Immerse yourself in the historical highlights and cultural delights of Kyoto and Nara on a 2- or 3-day guided tour from Tokyo. Leave Tokyo on a super-speed bullet train and begin your excursion in Nara, a city replete with sacred shrines and holy temples. Luxuriate in comfortable accommodation then spend the following day discovering the legendary landmarks of Kyoto with your accomplished guide. Opt for the 3-day option to experience a day of independent exploration in Kyoto and enjoy round-trip transportation from your hotel on both tours.
- 2-day or 3-day guided tour of Kyoto and Nara with bullet train, from Tokyo
- See majestic Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train (weather permitting)
- Visit Nara's highlights including Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine and Deer Park
- Witness Kyoto’s rich heritage at Kinkaku-ji Temple, Sanjusangen-do Hall, Heian Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple
- Admire the majestic architecture the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle
- Choice of one or two nights' tourist-class or first-class accommodation in Kyoto
- Enjoy a worry-free tour that includes an expert guide for daytime tours, transportation, and accommodation
Why Travelers Choose This Tour
If you want to make the most out of a short stay in Japan, this tour is for you. Polite and informative guides show you the highlights of the historical cities of Kyoto and Nara on a tour that's as swift and efficient as the bullet train!
Select from the 2- or 3-day tour of Kyoto and Nara when booking to see all of the spectacular sights of the cities with a knowledgeable guide. Luxuriate in comfortable accommodation in Kyoto at your choice of first or tourist class hotel and spend evenings as you please after sightseeing with a professional guide during the day.
Either return to Tokyo by bullet train on the second day, or enjoy a third day of independent exploration in Kyoto, a captivating city replete with impressive monuments. Greet and bid farewell to your guide at Kyoto train station and enjoy convenient round-trip transportation from your Tokyo hotel.
Please see the Itinerary section below for detailed information on each tour.
Day 1: Tokyo – Nara – Kyoto (L)
After morning pickup at your hotel or meeting at Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal, you are transferred to Tokyo Station to catch your bullet train to Kyoto. Look out the train window and hope to catch sight of Mt Fuji, weather permitting. At mid-day, arrive in Kyoto Station where you are met by your guide. Enjoy a welcome lunch at the New Miyako Hotel before traveling one hour by comfortable coach to Nara.
The first capital of Japan was established in Nara in 710 and the city boasts numerous UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. Your guide takes you to one of Japan’s most historically significant temples, the Todai-ji Temple, from the 8th-century. Walk through the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall) and admire the giant bronze statue of the Buddha. Continue to Kasuga Taisha Shrine, a renowned Shinto shrine that is spectacularly lit by 3,000 antique bronze and stone lanterns. Finish the afternoon by strolling through Deer Park (Nara Park) and marveling at the hundreds of freely roaming tame deer. You can even buy food for the deer if you wish!
On your way back to Kyoto, stop into Nara Nagomikan, a large souvenir shop that specializes in food products and other goods made in Nara. Have the evening free in Kyoto to spend at your leisure.
Day 2: Kyoto (for 2-day tour) or Kyoto – Tokyo (for 3-day tour) (L)
Get an early start for a full-day guided tour of the highlights of Kyoto. Your first stop takes you to Nijo Castle, which was built in the early 1600s for the Tokugawa Shogun. Then head to one of Kyoto’s most famous temples, Kinkaku-ji Temple, known for its shimmering Golden Pavilion and exquisite Japanese gardens. After taking in Kinkaku-ji, visit the Emperor of Japan’s former residence, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and follow your guide around the architecturally stunning complex.
Take a break and enjoy a Japanese-style lunch. After eating, continue your city tour at Sanjusangen-do Temple, where you can take in the world's longest wooden structure, which holds 1,001 life-size Buddhist statues that date to the 13th century. Head to the stunning Heian-jingu Shrine, built in 1895 to celebrate Kyoto’s 1,100 years of existence.
Get great views over Tokyo from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a hilltop temple with several gorgeous buildings. Water from the Otowa spring flows under the temple’s main hall and is reputed to grant a wish to anyone who takes a sip.
In the evening, if you select 2-day tour, you'll return to Tokyo by bullet train to end your tour. If you select 3-day tour, you'll stay another night in Kyoto.
Day 3: Kyoto – Tokyo (only applied to 3-day tour)
Spend the day exploring Kyoto at your leisure, then catch the bullet train back to Tokyo in the evening where your tour ends.
Please note: If any sites in Kyoto or Nara are closed on the day of your visit, a substitute site will be visited. Both cities have a wealth of amazing places to see.