheelchair users. She told us that there were a bunch of stores along the way and that we could browse these instead!!! We obviously wanted to attend the tour that we paid, so we tried meet up the group. However, noone was wiating for us at the top and we had to walk around on our own as our group was already on their way down.

The tour could have been better organized and prevent issues like these before hand, or at least let us know in advance that thebtour is not applicable for people with difficulties climbing stairs.
more

Nikos

When we were on the coach I was sat at the front and could hear everything the guide said. Once we were at the shrines the group ...was too big for most of us to hear. Many people just wandered off on their own because they were not benefitting from the guide's input. If you were close to her it was possible to hear but there were too many of us for this to be possible. I enjoyed the shrines but could just have easily made my own way there as I learnt nothing much from the guide. more

Barbara

Cancellation Policy

  • Any cancellations made between 8 business days (18:00:00 local time) to 2 business days (18:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 30% of the total amount.

  • Any cancellations made between 2 business days (18:00:00 local time) to 1 business days (18:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 40% of the total amount.

  • Any cancellations made between 1 business days (18:00:00 local time) to business days (18:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 50% of the total amount.

  • Any cancellations made after 1 hours prior to the activity start time will be subject to a charge a charge of 100% of the total amount.

Change Policy

Please contact Veltra immediately if you make any changes to your booking once it is confirmed, as:

・Any changes made between 18:00 local time, 8 business days to 18:00 local time, 2 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 30% of the total amount.
・Any changes made between 18:00 local time, 2 business days to 18:00 local time, 1 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 40% of the total amount.
・Any changes made between 18:00 local time, 1 business days to 1 hours prior to the activity start time will be subject to a charge of 50% of the total amount.
・Any changes made after 1 hours prior to the activity start time will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.
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