Things to do in
Heian Shrine

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Heian Shrine: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

1. Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

Discover the highlights of Kyoto with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the convenient hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Admire the panoramic views from on board the open-top double decker bus, and hop on or off at any of the stops along the route. Enjoy informative audio commentary on board the bus, available in 7 languages. Choose this efficient way of exploring the must-see places and attractions in Kyoto. The bus takes you past many of the city's top attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Buses run every 30 minutes, and you can enjoy unlimited rides for the duration of your ticket's validity.  Bus stops along the route:  • Kyoto Station • Karasuma Gojo • Shijo Karasuma / Nishiki-ichiba Market • Nijo-jo Castle • Nijo Station • Kitano-tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) • Daitokuji Temple • Kyoto Imperial Palace (Doshisha University) • Heian-jingu Shrine / Okazaki Park • Gion (Kotowa-Kyoto Yasaka) • Gojozaka (Kiyomizu-dera Temple / Gion) • Sanjusangendo / Kyoto National Museum (Hyatt Regency Kyoto)

Kyoto: Kiyomizu Temple, Imperial Palace & Arashiyama Forest

2. Kyoto: Kiyomizu Temple, Imperial Palace & Arashiyama Forest

First stop will be the Kiyomizu Temple. Early in the morning before the crowds arrive, explore the temple's impressive architecture and take photos from Kyoto's most famous viewpoint  called 'the stage of Kiyomizu'. Next, walk down to the Otowa Waterfall and pray for your fortune. Your driver-guide will tell you about its history and the proper manner to drink the water. Then make a quick photo stop at the massive torii gate of the Heian Shrine.  Next stop is the massive Kyoto Imperial Palace, located in central Kyoto. Inside the palace, hear about the many different buildings and what role each one played. Explore the beautiful and tranquil Japanese garden.  You can then make a quick lunch stop at a local shopping mall, where you can choose from a variety of options. Experiencing real local life in this shopping mall, where there are few tourists. After lunch, visit Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, one of the most famous temples in Japan. Your driver-guide will take photos of you with the Golden Pavilion behind you, and explain about the different customs of the temple.  Finally head to Arashiyama in the western area of Kyoto city. This area is famous for its beautiful bamboo forest. Walk through the forest slowly to fully enjoy the serene atmosphere it has to offer. Walk past the Imamiya shrine and back up to Okochi Sanso.  After enjoying the time in the bamboo forest, walk back to the bus to head back to central Kyoto. If you wish to stay longer in the Arashiyama area to visit other places such as Monkey Park, the Tenryuji Temple or the Okochi Sanso garden, you can say goodbye to your group here. Your driver-guide will tell you how to get back to central Kyoto.

Kyoto: 3.5-Hour Small Group Cycling Tour

3. Kyoto: 3.5-Hour Small Group Cycling Tour

Discover the real Kyoto while cruising the streets of Japan’s cultural capital on this half-day Kyoto bike tour. With a history spanning over 1,200 years, the city streets have a lot to say, so make like the locals and jump on a bike to discover it all. Start the day cycling along the Kamo River, taking in the views of the city’s downtown and passing the wealth of traditional riverside restaurants. Call by the Heian-Jingu Shrine, built in 1894 to commemorate the 1,100 anniversary of the foundation of the capital. Next, weave your way along quaint canals to reach the impressive Nanzenji Temple. Admire the temple’s spacious grounds with a surprising feature: a scenic aqueduct, with the Higashiyama Mountains as their backdrop. This is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan, so soak up the surrounds before jumping back on your bike and heading off down the Path of Philosophy. Arguably the most popular walking path in Kyoto, the Path of Philosophy is shaded by hundreds of cherry trees that erupt into bloom every April. It's a spectacular sight to see then, but it's rather beautiful the rest of the year as well. It's a great place to contemplate the tranquillity and beauty of the area, just like Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, did when he named this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. Cycle back towards Kyoto Station, along a beautiful canal with old teahouses and traditional bathhouses among the cherry trees and traditional narrow backroads. We'll end this Kyoto city tour back at the city's buzzing station.

Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

4. Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

Explore the traditional neighborhood of Higashiyama from the comfort of a rickshaw with a knowledgeable guide. Admire the well-preserved wooden townhouses, see some of Kyoto's most famous temples, and pass through the vibrant geisha district in the Gion area. Learn about Japanese culture, heritage, and customs on this private customizable tour. Meet your guide on the cobbled streets by the Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama, a nationally designated historic area. Travel back in time as your guide pulls you through the historic neighborhood, filled with traditional buildings and shops. Stop to take photos at the most scenic spots in each location. Choose from 4 different tour durations to suit your schedule, from the introductory 45-minute tour, to the comprehensive tour of 3 hours and 10 minutes. With the longer tours, you’ll continue through the wealth of sights in Higashiyama and the northern part of Gion. Pass weeping willows that line a picturesque river, explore ancient temples, and travel through the streets of this amazing neighborhood.

Kyoto: Small-Group Guided Tour by Minivan

5. Kyoto: Small-Group Guided Tour by Minivan

Meet your driver guide and head to Sanjusangendo in eastern Kyoto, famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Continue to Shogunzuka Mount and take in panoramic views over the entire city of Kyoto, a valley surrounded by mountains. Journey to ramen street in the northern part of Kyoto for lunch (not included). Enjoy the authentic local atmosphere with many ramen restaurants competitively crowded together in one street. For vegetarians suitable restaurants are available as well. After the lunch break, walk along the cherry tress of the Philosopher's path. Marvel at the cherry blossoms in spring and the red leaves in autumn. Meet your driver guide at the end of the path and be escorted to Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) known for its tea ceremony room and the beautiful gardens. Then, visit Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto and see a variety of local foods such as seafood, Japanese pickles, Karaage, Takoyaki, Japanese spice, ice cream, green tea, egg roll, dee-fried food, and more. Feel free to taste and buy some of the foods, and look for souvenirs. Feel free to stay at the market after the tour or be driven back to the meeting point.


Other Sightseeing Options in Heian Shrine

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What people are saying about Heian Shrine

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 168 reviews

There is no way you can see everything in one day if that's what you're thinking! Plan ahead what you want to see so you're not disappointed. Also dress appropriately as only open seats are available.

We had an absolutely wonderful experience! Our guide, Yuka, was incredibly knowledgeable, flexible to our interests, and a great photographer. would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Kyoto.

Our ride was an absolute joy!!! Mitsu was charming, spoke English, took time to explain everything, made sure my dad (80 years old) was warm and safe.

Very convenient to book and the tour made it easy to go to Kyoto tourist spots. Highly recommended specially for first time travellers to Kyoto

Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.