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Marvel at the some of the top UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and palaces of ancient Kyoto on this 4.5-hour tour. This quick introduction to the sights of Kyoto, covering the Nijo Castle, golden Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavillion) and the Japanese Emperor’s former Imperial Palace, is the perfect way to see the city if you’re short on time. Your morning Kyoto excursion also includes pickup from select hotels, transport between sites by coach, entrance fees and an English-speaking guide.


  • Kyoto morning highlights tour
  • Tour the UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle with a knowledgeable guide
  • Marvel at Japanese gardens and design at Kinkakuji Temple and Kyoto Imperial Palace

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What You Can Expect

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

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

Admire the incredible historical legacy of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, as you explore the city’s top castles, temples, palaces and gardens. It’s a great introduction to this ancient city for those that have limited time during their visit.

Start your Kyoto experience with pickup at select hotels, which begins in the early morning, arriving at the Kyoto New Miyako Hotel to begin your excursion. Head out to your first stop of the day, where you’ll see the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nijo Castle. This one-time home of the Tokugawa Shogun, constructed in 1603, contains five connecting structures made of Cypress wood. The complex is renowned for its elegant design and striking interiors, including the gold leaf-covered living quarters and the home’s extensive kitchen, guardhouse and multiple gardens.
Please note: on days when Nijo Castle is closed, the tour will visit Ryoanji Temple instead.

Head next to the glorious Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavillion), the most popular temple in all of Kyoto. Spend 45 minutes admiring the intricate architecture and serene Japanese gardens, along with the site’s namesake structure, the celebrated Golden Pavillion. Proceed on to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, once the residence of the Japanese Emperor before the national capital was relocated to Tokyo in 1868. View the former site of the imperial enthronement ceremonies and observe the elegant simplicity of the building’s interior design and architecture.
Please note: on days when the Imperial Palace is closed, your tour will visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine or Nishi Honganji Temple as substitutes.

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Customer Reviews

Jacqueline H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Great tour when time is tight. Great guide, very helpful and happy. Thank you.

Paula c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Wonderful tour, very well organized!! Kyoto was amazing, especially the Golden Pavilion. Highly recommend!

Jenny S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

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

Simon G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Excellent tour - well organised, very knowledgeable guide - you see some key highlights of Kyoto if you have limited time/tolerance for organised tours. Warning: if you like to stuff around getting back on the bus or can't be bothered being punctual don't go on this tour. The guide is excellent but doesn't tolerate lateness - which is a good thing - some people are just slack and rude.

Rae B Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Value for money tour. Our tour guide was an older lady who spoke excellent English and was quite funny in the way she presented it. We visited three temples and received lots of information in a short space of time ... we wouldn't have had the time to cover it all by ourselves. Definitely recommended.

Sally L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fantastic tour - liked that is was just the morning but we got to see alot

William C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Got to see everything I wanted to in a short space of time and I was well informed about each location by a very friendly tour guide. Would definitely recommend.

Cheryl R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

A wonderful tour. It was a fantastic peek into Japanese history, and Yuki our guide was very informative. There was a bit of walking but it is manageable for elderly people with creaky bones. The drop off at the end of the half day tour can be at the Handicraft Centre. Another couple of hours spent perusing the three floors of gifts to take home.

Bronte E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Our tour guide was great, gave lots of information, and took us to some amazing places, my favourite being the Golden Pavilion. Highly recommended, especially if only in Kyoto for a short amount of time, but still wanting to see some of the famous landmarks.

Kaye B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Very well organised, and a fantastic tour guide.

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