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Highlights

  •   Nishi-Honganji temple, famous for its two gigantic ginkgo trees, together with the two magnificent structures.
  •   Higashi-Honganji temple, famous for its two magnificent structures and the sample of hair rope.
  •   Beautifully landscaped gardens in Shoseien garden.

Information

City Kyoto
Meeting Point At your hotel
Ending Point At your hotel
Departure 10:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Duration 7h   Flexible
Languages English (License)
Tour Type Private Tour ( only for you )
Number of people 1 ~ 15
Booking
7h
When?

People

225.00 USD

total price for up to 15 people

FREE cancelation 14 days prior

Extras (optional)

extra hour. 9.00 USD

What to Expect

I will take you to the tour of two well-known temples and a quiet garden in Kyoto, all of which located within the radius of one kilometer from JR Kyoto station and provided with the city bus services.

(1) Nishi-Honganji temple
Designated as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994, Nishi-Honganji Temple is the mother temple and headquarters of the Honganji faction of Jodo (Pure Land) Shinshu sect of Buddhism. The Jodo-Shinshu teaching was established by the Venerable "Shinran-shonin" (1173-1263) in the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). He underwent austere training and hardships in various parts of the country before returning to Kyoto to complete his work, "Kyogyoshinsho", or The True teaching, Practice and Realization of the Pure Land Way on Buddhism. After his demise, his daughter erected a mausoleum at Higashiyama, Kyoto, which became the foundation of Nishi-Honganji Temple today. In the 16th century, it was moved to and re-established at the present location.
Followers of this sect, according to its doctrine, will be reborn in the Pure Land and attain Enlightenment. They will be able to live lives to the fullest, become aware of both potentials and limitations in this world, overcome difficulties and realize happiness within their lifetime.
There are many structures in the precincts, many of which have the status of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Japan. They are: " Amidado" (Hall of "Amida" Buddha, built in 1760), "Goeido" (Founder`s Hall, completed in 1636), "Karamon" Gate, Shoin Hall, "Hiunkaku" House (believed to be part of Jurakudai Palace built by a ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and others. There is also a 400-year-old huge ginkgo tree called the "upside-down ginkgo tree", because it looks as if its roots were spread into the sky.

(2) Higashi-Honganji temple
Originally built in 1604 but most recently rebuilt in 1895, this temple is officially called "Shinshu-Honbyo", or The Principal Mausoleum of the True Pure Land Teaching, consisting of the two gigantic halls of "Goeido", or the Founder`s Hall and "Amidado", or Amida Buddha Hall. This temple belongs to the same faction as its counterpart, Nishi-Honganji temple, so the doctrine is basically the same. However, what makes this temple distinguishable are the historical relics preserved there: "kezuna" hair rope consisting of women`s hair and hemp tissues, a sample of a sledge used to transport huge pieces of timber and the diorama reproducing the scene of the avalanche. There are a total of 156 huge pillars whose diameter is some 60 centimeters made of zelkova tree in the two halls. Important Buddhist ceremonies are occasionally held here, attracting a large number of followers.

(3) Shoseien Garden
Located some 500 meters east of and belonging to Higashi-Honganji temple, Shoseien Garden has been the place for the retired head priests of the temple to spend their latter days since the middle of the 17th century. There are many gardens, tea houses, along with the two ponds, but the present buildings were rebuilt after the civil war of 1864. After the Meiji Restoration of Japan took place in 1868, many dignitaries, including the consuls of Qing dynasty, Italy and Russia, as well as
the Japanese nobles visited there. Even Japanese Emperor Meiji and Russian Crown Prince Nicholas Ⅱ spent some time there.
You can enjoy strolling along the paths in the perfectly landscaped garden while watching the trees and hearing birds sing. You can immerse yourself in the quiet and serene atmosphere somewhat different from that of temples.


What‘s included

guide fee, hotel pick-up in Kyoto city area

What‘s not included

transportation fee (you and guide), lunch, dinner, entrance fee, hotel pick-up in areas outside Kyoto city

Extras (optional)

extra hour. 9.00 USD

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you (guide) wait if we (customer) are late for an appointment?

I can wait for you for up to half an hour for free. I will ask you, however, 1,000 yen per 30 minutes if you are late any further.

How much is the transportation fee?

Bus fare is 230 yen from JR Kyoto station to Nishi-Honganji temple. You can walk to Higashi-Honganji temple from there. You can also walk to Shoseien Garden from Higashi-Honganji temple.

How much are the admission fees?

The admission fee for Shoseien garden is 500 yen. The other two temples, Nishii-Honganji temple and Higashi-Honganji temple charge you no fees. Small amount of donation is preferable, though.

What are the closing times?

The closing time for Higashi-Honganji temple and Nishi-Hongannji tempel is 17:00, while that of Shoseien Garden is 16:30. In the winter period (November to February), however, those places are closed an hour earlier, respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email
After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.
After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.
You’ll be able to see the guide’s e-mail address and phone number. You can contact your guide directly before the tour starts, and enjoy your tour on the day!
Please check the following link. https://triplelights.com/cancel
Yes, by using our secure online payment system, your payment information is encrypted and you are secured against fraud and unauthorized transaction. 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.
No, our prices are 100% booking fee free – meaning the price you see is the amount you pay.
It depends on the location of your hotel and places you visit. But to give you an idea, it costs about 200-300yen for one place to the other, and the total is about 1,000yen for a full day tour.
Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.
Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.
Yes you can, but you have to pay an extra charge per person. The price depends on which guide you choose.
More Frequently Asked Questions

Example of your tour experience

FREE cancelation 14 days prior

The TripleLights Difference

Its more affordable than it seems. Our pricing is often per-tour (not per-person), so if your group is 2 or more people, you'll most probably pay less than if you took a bus tour.

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Every tour is customizable. Every tour can be customised to your time, needs and preferences! Simply confirm your booking and contact the guide to make the changes. There is no risk and you have free cancellation with a 100% refund guarantee!

Go at your own pace. Take your time for pictures or slow down to see as much as you want. With your private guide your tour is flexible.

Enjoy Japan with a local guide. With intimate access to places off the beaten paths you can have a more in-depth experience not seen on bus tours.

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Reviews

M
Marissa
1 month ago , ( Family ) , From: Philippines

“ A relaxed day of touring ”

Tatsuhiro is very kind and respectful. He was eager to share local insights, advice and directions on inquiries, even those unrelated to the tour. I was impressed that he was well versed with Japanese-Philippine history and felt his sincerity in wanting to better understand our culture and people. We had to put extra effort to understand his English at times.

Tatsuhiro:
Hi Marissa-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comments. I am much encouraged. Above all, I am glad we could safely complete the tour and that your entire family enjoyed viewing the full-blown cherry trees. I wish your daughter and two sons a promising future. I am also thankful to you for treating me to lunch. On the other hand, I sincerely and humbly accept your last remark on my (lack of) fluency in speaking English. I will definitely try to improve it. Last but not least, I am always nagged with one question: Are children in the Philippines happy? I hope they are. Before I conclude my reply, I should say I am always open to your questions regarding our culture, history and society in general. See you. Wish you a good luck and hope to see you again. Regards, Tatsuhiro

A
Agni
2 months ago , ( Family ) , From: Russian Federation

“ Nara tour ”

Very nice itinerary, guide was super polite and helpful. Excellent experience

Tatsuhiro:
Hi Agni-san, Thank you so much for your favorable comment. I enjoyed your company and I am really happy we were safely back to Osaka. I hope this tour will give you more energy in you life. I wish a good luck for your entire family. See you again. Refgards, Tatsuhiro

J
JACQUELINE
2 months ago , ( Family ) , From: Philippines

“ We find Kyoto so beautiful,scenic,rich in culture and good food. The Japanese are so respectful and helpful. ”

Tatsuhiro was very prompt, patient,helpful, and kind. We learned a lot from him.

Tatsuhiro:
Hi Jackie-san, Thanl you so much for your praise with beautiful words. I am much encouraged. I spent a hapy time with you in the tour in spite of the rainy weather. I wish the tour will remain in your memory forever. And a good health for you all. Regards, Tatsuhiro

K
Kavita
2 months ago , ( Family ) , From: United States

“ Great knowledge of Kyoto ”

We (my family 3 kids aged 15,14,11) visiting from Chicago enjoyed the day with Tatsuhiro. He made sure to ask what we wanted to do to plan the trip and then adjust to our needs during the tour. We enjoyed Kyoto and my kids were able to engage and learn to much about a city they had never visited. Highly recommend!

Tatsuhiro:
Hi Kavita-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comment. I really enjoyed being with you in our tour of Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, Tofukuji temple and Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion. I am happy you and your loved ones came in contact with Kyoto with fresh eyes and curiosity. More than anything, I felt the warm family atmosphere. I wish your children a prospective future. See you again. Regards, Tatsuhiro

S
Sally
3 months ago , ( Couple ) , From: Australia

“ very enjoyable & informative ”

We had a wonderful evening tour with Tatsuhiro to see Hanatoro on the last night. This evening was a highlight of our holiday & the memories will last. We enjoyed the company of Tatsuhiro & saw everthing on the walking trail, we took so many photos.

Tatsuhiro:
Hi Sally- & Bill-san, Thank you so much for your favorable comments on my work. I am very glad you two enjoyed the tour. I am really encouraged to have your words of appreciation and I have renewed my determination to do an even better job next time on. I wish you two a greater health and happiness. And a healthy growth for your granddaughter. See you again. Regards, Tatsuhiro

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