- 90-minute introduction to Japanese culture in Kyoto
- Take in the beauty of the classic wooden shophouse called the machiya where your tour begins
- Learn how to wear a kimono and the history of this quintessential Japanese garment
- Participate in a tea ceremony and understand the meaning behind the ritualized art of preparing and serving tea
- Follow your guide through a neighborhood lined with traditional buildings and hear about Kyoto’s architecture
- Toast your new friends with a glass of sake on your final stop at a sake brewery
- Small-group tour ensures personalized attention from your guide
What You Can Expect
Your guide will first take you through the machiya and point out the architectural features of these classic shophouses, in use for centuries by Kyoto merchants as home and workspace. With a shop in the front and living space in the rear, the long and narrow buildings once lined Kyoto’s streets. However, many machiya have disappeared due to modern development.
After settling into a tranquil room in the machiya, you’ll have the option to try on a kimono. Get great photos of yourself in these beautiful robes, now mostly worn only by women for festive occasions, although men may wear one for tea ceremonies and weddings.
Next, you’ll have an introduction to the tea ceremony, a quintessential part of Japanese culture that has been described as a meditative practice and a performance art. The tea master will explain the act of preparing and drinking matcha, the powdered green tea used in the ceremony, a choreographed art that requires years of study to master.
Your tour finishes with a walk through a picturesque old Kyoto neighborhood and a stop into a sake brewery. You’ll sample the sake – an alcohol beverage made from fermented rice – and learn about the brewing process. Toast your small-group and guide with a glass of sake to wrap up your taste of Japanese culture!
Click on "View Additional Info" for Machiya house location.
Tourist friendly introduction into wearing the Kimono, Tea ceremony, and Sake. We were interviewed at the tour by Japanese TV! The house was authentic old Japanese style and the guides were knowledgeable and very friendly. Good for adults and kids alike.
This was a delightful experience. Many thanks! It was just the two of us and a most helpful and kind guide who expertly dressed us in kimonos, took us through a tea ceremony, and then after we returned to our regular clothes visited the sake brewery around the corner. Our guide answered all of our questions about the tour itself and also more general questions about Kyoto/Japan. Each aspect was fascinating and it was just the right amount of time spent, so we were able to participate in this tour in the morning on our first day in Kyoto and then had the rest of the day to explore/do whatever we desired. Great introduction and we highly recommend to all!