After hotel pickup in Osaka, climb aboard the JR Special Rapid Service train to Kyoto, Japan’s former capital. Listen as your guide sets the historical scene of the sprawling city, offering information on the rich heritage and impressive monuments of the region. On arrival, head straight to Nijo Castle, a 17th-century structure revered for its solemn exterior and opulent interior.
After your tour, venture to the nearby Kinkaku-ji Temple to absorb the sacred ambience of the Buddhist temple; stroll through one of the world’s most exquisite Japanese gardens and gaze at the glimmering gold façade of the Golden Pavilion. Next, visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, a splendid structure that characterizes the pure and simple Japanese style. Follow your guide through the opulent chambers of the palace and hear about the extravagant emperor who used to reside here. If the Palace is closed, visit the famous shrine of Kitano instead.
Revitalize with a flavorsome and fulfilling Japanese lunch then make your way to Nara, a city shrouded in legend and thronged with significant sites. Head first to Todai-ji Temple, an ancient 8th-century structure that houses some of Japan’s national treasures, and gaze at 3,000 antique bronze and stone lanterns.
The last stop is to visit Nara Nagomikan, an enormous souvenir shop replete with sweets, exclusive goods and artisan treats. After purchasing some bespoke treats, you'll be transferred to Kintetsu Nara Station and say goodbye to your guide at the station. You'll make your own back from Kintetsu Nara Station to Osaka Namba Station (non-reserved seat) where the tour concludes.