Hop aboard a traditional rickshaw with guide for a journey through the atmospheric streets of beautiful Kyoto on this easily-customizable ride with 30-minute, 45-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, and 3-hour tour options. Depending on the ride length you select, you’ll be peddled through the serene shrines of west Kyoto’s Arashiyama neighborhood, discovering its picturesque Bamboo Grove, or admiring the wooden structures and ancient alleys of the Higashiyama district.
- A 30-minute to 3-hour rickshaw ride through Kyoto’s backstreets
- See Kyoto’s intriguing back alleys and roads, customizing your route with your driver
- Learn about historic sites from your rickshaw driver and tour guide
- Explore the Arashiyama or Higashiyama districts
- See shrines, temples, gardens and scenic byways
Explore the historic streets and fascinating culture of ancient Kyoto on a pedal-powered tour driven by an informative guide. Sit back and relax as your driver whisks you past some of the most fascinating sites in this former imperial capital.
Start your trip by meeting your guide at a time of your choosing from either Arashiyama or Higashiyama (please select your preferable duration and location at checkout). From there, climb aboard your authentic rickshaw, a two passenger vehicle invented in Japan in the 19th century. This relaxed ride offers the perfect up-close method to view some of the most notable temples and streets of historic Kyoto, many of which can be difficult to explore on foot due to the distances between them. Along the way your guide will share various details about the history and importance of the town’s principal attractions.
Among the attractions you might visit during your ride are Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Nonomiya Shrine, Rakushisya’s Cottage (home of one of Japan’s most renowned poets), Heian Jingu Shrine, Oyashiki Street and Nanzen-Ji Buddhist temple. For a full itinerary description, review the two options listed below.
Meeting Location Option #1: Arashiyama
Your guide and chariot await at Kyoto’s iconic Togetsu-kyo bridge in Arashiyama, a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty on Kyoto’s western fringe. Be amazed by the district’s main attraction, a towering grove of thick bamboo stalks with a pedestrian and rickshaw path cutting through it. Seeing its beauty, you’ll understand why the Japanese have a fond appreciation for nature. Admire the scenery, which is a blend of serene nature, tended gardens, and dazzling shrines, as your rickshaw driver pulls you up the mountain. Next you’ll see the beautiful Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto site. If you’ve chosen the 30-minute tour, at this point you’ll end back at the starting point. But if you choose a longer tour, up to 3 hours, you’ll continue through more of Arashiyama’s wealth of sites. Explore Rakushisya’s cottage, a rustic thatch-roof cottage that was once the home of one of Japan’s revered poets and haiku masters. Those continuing on will be pulled to spots not seen by many tourists. Explore more ancient temples, including Shinto shrines and the Buddhist Nison-in, as your guide whisks you through some amazing places before returning to Togetsu-kyo bridge.
Meeting Location Option #2: Higashiyama
Meet your guide and rickshaw at Ichinenzaka in Higashiyama, where geishas (known as geiko in Kyoto) still stroll the stone streets. You’ll want your camera out and ready, especially for the first portion of the tour, as you stop at the Shinto Heian Jingu Shrine and then wheel down Oyashiki street, a historic avenue lined with maple trees that turn red in autumn and cherry trees that blossom with pink flowers in spring. This is your best chance to see geishas or maiko (an apprentice geisha). Take in the history, which you can see reflected in the lattice-cloaked wood buildings. Admire the Nanzen-ji Buddhist temple, established by Emperor Kameyama in 1921, and then head on to the beautiful orange Heian Jingu Shrine. If you’re continuing on the rickshaw beyond 30 minutes for the extended tour (from 45 minutes to 3 hours), you’ll have the opportunity to see the breadth of Kyoto’s temples and shrines in the Higashiyama district, such as the Chion-in, Kennin-ji, Miyagawa-cho and Yasaka Pagoda, in addition to other iconic sites like the Shirakawa riverside and Nene-no-michi, a lane named after the wife of a famous warlord that is now a scenic flagstone walkway. At the end of the tour, you’ll return to the departure point.