4.5 star rating: Recommended 55 Reviews

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  • Location:Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration:4 hours (approx.)

Kyoto Afternoon Tour: Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu Temple

Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of Kyoto on an afternoon guided tour through the former capitol’s vibrant shrines and temples. Admire the alluring green and red Heian Shrine. Stroll Sanjusangendo Hall with its 1,001 Kannon statues and the Kiyomizu Temple where you’ll enjoy sweeping city views from the large terrace. All entry fees are included.


  • Walk through Sanjusangendo Temple, Japan's longest wooden structure
  • Sweeping views of Kyoto city from Kiyomizu Temple
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Informative and friendly guide

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What You Can Expect

Kyoto Afternoon Tour: Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu Temple

Kyoto Afternoon Tour: Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu Temple

Your tour begins in the afternoon with an introduction to your guide who will lead you to the different stops and inform you of their cultural and religious significances and histories. Kyoto was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. Now the country’s seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people, Kyoto has a distinct dichotomy of traditional and modern offerings.
 Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its historic value, the city was not chosen as a target of air raids during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.

Explore Sanjusangendo Hall in eastern Kyoto during your first stop. At 120 meters long (394 feet), this wooden hall is the longest in Japan and houses all of 1,001 statues of Kannon, Bodhisattva, that date back to the 13th century.

Next is the dramatic and colorful Heian Jingu Shrine. Admire this brightly colored shrine, with its vermilion pillars and green roof, and its enchanting inner gardens and ponds that reflects the elegance of life in the ancient Japanese court. Please note the tour will not enter the shrine’s Shin-en garden.

Stroll the quaint old lane lined with pottery shops leading up to the famous Kiyomizu Temple, also known as Kiyomizu-dera. Listen to your guide explain the history of this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Enjoy a sweeping view of the entire city of Kyoto from its lofty terrace and grand walkways that meander through the Higashiwama mountain’s foothills.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

As there are so many sights in Kyoto to visit, I would recommend doing this tour on your first day to orientate yourself. It was great to visit three sites and hear about the history of each site from our very informative and entertaining tour guide.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great job with the palaces but they are major tourist draws. Lots of people trying to see the same stuff.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Very well organized and everything ran on time. Guide was knowledgeable and informative. Had a good time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

This could have easily been a full day tour. So much to see and so interesting.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

A perfect introduction to the most spectacular temples and shrines in my favorite city in all of Asia. Kiyomizu is a must-see especially for the first timer in Kyoto.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

This afternoon tour was by far one of the most beautiful parts of our entire trip. These temples and shrines are a must and this tour makes it easy to get to all of them with some info since not a lot is in English. Excellent tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Mickey, our guide, was very knowledgeable. He was equipped with a microphone, thus enabling everyone taking the tour to hear the info on each site we visited. He had a terrific sense of humour as well. The tour featured a shrine and two temples, each very different from one another. Though it was a cold and (almost) rainy day, the experience of visiting the sites was unique and most interesting.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Great tour guide. He helped us find things to do for the next day and was extremely knowledgable about his subjects.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Wonderful tour. Takes you in just an afternoon to some of the more pleasant sights in Kyoto. Besides visiting several important temples, it takes you to a top of a hill from where you get a great view of the surroundings and also through an interesting market that has all kinds of gifts and curios. Certainly worth going on this tour.

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Tour code: 2142KYO_N280


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