4 star rating: Recommended 127 Reviews

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  • Location:Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration:4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

Soak up temple and palace sights on this half-day guided city tour, great for those who want to see Kyoto’s top attractions in a short time. Travel by coach in the morning and visit UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle and the gold-covered Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) with an informative guide. Then wander through the Kyoto Imperial Palace — home to the emperor until 1868 — and see how royalty lived.


  • Kyoto morning highlights tour
  • Tour the UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle with a knowledgeable guide
  • Marvel at Japanese gardens and design at Kinkakuji Temple and Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Includes pickup from selected Kyoto hotels or New Miyako Hotel

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What You Can Expect

Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

After pickup from the Kyoto New Miyako Hotel or your selected hotel in Kyoto, your first sightseeing stop is Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With your guide, spend almost an hour exploring the former residence of the Tokugawa Shogun, built in 1603.

Noted for the contrast of its solemn appearance and gorgeous interiors, the complex contains the ruins of Honmaru Palace as well as Ninomaru Palace with its five connecting buildings made of cypress. See living quarters lavishly decorated in gold leaf and tour the kitchens, guardhouse and several gardens.

Note: When Nijo Castle is closed, Ryoanji Temple will be visited instead.

Next on your itinerary is Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto's most popular temple. During 45 minutes here, your guide points out perhaps the world's most authentic and exquisite Japanese garden as well as the celebrated Golden Pavilion.

Continue to Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the residence of the imperial family until the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868. View the Shishinden Imperial state chamber where enthronement ceremonies took place, and admire the Japanese taste for simplicity and tranquility.

Note: When Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine or Nishi Honganji Temple will be visited instead.

Your tour ends with drop-off at the Kyoto New Miyako Hotel.

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Customer Reviews

Jesse United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Even though this was my second time on this tour, this was again a really great second tour, lots of visits to historically significant sites such as the Kyoto Imperial Palace and other sites visited. Had great tour guides who were all very knowledgeable regarding past and current historical facts related to the beautiful Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Golden Pavilion, and Nijo Castle. I would recommend this tour to anyone having an interest in the rich history in the Kyoto area.

Megan A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Good overview of Kyoto.

Jenny B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This tour was very interesting and our tour guide was very nice and funny. Can recommend it to anyone visiting Kyoto.

Gary B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Covered the major attractions and our guide was very informative


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Great Tour and Tour Guide

John M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This was an excellent tour of these fabulous historical sites. Our tour guide Tammy was a delightful and entertaining lady, as well as being very informative and organised. We really enjoyed our tour. Thanks!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Well organised tour, great sights to see. If you've a short time frame do this tour, as the sights are a fair distance to each other. Good pick up time, and we finished around 1pm, it was good value for money - would definitely recommend.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

This morning tour is very effective.The tour leader has a lot of knowledge , humor and proffessional.
For those has a short time in Kyoto I do recommend to joint this morning tour .

Alan Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

We enjoyed visiting the locations, and the tour guide was so much fun to be with.

The Imperial Palace was closed on weekend so it was replaced by a Temple visit instead. The Golden Pavilion is so magnificent, that i wished i could go back to photograph it during all four seasons. Nijo Castle was rich with the Samurai heritage, learned many historical facts about the castle and its Shogun.

Michael H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Tour Guide and accommodations were outstanding. Very interesting and informative tour. Gide was very knowledgeable and had many interesting historical facts. Really appreciated her attention to detail. Even though we were a group tour, she attended to us as individuals as well. This was well worth the time and very small amount of money. Would highly recommend this tour to others.

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Tour code: 2142KYO_N270


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