Kyoto is filled with an almost endless variety of sites and experiences. From ancient Shinto shrines to opulent palaces, there's no shortage of things to see (not to mention all the delicious food and local crafts as well). Locals says that even one lifetime isn't enough to visit all the temples and shrines in Kyoto.

For a foreign visitor, this means that you must be wise about how you manage your time in the city. The half day Kyoto Highlights Tour follows our philosophy of in depth cultural touring. We've designed the itinerary to give you a glimpse at a few of the popular tourist locations in Kyoto, as well as gain insight into Kyoto's rich history and culture by exploring a few lesser-known hidden gems. Remember, you can usually experience more in a half day with an expert guide than you can do in a full day on your own!

The following is a sample itinerary for the Kyoto Highlights Tour:

  • Explore Fushimi Inari, Kyoto's most famous Shinto shrine, with tens of thousands of torii gates and stone fox statues covering the mountainside.

  • Come face to face with 1001 golden Buddha statues at Sanjusangendo, Kyoto's most impressive sight. A definite must-see.

  • Stop for a break at one of Kyoto's most famous teahouses and enjoy traditional matcha green tea and wagashi sweets. (optional, 800 yen per person)

  • Visit several often overlooked local shrines, and one shocking monument that other tours often skip. You won't believe what's buried here...

  • Experience Kenninij, Kyoto's first Zen temple, complete with an impressive Zen rock garden and a massive dragon ceiling in the main hall.

  • Walk through Gion, the traditional geisha quarter, and learn about the lives of the women who entertain and live here.

  • Enjoy the company of a fellow foreigner as a guide. We'll give you the real scoop about what it's like to live here, and all the local tips and info!

  • Finish near the Kamogawa River in Shijo, a perfect spot to grab lunch, explore the traditional market, or shop for unique souvenirs.

Kyoto Highlights Tour

Walking and Public Transportation Option

Duration: approx. 4.5 hours

Price: 21,000 yen for one guest

(4,000 yen for each additional guest, child discounts available)

Taxi Option (no trains/buses, minimal walking between locations)

Duration: approx. 4 hours

Extra Fee: 4,500 yen

Japanese taxis hold 4 passengers max

Please note that this tour must be booked with a starting time no later than noon

We only had one day in Kyoto, so this tour was a perfect way to catch a few sights before we had to get back on the bullet train to Tokyo. Highly recommended if you want to see what Kyoto has to offer but are on a limited schedule. Great tour! We loved the long Buddha hall [Sanjusangendo] the most!
— Pam from Los Angeles, USA

Additional information

  • This is mainly a walking tour, so comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended.

  • This tour can be booked as a morning or afternoon tour, however it must be started by noon to ensure that we have time to visit as many locations as possible before they close.

  • Tour price includes transportation fees as outlined above and all temple admission fees.

  • Guests are responsible for their own bill at the tea house if they choose to include that in the tour. Suitable for vegetarians.

  • Itinerary subject to change due to seasonal changes in temple hours, special events, transportation delays, weather, or other factors. Guests will be kept informed of any itinerary changes as they occur on the day of the tour.

  • Please read our terms and conditions for more information before booking.

To book this tour, inquire about scheduling, or request more info, please use the contact form below.

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