Immerse yourself in Japan’s captivating culture on a two-day trip to Nara and Kyoto from Tokyo. Board a high velocity bullet train to discover five UNESCO World Heritage-listed highlights with an accomplished guide as you venture to Kyoto’s Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple. Marvel at the sacred majesty of the Todaijii Temple and Kasuga Shrine in Nara and see all of Kyoto’s spectacular sights on a guided tour of the Helan Shrine and Imperial Palace. Accommodation, transportation, entrance fees and selected meals are all included in this tour.
- Two-day trip to Kyoto and Nara by rail from Tokyo
- View the stunning, snow-capped peak of Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train
- Take a sightseeing tour of Nara, including UNESCO World Heritage-listed Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Shrine, with a knowledgeable local guide
- Visit the Golden Pavilion Temple and Nijo Castle, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plus the Imperial Palace on a morning sightseeing tour of Kyoto
- Admire 1,001 statues at Sanjusangendo Hall, and see Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple on an afternoon tour
- Keep an eye out for free-roaming deer at the Deer Park
Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour
High-tech meets ancient tradition as you zip about via bullet train to major landmarks of historic Japan. Get up close and personal with the friendly deer at Nara Park.
Marvel at the super-fast speed of a bullet train as you venture to Kyoto via the fascinating town of Nara. Depart from your Tokyo hotel in a comfortable vehicle and enjoy either first-class or tourist-class accommodation in your Kyoto hotel. See a spellbinding selection of temples and shrines as you absorb the culture, history and natural splendor of Nara and Kyoto over two days.
Listen to captivating commentary from your guide and gain insight into authentic Japanese culture as you sample traditional food and see some of the country’s most significant sights. See the Itinerary section below for detailed information on each day of the tour.
Day 1: Tokyo – Nara – Kyoto (L):
After hotel pickup around 9am, transfer to Tokyo Station and board a Shinkansen train with your guide and tour group, headed for the classical city of Kyoto. As you zoom by bullet train to your destination, take in the spectacular views (weather permitting) of impressive Mt Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, which hovers 12,389 feet (3,776.24 meters) above sea level.
Upon arrival in Kyoto, you’ll have lunch at the New Miyako Hotel, located in front of the bullet train stop at Kyoto Station. After your meal, travel by coach to Nara – Japan’s first permanent capital city, established in 710 AD – located in the Kansai region about an hour from Kyoto. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided city tour of Nara’s historical treasures, including some of Japan's oldest Buddhist monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
First, visit the 8th-century Todaiji Temple, considered one of the country’s most historically significant temples, and admire Japan's largest Buddha image – an enormous bronze statue – housed in the Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall). Next, visit the colorful Kasuga Shrine with its 3,000 antique stone and bronze lanterns.
Before returning to Kyoto by coach, your guide will take you to the Deer Park, where you can observe more than 1,000 tame deer that freely roam over its 1,250 verdant acres (505 hectares).
Overnight: New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto Hotel Okura, or Gion Yoshi-ima (Japanese-style ryokan) (depending on your hotel selection at checkout)
Day 2: Kyoto – Tokyo (L)
Embark on a morning sightseeing tour around Kyoto, an ancient capital and home to more than 2,000 gorgeous temples, shrines and gardens. Visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, where Japan’s emperors once resided, and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the gold-plated Golden Pavilion Temple (Kinkaku-ji Temple) and Nijo Castle, noted for its gorgeous interior and ‘nightingale’ floors, which were designed to squeak in order to warn the castle’s Tokugawa shoguns of intruders.
After Japanese/western style buffet lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour of the city. Starting at Sanjusangendo Hall (also called Sanjusangendo Temple), Japan's longest wooden structure, admire the 1,001 images of Senju Kannon – the goddess of mercy.
Next, take in the glorious vermilion-hued Heian Shrine (a renowned Shinto shrine) followed by a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu Temple to enjoy its wooden veranda and classical Japanese gardens. In the evening, board the Shinkansen bullet train back to Tokyo and arrive at Tokyo Station around 9:30pm.