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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$47,72
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
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Half Day Small-Group Kyoto Cultural Tour
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 (397)
1 - 5 of 108 reviews
Reviewed 5 days ago
Great tour, but no Geishas

When we arrived at the meeting point, we were happy to find that Sean H. would be our tour guide given all the great reviews provided here. We felt Sean was knowledgeable not only on the visited areas he took us to, but also the...More

2  Thank Baytravelers18
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile
City of Culture Kyoto

Sean showed us a part of Kyoto we had not seen. He had fantastic knowledge of the city and it's culture. Truly enjoyable afternoon finishing in Gion. Thanks Urban adventures.

Thank Eleanor H
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Three Stop Walk, Half of the Time in Transit

This tour was basically three stops, all worthy of a tourist visit. But a long transit between each. Pros: - Each site has its merits and interest. The least engaging comes first, and it gets better from there. - A quick way to see some...More

3  Thank LaMalaise
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Fushimi Inari Shrine

Overall it was a very informative event. Sean seemed very knowledgeable and was accommodating to the participants' needs. HIs follow-up email and group picture was a nice touch. His English was very good, and his knowledge of the nuances amazing. However, I guess I didn't...More

2  Thank Gukenberger
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
Excellent snapshot of Kyoto

Loved this tour! Our guide, Yuta, was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Took us to some smaller temples, away from the madding crowds, then to the famous Inari shrine, and finally the Gion District. Highly recommended.

Thank ShaneAnth0ny
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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.