4 star rating: Recommended 105 Reviews

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

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.

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3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2015

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2015

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2014

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

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2015

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2014

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2014

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 !

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2014

A little rushed, but overall worth the trip.

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2014

A standard bus tour but covers the sites well

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2014

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2013

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2012

My favorite of all was the Golden Pavilion. We were a bit rushed around and maybe because there were too many people around us.

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2012

Interesting but you need IMAGINATION because you don't see very much, especially in a large group

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2012

This was an OK tour to get a quick intro to Kyoto's 3 most popular attractions. Unfortunately the tour felt rushed and the guide was not very enthusiastic. The tour does not add too much value over visiting the venues on your own.

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2011

Very large tour group. Were forced to stay behind when my wife didn't return to the bus on time and were unable to rejoin the rest of the tour due to palace rules.

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2011

It was like speed dating--a great way to have an idea of where to go back and spend time.

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2011

So many tour buses, so many tourists. All the buses seemed to be on the same schedule, so each of the venues was packed with tourists. I saw some things (and learned some things) that I might not have on my own, so that was good, but I didn't enjoy the tour as much as the smaller-group (van rather than bus) day tours I've taken in other parts of the world. Also, at the end of the half-day tour, I was dropped off at the handicraft center instead of back where I started. There was apparently a shuttle van available, but only if I waited an hour and a half (leaving few options but to pay for my lunch at the tourist trap, or to ride the city bus out of there, which I did)

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2011

Our tour guide was fantastic!! He was very entertaining and educational. The tour was well organised but a little difficult to really follow the dialogue with such a large group. The locations are beautiful! The Handicrafts centre has many gorgeous things for sale.

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2010

This was a very nice tour. It would have been nice to have brochures at the beginning of each of the shrines and temples that we visited so that we could refer to them. We were given the Golden Pavillion brochure after the tour. While the tour guide was knowledgeable about the sites we saw, the group she had was very large and we had a lot of difficulty hearing her. The Handicraft Centre was great. We managed to pick up all our souvenirs there.

David B
United Kingdom

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2010

We were not advised that the Imperial Palace was closed on Saturdays, so an inferior alternative was given. Plus we were all left at a textiles store at the end of a tour. The only laid-on return to our hotels, some considerable distance away, was a free shuttle by the textiles store - two hours later!

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
June 2012

The tour was OK, just minimally informative.

Anonymous

Anonymous

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2012

As with usual big bus tours things were a bit rushed, but ours a bit more so as we were delayed starting because we had to wait for a big group coming from Osaka by train to join our tour. Also there were only a few of us signed up for the Kyoto Morning tour so they put us on the all-day tour bus. Consequently we never got to go the Handicraft Center as was advertised in our tour description. Instead we were dropped off near the train station near the restaurant where the full-day tour participants were headed next. I was not happy about that as I wanted to visit the Handicraft Center.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
September 2011

I was very disappointed with the Kyoto Morning Tour. The tour leader was extremely knowledgeable, but it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying! He grew up in the Phillapines, and his Filipino-Japanese-English accent was very hard to understand. I live in the US and couldn't understand him. People on the tour from Germany and Sweden had even more difficulty.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
August 2010

On this tour, the only thing we liked was the Golden Pavilion. We were not impressed with Kyoto Imperial Palace or Nijo castle.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
March 2009

It was OK. The Imperial Palace was closed and the alternate was nothing spectacular. Would have much preferred seeing the Silver Pavilion instead. The guide was nice but did not have much personality. She added a few cool facts, like how bonsai trees are meticulously pruned, but overall the trip was a bit bland. Lunch at the Handicraft Center was a cafeteria style buffet that was not worth the money.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2006

Your tour guide was excellent and I can't say enough nice things about her. She was friendly and knowledgeable and that knowledge added a great deal to the tour. Th Nijo Castle and Golden Pavillion part of the tour was nice. The Imperial Palace was underwhelming since you can't go inside. I think you could leave that off the list and spend more time at Nijo or at least tell people that all you do is walk around the outside of the palace.

From USD $ 52.83

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Tour code: 2142KYO_N270

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