The Kyoto Early Bird Tour is a well-regarded and popular itinerary that offers visitors an opportunity to maximize their time in Kyoto. This tour, which commences early to avoid large crowds, provides a personalized experience for individual travelers.

It includes visits to three prominent Kyoto landmarks: the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion), and the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The tour is highly praised for its knowledgeable and amiable guides, who offer valuable insights into Kyoto’s history and culture.

Utilizing public transportation, the tour ensures efficiency while also accommodating breaks and photo opportunities. The early start time contributes to a more pleasant experience, with reduced crowds and heat.

The Kyoto Early Bird Tour receives positive reviews and is strongly recommended by customers who appreciate its well-planned itinerary and the chance to explore both popular and lesser-known destinations in Kyoto.

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


  • The Kyoto Early Bird Tour starts early to avoid crowds and maximize the day.
  • The tour covers three popular sights in Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari shrine.
  • The tour includes the guide fee, admission fees, transportation fares, and food and drink.
  • Customers highly recommend the tour for its knowledgeable and kind tour guides, valuable information about Kyoto’s history and culture, efficient and well-planned itinerary, and the advantage of avoiding crowds and heat by starting early.

The Benefits of an Early Start

An early start on the Kyoto Early Bird Tour allows visitors to avoid large crowds and experience popular attractions at a more leisurely pace. By beginning the tour early in the morning, travelers can visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove before the tour groups arrive, ensuring a peaceful and serene experience.

Plus, the tour includes a visit to the Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion) right as it opens, allowing visitors to appreciate its beauty without the hustle and bustle of later crowds.

Another advantage of starting early is the opportunity to walk through the torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine before the midday heat sets in, making the walk more comfortable.

The early start time of the tour provides visitors with the freedom to explore these popular attractions without the inconvenience of large crowds, enhancing their overall experience.

A Quick Note On The Japan Rail Pass Price Hike
The price of the wonderful Japan Rail Pass is going up a massive 62% in October but there’s still time to lock in the old rates if you’re quick. Klook still offers the old prices so if you buy before September 30th you can travel with the old prices until December 28th, 2023.

Exploring the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Located in the scenic area of Arashiyama, the Bamboo Grove offers visitors a tranquil and picturesque setting to explore. The grove is known for its towering bamboo stalks that create a sense of serenity and awe. Here are five key aspects of the Bamboo Grove that make it a must-visit destination:

  • Peaceful Atmosphere: The rustling sound of the bamboo leaves and the filtered sunlight create a peaceful ambiance, making it an ideal place for meditation or simply enjoying nature.
  • Stunning Photography Opportunities: The tall, straight bamboo stalks provide a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts, allowing them to capture unique and captivating shots.
  • Walking Path: The grove features a well-maintained walking path that allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of the bamboo forest while taking a leisurely stroll.
  • Nearby Attractions: The Bamboo Grove is conveniently located near other popular attractions in Arashiyama, such as the Togetsukyo Bridge and the Arashiyama Monkey Park, making it easy to explore multiple sites in one visit.
  • Cultural Significance: In Japanese culture, bamboo symbolizes strength and resilience. Exploring the Bamboo Grove provides an opportunity to appreciate the cultural significance of this natural wonder.

Marveling at the Kinkaku-ji Temple

The Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is a renowned attraction that captivates visitors with its grandeur and exquisite architectural design. Located in Kyoto, Japan, this Zen Buddhist temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The temple’s main building is covered in gold leaf, giving it a stunning and majestic appearance. The three-story structure is surrounded by a beautiful garden, complete with a pond that reflects the temple’s golden facade.

The Kinkaku-ji Temple was originally built in 1397 as a retirement villa for a shogun, but it was later converted into a temple after his death. Today, visitors can explore the temple grounds, admire the unique architecture, and experience a sense of tranquility in this iconic and historically significant site.

Walking Through the Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari

Walking through the torii gates of Fushimi Inari provides an immersive and spiritual experience for visitors. The vibrant orange gates, numbering over 10,000, create a stunning visual spectacle as they wind their way up the forested slopes of Mount Inari. This sacred site, dedicated to the Shinto god of rice and agriculture, invites visitors to explore its network of trails and pathways.

Here are five key aspects of the Fushimi Inari experience:

  • Serenity: The tranquil atmosphere of the shrine offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city below.
  • Cultural significance: Fushimi Inari is one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines in Japan, with a history dating back over 1,300 years.
  • Symbolism: Each torii gate represents a donation made by individuals or businesses, symbolizing their wish for prosperity and good fortune.
  • Nature: The shrine is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a harmonious blend of human and natural elements.
  • Spiritual practice: Many visitors participate in the tradition of walking the trail, known as the ‘Inari pilgrimage,’ to pray for blessings and success in their endeavors.

What’s Included in the Tour

Included in the tour are the guide fee, admission fees for Kinkaku-ji Temple, drink and food, and transportation fare for both JR Lines and City Bus.

The guide fee ensures that you will have a knowledgeable and experienced guide to lead you through the tour.

The admission fees for Kinkaku-ji Temple are included, allowing you to explore this iconic temple without any additional cost.

The tour also includes drink and food, ensuring that you are well-nourished throughout the day.

Plus, the transportation fare for both JR Lines and City Bus is included, making it convenient for you to move from one location to another without any hassle.

This comprehensive package ensures that you have a worry-free and enjoyable experience during your Kyoto early bird tour.

Meeting Point and Pickup Details

The meeting point and pickup details are essential information for participants of the Kyoto Early Bird Tour. These details ensure a smooth and convenient start to the tour, allowing travelers to maximize their time exploring the city.

The meeting point is located at the Kyoto Station Building, specifically in front of the central ticket gates of the JR lines on the ground floor. Situated on the north side of the station, where Kyoto Tower is located, the meeting point offers easy access and visibility.

It is important to note that the activity also ends back at the meeting point, providing a convenient and seamless conclusion to the tour. By providing clear and specific meeting and pickup information, participants can efficiently navigate their way to and from the tour, allowing for a stress-free and enjoyable experience.

Reviews and Ratings of the Tour

Based on 155 reviews, the tour has received an overall rating of 5.0. Customers have provided positive feedback regarding the knowledgeable and kind tour guides, who have received appreciation for their detailed explanations about the sites and for answering questions about Japanese culture and daily life.

The tour also provides valuable information about Kyoto’s history and culture, allowing customers to gain a deeper understanding of the city. On top of that, the tour offers the opportunity to visit both popular sights and hidden locations, giving customers a well-rounded experience of Kyoto.

The positive reviews and high rating indicate that the tour is highly recommended by customers who desire a convenient and personalized experience of Kyoto’s historic and cultural sites.

  • Knowledgeable and kind tour guides
  • Valuable information about Kyoto’s history and culture
  • Opportunity to visit both popular sights and hidden locations
  • Detailed explanations about the sites
  • Convenient and personalized experience

Appreciation for the Tour Guides

Appreciation for the tour guides is evident in the positive reviews, where customers specifically mention the guides by name and praise their knowledge, kindness, and ability to provide detailed explanations about the sites.

The tour guides are highly regarded for their expertise in Kyoto’s history and culture, as they offer valuable information about the top sights and hidden locations.

Customers highly recommend the tour to friends and family, emphasizing the tour guides’ contributions in enhancing their overall experience.

The tour guides are commended for their willingness to answer questions about Japanese culture and daily life, further enriching the tour.

Customers appreciate the tour guides’ presence and expertise, making the tour more enjoyable and informative.

Their personalized attention and ability to provide detailed explanations contribute to the success of the tour.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Long Does the Kyoto Early Bird Tour Typically Last?

The duration of the Kyoto Early Bird Tour varies depending on the specific itinerary and pace of the group. However, it typically lasts for approximately five hours, allowing participants to visit three sights and experience a convenient and well-planned tour.

Are There Any Additional Fees or Expenses That Are Not Included in the Tour Price?

Additional expenses not included in the tour price for the Kyoto Early Bird Tour may include personal purchases, souvenirs, and meals not provided. It is recommended to bring extra money for these expenses.

Can I Join the Tour if I Have Dietary Restrictions or Allergies?

The tour operator should be contacted directly to inquire about joining the tour with dietary restrictions or allergies. They can provide information on whether they can accommodate specific dietary needs during the tour.

Is There a Minimum Age Requirement to Participate in the Tour?

The minimum age requirement to participate in the tour is not explicitly mentioned in the provided information. Therefore, it is advised to contact the tour operator directly for clarification on any age restrictions.

Will There Be Time for Shopping or Souvenir Hunting During the Tour?

There may be limited time for shopping or souvenir hunting during the tour, as the focus is on visiting popular sights in Kyoto. The tour is designed to maximize time at each site and provide a comprehensive experience of the city’s history and culture.

The Sum Up

To sum it up, the Kyoto Early Bird Tour offers a well-planned and convenient experience for solo travelers looking to make the most of their day in Kyoto.

The tour covers three major sights, including the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the Kinkaku-ji temple, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

With knowledgeable and kind tour guides, visitors can learn valuable information about Kyoto’s history and culture.

The use of public transportation ensures an efficient and enjoyable experience, with restroom breaks and photo opportunities provided.

The Kyoto Early Bird Tour receives positive reviews and is highly recommended for its well-planned itinerary and the opportunity to explore both popular and hidden locations in 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.
  • For more hotel booking help check out the following popular articles:
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