Imagine this: you're the leader of an important clan in the imperial household, deftly balancing power and politics in 13th century Japan. Where do you choose to build your palatial villa that you retire to between military campaigns and political upheavals? Why, the gracefully sloping northwest hills of Kyoto, of course! The tranquility of the area convinced many nobles, shoguns, and even retired emperors that this was the spot on which to reflect upon their lives and leave a shining monument to their power and wealth.

Some of the finest examples of Kyoto's private estates are still preserved here today, many of which have been transformed into magnificent Buddhist temple complexes. Many tourists make the mistake of coming up this way to only see the Golden Pavilion, but there are many more impressive sights to be admired in the area. This Northwest Kyoto Walking Tour will take you to some of Kyoto's most famous and busiest spots, but also passes through some more tranquil locations, included a stop for tea in a peaceful temple garden. This is a great tour for guests interested in Buddhism and Zen, or anyone who wants to see Kyoto at its best!

Northwest Kyoto Tour

Please contact us for pricing and availability


So satisfied with this tour. The Golden Pavilion was just as great as we expected. The guide made sure we got there early before the crowds arrived so that it was perfect for us to take pictures. The Zen garden [Ryoanji] was spectacular! Best thing we saw in Japan.
— Heather from Ontario, Canada

Additional information

  • This tour must be booked with a start time no later than 9:00 am.

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

  • During peak tourism seasons, only the taxi transportation option of this tour may be available.

  • Tour price includes transportation fees (train and/or bus), temple admission fees, and tea and sweets.

  • Guests are responsible for any additional food or drink purchased while on the tour.

  • If guests would prefer to take a taxi between locations, guests are responsible for all taxi fees (limit 3 guests per taxi).

  • 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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