The ‘Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, Visit All 13 Popular Sights!’ package offers travelers a chance to explore Kyoto in a single day. Led by knowledgeable guides, this fast-paced tour covers all 13 popular attractions in the city.

Starting at Saga-Arashiyama station, you will visit iconic sites such as Fushimi Inari Taisha and Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion).

With positive reviews praising the well-planned itinerary and informative guides, this tour is a popular choice for those wanting to experience the best of Kyoto in a limited timeframe.

About Our Review: Please note that this is our review of this tour and we do not run, sell, or book tours from this site. If you want to book this tour please click the large button at the base of this page to go to the official listing on Viator.

Quick Takeaways

Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, Visit All 13 Popular Sights! - Quick Takeaways

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  • The tour starts at 8:50 at Saga-Arashiyama station and is non-refundable and cannot be changed.
  • There are a total of 12 reviews for the tour, with an overall rating of 5 stars.
  • The reviews highlight that the tour is highly intense but informative, and allows visitors to see almost all of Kyoto’s highlights in one day.
  • The tour guides are knowledgeable, caring, and provide a well-planned itinerary for the day.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, Visit All 13 Popular Sights! - Fushimi Inari Taisha

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Fushimi Inari Taisha is a revered shrine in Kyoto, known for its iconic torii gates. Exploring the history and significance of Fushimi Inari Taisha reveals its deep cultural importance in Japan.

The shrine dates back to the 8th century and is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice and prosperity. The torii gates, which line the pathway leading up to the main shrine, are a symbol of good fortune and protection. Each gate is donated by individuals or companies, and the name of the donor is inscribed on the gate.

The vibrant red color of the gates is believed to ward off evil spirits. Visitors to Fushimi Inari Taisha can enjoy Japanese tradition and experience the spiritual atmosphere while admiring the beauty and cultural significance of the torii gates.

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

The next stop on the complete Kyoto tour is the iconic Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion. Kinkaku-ji holds immense historical significance as a Zen Buddhist temple that dates back to the 14th century. Originally built as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it was later converted into a temple after his death.

The temple’s architectural beauty is truly captivating, with its top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. The reflection of the golden pavilion in the surrounding pond creates a mesmerizing sight. The intricate details and the meticulous craftsmanship of the temple showcase the elegance and grandeur of Japanese architecture.

Kinkaku-ji isn’t only a visual delight but also a symbol of harmony between nature and human creation, making it a must-visit attraction in Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Continuing the exploration of Kyoto’s iconic sights, the next stop on the complete Kyoto tour is the awe-inspiring Kiyomizu-dera Temple. This historic temple, which translates to ‘Pure Water Temple,’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a captivating glimpse into Kyoto’s rich history.

Here are some highlights of exploring Kiyomizu-dera Temple:

  • Exploring the history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple:

  • Built in 780 AD, the temple is known for its wooden stage that juts out from the main hall, offering panoramic views of the city.

  • The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon, and houses various Buddhist statues and artifacts.

  • Capturing the beauty of Kiyomizu-dera Temple through photography:

  • The temple is particularly picturesque during cherry blossom season in spring and the vibrant autumn foliage.

  • Visitors can capture stunning shots of the temple’s iconic wooden architecture and the cityscape from the observation deck.

With its historical significance and breathtaking views, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Kyoto.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

After exploring the captivating Kiyomizu-dera Temple, visitors on the complete Kyoto tour are transported to the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. This natural wonder is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and cultural enthusiasts alike.

As visitors step into the grove, they’re immediately surrounded by towering bamboo stalks that create a tranquil and otherworldly atmosphere. The bamboo grove holds great cultural significance in Japan, symbolizing strength, prosperity, and good fortune. Exploring this unique natural setting allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of Japan’s landscapes while also connecting with its rich cultural heritage.

Walking through the winding pathways of the grove, visitors can marvel at the sight of sunlight filtering through the bamboo leaves, casting a mesmerizing play of light and shadow. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience that showcases the harmony between humanity and nature.

Nijo Castle

Visitors on the complete Kyoto tour are then taken to the historical Nijo Castle, a significant landmark that showcases the architectural brilliance of Japan’s feudal era. Nijo Castle holds great historical significance and provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Kyoto. Here are some details about the castle:

  • Historical Significance:

  • Built in 1603 as the residence of the first shogun of the Edo period, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

  • Witnessed important historical events, such as the transfer of power from the shogunate to the emperor in 1867.

  • Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

  • Architecture Details:

  • Features two main areas: the Ninomaru Palace and the Honmaru Palace.

  • The Ninomaru Palace is renowned for its ‘nightingale floors’ that chirp when walked upon to prevent intruders.

  • Intricate woodwork, beautiful sliding doors, and stunning gardens are highlights of the castle’s architecture.

Nijo Castle offers a fascinating journey through Japan’s feudal history and is a must-visit attraction for those exploring Kyoto’s cultural treasures.

Gion District

The Gion District of Kyoto offers a captivating glimpse into traditional Japanese culture. Known for its preserved historic streets and traditional wooden machiya houses, Gion is a must-visit destination for those interested in exploring traditional culture.

As you wander through the narrow alleys, you’ll encounter beautifully adorned geisha and maiko, adding an air of elegance to the district. While Gion is famous for its tea houses and entertainment establishments, there are also hidden gems to discover. Take a stroll along Hanamikoji Street and you might stumble upon charming shops selling traditional crafts and local delicacies.

Don’t forget to visit Yasaka Shrine, a symbol of Gion, and learn about the serene atmosphere. The Gion District truly encapsulates the essence of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage.

Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)

When can visitors explore Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) during the Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day?

Visitors on the Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day will have the opportunity to explore Ginkaku-ji, also known as the Silver Pavilion. This iconic temple is one of the 13 popular sights included in the tour.

Ginkaku-ji holds great cultural significance and is renowned for its architectural beauty. Nestled in a serene garden, the temple showcases the elegance of traditional Japanese design. Visitors will be able to admire the silver-colored exterior and the meticulously crafted details of the pavilion. Inside, they can explore the various rooms and experience the tranquility that surrounds the temple.

Ginkaku-ji is a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper understanding of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage.

Tofuku-ji Temple

During the Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, travelers can explore Tofuku-ji Temple, an exquisite destination that showcases the beauty of traditional Japanese architecture and serene gardens.

Tofuku-ji Temple holds great historical significance as one of the five great Zen temples in Kyoto. It was founded in 1236 and has been an important center for Zen Buddhism ever since.

The temple’s architectural beauty is evident in its main hall, which features a magnificent wooden structure with intricate details and elegant design. Visitors can also admire the temple’s stunning gardens, especially during the autumn season when the maple trees transform the surroundings into a vibrant sea of red and orange.

Tofuku-ji Temple offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city and provides a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage.

Sanjusangendo Temple

Continuing the exploration of Kyoto’s iconic sights, visitors on the Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day can enjoy the awe-inspiring Sanjusangendo Temple. This temple, also known as Rengeo-in, holds great historical significance and architectural beauty.

Here are some highlights of the temple:

  • Historical Significance:

  • Built in 1164, it’s one of the oldest temples in Kyoto.

  • Famous for its thousand life-size statues of the Buddhist deity Kannon.

  • Architectural Beauty:

  • The temple’s main hall is an impressive wooden structure that stretches 120 meters long.

  • The hall features magnificent artwork and intricate carvings.

Sanjusangendo Temple offers a unique experience for travelers to appreciate both the historical and artistic aspects of Kyoto. The thousand statues and the grandeur of the hall make this temple a must-visit destination for those interested in Japanese culture and spirituality.

Nishiki Market

Moving on to the next stop on the Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, visitors will find themselves immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of Nishiki Market.

Known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen,’ Nishiki Market is a bustling covered market that stretches for approximately 400 meters. Here, travelers can indulge in a sensory feast as they explore the narrow lanes lined with over a hundred shops and stalls.

One of the highlights of Nishiki Market is the opportunity to sample and purchase a wide variety of local delicacies. From fresh seafood, pickles, and tofu to traditional sweets and tea, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Along With exploring local delicacies, visitors can also enjoy shopping for souvenirs, kitchenware, and traditional crafts.

Nishiki Market truly offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those looking to enjoy Kyoto’s culinary and cultural scene.

Yasaka Shrine

Located near Nishiki Market, Yasaka Shrine is a significant and historical religious site in Kyoto that seamlessly continues the exploration of the city’s cultural heritage.

  • History and Significance

  • Built in the 7th century, Yasaka Shrine, also known as Gion Shrine, has served as a place of worship for locals and visitors alike for over a millennium. It’s dedicated to the deity Susanoo-no-Mikoto, known for his role in protecting against disasters and ensuring good fortune.

  • The shrine played a significant role in the development of the Gion district, Kyoto’s famous geisha district, as it was believed to bring prosperity and blessings to the area.

  • Traditional Festivals and Events at Yasaka Shrine

  • The most famous event held at Yasaka Shrine is the Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s largest and most renowned festivals. Taking place in July, the festival features elaborate processions, traditional music, and vibrant floats called yamaboko.

  • Another notable event is the Setsubun festival held in February, where participants throw soybeans to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the year ahead.

Yasaka Shrine stands as a testament to Kyoto’s rich history and cultural traditions, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to enjoy the city’s heritage.

Ryoan-ji Temple

Ryoan-ji Temple, known for its iconic rock garden, is a must-visit destination on the Complete Kyoto Tour, offering visitors a serene and contemplative experience.

This temple, located in the northwest part of Kyoto, is renowned for its Zen garden, which is considered one of the finest examples of its kind. The garden consists of 15 carefully arranged rocks placed on a bed of white gravel, creating a minimalist and harmonious composition.

Exploring the zen garden allows visitors to experience the principles of simplicity, balance, and mindfulness that are central to Zen Buddhism.

Along With the garden, Ryoan-ji Temple showcases stunning Buddhist architecture, with its main building featuring a traditional roof adorned with intricate wooden carvings. Visitors can take in the peaceful atmosphere, learn about the temple’s history, and gain a deeper understanding of Buddhist practices and beliefs.

Philosopher’s Path

The Philosopher’s Path, a scenic walking trail in Kyoto, offers visitors a tranquil and picturesque route along the canal lined with cherry trees. It’s the perfect place for a walking meditation, allowing travelers to enjoy nature and find inner peace while strolling along the path.

During the cherry blossom season, the path becomes even more enchanting as the cherry trees bloom, painting the surroundings with vibrant shades of pink. As visitors walk along the path, they can admire the beauty of the cherry blossoms and listen to the gentle sounds of the flowing canal water.

The Philosopher’s Path is a must-visit destination for those seeking serenity and a deeper connection with nature in Kyoto.

Common Questions

Is Lunch Included in the Tour?

Yes, a vegetarian lunch is available on the tour. The lunch break lasts for a reasonable amount of time, allowing participants to relax and enjoy their meal before continuing the exploration of Kyoto’s popular sights.

Are Entrance Fees to the Attractions Included in the Tour Price?

Yes, entrance fees to the attractions are included in the tour price. There are no group discounts available. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

How Much Walking Is Involved in the Tour?

The tour involves a fair amount of walking, as it aims to cover all 13 popular sights in Kyoto in one day. Travelers should be prepared for a fast-paced itinerary and allocate enough time for the tour.

Can I Customize the Itinerary and Choose Which Sights to Visit?

No, the itinerary cannot be customized. The tour includes a set itinerary with all 13 popular sights. Participants will visit each sight as part of the fast-paced and intense tour.

Are There Any Age Restrictions or Limitations for This Tour?

There are no age restrictions or limitations for this tour. All travelers are welcome to join and experience the fast-paced and intense itinerary that covers all 13 popular sights in Kyoto.

The Sum Up

To sum it up, the ‘Complete Kyoto Tour in One Day, Visit All 13 Popular Sights!’ package offers travelers the chance to explore Kyoto’s top attractions in a fast-paced and intense itinerary.

With knowledgeable guides and a well-planned route, this tour provides a comprehensive experience of Kyoto’s rich history and famous landmarks.

While some criticisms have been raised regarding the physical demands and organization of the tour, overall, it receives high ratings and positive reviews, making it an appealing choice for those looking to make the most of their time in Kyoto.