5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

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  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Duration:  3 days / 2 nights
Discover Kyoto and Hiroshima, two of Japan’s most famous cities, without the hassle of arranging transportation or hotels on this independent tour. Explore Kyoto’s exquisite temples and castles, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, see moving tributes to the victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and take in the vibrant city of today along with lovely nearby Miyajima Island. You’re provided with all of your high-speed train tickets and hotel bookings for this 3-day trip to Kyoto and Hiroshima, leaving you free to decide your itinerary.


  • Independent 3-day tour of Kyoto and Hiroshima by Shinkansen Nozomi bullet train from Tokyo
  • Visit top sights in Kyoto listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Learn about the aftermath of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima
  • Hop on a ferry to Miyajima and see the Itsukushima Shrine and its ‘floating’ torii gate
  • Have the flexibility of customizing your itinerary
  • Avoid the hassle of buying multiple train tickets and booking hotels

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

You get the freedom to decide which sights to visit and how long to spend at each one, but you don't have to worry about making arrangements for transportation and lodging!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

3-Day Kyoto and Hiroshima Independent Tour by Nozomi Bullet Train from Tokyo

Ground Zero at Hiroshima

Enjoy the flexibility to create your own sightseeing itinerary as you explore Kyoto and Hiroshima on a 3-day tour. Your train tickets and itinerary will be delivered to you at your Tokyo hotel the day before your departure. You choose which of the many incredible temples to see and where to dine in Kyoto and have time to explore this entrancing city at your leisure. Then you’ll continue to Hiroshima where you can see moving memorials to the people who were killed by the atomic bomb in 1945, and learn about the city’s devastation and rebirth. Choose to take a few hours for a quick trip from Hiroshima to Miyajima (own expense) and enjoy the tranquility of the lovely island.


Day 1: Tokyo – Kyoto
Choose an early or late morning departure from Tokyo and make your way to the Tokyo Station where you board the Shinkansen Nozomi bullet train bound for Kyoto. You’ll arrive in Kyoto approximately two hours later and can leave your luggage at the hotel, then set out to see this lovely city’s highlights.

Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan for more than 1000 years and of its many landmarks, 17 are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll have your choice of which of Kyoto's sights to visit; some of the major ones are the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kiyomizu Temple.

The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple) was built in 1224 for an aristocrat and was later converted into a Buddhist temple. The top two tiers of the 3-tiered building are embossed in gold leaf, casting a stunning reflection on the surrounding lake. The gardens are also considered to be one of Japan’s finest classically designed gardens.

The Kyoto Imperial Palace was the residence for the Emperor’s family until 1868 when the capital moved to Tokyo. Stroll around the grounds or check the Imperial Household Agency website for their tours, which must be booked in advance to see the interior of the Palace.

Nijo Castle was built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa Shogun. Whereas the exterior appears solemn, the interior of the complex includes several cypress buildings with lavish decor, including beautiful screen paintings.

Kiyomizu Temple is one of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A charming lane lined with pottery shops leads you to this famous temple. Enjoy a fantastic view of Kyoto from the temple’s veranda.
Overnight: New Miyako hotel in Kyoto

Day 2: Kyoto – Hiroshima
Enjoy a morning in Kyoto at your leisure before heading to Kyoto Station for your mid-day train to Hiroshima. Upon arrival in Hiroshima, you may leave your luggage with your hotel if you arrive before check-in time (times are listed in your itinerary).

Have the afternoon to see Hiroshima’s memorials related to the atomic bomb, and to explore the bustling modern city that was rebuilt after the destruction of World War II. Most of the memorials are located in or near the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945 and to promote worldwide peace.

The Peace Memorial Museum displays the terrible effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in graphic detail that is both moving and depressing. The east building of the museum shows Hiroshima’s militarist past and the process that lead up to the fateful bombing.

Take in the skeletal remains of the A-Bomb Dome, the iconic symbol of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the city’s last remaining bomb-damaged building. Nearby there is the Children’s Peace Monument where thousands of origami cranes made by children drape the structure.

The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound holds the ashes of 70,000 bomb victims; many were unidentified or had no relatives to claim their ashes.

For a change of scenery, take a few hours to hop over to Miyajima, a beautiful island reached by train and ferry from Hiroshima. It is most famous for the Itsukushima Shrine and its lovely torii gate, which at high tide appears to float on water. You’ll see tame deer roaming about, adding more ambiance to this gem of an island.
Overnight: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima

Day 3: Hiroshima – Tokyo
You’ll have time in the morning to catch any sights you still wanted to see in Hiroshima or Miyajima, or take a few hours to stroll around the city and enjoy its many amenities. Pick up a box of Hiroshima's famous maple leaf-shaped momiji manju cakes for a snack on the train ride back to Tokyo!

Mid-afternoon you’ll head to the train station to catch the Shinkansen Nozomi to Tokyo, arriving in Tokyo station that evening to conclude your independent tour.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Enjoyed it very much. Train journet was simple and friendly. Hotels in Kyoto and Hiroshima are friendly and helpful.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

We would highly recommend this trip to anyone like us who had just a few days to enjoy Japan.The organisation was excellent, the hotels were lovely and so conveniently located adjacent to the Shinkansen stations in Kyoto and Hiroshima, and the train tickets/hotel vouchers were delivered to our Tokyo hotel 2 days before.The Nozomi bullet train experience was wonderful.

From USD $ 365.72

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Tour code: 2142TYO_VJNKH3KNE


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