Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan - Reviews

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2018

This was a highlight of our stay in Kyoto. Alexander's tour was informative and engaging I highly recommend the walking tour. Despite the cold weather the time flew!

Shannon W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2017

When people ask me, you're back! So how was Japan?! Even though I was away for three weeks and was busy every day, his is what I end up telling them about.

This is the third time I've been to Japan, and though I know very little about religion broadly and had been to the area that this tour is in, I was very curious to understand a bit more about the places and rituals I'd seen in the past. I figured this tour would uncover a lot of the things that I'd looked at, or read the brochure about, but never really understood what I was looking at. I got that, and much much more!

Our guide was Martin, who is the best tour guide that my partner and I have ever had. He started out by asking about what we wanted out of the tour, and tweaked our experience from there. His tour, stories and information was personalised to what we were interested in and already knew about.

I've attached two photos - they're not the most spectacular of the views we saw that day please do the tour and experience those for yourself!. But it is representative of the quality of this walking tour - this area of Kyoto is a stunner and you'll have a great time, guaranteed.

Our timing for this tour happened to be perfect - we got to see a Shinto wedding took some gorgeous shots, but I'll not post them out of respect for the people involved in the ceremony, and a Buddhist ceremony for the dead which I obviously didn't photograph. I had seen some of the temples when I'd been to Kyoto in the past, however they're not something I could ever get tired of seeing. Real balm for the soul, regardless of your religiousity

Martin was also fantastic for helping us with some of our other burning questions about Japan - he had some great suggestions about where else to go in Japan THANK YOU for your suggestions if you're reading this!, and some really interesting anecdotes that I'm still talking about weeks later.

My top tips for this tour - you'll be on your feet for a few hours so wear comfy shoes, bring water, and make sure you've got cash for souvenirs/entry fees/vending machines.

Christine H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

We weren and #39;t sure what to expect from this tour but we had an unparalleled experience! Alex was an absolutely fantastic tour guide, it honestly felt like we were hanging out with a really smart, cool friend who was showing us these amazing tempels and shrines. I wish I could go on and on!

Carl Einar H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Very good guide :

Jennie F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

Fantastic tour for anyone who is interested in learning more about how Shintoism and Buddhism have helped to shape Japanese history and culture. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter and thoughtfully answered all of our questions. This tour definitely improved our awareness and understanding of some of the subtleties of Japanese culture. As a result, it also improved our understanding of everything we experienced in the days that followed. Highly recommended!

Johanna C P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Absolutely fantastic afternoon! Our guide was a buddhist priest who really brought into perspective the temples we had been visiting. Amazing!

Alison M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Absolutely amazing experience. Our guide Brian is one of the best guides we have ever had. He is very passionate about what he does and it benefited our tour and vacation tremendously.

Kathleen C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

We enjoyed our walking tour very much. Our guide was personable and answered all of our questions well. He was knowledgeable but knew when to move on to another topic. He was in tune to our jet lag and our needs to sit for a bit. He was informative about life in Kyoto and Japan in general. I highly recommend this walking tour and this particular guide. We plan to use Viator guides and programs in future travels! We are saving this web site on our "favorites."

Dr. P United States of ... 

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2016

Well informed guide. Well structured tour. Wish one more Daikaku-Ji temple was also included.


4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Friendly and extremely knowledgeable tour guide. He provided insights I would have missed had it not been for him. Do this tour at the start of your stay as it will make subsequent visits to shrines and temples more rewarding.

Lionel P

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2016

Not worth the $100+ I paid for it, even though the guide was nice and knowledgeable.

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