4.5 star rating: Recommended 380 Reviews

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  • Location:Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

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.


  • 9-hour tour of Kyoto's cultural and historic attractions
  • Discover top city highlights such as Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple and the Heian Shrine
  • Explore the Kyoto Imperial Palace with your guide, once residence of Japan’s Imperial family
  • Admire the Thousand Armed Kannon and the legion of 1,000 life-size statues at the Buddhist temple of Sanju-Sangendo Hall
  • Visit the Kiyomizu Temple and enjoy panoramic views over Kyoto from the temple’s terrace
  • Tour includes a pickup from selected Kyoto hotels

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What You Can Expect

Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

Admire the famous Heian Shrine during your walking tour in Kyoto

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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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Tour guide was informative, helpful with a great sense of humor. Helped to get a feel for the city and history.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great tour! Saw and learned a lot

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Great tour, very complete, we manage to visit 6 of the top 10 sights in Kyoto. Our guide was excellent and very informative and helpful

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

excellent guide and itinerary. I could never have covered as much territory in one day. Great overview of the main sites in Kyoto - which enabled us to do other sightseeing during the rest of our Kyoto stay, knowing we had seen the key places first. Highly recommend this tour as it is great value, lunch was excellent.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Everything was great, seeing all the temples and shrines was wonderful and our guides where fantastic. The only complaint would have to be the meal. It was extremely small, the main was apparently chicken but all we received was two tiny pieces, the tempura was cold by the time we got there also.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour, well organised and with good lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

perfect timing. good meal.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Must stop sites to see and explore. While you can't go into Nijo Castle, it was still magnificent to see this building along the small lake. Just gorgeous.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

What was amazing about this tour was that they took you to an excellent variety of castles, shrines and temples, plus a great lunch included. All the while, never feeling rushed and like we had plenty of time at every location. It was great to have that many locations 6 total a lunch in 1 tour, which really gave you a great sense of the history and culture of Kyoto. Some tours try to squeeze a lot in and feel rushed, but not this one, although that was also because everything was close together, so that limited time spent on the road and bus. The tour guide was also excellent. Would recommend this tour to everyone looking to get a great sense of Kyoto history and culture in 1 day!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

great tour , value for money , guide was fantastic

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Tour code: 2142KYO_N100


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