- 7-hour tour to Ninjo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kyoto Handicraft Center
- Explore one of Japan’s most well-preserved cities by coach with a knowledgeable local guide
- Visit two of Kyoto's World Heritage sites: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji Temple
- Watch Japanese artists demonstrate traditional craft techniques at the Kyoto Handicraft Center
- Learn how to make your own Japanese craft during a hands-on workshop with a professional artist
- Enjoy a Japanese-style buffet lunch
- Includes pickup from selected Kyoto hotels
What You Can Expect
Start your excursion with a morning pickup from select Kyoto hotels. Travel by coach to your first stop of the day, the UNESCO World Heritage site Nijo Castle, listening to a history lesson on the city of Kyoto from your guide on the way.
Arrive at Nijo Castle, an imposing structure built for the Tokugawa Shogun in 1603. You’ll perceive a stark difference between the castle’s fortress-like exterior walls and moat and its brilliantly-designed interior spaces, which sparkle with gold-leaf details. You’ll also hear about the castle’s “nightingale” floors, squeaky surfaces that were used to detect unwanted invaders by the Castle dwellers.
Continue next to Kinkaku-ji Temple, another World Heritage site and arguably the most visited in Kyoto. Check out the Golden Pavilion and impressive gardens within the temple’s grounds as you hear about the temple’s construction and origin from your guide.
Proceed next to the Imperial Palace of Kyoto, the one-time home of the Imperial Family between 794 and 1869 when Tokyo took over as seat of the empire. Admire the Palace’s Shishinden, perhaps the most beautiful structure within the complex, and the ceremonial go-to spot for events like royal coronations.
Stop your sightseeing for a short break, during which you’ll enjoy a lunch of traditional Japanese cuisine. Then continue on to the final visit of the day at the Kyoto Handicraft Center.
This workshop offers an intimate look at the creation process behind some of Japan’s traditional arts and handicrafts. Decide to make either a woodblock print or a cloisonné pendant, following the instructions of a staff artist who watches your progress and provides the materials. You’ll leave your session with a wonderful personalized souvenir of your Kyoto excursion.
Take a few moments after your workshop lesson to browse the center’s gift shop before making your own way back to your hotel or your next destination.
- Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays in January, July, August and December. Check out Ryoan-ji Temple, famed for its Zen gardens and temple as a replacement.
- Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed Saturdays, Sundays and for public holidays. Explore Kitano-tenmangu Shrine, a key Shinto site celebrating the god of scholarship and education, instead.
Excellent tour and guide.
Was a great introduction to a fantastic city. The tour guide and bus driver were very professional, curteous and knowledgeable. Really enjoyed everything we saw and visited and ate! I was travelling with my six year old son and he also had a memorable trip. Definitely will recommend this tour to family and friends.
Excellent tour in every respect. Guide was very knowledgeable, locations excellent, bus and driver fault-less, even the group lunch was first rate. We were the only couple to undertake the Handicraft Centre activity after lunch and it was a unique experience - learning how to enamel and how to do woodblock printing. Highly recommend this tour and this company.
This was an excellent morning tour to visit 3 of Kyoto's main attractions. Tammy was an entertaining guide with terrific local knowledge and experience. We were lucky to visit the Imperial Palace during one of there two 'open weeks' of the year and Tammy's expertise came to the fore. The Handicraft Centre was well worth the visit. I enjoyed creating my own woodblock prints with a one to one teacher. I even went back the following day to purchase two professionally made woodblock prints.
The tour was nice but the tour company had several buses go to each site at once as well as other tour companies. Each place was swarming with the same tour groups. Other than that, I enjoyed the tour.
Excellent tour! The tour guide was knowledgeable, funny and easy to understand. The bus was clean and well presented. The sites visited were amazing.
Taking the tour made one day of our trip a little less stressful.
Sometimes felt a little rushed, but understandable given that the tour had to be at the palace at a specific time.
Only the outside of the palace was visited - again, understandable, but not mentioned anywhere.
The food provided at lunchtime might not be to everyone's liking - certainly not a western style buffet!
We were able to walk the tour at our own pace and had plenty of opportunities for photos. Mickey the tour guide was fantastic; his English was easy to understand; he kept the group to time and well formed. Highly recommend this tour.
It was a good tour
ANTHONY S USA