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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 Our Insiders Chose 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!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Kyoto and Nara 2-Day or 3-Day Rail Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo

Heian Shrine Kyoto

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.

Overnight: Kyoto (tourist class: New Miyako Hotel, Rihga Royal Hotel or similar; first class: Kyoto Hotel Okura, Hotel Monterey Kyoto or similar)

Day 2: Kyoto, or Kyoto – Tokyo (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, you have the option of returning to Tokyo by bullet train to end your tour. Or choose the 3-day option and stay another night in Kyoto.

Overnight: Kyoto (tourist class: New Miyako Hotel, Rihga Royal Hotel or similar; first class: Kyoto Hotel Okura, Hotel Monterey Kyoto or similar)

Day 3: Kyoto – Tokyo
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.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!

Carlos A C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Very friendly and attentive staff , babysitting you all the way to the train seat !! Kyoto experience very nice !

Perikala ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Very well organized, we have no problems, guides were excellent, helpful, obedient,very well taken care of us,forgotten their names.

Prabhsaran S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Great tour very organized. The tour guides were funny and kept you engaged. Be prepared it can be tiring especially if your not used to walking. But that and #39;s Japan for you. You can be dropped off to a specific place during the tour upon request. Must do. Highly recommend it.

James S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Really Great guides lots of history, hotels and food wnderful! Superior organization at every turn!

David P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Excellent organisation throughout - train, hotel and tours - with very informative and friendly guides. We especially want to thank our guide on the Kyoto sightseeing day for his excellent and enthusiastic presentation - he made it all come to life!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Very organized . Enjoyed the trip.

leigh m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

hello Viator
I highly recommend this 3 day rail tour all transfers where very easy -- the pick up was on time and the tour staff walked us to the station up onto the platform and waited till the train arrived excellent service


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

This was a fantastic, highly organized tour. If you are afraid to go to a new place because of the language barrier like I was, this guided tour is an excellent option. We added the third day in Kyoto. Once we learned our way around with the tour group, we were able to successfully get to the Kyoto Bamboo Grove and to an area just east of Nijo Castle to see some art exhibitions. I would book a tour with them again if heading to another country!

George G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was an excellent tour for us from Tokyo prior to our cruise. We had two nights in Kyoto with a half day tour of Nara, including the fascinating deer park, when hundreds of tame deer greet the visitors. You can pet or feed them as you like. The second day includes key sites in Kyoto like the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, ancient Imperial Palace. After an excellent lunch, we visited Sanjusangen-do Temple and its 1001 Buddas, which is a must see in Kyoto. Also, two more temples, including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple with great views of the city. The third day we visited the Silver Pavilion and did the Philosopher's Path that day with more great sites to see. We stayed at the New Miyako Hotel, which was nice with a great location across the street from the main rail station. Great tour, highly recommend it. Japanese tour company was excellent.

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