Known as the cradle of Japan's cultural heritage, Kyoto was Japan's capital. Today it's the country's seventh largest city, thoroughly modern while remaining Japan's most traditional city. Get to know Kyoto with this three-day itinerary. Day ... 

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Namaste

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We were so IMPRESSED by the guide, she is extremely knowledgeable and very experienced in tour guiding ! This is a very very compact tour, in a short amount of time we got to see a lot of sights, the group size seems a bit big 40 people and a bit rush but nevertheless we enjoyed it and learnt a lot !!

Doing what: Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

Karin M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Absolutely go to Hiroshima Peace Memorial, but try to spend more time inside the museum, to see artifacts from people who were affected. Very moving, but you need time to read all the notations on the exhibits. I was very happy to see Hiroshima has risen from the ashes and is a vibrant, modern city.

Doing what: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island Tour from Kyoto

Edward H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Great tour. Our male guide in the morning tour was excellent.

Doing what: Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

Kirsten M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

A really lovely peaceful 1 hour origami class. Just myself and my 11 year old daughter in the group so we moved quickly and made several pieces. Tomoko our tutor was a delightful lady and very kind to my daughter.
A welcome break from the hustle and crowds
We came away with a booklet of instructions.

Doing what: Kyoto Small-Group Cultural Experience: Calligraphy or Origami Class

Lauren T

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2017

Found the morning part of the tour more enjoyable then the afternoon. Imperial palace had some beautiful spots. Very interesting history. Tour guide spoke well and came out with some funny jokes. Only spent a maximum of 45-60 mins or less at each place. Lunch was a average buffet. Overall good day.

Doing what: Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

nikask United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2017

Great tour in a lovely little tea house close to a stunning temple. Our guide was perfect and shared with us her secrets of 20yrs of tea service and then we all got to make our own. Great fun and the perfect way to see some Japanese culture in action and to participate.

Doing what: Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master

Karen Yap

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2017

In general it was a good trip. A little bit rush at the Golden Pavilion but I guess it was because we need to walk about 10 min. to an alternative new entrance due to renovation.

Doing what: Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

Jane W

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2017

Organisation, timing and pick ups etc were good. Guide was quite good, once she sorted out how to work the bus microphone. Disappointed that on the day we went we only actually visited one of the 3 attractions listed the Golden pavilion because the palace was closed. Alternative shrines were interesting but a bit too much of the same thing. Would recommend the tour if you haven't got long in the city as it was a quick and efficient way to get around to several places in a short time. Guide on the second bus we transferred to on the return journey was brilliant and full of interesting information.

Doing what: Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

Ann K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Highlight of the trip. It's actually very difficult to see a Geisha performance if you're a westerner. I heard a lot of the venues are members only and there aren't very many Geisha and Maiko, even in Kyoto. Prices are also extremely high. So when I saw the opportunity to partake in an organized group dinner, I jumped on it. It was magical. The ryokan that hosts it is in the heart of Gion, and looks amazing. The food was very authentic and local, and there were many courses and all-you-can drink plum shoju, beer, or sake. The performance by the Maiko and Geiko were amazing. We got to ask the Maiko questions after, and were able to get photos with them, and finally play some drinking games. They are stellar entertainers and I walked away feeling full of joy for partaking in such a magical experience.

Doing what: Maiko Performance with Kaiseki Dinner in Kyoto

Regina L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Best tour! Knowledgeable guide, beautiful sites - superb experience

Doing what: Nara Afternoon Tour of Todaiji Temple, Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine from Kyoto

Neftali C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This was a great experience, I went with my boyfriend for the tea ceremony with Kimonos. It was fun being able to dress up in kimonos and taking pictures outside before we began the tea ceremony. We both learned so much about the tea experience in Japanese culture and had fun trying to make the tea ourselves afterwards. If you want to learn about the Japanese culture and like tea this is a must do and in Kyoto of all places, where Japanese green powder tea was born. It was very fun and enjoyable, I really recommend this experience.

Doing what: Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master

Kevin S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Great time and a helpful guide made seeing some of the highlights of Kyoto easy.

Doing what: Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

Sharon C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

such an experience!

Doing what: Maiko Performance with Kaiseki Dinner in Kyoto

Karen P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed our Kyoto Rickshaw Tour. Masaya was a terrific guide. He was highly professional and tailored our ride to suit our interests. He treated us like royalty and made our experience very enjoyable.

Doing what: Kyoto Rickshaw Tour

Elaine K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

My fiance and I took a private calligraphy class together. The teacher did a great job guiding us and helping us to paint perfect calligraphy strokes. Calligraphy is much harder than we thought, but by the end of class we got the hang of it! We were able to take home all of our practice pages, and also our final 'masterpiece' which we've displayed on our wall at home :

Doing what: Kyoto Small-Group Cultural Experience: Calligraphy or Origami Class

Jennifer T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

My tour guide, Kazu, was great. He ensured we saw all the things I wanted to see and provided great context for each place. He also helped with translating and other things like showing me how to use the metro, SIM card, etc. Def worth it!!

Doing what: Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

Kerry F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This was an excellent way to see Hiroshima and Miyajima Island whilst staying in Kyoto. We were very well taken care in terms of the train to and from Hiroshima and our guide Nobu was excellent.

Doing what: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island Tour from Kyoto

Greg J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Excellent tour for a visit to some of Kyoto's great sites. Two small notes I would add. One, I would note the famously photographed bamboo forest in the Arashiyama area is not part of the itinerary, as the tours are focused on the East part of Kyoto. Two, the lunch provided is okay, but not great.

Overall an excellent tour with very good tour guides. I would recommend this tour to my friends.

Doing what: Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple

Elizabeth G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This tour was in important intro to our week in Kyoto, and tasty fun besides! The 3.5 hour actually ran to 4 because we lingered with our guide over the included lunch and featured tons of thing to taste and examine. It's an absolute must for the 'foodie' tourist.

Tad, our American guide has lived in Kyoto for 20 years, and regaled us with in-depth history of the food traditions of the ancient capital. The tour is a long walk but an extremely comfortable slow-pace, as we constantly stopped for explanations, or to try tasty-looking mysterious things Not mysterious to Tad, who buys the samples for the guests.

The market is overwhelming without an insiders' info: why do the bean stores sell gift boxes? What's the fishy chunk of wood? Do Kyoto citizens really eat that much candy? Why is celery sold by-the-rib? Only your guide knows this and more.
I recommend taking this tour on your very first day in Kyoto, because what you learn about the city's food which is a distinct cuisine from the rest of Japan will inform everything you eat for the remainder of your stay. One of the highlights of our week!

Doing what: Small-Group Nishiki Market: The Heart of Kyoto Cuisine

Elizabeth G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

There's a reason this heads up every 'must see' list of Kyoto: it is actually beyond words. Or even pictures. Just go, and you'll understand. At one point, my husband and I looked at each other and agreed, Yup, there's no way to REALLY describe this to anyone back home .
So let's discuss the tour itself, instead:
Tomoko, who spoke clear English and paid all our train fares, was an informed and friendly guide, sharing insights lots of travelers miss like don't walk up the center of the wide path to the temple: it's traditionally reserved for the deity!. In addition to the usual facts-and-figures, she shared how locals view their shrines and temples, and the motivations for people who have erected the magnificent Torii she actual knows someone who built one here, for example.
After viewing the lower third of the Shrine mountain, we took at train to a sake brewery, 2 tasting rooms, and a sake shop to round out the day trip.
You'll love this adventure!

Doing what: Fushimi Inari and Sake Brewery Tour

Jenny S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Perfect, got to see many places in the short time allocated. Highly recommended

Doing what: Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

Jenny S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Had an amazing time there! Tea master was really knowledgeable and kind and gave thoughtful paper origami cranes as a souvenir! Would highly recommend

Doing what: Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master

Fatimah K

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2016

KC is awesome. He explained the background of each places in a simple and fun way. Good brief tour to appreciate three historical places in Kyoto in half a day.

Doing what: Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle

Elizabeth G

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2016

One part strength, flashing swords and shouting, one part graceful beauty, this show has something for everyone.
Short vignettes are described by a narrator before being enacted, and cover thing ranging from traditional Samurai rituals like Sepuku to fragments of Japanese literary classics. The show is about an hour long, with photo ops afterwards. Even ninja make a brief appearance, but mutant turtles these are NOT.
The working studio in which the performance takes place produces a feeling of intimacy and immediacy that a larger theatre wouldn't. Guests sit only feet from the performers for these riveting stories, some of which are reminiscent of Kabuki in their deliberate style and facial control. Details of Japanese history and culture are mixed with drama and performance mastery, all at a remarkably affordable price. This will be enjoyed by everyone.

Doing what: Samurai Performance in Kyoto

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