• Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 136.40 View price calendar

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Discover the history and religions of ancient Japan during this 10-hour exploration of Kyoto and Nara. See Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinkaku-ji and Nijo Castle, along with its Imperial Palace. Then drive from Kyoto to Nara to explore its own World Heritage site, Todai-ji Temple (including Great Buddha Hall), plus Kasuga Shrine. You’ll also visit Nara’s deer park and sample a Japanese and Western-style meal for lunch. Your Nara and Kyoto visit also includes a guide, coach transport, all entrance fees and pickup at select hotels.


  • Full-day sightseeing tour of the ancient sites of Kyoto and Nara
  • Visit Kyoto’s top cultural attractions: Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji (home to the Golden Pavilion) and Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Travel to the city of Nara to see the Great Buddha of Todai-ji temple complex
  • Admire the 3,000 bronze lanterns in the Kasuga Shrine, and feed the wild deer in Nara Park
  • Pickup and drop-off from select Kyoto hotels included

What You Can Expect

Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

See the best that the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara have to offer during this full-day, 10-hour tour of the cities’ top temples and sights. It’s a great introduction to the culture and traditions of ancient Japan, along with some time at a nature park thrown in for good measure.

Begin your excursion in the morning at one of four hotels in Kyoto. Proceed after pickup on an exploration of the historic environs of Kyoto, the country’s former capital and one-time residence of the Japanese emperor between 794 and 1868. The city’s wealth of ancient history have earned a collection of its religious and political sites as the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Stop by two of Kyoto’s most important highlights with your guide, starting with 50 minutes at Nijo Castle, which was the home of the Tokugawa Shogun until the mid-1800s. This World Heritage-listed site, constructed in 1603, is renowned for the contrasts between its intricate interior and solemn exterior façade.

Head next to Kinkaku-ji, the city’s most popular religious site and what is considered by many to be one of the world’s most elaborate Japanese gardens, for 45 minutes. Check out the temple’s Golden Pavillion, a three-story building sheathed in gold leaf and situated beside a picturesque pond, where you can take some great photos.

Move on next to Kyoto’s Imperial Palace for 40 minutes, where you’ll have a chance to see the Shishin-den, a key site for important state ceremonies, before wandering the palace’s beautiful grounds.

Pause your tour for lunch, then re-board your bus for a 1-hour drive south to Nara, where you’ll stop by two of the temples and shrines that form the city’s own UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Todai-ji, a religious complex known for housing one of the world’s largest statues of the Buddha (Great Buddha Hall) before continuing to the adjacent Nara Park.

Make your next stop of the day at Kasuga Shrine for 40 minutes, renowned for the more than 3,000 lanterns lining its interior. Finish your excursion at Nara’s Deer Park, a famous section of Nara Park with free-roaming groups of deer. Feel free to hand-feed these tame creatures with the special food for sale on site. Depending on time and traffic, you may also visit a souvenir stand to pick up a memento or two before heading back to Kyoto.

Customer Reviews

Susan S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This is the trip to take if you have limited time in the Kyoto area. Kyoto in the morning, a buffet lunch, and Nara in the afternoon. Highly recommended.

Alistair S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This was a good way to see some of the highlights of Japan's cultural capital and its neighbour Nara. Particularly impressive was the Golden Pavilion.

sulinda yeo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

We can visit several places in one day in very efficient way. Tour guide and driver are very friendly. We really enjoy the tour


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

very good trip

Kana K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Had a lovely time learning and seeing the beautiful sites of Kyoto and Nara my favourite part had to be Todaji temple with the numerous deer walking around outside the temple is a site to behold, The tour guide had really good english and I learned a lot on the trip.

lori f

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2018

This tour you do not want to miss. We loved the deer!

Melissa M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2018

This was a really good day tour of the main sights of Kyoto. You get to skip the lines and are transported easily to the sights that are far from Kyotos Centre. We did Nara in the same day which we preferred so that we have more free days and it was very pleasant and the guide was amazing!

antonia w

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Great guides and itinerary. We took this tour at the end of December when several sites were closed. We were aware of this and the alternative sites were great.

wilsonmar United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Excellent detail commentary.

Anthony R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Would recommend this tour. We enjoyed it very much. Nijo Castle is a must see. The Castle is breathtaking. Thank you.

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