The ’10 Must-See Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour (Up to 7 People)’, offers visitors the opportunity to explore renowned attractions in Kyoto within a single day. This guided tour encompasses a variety of famous temples, scenic locations, and cultural experiences, facilitated by a knowledgeable guide.

The tour is personalized for each party and includes amenities such as a licensed guide, transportation, meals, and admission fees. The cancellation policy and positive reviews demonstrate the tour’s popularity and effectiveness in providing an unforgettable experience of Kyoto’s key attractions.

Great News! You can reserve this Tour right now for free on Viator. So you can secure your spot and cancel up to 24 hours before the date without paying.

Key Takeaways


  • Private guided tour in Kyoto visiting 10 top sights in one day
  • Includes famous temples and scenic spots
  • Lunch at a Japanese restaurant and transportation fees are included in the tour
  • Meeting point is at Kitaoji Station and the tour ends at Gionmachi Minamigawa

Kinkaku-ji Temple – The Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is one of the top sights included in the one-day private tour in Kyoto. This Zen Buddhist temple is located in the northern part of Kyoto and is renowned for its stunning architecture and picturesque gardens. The temple’s upper two floors are completely covered in gold leaf, creating a mesmerizing sight that reflects on the calm pond in front of it.

Originally built in the 14th century as a retirement villa for a shogun, it was later converted into a temple after his death. The temple has gone through several reconstructions over the years, with the current structure dating back to 1955. Kinkaku-ji Temple is not only a visual delight but also holds cultural and historical value, making it an essential stop for those exploring Kyoto.

Fushimi Inari Shrine – Famous for Its Thousand Torii Gates

Fushimi Inari Shrine is renowned for its iconic feature of thousands of torii gates that create a visually striking and culturally significant experience for visitors.

Located in Kyoto, Japan, this Shinto shrine is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and agriculture. The shrine complex consists of multiple buildings and trails that lead up to Mount Inari.

The most distinctive feature of the shrine is the Senbon Torii, which translates to ‘thousand torii gates.’ These gates are donated by individuals and businesses as a form of prayer or gratitude. Walking through the torii gates is considered a spiritual journey and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Visitors can also explore the various sub-shrines, stone fox statues, and traditional Japanese gardens within the shrine complex.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and culturally immersive experience in Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Stunning Views and Sacred Waterfall

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, located in Kyoto, offers visitors stunning views and is known for its sacred waterfall. This historic Buddhist temple, founded in 778, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination. Here are three reasons why Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a must-visit spot in Kyoto:

  1. Architecture: The temple’s main hall, known as the Hondo, is an impressive wooden structure that juts out from the hillside, supported by massive wooden pillars. The architectural design is unique, as it was built without the use of any nails.
  2. Views: From the spacious wooden terrace of the main hall, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Kyoto city and the surrounding mountains. The temple is particularly popular during the cherry blossom season, when the views are enhanced by the blooming sakura trees.
  3. Otawa Waterfall: Kiyomizu-dera Temple is famous for its Otawa Waterfall, which is divided into three streams. Visitors can drink from these streams using cups attached to long poles, as it is believed to bring good fortune, health, and success.

Overall, Kiyomizu-dera Temple offers a unique combination of architectural beauty, breathtaking views, and a sacred waterfall, making it a must-see attraction for visitors to Kyoto.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – Serene Nature Escape

Located in the western outskirts of Kyoto, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove offers visitors a serene nature escape with its towering bamboo stalks and tranquil atmosphere. This iconic bamboo forest is a popular destination for travelers seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.

The grove spans over 16 square kilometers and is home to more than 500 different species of bamboo. The tall and dense bamboo stalks create a unique and enchanting ambiance, providing a sense of tranquility and solitude.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the designated paths, immersing themselves in the soothing rustling sounds of the bamboo leaves and the soft filtered sunlight that shines through the thick canopy.

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful respite from the bustling city life.

Gion District – Discover Kyoto’s Traditional Geisha Culture

The Gion District in Kyoto offers visitors the opportunity to explore and experience the traditional geisha culture, showcasing the rich history and traditions of Japan. The district is known for its preserved streets and traditional wooden machiya houses, where geishas can still be seen walking to and from their appointments.

Here are three key aspects of the Gion District:

  1. Geisha Performances: Visitors can witness traditional geisha performances, including dance, music, and tea ceremonies, which provide a glimpse into the refined and elegant world of geisha culture.
  2. Tea Houses: The Gion District is home to numerous tea houses where one can partake in a quintessential Japanese tea ceremony. These tea houses offer an intimate setting to experience the art of tea preparation and appreciation.
  3. Traditional Architecture: The district is renowned for its well-preserved traditional architecture, with many machiya houses serving as exclusive teahouses or restaurants. Walking through the narrow streets of Gion, visitors can admire the intricate details of these historic buildings, transporting them back in time to the traditional Kyoto of old.

The Gion District offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the traditional geisha culture and experience the beauty of Kyoto’s rich heritage.

Nijo Castle – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nijo Castle, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases the architectural and historical significance of the castle in Kyoto. Built in the early 17th century, Nijo Castle served as the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns.

The castle’s main attractions include the Ninomaru Palace, the Honmaru Palace, and the beautiful gardens. The Ninomaru Palace is famous for its ‘nightingale floors,’ which chirp like birds when walked upon, acting as a security measure against intruders.

The Honmaru Palace, on the other hand, features stunning wall paintings and intricate woodwork. Visitors can also explore the castle’s gardens, which contain meticulously maintained landscapes and scenic views.

Nijo Castle provides a unique insight into the history and culture of feudal Japan, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in Japanese architecture and heritage.

Katsura Imperial Villa – Architectural Masterpiece

Renowned for its exceptional architectural design and historical significance, Katsura Imperial Villa stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Japanese architecture during the Edo period. This masterful structure, located in Kyoto, showcases the meticulous attention to detail and harmonious blend of nature and architecture that define traditional Japanese design.

The villa consists of several buildings, including the Shokintei (Tea House), Gepparo (Moon-Viewing Pavilion), and the Ochaya (Tea Pavilion). Each building offers a unique experience and reflects the refined taste of the aristocracy. The gardens surrounding the villa are equally impressive, with their perfectly manicured landscapes and carefully placed stones.

Visitors can explore the various architectural elements, such as the use of sliding doors, tatami flooring, and exquisite woodwork, all of which contribute to the timeless beauty of the Katsura Imperial Villa.

Ryoan-ji Temple – Zen Rock Garden

Ryoan-ji Temple’s Zen Rock Garden is a renowned example of minimalist design, featuring carefully arranged rocks on a bed of white gravel. The garden is located in the temple complex in Kyoto, Japan, and is considered one of the most iconic Zen gardens in the world.

The design of the garden is based on the principles of simplicity, harmony, and tranquility. The rocks are placed in such a way that they create a sense of balance and rhythm, while the white gravel serves as a backdrop, enhancing the beauty of the rocks.

The garden is designed to encourage meditation and contemplation, providing visitors with a serene and peaceful environment. Its minimalist aesthetic and attention to detail make it a must-see for anyone seeking a moment of freedom and reflection.

Philosopher’s Path – Scenic Cherry Blossom Trail

The Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto offers visitors a scenic trail adorned with cherry blossoms, providing a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls and contemplation. This iconic path stretches for approximately two kilometers along the canal from Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nanzen-ji Temple.

Here are three reasons why the Philosopher’s Path is a must-visit destination in Kyoto:

1) Cherry Blossoms: During the spring season, the path becomes a vibrant tunnel of cherry blossoms in full bloom, creating a breathtaking sight that attracts both locals and travelers alike. The delicate pink petals falling gently onto the path create a serene and romantic atmosphere.

2) Historical Significance: The Philosopher’s Path is named after the influential Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro, who was known to walk along this path daily for meditation and contemplation. Walking in his footsteps allows visitors to experience the same tranquility and introspection that inspired his philosophical insights.

3) Cultural Surroundings: As you stroll along the path, you will pass by traditional houses, small temples, and quaint shops, providing glimpses into the traditional way of life in Kyoto. The path also offers stunning views of the surrounding nature, including the Higashiyama Mountains and the canal itself, adding to the overall charm and beauty of the experience.

Visiting the Philosopher’s Path offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Kyoto, making it a must-see destination for those seeking a sense of freedom and serenity.

Nishiki Market – Explore Kyoto’s Culinary Delights

Located in the heart of Kyoto, Nishiki Market is a vibrant culinary destination that offers an array of traditional and local delicacies for visitors to explore. Spanning over five blocks, this bustling market is often referred to as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’ due to its rich and diverse selection of food vendors.

From fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables to traditional sweets and pickles, Nishiki Market provides a sensory feast for food enthusiasts. The market’s history dates back over four centuries, making it a cultural landmark as well. Visitors can witness the artistry of local artisans and chefs as they prepare and serve their specialties.

With its lively atmosphere and wide variety of culinary delights, Nishiki Market is a must-visit destination for those seeking to indulge in the flavors of Kyoto.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Transportation Included in the Tour Package?

Transportation is included in the tour package. The cost of public transport is approximately 1000 yen per person, while a taxi fee ranges from 10000 to 12000 yen per taxi, with 4 people sharing one taxi.

What Is the Cancellation Policy for the Tour?

The cancellation policy for the tour requires a 24-hour notice for a full refund. Cancellations made less than 24 hours before the start time are non-refundable. Changes are not accepted within 24 hours of the start time. In case of poor weather, alternative dates or refunds are offered.

Are There Any Additional Costs Not Mentioned in the Tour Package?

Additional costs not mentioned in the tour package for the 10 Must-See Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour may include lunch at a Japanese restaurant (1000-2000 yen per person), transportation fee (about 1000 yen per person), taxi fee (about 10000-12000 yen per taxi), and admission fee for all temples (around 1400 yen per person).

Is There a Pick-Up Service Available for the Tour?

A pick-up service is not available for the 10 Must-See Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour. The meeting point is Kitaoji Station in Kyoto, with a start time of 09:00 AM.

Can the Tour Be Customized to Accommodate Specific Interests or Preferences?

The tour can be customized to accommodate specific interests or preferences. The guide provides detailed knowledge and offers flexibility in the itinerary. This allows for a personalized experience tailored to the preferences of the participants.

The Sum Up

To sum it up, the Must-See Spots in Kyoto One Day Private Tour offers visitors the opportunity to explore 10 top sights in Kyoto in a personalized and tailored manner.

With a knowledgeable guide providing stories and information, visitors can enjoy the rich history and culture of Kyoto.

The tour includes various amenities and is a popular choice due to its friendly guides and breathtaking sights.

It is highly recommended for those looking to create unforgettable memories and discover the must-see spots of Kyoto.

Tokyo Trip Checklist

  • To book hotels in Tokyo consistently returns the best prices. Remember to book early, especially for your weekend dates.
  • The Much loved Japan Rail Pass will Surge in Price by a massive 70% in October. You can still buy at the old prices here.
  • We recommend a 1,2 or 3-day Tokyo Unlimited Subway Pass to get around Tokyo cheaply and easily. Get one here.
  • If you plan on visiting Mt Fuji check out our list of the best Mt Fuji group or private tours from Tokyo
  • You’ll need a prepaid sim or Portable WIFI to stay connected in Japan: Japan Wireless has the best deals
  • Here’s a list of the best things to do in Tokyo this month (August)
  • To ensure you have all the important things covered see our Tokyo travel guide.
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