GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuide
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Premium tour of Kyoto (4): Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine, Tofukuji temple & Toji temple

Highlights
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Kyoto
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Japanese (Native), English
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!8 hours
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Private tour (only you and your group)
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!Up to 15 people

Besides the scenic beauty, you can learn the architectural difference between a shrine and a temple in this tour.

(1) Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine

According to the legend, Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine was founded when God Inari was enshrined on Mt. Inariyama in February, 711. It celebrated the 1300th anniversary of the God`s enshrinement and all the buildings in the ground were restored and re-painted with the vermilion color in 2011.

This shrine is the "So-honzan" head shrine of 30,000 Inari shrines across the country. There are paths called "sen-bon-torii", meaning alleys of tunnels made of 1,000 "torii" gates. Actually, however, it is said there are a total of more than 10, 000 "torii" gates, large and small, in the shrine compound which includes the whole of Mt. Inariyama. You can reach the top of the 233-meter-high mountain, or rather a hill, in about a 1.5-hour walk amid the rich greenery. It is the guardian shrine of merchants and tradesmen, attracting millions of visitors in the New-Year period. Pairs of foxes sitting at the base of "torii" gates are regarded as the messenger of the God.

After getting off the train, walk a bit and go through the huge "torii" gate, walk further on the paved main road and you will be met by the huge shrine building. Then, walk along the unpaved narrow paths which are inside the tunnel of "torii" gates according to the instructions of the signboards. There are many vermilion-colored buildings on your way, souvenir shops and small stalls selling charms. You can sit on the sides of the paths and enjoy chatting with your companions or have snacks. There are some places which command a fine view of the city of Kyoto below.

(2) Tofukuji temple

Established during the Kamakura period (1192 to 1333) of Japan, the name of this Zen Buddhist temple was derived from the two major temples in Nara: Todaiji temple and Kofukuji temple. There are many buildings in the temple precincts, but particularly notable are the three structures. They are: "Hondo" Main Hall, which is open to the public only in the three-day period of March 14, 15 and 16 each year, displaying the left hand of the Great Buddha; Tsutenkyo Bridge, where you can see thick leaves of trees on both sides, leading to Kaisendo Hall, where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful landscaped garden with a pond and a sand garden; and "Hojo" Hall, which is surrounded by the four representative Zen gardens consisting of rocks and sand.

(3) Toji-temple

Having the status as the World Cultural Heritage Site, the construction of this temple got started toward the end of the eighth century after the capital of Japan was moved to Kyoto from Nara. After having studied in China for two years, the Venerable "Kobo-Daishi", or "Kukai", was given this temple in 823. He wished that the peace of the nation will be maintained through the teachings of Buddhism whose light reaches every corner of the world and that individual thought will coexist without infringing on each other through the cooperation of all the people.

The four main structures of this temple, namely, "Kondo", "Kodo", "Jikido" halls and the 55-meter-high five-storied pagoda were destroyed by typhoons, fires, lightnings and other natural disasters many times since their coming into being in the early 9th century. The reconstruction of these buildings as they stand now were completed in the period between 1492 and 1644. On the 21st of each month, which is called "Kobo-san" and is the monthly return of the date of the demise of the Venerable "Kobo-daishi ", more than 1,000 stalls are installed where you can buy various kinds of antiques and souvenirs. There are more than 200,000 visitors on this day alone. There are 21 Buddhist statues in the" Kodo" Hall, 15 in "Kondo" Hall and many others in the five-storied pagoda, whose door is opened only on that memorable day each month.

Kyoto Tour Guide - Tatsuhiro N.
Tatsuhiro N.
4.46 / 5
(50 reviews)
09:00 AM

Meeting Point

At your hotel

Five-storied pagoda at Toji temple.

Zen gardens of Tofukuji temple.

Ending Point

At your hotel

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Inclusions & Exclusions

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What‘s included

guide fee, hotel pick-up in the Kyoto area

GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
What‘s not included

transportation fee (you and guide), lunch, dinner, entrance fee, hotel pick-up in areas beyond the Kyoto area

Tour Important Information

Important message from the guide

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I would like at least 7 days notice before a booking.

Cancellation Policy

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    Free cancellation - 8 days prior to meeting time
  • GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
    50% Refund - 3 to 7 days prior to meeting time
  • GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
    No Refund - Within 2 day(s) prior to meeting time

Kyoto Tour Reviews

S

Shimmena R.

5 / 5
May 28, 2024

Sweet May breezes invite you to Kyoto

Kyoto
8 hours

Customized

Amazing tour in Kyoto

My wife and I booked Hiro for a custom tour of Kyoto, he completely tailored to the sights we wanted to see. It was our first time in Japan and we were unfamiliar with the public transportation. Our ship docked in Osaka, and took 1.5hours of public transport to reach Kyoto. Hiro, kindly met us in Osaka and escorted us all the way to Kyoto! We were so grateful for this extra service. Although Hiro has quite a few decades behind him, he lead the 20k step tour from the front. He didn’t overload us with information and mindless chat, but let the sights do the talking. This is how we prefer it. He brought some props with him, resulting in some memorable photos. The entire tour was via public transport, which was extremely helpful to us as we now know all the ins and outs of getting around Japan. Great guy, and his English is very good. We highly recommend Hiro as a tour guide, and we will treasure our memories of Kyoto forever. Thank you Hiro!

Shimmena R.

Hi Shimmena-san & Jeroen-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comments. I am glad you enjoyed the tour of Kyoto and were able to get in touch with some of the aspects of our society. Above all, I am happy we were safely back to Kyoto station. I was once told by my customer several years ago that oil is cheaper than water in the UAE. At first, I doubted my ears. I don`t know whether it is true or not even now, but I envy you people living in that Arabian kingdom. It`s admirable that, in spite of such advantageous circumstances for drivers, you drive an electric vehicle out of concern for the environment. It is my pleasure to see happy smiles of my customers whenever I take them, which is the motivation for me doing this job. See you again somewhere sometime in the future. Good luck Hiro

highlights of Kyoto

Hiro collected us for our hotel and together we had planned the sites we wanted to visit. Hiro was amazing and flexible. His English was very good. It was a lovely day. Due to the golden week there were many crowds. Hiro made a special effort and had brought props for us to dress up in for photo's. He showed us how to use the buses. We had a very nice day out and our 1st day in Kyoto was lovely.

Smita S.

Hi Smita-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comment. I am really inspired and encouraged by it. I am now sure you enjoyed the tour of sacred "Koyasan", where, spirits of many noted personalities lie. Your party was really international, consisting of persons from various countries but connected by one common language of English. I wish you a good health and hope you will enjoy life more and more. See you again somewhere sometime in the future. Regards, Hiro

Beautiful Kyoto

We had a wonderful day with Tatsuhiro-san. He helped us maneuver through the city via subway and bus, and showed us the sites at our pace. He even brought costumes for us to put on to take pictures at the Fushimi Inari Shrine which we will treasure!

Lane S.

Hi Lane-san, Thank you very much for your favorable review. I enjoyed your company in today`s tour. Above all, I am glad we were able to conclude the tour safely. And many thanks for treating me to the delicious lunch. I wish you all a good health and happy everyday life. Regards, Hiro

$191/ per group

More tours by Tatsuhiro N.

Premium tour of Kyoto (1) : Arashiyama, Nijo-jo Castle & Kinkakuji templecover image

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Why not enjoy your holidays in Kyoto? You can certainly get in touch with many things Japanese that we are proud of. They are old temples and shrines, cultural assets and the beautiful natural surroundings. You can also enjoy dropping in at souvenir stores and buy exquisitely made products, such as folding fans, porcelain and traditional Japanese cakes. I would like to take you to the following places, which are the three representative tourist destinations in this city: (1) Arashiyama It is the place where all the traditional natural beauties of Japan are combined together. They are Togetsukyo bridge, bamboo grove and the old temples. If you go up to the observation spot, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the gorge below. You can also see rickshaws of the olden times drawn by young people with smiling passengers on board. There are souvenir shops selling variety of goods and products. (2) Nijo-jo Castle (World Cultural Heritage Site) This castle was built in the early 17th century by the Tokugawa Shogunate government for the purpose of protecting the Kyoto Imperial Palace and as the accommodations when Tokugawa Shogun was in Kyoto. It was subsequently enlarged by successive Shogun. It is the castle as well as the palace, where you can see the powerful structures and beautiful gardens. You can learn, in addition, how great the power of Tokugawa Shogun was. (3) Kinkakuji temple (the Golden Pavilion) (World Cultural Heritage Site) The history of this temple began when the third Shogun of the Muromachi period acquired a tract of land in this area from a powerful statesman in 1397 and built a villa of his own to entertain the Emperor and members of the nobility. The upper two levels of the temple are covered with pieces of gold foil and are shining brilliantly against the background of the rich greenery. The pond in the foreground reflects the golden structure. It looks like the materialization of Pure Land of Buddha in this world. In addition, on the top of the golden structure is the shining phoenix.

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Premium tour of Kyoto (4): Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine, Tofukuji temple & Toji temple  cover image

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Besides the scenic beauty, you can learn the architectural difference between a shrine and a temple in this tour. (1) Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine According to the legend, Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine was founded when God Inari was enshrined on Mt. Inariyama in February, 711. It celebrated the 1300th anniversary of the God`s enshrinement and all the buildings in the ground were restored and re-painted with the vermilion color in 2011. This shrine is the "So-honzan" head shrine of 30,000 Inari shrines across the country. There are paths called "sen-bon-torii", meaning alleys of tunnels made of 1,000 "torii" gates. Actually, however, it is said there are a total of more than 10, 000 "torii" gates, large and small, in the shrine compound which includes the whole of Mt. Inariyama. You can reach the top of the 233-meter-high mountain, or rather a hill, in about a 1.5-hour walk amid the rich greenery. It is the guardian shrine of merchants and tradesmen, attracting millions of visitors in the New-Year period. Pairs of foxes sitting at the base of "torii" gates are regarded as the messenger of the God. After getting off the train, walk a bit and go through the huge "torii" gate, walk further on the paved main road and you will be met by the huge shrine building. Then, walk along the unpaved narrow paths which are inside the tunnel of "torii" gates according to the instructions of the signboards. There are many vermilion-colored buildings on your way, souvenir shops and small stalls selling charms. You can sit on the sides of the paths and enjoy chatting with your companions or have snacks. There are some places which command a fine view of the city of Kyoto below. (2) Tofukuji temple Established during the Kamakura period (1192 to 1333) of Japan, the name of this Zen Buddhist temple was derived from the two major temples in Nara: Todaiji temple and Kofukuji temple. There are many buildings in the temple precincts, but particularly notable are the three structures. They are: "Hondo" Main Hall, which is open to the public only in the three-day period of March 14, 15 and 16 each year, displaying the left hand of the Great Buddha; Tsutenkyo Bridge, where you can see thick leaves of trees on both sides, leading to Kaisendo Hall, where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful landscaped garden with a pond and a sand garden; and "Hojo" Hall, which is surrounded by the four representative Zen gardens consisting of rocks and sand. (3) Toji-temple Having the status as the World Cultural Heritage Site, the construction of this temple got started toward the end of the eighth century after the capital of Japan was moved to Kyoto from Nara. After having studied in China for two years, the Venerable "Kobo-Daishi", or "Kukai", was given this temple in 823. He wished that the peace of the nation will be maintained through the teachings of Buddhism whose light reaches every corner of the world and that individual thought will coexist without infringing on each other through the cooperation of all the people. The four main structures of this temple, namely, "Kondo", "Kodo", "Jikido" halls and the 55-meter-high five-storied pagoda were destroyed by typhoons, fires, lightnings and other natural disasters many times since their coming into being in the early 9th century. The reconstruction of these buildings as they stand now were completed in the period between 1492 and 1644. On the 21st of each month, which is called "Kobo-san" and is the monthly return of the date of the demise of the Venerable "Kobo-daishi ", more than 1,000 stalls are installed where you can buy various kinds of antiques and souvenirs. There are more than 200,000 visitors on this day alone. There are 21 Buddhist statues in the" Kodo" Hall, 15 in "Kondo" Hall and many others in the five-storied pagoda, whose door is opened only on that memorable day each month.

FROM$191/ per group
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(1) Sanjusangen-do temple Officially called "Rengeo-in", meaning "Temple of the Lotus King Kannon-bosatsu", and designated as the National Treasure, it was originally established by the order of the cloistered emperor in 1164. After the original temple building was burnt down in 1249, the building was reconstructed in 1266 and it has remained unchanged to this day for some 700 years with four major renovations in that period. There is a 335-centimeter-high seated statue of Buddhist deity, Senju-Kannon Sahasra-bhuja, the principal image, and 1,000 life-size standing statues of Senju-Kannon in the 118-meter-long main hall of the temple. There are also two powerful and dynamic statues of "Fujin" Wind God and "Raijin" Thunder God at either end of the hall and 28 images of guardian deities protecting the 1,001 "Kannon" deities and pious Buddhists. The statues are made of Japanese cypress using the assembled-wood construction method called "yosegi-zukuri" and coated with gold foil. As there are thirty-three 2.5-meter-long spaces between the columns, the temple came to be called "Sanjusangen-do" (a hall with 33 spaces between columns). They tend to be ignored, but you cannot miss the two structures in the temple precincts: South Gate and roofed earthen fence, both of which are said to be made based on the idea of one time ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and reflect the aesthetics of the 16th century. (2) Kiyomizu-dera temple According to the Chronicle of Kiyomizu-dera temple, it originated in 778 when the noted monk, Enchin, enshrined an image of "Kannon" Goddess of Mercy on the mountain overlooking the Otowa-no-taki waterfall; later in 798, the distinguished general, Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro, built a Buddha hall there, following which the temple came under the official patronage of Emperor Kammu. Repeatedly destroyed by fire over the centuries, it was rebuilt on each occasion. Today, the principal temple buildings are the "Saimon" West Gate, the three-storied pagoda, the "Kyodo" Sutra Hall, the "Tamurado" Founder`s Hall, the "Todorokimon" Middle Gate, the "Asakurado" Hall, the "Hondo" Main Hall and the "Amidado" Amida Buddha Hall, all aligned on an east-west axis. The "Hondo" Main Hall, built in 1633, is the central building of the temple compound and is an example of "Kake-zukuri", or "overhang" architecture. It is famous for its so-called "Kiyomozu-dera stage", an imposing veranda, supported by a forest of tall wooden columns with wooden braces running through them crosswise and lengthwise. The temple itself is a magnificent building utilizing every sophisticated construction technique available in the olden times of Japan. Not only can you be in the solemn atmosphere accompanied by the delicate aroma of burning incense, but also get the breathtaking view below from the 12-meter-high platform, which is popularly known for the proverb "Jumping off the stage of Kiyomizu-dera temple", meaning making a bold attempt at doing something dangerous or impossible. The Buddhist temple is attractive throughout the year in the beautiful natural surroundings: cherry-blossoms in early April, fresh green leaves in early summer and trees with beautiful red and yellow leaves late in autumn. Meanwhile, you can drink cold, clean water from a waterfall below the platform. You can also find various kinds of souvenir shops on both sides of the approach to the temple and spend a happy time there wondering what to buy. (3) Ryozen-Kannon Goddess & Kodaiji temple This imposing, 24-meter-high "Kannon" statue built in 1955 to wish for the construction of peace-loving Japan and to console the souls of Japanese killed in World War Ⅱ stands with the rich greenery in the background. Her serene, mild, gentle face gives us relief from our daily worries and concerns. Kodaiji temple near the Kannon image was built by the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one-time ruler of Japan, to console his soul in 1606. Later, with the huge financial assistance made by Tokugawa Ieyasu, his successor, the temple enjoyed prosperity. After 1789, however, it lost many of its buildings due to repeated fires except the main hall, the mausoleum of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his wife Nene called "Mitamaya", where the statues of the couple is seated, the two tea houses and a few other structures. There is a small museum in the temple precincts called Kodaiji Sho (palm-of-the-hand) Museum, where many pieces of "makie" lacquerware and other artifacts are on display. The lacquerware was made by sprinkling gold powder on the lacquered products such as spice containers, pitchers and chests of drawers. They are associated with the life of the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

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