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Half Day Small-Group Kyoto Cultural Tour

  • Get an orientation to Kyoto's culture in half a day; a difficult feat to accomplish independently
  • Walking tour includes transportation between disparate sites
  • Included entry to the must-see Tofukuji Temple
Half Day Small-Group Kyoto Cultural Tour
From US$58.92
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
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Half Day Small-Group Kyoto Cultural Tour
From US$58.92
Learn about Kyoto’s history and culture in just a half day on this guided cultural walking tour. Guided commentary allows you to delve deep into the history of Japan’s former imperial city while visiting the Tofukuji Temple, Fushimi Inarii Shrine, and Gion Geisha district, which would be difficult to visit independently in the same time frame. The small-group size means you can wander down back roads you wouldn't necessarily find on your own, and snacks and entrance fees are included.
What to Expect
Meet your guide and small group in the afternoon at Kyoto station, then set off on foot through the center of Kyoto. This comprehensive tour with a guide gives an overview of the city, visiting three of its most important landmarks in just an afternoon of walking. The tour’s small-group size ensures an intimate atmosphere and plentiful chances to question your guide about Kyoto’s culture and traditions.

The tour’s first stop is the 13th-century Zen Tofukuji Temple, home to lush gardens and a functioning Zen Buddhist monastery. Learn about the long history of the temple and its status as one of Kyoto’s five most important religious monuments from your guide, before walking to the Fushimi Inari Shrine on the city’s outskirts. Take in the oft-photographed red gates—set against the densely forested hillside—that were featured in the popular film Memoirs of a Geisha, and be sure to snap a picture or two of your own. Your guide will lead you to the site’s often-overlooked smaller monuments and numerous statues of foxes, who are though to be the messengers of Inari, the Shinto god of rice.

The last stop of the day is the Gion District, where you'll often find the city’s geishas, or Japanese hostesses trained to entertain men. Learn about the often-misunderstood tradition of geishas and difference between geishas and their assistants from your guide, and keep an eye out for these elegantly dressed women making their way between the neighborhood’s tea houses.
Reviews (404)
1 - 5 of 116 reviews
Reviewed yesterday
Stunning glimpse into Kyoto's culture

Our guide, Miyake, was great! We got to see some of Kyoto's best cultural sites, including Shrines, laneways, Geisha, markets and the Senbori Tori - 1000 gates of the great Fushimi Inari Shrine. An awesome experience that everyone should have on their bucket-list.

Thank Darrien B
Reviewed 3 days ago
Lots of walking but worth the effort

The young lady who guided us on this tour was interesting and spoke excellent English. She took us through the back streets of Kyoto where I would not otherwise have ventured and we learnt a great deal about the people and their culture: the different...More

Thank Davo60
Reviewed 4 days ago
Great Tour of Kyoto with Terrific Guide!!

This tour is a must if you only have limited time in Kyoto. We couldn't find a hotel in Kyoto so did a round-trip from Osaka (only about 30 minutes away). Our tour guide Sean was born in Japan but grew up in England and...More

Thank Jazztalker
Reviewed 4 days ago
Kyoto unwrapped

Really fascinating tour, group bigger than expected (12 of us) - Julian our guide was understated, had a great sense of humour, hugely knowledgeable but he didn't flood the group with detail, but encouraged us to ask. Walking through back streets between temples was fascinating...More

Thank Roving484802
Reviewed 1 week ago
Enjoyed our walking tour with Sawyer

We were a group of 11, a mix of English-speakers. Sawyer was an enthusiatic tour guide (an American) who gave us lots of interesting info. Particularly enjoyed seeing the nameplates of the geisha on the geisha houses, and the Temple and shrines. A total of...More

Thank cassidy24
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Toni B
19 October 2018|
Response from Baytravelers18 | Reviewed this property |
Our group did not go to the very top, but we went though several gates and we thought it was enough. If it is crowded, it can be difficult to walk.