Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Charles Y. N
Imperial Palace was closed and was replaced by a tour to a shrine, Honganji West. English speaking tour guide was excellent.
Good tour. Guide was very good. Bus was comfortable and on time and had convenient hotel pickup. Golden Pavilion was impressive but very crowded. Nijo Castle and the Imperial Palace were also very interesting and less crowded.
The tour guide was very good -- knew a ton about the sites and spoke excellent English. It was a little packed in terms of sites, but I didn't mind the short stops as it was only a half-day tour.
The trip was well organized and without unnecessary delays. The only disadvantage was no drop-off service. The trip ended in the middle of nowhere and we had to organize our trip back to the hotel ourselves. The "handcraft center" is a simple shop.
This was a very good beginning tour. The guide was very funny and helpful.
The guide was very informative. It would have been nice to stay a little longer at each destination. The stop at Imperial Palace was disappointing as far to short, and didn't really see anything.
This tour turned out even better than I thought it would be. The guide was very eloquent and had a great sense of humor and I felt that I learned a lot about Japan and the places I was seeing that I would have never known about otherwise, considering I don't speak Japanese. It really helped me appreciate what I was seeing and feel fortunate to be in such an amazing country. Totally worth it! I will always book tours with Viator every time I travel from now on.
Nijo Castle was the highlight. While the grounds of the Imperial Palace were interesting, and probably difficult to do except with a tour group, the level of regimentation necessary to gain access to the palace was excessive.
Great way to get in some of the highlights of Kyoto especially when you first arrive. Efficient and knowledgeable guide who did a good job of hustling the large group through. Be aware that the Imperial Palace is from the outside only. Not for the tourist who wants to leisurely savor each and every site.
Great choice of attractions, but tour was too rushed and had too many people. Good tour guide and convenient meeting area.
It was okay. Nothing special. Our guide was hard to understand and she should have worn a microphone so everyone could hear her.
Difficult to hear guide. Worth tour just to access imperial palace
otherwise give a miss.
There were too many people in our group I think, as we couldn't hear our guide's commentary for most of the day. We were a bit rushed at Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion, which were both well worth visiting. The Imperial Palace was okay, but not worth all of the fuss - but if you want to go and see it, you have to be in a group, so this tour's a good way to do it.
Was very crowded in the hotel to check in which we didn't find out for quite a while that we had to that and that was inside the hotel foyer we had to go.
Other wise the tour guide was great and the tour was well worth it! Learnt lots of interesting things, and saw a lot of beautiful architecture.
Our guide was fantastic, but everything was rushed. I didn't feel like I had time to appreciate everything. We would also stop just to take photograph at specific picturesque locations at the sites, but otherwise we were discouraged from taking photos because we were in such a rush, which was very frustrating for me as a photographer. Furthermore, the sites were jam packed with people. Of course, that's not to the fault of Sunrise Tours, but it was still a downer.
Overall, I enjoyed the tour very much, and would recommend it especially because it's hard to go see the imperial palace any other way but I take note that you may not have as much time as you thought you would to enjoy the sites, and they will likely be very busy but that would be true regardless of whether you go on the tour or not.
We were very lucky to get into this tour at the last minute. The guide was very happy and helpful and the three sites were very interesting. However we wished we had a little more tim
This was great to experience for our first morning in Japan. Nijo Castle was great as we actually were taken through the building and our Guide provided great background history to it's construction.
The Golden Pavilion was okay to see but was disappointing due to the large swarms of local school-kids but it was a bright sunny day which made the gold shine well.
The Imperial Palace was rather disappointing as we couldn't go inside the building structures, we could only walk around the outside of the Palace Grounds before we were quickly ushered to the bus because they impose strict timings for tourists. (And only Tour Groups are allowed entry).
Overall, for the first morning in Japan, rather than stumbling around looking for things to do, this gets you out seeing the three top attractions.
The tour guide was great! We did a shrine instead of the Imperial Palace because it was closed but were not notified about the change until we were already on the bus.
The organisation and the tour guide were both excellent. It became difficult for us as we were with our 2 and 4 year old children who got very bored and uncooperative after the second stop. Could there be more family friendly tours that maybe have a third stop at somewhere child friendly e.g. A play park. Not very historical I know but at least everyone would be catered for !
if you're time poor, this is the tour that will take you to the most famous sites. Our host was very knowledgable, and the tour allows for enough time to explore. Regardless, it is still an organized bus tour, so you don't have as much flexibility as an independent traveller.
In terms of a well organised, friendly and efficient arrangement this tour was great. Unfortunately we had non-stop rain for the entire morning tour and it would have been nice for some of the other less prepared tour-goers to have been offered an umbrella. They were soaked through and unable to carry their cameras out with them... the pace was quite fast also and restricted us from fully absorbing the amazing destinations on this tour.
My favorite of all was the Golden Pavilion. We were a bit rushed around and maybe because there were too many people around us.