This is a half day tour for people who want to have a quick look at the main attractions. Even though it is a half day tour, you can experience the calm and historical atmosphere of Kyoto. Our guides will take you to the three main sights where you can learn about Kyoto’s long history and culture.
Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The dazzling appearance of the reliquary hall on the temple grounds, which is decorated with gold leaf, is what Kinkakuji is known for.
Hosokawa Katsumoto established Ryōan-ji in 1450 during the Muromachi period, when Zen sects flourished. Without using water, karesansui, or dry landscape, gardens represent water using stones and sand, and “Ryōan-ji’s Rock Garden” is famous for this.The garden is listed as a World Heritage Site.
Nijo Castle, which was constructed in the Edo period, is a registered National Historic Site, while Ninomaru Palace is a designated National Treasure, and other buildings and wall panel paintings are designated as Important Cultural Properties. Nijo Castle is also a registered UN World Heritage site. (Ninomaru is the area that directly defended Honmaru, which was the control center in times of war.)
Our Guides in Kyoto
Do you want to customize this tour?
You can change the places you want to visit during the booking process. In the first step, you can add or remove places and also write any special requests that you have for the tour.
Our guides will take care of you and help you to plan the perfect trip.
Transportation (Public or Private)
Most of our guides use public transportation such as train, subway, bus, etc., which is cheaper than taking a taxi or hiring a private car. If you are a big group or if you prefer to use taxi or a private car, our guides will help you to find the best option that fits your needs.
Please note that the transportation cost is NOT included in the tour fee, only the guide fee is included.
If your group is more than 6 people, we recommend you to contact our guides directly first, to see if they can manage your group. See all Guides in Kyoto
- Guide Fee
What‘s not included
- Hotel Pickup
- Your transportation fee
- Guide transportation fee
- Lunch, Dinner, Entrance fee
Frequently Asked Questions
Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.
Your credit card or PayPal account will be charged upon booking. However, if the guide does not accept your booking, the amount will be credited back to the account from which the charge was drawn.
6 hours ago , From: United States
“ Great Day with Excellent Guide ”
Dear Kenji. Marta and I had a memorable day with you going from one end to the other if Kyoto and learning the history and seeing the sites. You were well organized and thorough in explanations and a pleasure to be with. Thank you.
Dear Marta and Bernard, Thank you for your great review of my tour. I'm very glad to hear that you could enjoy my tour and I also enjoyed to guide you very much. I expect your next chance to return to Japan for another enjoyable tour. Thanks, Kenji
12 hours ago , From: United States
“ Excellent Nara and Kyoto Tours ”
We booked tours of Nara and Kyoto with Mr. Masaki. He has a wealth of knowledge about the area and Japanese history. He walked us through the history from the Sixth century to Twelve century. There were eight people in our group, five adults and three children; everyone enjoyed the tours a lot. If you need a tour guide, we strongly recommend Mr. Masaki.
19 hours ago , From: United States
“ Hiro is a national treasure! ”
Hiro was absolutely the best guide we have ever had. He is so knowledgeable about all of Japan & has a great sense of humor! We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend two days with someone so genuine, kind & funny. Hiro spent extra time to make sure that the rest of our time in Japan is great (& helped us make train reservations for the rest of our journey). Hiro is the best of the best!
19 hours ago , From: United States
“ Kyoto highlights ”
Mitsu-San was a fantastic guide--I would definitely book him again. He had the utmost patience for my endless questions, photos and my grumpy 12 year old daughter. We changed the itinerary toward the end of the day because she had had enough of the (seemingly) endless temples and shrines that mom was dragging her to. So we popped over to the Toei Movie Park at Mitsu-san's suggestion.
Dear Leslie-san, Thank you for your warm-hearted comments. It was a very hot day and you looked really exhausted, so I suggested to go to the movie studio park where a lot of places were air-conditioned. This season is very difficult to tour Kyoto, because it' very hot in Kyoto in July and August. Please come back to Kyoto when the weather is much better and cooler. Best regards, Mitsuyuki
2 days ago , From: Philippines
“ Great guide (especially if you are from the Philippines) ”
Shin was an excellent guide for our short visit to Kyoto. He was very friendly and personable and really went out of his way to make us feel welcome in Japan, even before and after our day trip to Kyoto. He speaks both English and Tagalog fluently, and during our trip even sang Filipino love songs for us! It was easy also to communicate with him through Viber (TripleLights please take note, most if not all Filipinos who travel abroad use Viber, but our other guides did not even know what Viber was) so even before we met him he was already sending us pictures of how he looked, pictures of the restaurant we were planning to go to for lunch, and note this, train schedules, not only for our Kyoto day trip, but even after that, train schedules for Nara and pictures of the sites there which I found quite useful as my family had to split up and take different trains that day. So you can see that he really went out of his way! I would highly recommend Shin, not just for Kyoto but also other cities in Kansai area, and would especially recommend him for Filipino travelers. He is one of us and you will see this right from the time he greets you.
Hi Ed san, I really appreciate your nice review and productive comment. I'd like to look back shortly our Kyoto trip. At first we visited Golden Temple dating back to 15century, and after temple we enjoyed a lunch Japanese restaurant, named Kagonoya. After lunch we rode cute railway, named Randen, for stunning bamboo forest of Arashiyama. And in the evening we headed for Nishiki foods market. We could enjoy different kinds of local taste. I am very pleased to sharing unforgettable nice time with you, beautiful wife and smart nice children. To visit a monkey park in Arashiyama and Nijojo castle, please come back to Japan autumn season, November or early December. I'm sure breathtaking colorful leaves will gracefully bless us. And I will sing more Tagalog love songs next time for you Ed san! Maraming salamat po!
TripleLights Private Tours
- Select places you want to go
- When you want to go
- Choose your guide
- Book your guide online
- Start planning together your trip!
- Nijo Castle
- Nishiki Market
- Nijo Castle
- Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Tenryu-ji Temple
- Okochi Sanso (Mountain Villa)
- Jojakko-ji Temple
- Togetsu-kyo Bridge
- Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama