4.5 star rating: Recommended 31 Reviews

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  • Location:Osaka, Japan
  • Duration:6.5 hours (approx.)

Kyoto Morning Tour of Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka

See Kyoto highlights on this 6-hour tour from Osaka! Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites — Ninjo Castle and Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) — as you tour Japan’s former capital with an experienced local guide. You’ll also visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Kyoto Handicraft Center, traveling round-trip by train from Osaka. Enjoy impressive displays of the seasons at these landmarks, including cherry trees in full blossom in spring!


  • 6-hour tour of Kyoto highlights
  • Ride the JR rapid transit rail round-trip from Osaka
  • Explore one of Japan’s most well-preserved cities by coach with a knowledgeable local guide
  • Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion
  • Photograph the maple leaves of autumn or the cherry blossoms of spring
  • Tour Kyoto Imperial Palace and shop at the Kyoto Handicraft Center
  • Hotel pickup from selected Osaka hotels included

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What You Can Expect

Kyoto Morning Tour of Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka

Kyoto Morning Tour of Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka

Your guide will pick you up from your selected hotel in the morning and accompany you to the Osaka railway station. Board the JR rapid service train for Kyoto and relax on the 30-minute ride to the former imperial capital. Upon arrival, you’ll disembark and begin your 6-hour tour of the city, where Japan’s emperors resided from 794 until 1868.

Your comfortable coach delivers you to top attractions where you’ll hear expert commentary from your guide. Begin at Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1603 to house Tokugawa shoguns for more than two centuries. Observe the solemn appearance of the castle's massive gate and stone walls surrounded by a moat, in contrast with its decorative interiors painted in gold leaf. You’ll find fantastic photo opportunities in any season amid the garden’s plum and cherry tree groves. Note: When Nijo Castle is closed you’ll visit Ryoan-ji Temple instead.

Next, walk around one of the world's most exquisite Japanese gardens at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinkaku-ji Temple. View the revered Golden Pavilion before a visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. A residence of the imperial family until the capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868, the palace clearly shows the Japanese taste for simplicity, purity and tranquility. You'll also view the Shishinden imperial state chamber where enthronement ceremonies took place.

Note: When the Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed, the tour will visit Kitano Shrine (Kitano Tenman-gu) instead. This famous shrine, known as the god of study, has been designated a national treasure. Many people here pray for success in passing school entrance examinations by touching a statue of ‘Ushi-san’ (Mr. Cow), which represents scholarship.

Enjoy a buffet lunch (own expense) and some shopping at the Kyoto Handicraft Center before your tour concludes with a return trip by JR rail back to Osaka Station, where you’ll make your own way back to your hotel.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

We enjoyed this tour from beginning to end!
The tour employees were with us every step of the way.
Their English was great. We understood everything they said.
In hindsight we should have booked with Viator in Toyko
instead of the Holland America Cruise Line tour.
It was very disappointing.
Next time we will certainly look into the Viator tours first.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Comprehensive and complete trip. We were well taken care of.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Lots to see in the morning. Staff were friendly and informative. Very professional. Only problem was too little time at the 3 shrines.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Great tour. The tour guide is very knowledgable and has a good sense of humor.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

Excellent itinerary and guide.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

Very nice tour, the tour guide is very good.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2013

Excellent tour guide, fantastic locations!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

My family and I is fully satisfied with this tour. Our guide is so helpful and always smiling. Our children learned a lot from this tour that they can share beautiful and memorable stories to their friends.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2012

The tour was as described and was well planned. I enjoyed the tour guide and the other guests. The sites were beautiful and interesting.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2010

Guides were on time, very friendly and accommodating. couldn't ask for more.
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Tour code: 2142OSA_P840


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