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Kyoto

Rail tours

Our most recommended Kyoto Rail Tours

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

1. From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

After pickup from one of 3 locations in Osaka, head towards Kyoto, once the former capital of Japan, on the island of Honshu. The first activity of the day is a scenic and romantic railway ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama. During the 23-minute journey, feel immersed in nature as you admire the beautiful blossom trees and breathtaking mountain views. Upon arrival at Arashiyama, enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch with soft drinks to prepare you for an afternoon of sightseeing. After lunch, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. The tour continues onto Fushimi Inari, world-famous for the thousands of Torii gates that line the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. Spend some free time exploring the mountain trails and the shrine buildings themselves, and learn about the fascinating culture of Japan. The tour ends after your visit to Fushimi Inari, and you’ll be dropped-off to your original pickup location in Osaka.

Kyoto: Sagano Train and Sightseeing Day Trip with Lunch

2. Kyoto: Sagano Train and Sightseeing Day Trip with Lunch

See some of Kyoto's highlights on this guided tour. Meet your expert guide and visit Arashiyama, where you can enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch with soft drinks to prepare you for an afternoon of sightseeing. After lunch, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. The tour continues onto Fushimi Inari, world-famous for the thousands of Torii gates that line the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. Spend some free time exploring the mountain trails and the shrine buildings themselves, and learn about the fascinating culture of Japan. Beat the traffic and take the train with your professional guide from JR Kyoto Station to Arashiyama or Fushimi Inari Taisha (depending on the train schedule of that day). During the  journey, feel immersed in nature as you admire the beautiful blossom trees and breathtaking mountain views. The tour ends after your visit to Fushimi Inari. If the first sightseeing place is Fushimi Inari Taisha, the bus will drop you off at JR Kyoto Station. Otherwise, your expert guide will give you the train ticket at Fushimi Inari Taisha to get back to JR Kyoto Station.

Kyoto Hike and Hot Springs Visit

3. Kyoto Hike and Hot Springs Visit

Discover the rural charm that’s just a short train ride away from Kyoto city. Experience the beauty of nature and see ancient religious sites in Kurama and Kibune. On this 6-hour program you’ll meet in Kyoto and board a train for Kibune village, a place well-known for its lovely riverside and peaceful atmosphere. You’ll also find the exquisite Kibune Shrine, where red lanterns have been placed along an old stairway. Drink the fresh water that flows from the hills and say a prayer for good relationships. After a short visit, you’ll head for the hiking course. Climbing the steps to the top requires a moderate level of fitness, but the peak can be reached within 30-40 minutes. You’re sure to make plenty of stops along the way to enjoy the stunning scenery as well as some features unique to this trail. When you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll visit the Kurama Temple. From the temple you’ll have amazing views of the valley below. Relax after your climb and enjoy the fresh mountain air. As you head back down the steps from the temple, you’ll make your way to the little town of Kurama for lunch followed by a trip to an outdoor bath. The bath, known as an onsen is rich in minerals that will energize your body and soul. With views of the tranquil countryside this is one of the best outdoor bathing experience in West Japan. After a relaxing bath it will be time to hop on the train and head back to Kyoto city, feeling refreshed and energized.

Kyoto: Top Highlights Full Day Trip

4. Kyoto: Top Highlights Full Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous sites on this culture-focused day trip. Hop on board a comfortable coach and drive through Japan's ancient capital to see the brilliant Torii Gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu-Dera temple, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-Ji. Start the tour by discovering some of Kyoto's ancient historic sites which date back to the 6th-century. Get dropped off at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Spend time wandering the brilliant paths before heading to a restaurant for lunch. Here enjoy the chance to taste a  traditional Tofu set-course menu with Japanese tea. After lunch, head off to Kiyomizu-Dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Spend ample time strolling through the temple. Walk across the impressive wooden stage, which juts out from the hillside and was constructed without the use of a single nail. Then, make a final stop at Kinkaku-Ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to the fact that it's covered in gold leaf. Wander through the immaculate gardens surrounding the temple, admiring the original Japanese designs that have been preserved since Ashikaga's time. In the late afternoon, get dropped off at Kyoto Station where your tour will end.

Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour with Nijo Castle & Yasaka Shrine

5. Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour with Nijo Castle & Yasaka Shrine

Joining this small-group walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide will make your day in Kyoto a memorable one. The first stop is Nijo Castle, where you will hear about its history. Explore the main gate, inside the main building, and finally the massive garden and observatory. After Nijo Castle, take a short subway ride to Karasuma Oike station. From there, walk to a nearby local supermarket. See local fresh fruits, and visit a deli and bakery. If you did not eat breakfast, it is possible to take a short break here. Continue to Nishiki Market, located in Kyoto's downtown area. You will see a variety of foods such as seafood, deep-fried foods, Japanese pickles, Karaage, Takoyaki, Japanese spice, ice cream, green tea, egg roll, and more. Feel free to stop, taste, and buy food as you go. You will also have a chance to purchase Japanese knives, teacups, and plates.  After exploring the Nishiki Market, walk through Shin Kyogoku street, Sanjo street, and Kiyamachi street, to end up on the famous Ponto street. You will see a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Feel free to make a stop and enjoy a coffee break or lunch. You will then head into the Gion neighborhood. See the Minamiza Kabuki theatre and walk the traditional Hanamikoji street. Your guide will also take you to some of the backstreets in Gion where many ochaya teahouses can be found. You will not meet any maiko or geisha in the daytime, but you may do so if you come back in the evening. Finally, end up at the Yasaka Shrine, located at the eastern end of the Gion district. Visit the main stage and learn what it was set up for, and touch the underground water, which is said to enhance the beauty of body and mind.

Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

6. Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

The district of Higashiyama is full of Kyoto must-see locations. Higashiyama means East Mountain, and this tour takes place at the foothills of the mountain range that forms the Eastern border of central Kyoto.  Start off your tour at the Fushimi Inari Taisha, a Shinto shrine located in the Southern part of the Higashiyama mountain range. Pass through the mystical vermilion torii gates that snake up the mountainside. Beyond the gates, you find the Fushimi Inari Taisha which is about Shinto history and culture.  Take a short train ride from Fushimi Inari to Gion and listen to the stories your guide has to share about this colorful, much-storied playground of the geisha and beyond. Gion is a special place as it continues to be an active part of modern-day culture. This district is also known for its evening entertainment.  Stroll through the streets of Higashiyama and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Visit the Kodaiji temple and immerse yourself in the serenity of its gardens and bamboo grove. The temple complex dates back to the early 17th-century.  Take some snacks or souvenirs in the streets along Sannenzaka and walk you way up to Kiyomizu Temple. Once arrived you can enjoy a spectacular view of Kyoto. The temple is famous for its clear, pure water flowing from the mountains into the Otowa Waterfall. Take the opportunity to sample some of the pure water yourself. It is said that the 3 divided streams bring health, wealth, or happiness. Choose wisely as for greedy people none of the wishes will come true.  The tour ends at Kiyomizudera, where you are free to spend more time and discover the area at your own pace.

From Kyoto or Osaka: Private Walking Tour through Nara

7. From Kyoto or Osaka: Private Walking Tour through Nara

Go on a private city walking tour through Nara and explore the fascinating history, culture, and food scene of this city. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Meet your guide in Kyoto or Osaka and take the train to Nara, the city where Shinto Buddhism was born. See some of Japan’s most significant temples and shrines. Marvel at art and architecture dating back to the 8th-century.   Walk down quiet streets and shaded paths lined with cherry blossom trees and be amazed by Nanto Shichi Daiji, the seven great Buddhist temples. Discover the magical, wood-built architecture overhung with thousands of lanterns at the fairytale Kasuga-Taisha Shrine. At the famous Nara Park, you can see the iconic tame deers that come close enough to greet you. If you are hungry this would be the perfect opportunity to check out the restaurants and cafes at Higashimuki Shopping Street. In this street, you will also find all sorts of souvenirs.  This tour can be fully personalized depending on your preferences. Your guide can provide you with tips and recommendations for the rest of your stay in Nara.

Kyoto: City Highlights Private Guided Tour

8. Kyoto: City Highlights Private Guided Tour

Meet your guide at the station in Kyoto to begin your tour of the city’s highlights. Ride the train and to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famous for its impressive rows of red gates. Continue to Tofukuji Temple to relax in its beautiful garden and stroll along a raised walkway at tree level. After this, head to Sanjusangen-do temple, known for its amazing collection of 1,001 golden Buddha statues. Hop back on the train and travel to Hanamikoji Street and the famous Gion area, your final stop on the tour. Wander through the streets and feel soak up the energy of this vibrant area.

Frequently asked questions about Kyoto Rail Tours

What are other things to do than Rail Tours that are worth visiting in Kyoto?

The other unmissable things to do in Kyoto are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto

Want to discover all there is to do in Kyoto? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kyoto

Beautiful excursion

An excursion full of spirituality in the midst of nature. Recommended for lovers of long walks. The onsen experience at the end of the day was the icing on the cake. The guide was very professional.

Amazing time with Eric! He was very knowledgeable and a great guy to spend the day with. We would do this trip again in a heartbeat! Beautiful scenery and wonderful area of Kyoto!

Great tour

Wonderful tour off the beaten track. For us the best thing about it, the tour was also available in German. Our guide Ralf was great. The tours with him were the best in Kyoto.

Great guide with good conversation and information about the region. Lovely hike and first experience at Japanese Onsen was enjoyable!

Very friendly guide (Jewel). We were able to discover many monuments in a short time.