In this tour I will show you the most popular spots in Kyoto in 8 hours. Following is a sample itinerary including 2 temples with beautiful gardens, 1 Shinto shrine and Nishiki Market at the end of the day. Let's wander around Japan's most traditional city!
Check out what we are going to do.
Feel free to personalize this offer.
At your hotel in Kyoto or Information Desk at JR Central Gate of Kyoto Station
A Shinto shrine that has more than 10,000 vermilion colored Shinto gates.
Natural bamboo forest that has a pretty path with unique bamboo fences. Arashiyama used to be a resort area for noble people.
World heritage site, A Zen Buddhist temple founded in the 14th century. It has one of the oldest landscaped gardens in Japan.
The temple is connected to Arashiyama bamboo forest.
A world heritage site. Golden Pavilion was originally built in the 13th century by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The temple has a beautiful pond garden representing a paradise.
Kyoto's kitchen located in the center of the city. If you like to taste some Japanese food and Sake, this is the place to go! Also near the market there are 2 shopping streets.
At your hotel or the last destination
As for transportation, I normally use public transportation, and taxis at your request. Please cover guide's transportation cost as well as yours. If you like to hire a van, please let me know; hiring a van for 8 hours with a driver costs around 50,000yen to 60,000yen depending on the vehicle.
hotel pick up
transportation for you and guide (approx. 1,500yen/person),
lunch for you and guide (approx. 1,000-2,000yen/person),
entrance fees for you (usually temples' admissions are 400-600yen/person. Shrines require no admission fees.)
I will pick you up at your hotel in Kyoto or at Kyoto Station. I normally use public transportation, and taxis at your request. Please cover guide's transportation cost as well as yours.
Another recommended itinerary for 8 hours is Kiyomizudera Temple, Nanzenji Temple, Nijo Castle and the Geisha district called Gion.
You can find their photos in this photo gallery as well.
Please inform me if you have food restrictions.
Mari packed a lot in one day and it was amazing. I am so glad we decided to use a guide for our first day. I wasn't worried about getting lost or not knowing the best things to see, so I was able to just enjoy the day. We can't wait to go back and see the sights again.
Hi Melissa, Thank you so much for your tour review! I enjoyed having your family for a full day tour. Your children were very nice and polite. With your help I could manage a tour smoothly. Mari
Mari is an outstanding guide with Great knowledge and personality. A total pleasure to be with. Took us to all the interesting sites and explained all the details we needed. We strongly recommend her to anyone who is interested in a private guide for Kyoto.
Thank you Arun for the review. It was my pleasure to show you around the eastern part of the city which is the most traditional. I had a wonderful time with your family!
We have spent 2 days touring Kyoto with Mari. It has been a fabulous experience. Mari has been delightful and we all have had such a fun time together. Her English is excellent and since she has spent a lot of time in the US, there has been no language barrier. It has been an experience traveling all around Kyoto by train, subways and buses.. it was so nice exploring the area in this manner rather than a bus tour and seeing things through a window. We have had a myriad of questions about what we were seeing and Mari answered all of them with enthusiasm, patience and a lot of detail. We enjoyed eating where “ locals” ate and Mari gave a lot of thought on the meal recommendation. When I booked the tours with Mari, she was very flexible with our requests and had a well planned tour for us. She made our visit to Kyoto extra special. We felt like we were traveling around with a friend.
Dear Shelly, Thank you so much for a nice review so quickly. I enjoyed touring with you and talking about a lot of things. I even wish I could have more! I sometimes encounter new things during the tours, and the tour with you was one of those. Thank you, Shelly!
Where do we begin with Mari? Mari is such a wonderful and knowledgeable guide who took us around the sights of Osaka and Kyoto. During the Osaka tour we saw, in great detail, Osaka Castle, Shitenoji Temple and the Dotombori. The time and care taken to talk about the history of the first two places made the tour so much more exciting. I should also point out that we travelled with a party of 6, including 3 teenage boys and a 9 year old in a wheelchair. Mari looked up elevator spots and warned us when there wouldn't be any, she kept us informed every step of the way and by the end the boys wanted to call her Aunty Mari :). In Kyoto we saw the magnificent Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine, the Arashiyama Bamboo forest and the Golden Pavilion. We couldn't believe this we're possible, but these were even more incredible than the sites in Osaka. One of our accidental finds was a little grandma local ramen shop who served the perfect bowl of noodles to keep us going. I should mention to bring solid walking shoes as there's a lot of walking. We averaged 28,000 steps per day. However, you don't really notice it when you're in the spirit of the day. There's also quite a bit of train catching so there's opportunities to sit down as well. All in all we loved Mari and had a fantastic day, we would highly recommend her to anyone coming to Osaka or Kyoto :)
Dear Jacqueline, I appreciate your detailed tour review! I truly enjoyed 2days with you. I also learned a lot from your family being so nice and caring to each other. The Golden Pavilion looked the best yesterday in the sun, and the reflection in the pond was almost perfect as we had little wind; you were very lucky! I hope you will continue to enjoy traveling in Japan.