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Choose from a two-day or three-day Bullet train excursion to Kyoto and Nara from Tokyo. You'll tour Nara's temples and shrines, spend the night in Kyoto and take morning and afternoon sightseeing tours of Kyoto. You'll then have the option of spending a second night in Kyoto, with a day free to spend at your leisure exploring the city that's known as the cradle of Japan's cultural heritage.
- Choice of two-day or three-day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and Nara by Bullet train
- Views of Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen Bullet train (weather permitting)
- Afternoon sightseeing tour of Nara's highlights: Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Shrine and Deer Park
- Morning and afternoon sightseeing tours of Kyoto's highlights: Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sanjusangendo Hall, Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple
- Choice of one or two nights' tourist-class or first-class accommodation in Kyoto
- English-speaking guide
- Pick-up from selected Tokyo hotels
Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour
If you want to make the most out of a short stay in Japan, this tour is for you. Polite and informative guides show you the highlights of the historical cities of Kyoto and Nara on a tour that's as swift and efficient as the Bullet train!
Recent Photos of this Tour
Mount FujiPhoto by: Anonymous
photo.JPGPhoto by: Bing
USA, 08 2013
image.jpegPhoto by: Bing
USA, 08 2013
Japan Kyoto Golden PavilionPhoto by: Eddie
Japan Nara hungry deerPhoto by: Eddie
Japan Nara templePhoto by: Eddie
Smiling deer at Nara parkPhoto by: Zina A
Bowing deer at Nara parkPhoto by: Zina A
What You Can Expect
As you zoom your way to Kyoto from Tokyo by Bullet train, look out for splendid views of Mt Fuji if the weather permits. After lunch at the New Miyako Hotel, you'll travel to Nara in Japan's Kansai region. Nara was the country's first permanent capital city, and has an abundance of Unesco World Heritage sites. You'll visit the Todaiji Temple housing a great image of Buddha, colorful Kasuga Shrine with 3,000 lanterns, and the Deer Park, where tame deer freely roam.
After spending the night in Kyoto, you'll visit the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, noted for its gorgeous interiors, and KyotoImperial Palace. After lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, you'll visit Sanjusangendo Temple with its 1,001 impressive images of Buddha, the vermilion-hued Heian Shinto shrine and the Kiyomizu Buddhist temple.
You then have the option of returning to Tokyo by Bullet train, or staying another night in Kyoto and returning to Tokyo by Bullet train the next evening after spending the day exploring the city at your leisure.
- At the "Nijo Castle", on every Tuesdays in Jan., Jul., Aug. & Dec., "Nijo Castle" is closed and you will visit "Ryoanji Temple" instead.
- At the Kyoto Imperial Palace, on every Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and some other days, Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed and you will visit "Nishi Honganji" instead.
- To enter the Kyoto Imperial Palace, you are required to fill out the form (your name, sex, age, nationality).
You may choose between a two or three day tour. Please see below for options available. Please note that Day 1 is the same for both tours:
Day 1: Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto:
You will be transferred in the morning to Tokyo Station around 9:40am and board a Shinkansen train for the classical city of Kyoto. Enjoy a splendid view of imposing Mt. Fuji en route (weather permitting). Lunch at New Miyako Hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a tour to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan. Visit Todaiji Temple housing a great image of Buddha, colorful Kasuga Shrine with 3,000 lanterns, and Deer Park where many tame deer are freely roaming, before returning to Kyoto.
Kyoto overnight accommodation (your choice from the following):
Tourist Class Hotel or First Class Hotel
*see Kyoto Accommodation List below for details
OPTION 1: Kyoto (Option for 3 day course)
Morning sightseeing of Kyoto, visiting Golden Pavilion, Nijo castle noted for its gorgeous interiors, and Kyoto Imperial Palace (on Saturday, Sunday and national holidays: visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine or Higashi Honganji Temple instead). After lunch at Kyoto Handicraft Center, enjoy afternoon sightseeing of the city, visiting Sanjusangendo Hall with its 1,001 impressive images of Buddha, vermilion-hued Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple with its wooden veranda. Return to Kyoto hotel in the evening.
OPTION 2: Kyoto - Tokyo (option for 2 day course)
Enjoy a morning sightseeing around Kyoto, visiting Golden Pavilion, Nijo castle noted for its gorgeous interiors, and Kyoto Imperial Palace.
After lunch at Kyoto Handicraft Center you will see more of the city, visiting Sanjusangendo Hall with its 1,001 impressive images of Buddha,vermilion-hued Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple with its wooden veranda. In the evening board a Shinkansen train back to Tokyo - around 6:40pm. Transfer to major hotels in Tokyo around 9:30pm.
Day 3: For 3 days Course
Free at leisure before returning to Tokyo. In the evening board a Shinkansen train back to Tokyo at 6:40pm. Transfer to major hotels in Tokyo at 9:30pm.
You can choose from the following Tourist or First Class hotels in Kyoto. Please specify in the 'Special Requirements' box at time of booking. Hotel is not guaranteed and is subject to availability.
Tourist Class hotels:
- New Miyako Hotel - opposite train station and within walking distance to Gion
- Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto - near train station and within walking distance to Nishi Temple
First Class hotels:
- Kyoto Hotel Okura - central location with easy access to subway and a short walk to restaurants and shopping areas
- Kyoto Monterey Hotel - central location close to subway, shopping and restaurants, free wifi access
We had a fantastic time! We were well looked after from beginning to end. We were taken to every site on the itinerary (although Mt. Fuji did not make an appearance for us) and they were all phenomenal. We scheduled our trip during the week, which meant the crowds were at a minimum everywhere we went. This meant no waiting in lines and awesome photo opportunities. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable about the sites, the cities, and Japan in general. They were pleasant, accommodating, and humorous too! There were several hotel options and we stayed at the Kyoto Hotel Okura, which turned out to be a great choice due to the roomy accommodations and the wonderful location near several historical sites, restaurants, and shopping. The only problem occurred because we were staying with friends in Japan, not at one of the downtown Tokyo hotels where they'd pick you up. We'd been given a phone number for the local contact to call once we arrived, but the phone number was incorrect (a number had been left out) and so there was some stress involved in finding out where we needed to go. Since Viator only takes email contact, which they don't answer immediately, we thought we may miss our trip. Luckily someone local helped us find the Japanese tour company location and helped us figure out how to get there. Viator did respond to my emails, 20 minutes before our tour left from downtown Tokyo, which was an hour away from where we stayed. Once we found the tour operator at the bus terminal, all was well and we had a great time. Overall, we would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants a taste of Japanese history, culture, and architecture.
Nara was something else, I really felt like I was far far away from reality. The deer park was amazing and fun. There were a ton of school kids there giggling and eating ice cream. Kyoto was out of this world, seeing the Imperial Palace and the 500 Buddha statues...now this is TOTALLY different than Europe! The Okura hotel will make you feel like a celebrity and has several great restaurants tucked in all over. It is also near a river with restaurants lining that all the way up and down. We had free time on the last day so we arranged a bike tour which was great and went to the mall! That was fun too since we got a foot massage and had a nice long lunch in the air conditioning. If I returned to Japan, it would not be in summer. Saw the back of a real geisha getting into a cab (the tour guide told me) and the Shinkansen made me wish the United States was this streamlined and organized. Worth every penny.