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Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion & Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka

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    What to Expect
    Discover the sublime scenery and fascinating history of ancient Kyoto during this half-day exploration of the city’s top sights departing from Osaka. Enjoy several of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and its beautiful palaces, all set against the city’s ever-changing natural backdrop of forests that change colors with the seasons.

    Start your excursion to Kyoto in the early morning, where you’ll head to Osaka station for the short ride to Kyoto by train. Soon you arrive in this historic Japanese town, an urban center that once served as the country’s capital and home to its emperors between 794 and 1868.

    Hop aboard your coach for the ride to your first attraction, the massive Nijo Castle. This UNESCO World Heritage site was home to the Tokugawa shoguns for close to 200 years after its construction was completed in 1603. Admire the castle’s imposing stone walls and large defensive moat, before heading inside to view its beautiful murals of gold leaf. A number of fantastic photo opportunities will be available at the castle, thanks to the complex’s photogenic groves of plum and cherry trees. When Nijo Castle is closed, the tour will visit Ryoan-Ji Temple instead.

    Head next to the elaborate gardens and beautiful buildings at Kinkaku-Ji Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site. After checking out this amazing structure, also known as the Golden Pavilion, you’ll move on to the Kyoto Imperial Palace for more sightseeing. This elegant palace, once home to Japan’s Imperial Family until the capital was moved in 1868, emphasizes the Japanese interior design philosophies of simplicity, tranquility and purity. You’ll also have a chance to see Shishinden imperial state chamber, where the country’s enthronement ceremonies once took place. When the Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed, the tour will visit Kitano Shrine (Kitano Tenman-gu) instead.

    This famous religious monument, dedicated to the god of study, is a frequent site of patronage for many Japanese students, who pray for luck in passing exams by touching the site’s statue of ‘Ushi-san’ (Mr. Cow) representing the virtues of scholarship.

    The tour ends with a return ride to Osaka by train, at which point you will make your own way back to your hotel.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Hotel Granvia Osaka, 3-chōme-1-番1号 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0001, Japan
    Departure Time
    7:25 AM
    Return Details
    Osaka Station, 3-chōme-1-1 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0001, Japan
    • English-speaking guide
    • Admission
    • Entry/Admission - Kyoto Imperial Palace
    • Entry/Admission - Kinkakuji Temple
    • Entry/Admission - Nijo Castle
    • Food and beverage
    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Gratuities
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays in January, July, August, and December. (Closed on the following day if Tuesday is a holiday.) If closed, or if the tour is during the year-end/New Year's holidays, Ryoan-ji Temple will be visited instead.
    • Depending on the number of participants, the tour will use JR train or a bus for transportation between Osaka and Kyoto. In the case of transportation via JR train, all seats are non-reserved. Please note that seating is not guaranteed.
    • The Kyoto Imperial Palace is closed on the following days. As such, the tour will visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine instead. (Mondays, Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday, May 14-17 for the Aoi Festival, New Year's holidays, and whenever there is an Imperial Household event).
    • [2019] The tour will visit Nishi Hongan-ji Temple instead of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on February 25, March 25 and November 25.
    • [2020] The tour will visit Nishi Hongan-ji Temple instead of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on May 25.
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
    Cancellation Policy
    If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
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    • English
    We took the full day tour and found that the afternoon was very similar to the morning. We also had the same guide who’s English was not too good and he repeated everything he said in the morning. The ‘all you can eat’ lunch was very disappointing as most things got eaten very
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    If you are interesting in history and its beauty this is a start. This a a JTB. guided tour all tthe way and the tour guide is speaking good English. Recommend to visit on sunny day to able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and photo shots.
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    Key Details
    • Duration: 7h
    • Mobile Ticket Accepted
    • Languages Offered: English
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