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Make the most of your time in Kyoto by booking a customized private tour with an expert guide. Create your own sightseeing itinerary, choosing from among dozens of cultural and historic landmarks, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle or Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Choose either a half-day or full-day itinerary and travel via public transport accompanied by your guide. Transportation and lunch is included on this comprehensive and flexible Kyoto tour.


  • Customized private tour of Kyoto
  • Create a half-day or full-day sightseeing itinerary with an experienced guide
  • Hear expert commentary on Kyoto’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Visit highlights like Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion, or focus your tour on shopping or food, depending on your interests
  • Enjoy lunch at a local Japanese restaurant (if full-day tour selected)
  • Get around the city easily via efficient public transport

What You Can Expect

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

After hotel pickup, set off to discover Kyoto's many cultural and historical treasures with your knowledgeable guide, using the city’s efficient public transportation system to get around as needed. The full-day tour includes lunch at a local Japanese restaurant.
This customized private tour allows you to build your itinerary around your interests. Perhaps begin with a visit to a few of Kyoto’s many temples and shrines. Reach Fushimi Inari Shrine by train, riding to a wooded mountain on the outskirts of the city. There, stroll past a multitude of bright red torii (sacred gates) that frame the pathways in the forest.

Nijo Castle, a 17th-century World Heritage site, was the residence of Tokugawa shoguns for nearly 300 years. Enjoy fantastic photo opportunities in the lovely gardens, and head inside to admire two floors decorated with layers of gold leaf.
Tour the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu Temple and marvel at magnificent views of the entire city from the terrace, or see the renowned Golden Pavilion and exquisite Japanese garden at the enchanting Kinkaku-ji Temple.

If your interests veer more toward shopping or food, your guide can take you to Kyoto’s best spots, including a sake brewery tour and tasting. Let your guide know if you’d like to participate in any additional activities such as a tea ceremony, calligraphy workshop or aikido class, or head off the beaten path with a bike ride through Kyoto’s back streets (each at additional expense).
After your private orientation to Kyoto, your guide accompanies you back to your hotel via public transport.

Customer Reviews

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!!

Stewart M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

I had a full day tour booked and was meet at me hotel by Lulu who was on time and very present. I explained to Lulu what I wanted to see and also what I wanted to but which was some really good Japanese knifes. We started out catching a bus then a train fushimi Inari thousand gates which I recommended if you are visiting Kyoto,and Lulu also found a knife maker for me at that site.
We then went to a sake brewery called Geikkakan in the fushimi area which only sells sake direct from the brewery. We then headed back to Kyoto station for some lunch Ramom at Ramom Koi in the station. After lunch we headed to Kiyomizu temple the to sannenzake,ninnenzake,ishibekoji the preserved area of Kyoto. We then visited teramachi,nishikyogoku and the Nishiki markets. It was a full day of trains, buses and walking around Kyoto which is easy to navigate.If you are in Kyoto for a couple of days I highly recommend this tour as Lulu was a fantastic guide and very knowledgable about Kyoto.

Diva Ann F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

My tour of Kyoto in the beginning of cherry blossom season last week in March was simply divine! Rebecca, my tour guide, was polite, knowledgeable, and importantly, a native English speaker. Having lived in Japan for 2 years, Rebecca was able to communicate and navigate effectively as a local. Highlights include: Seeing 2 traditional Japanese weddings outdoors on a beautiful day serendipitous timing!, walking the secret path at Fushimi-Inari that is packed with mini-shrines, and strolling the preserved village streets where we went souvenir shopping at my urging and where I got to try black sesame ice cream! Yes, it was delicious! When we visited temples, Rebecca was highly knowledgeable and educated me on Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan. As a Westerner, I found this to be fascinating, as it is so different from my home culture. Rebecca can also take a great picture - something that is extremely important on such a special trip! My advice to anyone considering this tour would be to have an idea of what you would like to see and accomplish, it helps you tour guide prepare the best experience for you, but also to trust the expert - your tour guide! Rebecca had suggestions I never would have considered that turned out to be highlights of the day. What are you waiting for? Go see Kyoto, and ask for Rebecca!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

I had an excellent experience in Kyoto Japan on my custom tailored tour. My tour included Nishiki Market, Rokuon-ji Temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and several other nice places on the way.
I found my tour guide to be honest, efficient and great to talk to. She was very knowledgeable about Kyoto. Everywhere we went she had an interesting story or fact to share. We traveled with the locals by bus and train which gave me a chance to experience Kyoto like the locals.
Overall, this was one of the best travel experiences Ive ever had. I would use Viator again next time Im in Japan.

Leonie S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Our guide, Pepijn was awesome. Friendly, helpful and informative.. We had a very full day on our itinerary, Pepijn got us to everything we wanted to see and visit, without being rushed. We had lunch at a quaint little riverside restaurant, very friendly and lovely food. Pepijn mentioned to us many things to do during the rest of our visit to Kyoto, including restaurants to visit. He showed us how to get to a nice tea house for a tea ceremony and for a Meiko dress up. Nothing was too much trouble. An awesome day, with an awesome guide in an awesome city. Well worth it.

Fellipe V M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Kaoru Abera was an absolutely amazing tour guide. My girlfriend and I booked a full day tour in Kyoto and it was worth every penny. We told Abera we only had one day in Kyoto and wanted to see as many sites as possible and she really maximized our time. We went to every major temple and shrine in Kyoto. It was a whirlwind but we were so happy we got to see everything we wanted. She took photos of us at every place and told us historial facts all day. Abera was so sweet and really made our day in Kyoto awesome. She also did not mind staying with us for a couple of extra hours. At the end she rode the bus with us to the train station and waited with us until the train left. She really cares and goes the extra mile for her guests! Awesome guide overall could not ask for a better one!

Cathy M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Our tour guide Pepjn was absolutely excellent- we greatly enjoyed his great insight into the history and culture of Kyoto. A totally wonderful day!

Javier D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Emi our tour guide was excellent! The tour well organized and she took us everywhere we wanted.

Megan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was well worth the money. Great personal attention, and we saw so much!

Maria Eugenia M

4 star rating: Recommended November 2015

Good tour with knowledgeable guide.

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