4.5 star rating: Recommended 83 Reviews

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  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Duration:  2 days / 1 night or 3 days / 2 nights
Leave Tokyo on the bullet train to visit the heritage-filled cities of Kyoto and Nara, staying overnight in Kyoto, on your choice of a guided 2-day or 3-day excursion. Visit Nara’s many gorgeous temples and shrines on the first afternoon, then have a full-day tour of Kyoto’s highlights on the second day. Have the option of a second night in Kyoto, with the third day free to explore the city further. Return trip by bullet train to Tokyo and hotel transfer is included on both tours.

Highlights

  • 2-day or 3-day guided tour of Kyoto and Nara with bullet train, from Tokyo
  • See majestic Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train (weather permitting)
  • Visit Nara's highlights including Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine and Deer Park
  • Witness Kyoto’s rich heritage at Kinkaku-ji Temple, Sanjusangen-do Hall, Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Admire the majestic architecture the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle
  • Choice of one or two nights' tourist-class or first-class accommodation in Kyoto
  • Enjoy a worry-free tour that includes an expert guide for daytime tours, transportation, and accommodation

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

What You Can Expect

Kyoto and Nara 2-Day or 3-Day Rail Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo

Heian Shrine Kyoto

Choose from the 2-day or 3-day tours of Kyoto and Nara, which include all transportation; accommodation in Kyoto at your choice of a first class or tourist class hotel; a professional guide to show you the sights during the day; evenings free to spend as you choose; and lunch on the first and second days. Ask your friendly guide or hotel staff for recommendations of where to find other great meals.

Have the option to return to Tokyo late on the second day or remain in Kyoto for one more day, the choice is up to you depending on whether you choose a 2-day or 3-day tour. Please note, you will be taken to the train station to catch your bullet train but the guide will not accompany you on the train journeys. You will be met in both Tokyo and Kyoto for transfer between your hotel and the train.

Both the 2-day and 3-day options are detailed in the Itinerary below. Note that Day 1 and the daytime portion of Day 2 are the same for both tours.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo – Nara – Kyoto (L)
After morning pickup at your hotel or meeting at Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal, you are transferred to Tokyo Station to catch your bullet train to Kyoto. Look out the train window and hope to catch sight of Mt Fuji, weather permitting. At mid-day, arrive in Kyoto Station where you are met by your guide. Enjoy a welcome lunch at the New Miyako Hotel before traveling one hour by comfortable coach to Nara.

The first capital of Japan was established in Nara in 710 and the city boasts numerous UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. Your guide takes you to one of Japan’s most historically significant temples, the Todai-ji Temple, from the 8th-century. Walk through the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall) and admire the giant bronze statue of the Buddha. Continue to Kasuga Taisha Shrine, a renowned Shinto shrine that is spectacularly lit by 3,000 antique bronze and stone lanterns. Finish the afternoon by strolling through Deer Park (Nara Park) and marveling at the hundreds of freely roaming tame deer. You can even buy food for the deer if you wish!

On your way back to Kyoto, stop into Nara Nagomikan, a large souvenir shop that specializes in food products and other goods made in Nara. Have the evening free in Kyoto to spend at your leisure.

Overnight: Kyoto (tourist class: New Miyako Hotel, Rihga Royal Hotel or similar; first class: Kyoto Hotel Okura, Hotel Monterey Kyoto or similar)

Day 2: Kyoto, or Kyoto – Tokyo (L)
Get an early start for a full-day guided tour of the highlights of Kyoto. Your first stop takes you to Nijo Castle, which was built in the early 1600s for the Tokugawa Shogun. Then head to one of Kyoto’s most famous temples, Kinkaku-ji Temple, known for its shimmering Golden Pavilion and exquisite Japanese gardens. After taking in Kinkaku-ji, visit the Emperor of Japan’s former residence, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and follow your guide around the architecturally stunning complex.

Take a break and enjoy a Japanese-style lunch. After eating, continue your city tour at Sanjusangen-do Temple, where you can take in the world's longest wooden structure, which holds 1,001 life-size Buddhist statues that date to the 13th century. Head to the stunning Heian-jingu Shrine, built in 1895 to celebrate Kyoto’s 1,100 years of existence.

Get great views over Tokyo from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a hilltop temple with several gorgeous buildings. Water from the Otowa spring flows under the temple’s main hall and is reputed to grant a wish to anyone who takes a sip.

In the evening, you have the option of returning to Tokyo by bullet train to end your tour. Or choose the 3-day option and stay another night in Kyoto.

Overnight: Kyoto (tourist class: New Miyako Hotel, Rihga Royal Hotel or similar; first class: Kyoto Hotel Okura, Hotel Monterey Kyoto or similar)

Day 3: Kyoto – Tokyo
Spend the day exploring Kyoto at your leisure, then catch the bullet train back to Tokyo in the evening where your tour ends.

Please note: If any sites in Kyoto or Nara are closed on the day of your visit, a substitute site will be visited. Both cities have a wealth of amazing places to see.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

As a solo traveller, this 3 day visit to Kyoto was fantastic. I couldn't fault any part of it. Everybody was reliable, everything ran to the timetable, the hotel and food was exceptional and most of all a very friendly experience.
Thank you Sunrise tours and Viatot.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

Fantastic tour to see Kyoto highlights in a short period of time. Super well organised and well looked after. Absolutely loved it! Thank you for a great experience!

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