Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

by TripleLights travel specialist

Are you looking for tours or tour guides in Kyoto? There are so many places to see in Kyoto it feels both exciting and bit overwhelming. There are of course tour packages that include transportation to and from Tokyo, but many travelers like to sightsee on their own instead of in a big group. Hiring a local guide for a private tour is one way to go sightseeing in the ancient capital. Below are 9 different types of tours for you to consider during your search for the perfect tour.



Kyoto One Day Tour

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

If you want to go see the main sightseeing spots in Kyoto in one day, the one day tour is the type for you. When there are so many temples and shrines to see, deciding the best ones to see on your own can be quite a challenge. I’m sure no one wants to miss out on seeing the best sightseeing spots, so having a local guide to provide insight on the most popular or must see spots when coming to Kyoto, is a big benefit.

The city of Kyoto itself is a historical treasure trove. Most Japanese students living in Tokyo will take a school trip during their junior high school years to see the most historically famous temples and shrines in Kyoto. Some of the popular places they visit are Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, and Ginkakuji Temple. If you really want to see the city properly, you should take 2 or 3 days to go sightseeing.

Kyoto one day tour recommendations:

My Favorite Golden Route tour by Local Guide Yoshihisa

1 Day Special Customized  tour by Local Guide Toshiyo

 

Kyoto Half Day Tour

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

Some people just want a short introduction to Kyoto. Other people just want a tour for a certain part of Kyoto and are fine going to see the other famous sightseeing spots by themselves. Or you could be arriving from Tokyo just before lunchtime and unfortunately don’t have the time to do a full day tour of Kyoto. Whatever the reason, a half day tour of 4 to 6 hours is a perfect fit for those who want to pinpoint the duration they hire a guide. This leads to conserving money as well as getting both the benefits of having someone local to ask your questions to and exploring Kyoto on your own afterwards. Questions you should ask a local tour guide can vary from recommended sightseeing spots, questions about the best food or restaurants to try during your stay in Kyoto, local culture and traditions, and transportation logistics.

Kyoto half day tour recommendations:

A Wonderful Half Day in Kyoto tour by Local Guide Tomoe

Private Half Day Kyoto tour by Local Guide Akira

 

Arashiyama

The Arashiyama area lies to the west of central Kyoto. It’s about a 30 minute trip by train and is the second most popular sightseeing area in Kyoto. You may have heard of the area already or you may have seen a picture somewhere of the famous bamboo grove. Standing in the middle of the walls of bamboo trees is a calming experience you can’t find anywhere else. Other than the bamboo grove, this area is also full of temples and shrines. It’s quite beautiful seeing the traditional Japanese architecture amidst nature. Another famous sight is the Togetsukyo Bridge. You’ll find this bridge overcrowded with tourists though. You may also enjoy the monkey park situated near the bridge if you like animals.

Arashiyama one day tour recommendations:

Arashiyama One Day Sightseeing tour by Local Guide Ahmed

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Forest tour by Local Guide Hideo

For Seniors and Wheelchair Users

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

Just like in Tokyo, sightseeing in Kyoto involves a lot of walking whether you go it alone or you go on a private tour using public transportation. For the elderly and for people using wheelchairs, this is not good news. But don’t despair. You don’t have to give up trying to go sightseeing of this amazing city. There are local tour guides that can arrange a private car for you and take you to sightseeing spots that are wheelchair accessible. Having a private car greatly decreases the amount of walking that you need to do, so people with family members that require a little help benefit from this advantage.

For seniors and wheelchair users, tour recommendations:

Tasty Central Kyoto on Your Wheelchair tour by Local Guide Takehiko

Exciting Eastern Kyoto on Your Wheelchair tour by Local Guide Takehiko

 

Hiking Tour

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

I noticed that many foreign tourists like to go hiking in Japan. If you’re one of these people, you may enjoy experiencing hiking in Kyoto. Kyoto is situated in a valley so the city is surrounded by mountains, so you can easily go hiking. For people who are afraid of getting lost on the hiking trails or people who want to do some sightseeing along with walking some hiking trails, taking a tour with a local guide is recommended.

Hiking  tour recommendations:

Fushimi Inari Hike and Sake Tasting tour by Local Guide Richard

Kyoto Fushimi Inari Hiking tour by Local Guide Koichi

 

Kyoto Cycling Tour

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

Cycling around the suburbs of Kyoto is an exhilarating experience. Surrounded by nature, you’ll be able to see the amazing scenery and relax in the fresh air. It’s a unique experience for people who want to do something other than conventional sightseeing. You can even try tea leaf picking at a plantation if you want to on one of these cycling tours.

Cycling  tour recommendations:

Tea Picking Experience & Tea Plantation Cycling tour by Local Guide Seiko

Arashiyama Cycling tour by Local Guide Keiko

 

Foodie Tour

People who are foodies always want to try delicious dishes wherever they go, right? I think this applies especially in Japan because traditional Japanese dishes are not only delicious but wonderful to look at. It’s like a type of art. Kyoto actually has a one of a kind food culture. This is definitely something you want to have someone local explain to you. Because a person living somewhere else just won’t have the same kind of innate local knowledge about the culture, traditions, and of course the food.

Foodie  tour recommendations:

Kyoto Tailor Made Dining tour by Local Guide Mari

Kyoto Izakaya Food Tour tour by Local Guide Koichi

 

Kyoto Activities

Sightseeing is one way to enjoy a trip to a foreign country, but participating in traditional activities is also another way to have an amazing time. Lots of people want to try experiencing a tea ceremony. This is probably because green tea has become famous all over the world. This is an amazing experience to have especially in the ancient capital of Japan. There are other traditional cultures you can experience. For example, making or dying kimono textiles, or trying your hand at pottery, experiencing Zen meditation, and tasting sake. You can also visit workshops of Japanese craftsmanship if you like and see the delicate process of crafts “made in Japan”.

Activities and  tour recommendations:

Gion Area and Tea Ceremony tour by Local Guide Keiko

Personalized Kyoto Cultural Experience tour by Local Guide Katsuko

 

Cherry Blossom Tour

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

Cherry blossom season in Kyoto is a sight to see. It’s one of the two most crowded seasons of Kyoto. The other being the season of autumn when the leaves change into beautiful colors.

So, as you can imagine, Kyoto will be full of tourists from all over Japan and all over the world as well. Navigating the city in these conditions may prove stressful if you don’t know exactly where to go or how to get there. Hiring a local guide to take you around the best places may be a good idea. Local tour guides of Kyoto will know which places are not too crowded or the best places to snap a few picturesque shots. So make use of their knowledge to enjoy the most beautiful season in Japan. You cannot see the amazing collaboration of pink cherry blossom trees with historic temples and shrines all over the place in any other city other than Kyoto.

Cherry Blossom  tour recommendations:

Cherry Blossom Viewing tour by Local Guide Yoshihisa

Arashiyama Cherry Blossoms tour by Local Guide Hideo

 

Blog about Kyoto

Gion Kyoto: Complete guide before you go

Kyoto 1 day guide: The best full day tour for your trip to Kyoto

Transportation in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and around 

To find more Blogs with Tips and Information about Kyoto and across all Japan click here.

 

Want to make your Kyoto trip more Interesting? Here's how! 

TripleLights the Best Private Tours and Locals Guides across Japan.

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Kyoto, you can Send a Message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

You also can Request a Tour just for You. Just type what you would like to see and guides all over Tokyo will send you quotes and their recommendations according to your interested and budget. 

TripleLights website you can find the best professional Local Guides all across Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our Private Tours to Kyoto

Did you like my article?

You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.

I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now


20 Nov 2018

Akane

Company

Plan your trip to Tokyo with Akane

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Fabulous tour of Tokyo with Carla! ”

Excellent
2 hours ago Traveler: Santiago -   Tour Guide: Carla

Carla was incredibly personable and incredibly enhanced our day in Tokyo. I highly recommend working with Carla for a memorable experience in Tokyo.
read more

“ Hiroyuki was great! ”

Excellent
2 hours ago Traveler: Amy -   Tour Guide: Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki was great! We booked him only a 1 day prior and it was a very easy process. He met us at the hotel and built a custom itinerary. When we wanted to do things of the itinerary it was not a problem. He would take pictures for us of us which is always nice. He had a lot of great knowledge that made the tour very insightful. At the end of the day we wanted to stay in Asakusa so he departed fro...
read more

“ Excellent transfer service from our hotel to Yokohama port ”

Excellent
2 hours ago Traveler: Lynne -   Tour Guide: ABC Cars

Our driver was very prompt and helpful. The car was perfect for the 4 of us and our luggage. I will book them again for our transfer from Tokoyo port to Narita airport
read more

“ Japanese Customs - Sight seeing ”

Excellent
3 hours ago Traveler: Terry -   Tour Guide: Michiko

Excellent guide, good knowledge of Tokyo, would use Michiko again . We all enjoyed her company and got on well together.
read more

“ Sheer delight ”

Excellent
4 hours ago Traveler: Peter -   Tour Guide: MAYUMI

Mayumi is everything you want in a tour guide. She is warm, affable, knowledgeable and eager to please. Look no further.
read more

“ Great experience ”

Excellent
6 hours ago Traveler: Edith -   Tour Guide: Chiaki

Chiaki was wonderful! We had a great day shopping for our bento at the depachika and going to Hamarikyu gardens. Took the boat cruise to Asakusa and even shopped at the Dengama shop!
read more

“ Fabulous Mother/Daughter Trip with Mari! ”

Excellent
8 hours ago Traveler: Erin -   Tour Guide: Mari

My mother and I were fortunate enough to be able to tour with Mari for two days during our visit to Tokyo this month. From the time we booked Mari to the end of our tours, we couldn't have asked for a better guide for the city. Mari was a fantastic guide who was extremely organized and thoughtful and even sent us materials about visiting Japan in advance of our trip. She was very attentive and mad...
read more

“ Tokyo April 2019 ”

Excellent
8 hours ago Traveler: Kate -   Tour Guide: Ai

Ai was absolutely wonderful. Very organized and easy to communicate with prior to the tour. She took us all over Tokyo to see everything that we had requested to see and do. We had such a great time and would definitely use her services again. Thank you so much!!
read more

“ Wonderful and interesting day with Fulvio ”

Excellent
11 hours ago Traveler: Jane -   Tour Guide: Fulvio

Fluvio was an excellent guide and very helpful and knowledgeable. He took us to off the beaten track sights which we appreciated very much, He spoke fluent French which was a bonus as one lady didn't speal English. He is an asset to Triplelights and we woud highly recommed him.
read more

“ Wonderful Guide ”

Excellent
13 hours ago Traveler: Ellen -   Tour Guide: Uemitsu

Our group of 6 engaged Uemitsu to for a 1-1/2 day tour of Tokyo. His English is articulate and his knowledge of Tokyo and the subway system was invaluable to our group. He also modified our itinerary based on the weather to ensure we had the best viewing experience of the sights we wanted to see. Uemitsu was punctual, personable and knowledgeable. He also has a wonderful sense of humor and mad...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo with Akane

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message