Kyoto Prefecture
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Kyoto Prefecture Day Trips

From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

1. From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous cultural sites on this day-long bus tour from Osaka. Hop aboard a comfortable coach and drive to 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. Kyoto is filled with ancient historic sites dating back to the 6th century. Get dropped off first 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 your next destination. Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Take ample time to wander 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. Next, 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. Finish the day in Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. In the late afternoon, hop on the bus back to Osaka.

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Arashiyama: Bamboo Grove and Temple Tour

2. Arashiyama: Bamboo Grove and Temple Tour

For an easy day trip from the heart of Kyoto, there is nowhere more magical than Arashiyama. Discover a district tucked away in the west of the city at the foot of the Arashiyama Mountains. This enchanting area is easy to get to but the tranquility you will find in the stunning Bamboo Grove can feel like another world. Explore the enchanting forest with a local guide. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the mountainous landscape. Explore the riverbanks around the Togetsukyo Bridge and winding paths through the bamboo to discover temples and shrines hidden amongst leafy forests. Visit the Monkey Park and where you can encounter wild monkeys at close distance and enjoy watching them frolic about. Visit some of Kyoto’s most important temples and shrines and enjoy a break from the city’s bustling center. Explore the beautifully preserved traditional Saga-Toriimoto Street and see the historic temples and sacred shrines that the area is renowned for including the Tenryu-ji Temple and smaller sites like Gioji, hidden away in a secluded maple forest. Enjoy an authentic meal at a neighborhood eatery that suits your tastes and budget where the locals eat. Get tips and tricks from your guide about other areas of Kyoto to explore. Your itinerary will be fully personalized according to your preferences. Once you’ve booked, someone from the local partner's team will be in touch, so just let them know if you have any special requirements. 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. Book an early time slot if you wish to escape the crowds.

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From Kyoto or Osaka: Private Walking Tour through Nara

3. 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.

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Kansai: All-in-One Train, Subway, and Bus Pass

4. Kansai: All-in-One Train, Subway, and Bus Pass

Explore Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, and neighboring cities like Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama, and Shiga with just a single pass. The Kansai Thru pass is the ideal way to discover the Kansai region and benefit from complimentary discount promotions at about 280 major tourist facilities along the railway lines. Subways, Light Rail, Trams & Cable Cars The Kansai Thru Pass is valid on the Osaka subway, Kyoto subway, Kobe subway, and Osaka Monorail as well as the Eizan Railway and Keifuku (Randen) in Kyoto, the Port and Rokko Liners in Kobe and the Hieizan and Koyasan cable cars. Railways The Kansai Thru Pass is valid on the Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan, Kintetsu, Kobe Kosoku, Kobe Railways, Eizan, Nankai, Nose and Sanyo railways within the Kansai region. Buses The Kansai Thru Pass is valid on Kyoto City buses, Kobe City buses, Osaka City buses, as well as Hankyu, Itami, Keihan, Kintetsu, Nankai, Sanyo, Shintetsu and Wakayama buses.

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From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

5. From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

Start the tour with pick up from central Osaka and travel to historic Kyoto. Over the course of the day, you'll be presented with a balanced view of this historic city and its surroundings. The Arashiyama district is the first stop, and it is here where you'll be introduced to Japanese garden and temple design. Tenryu-ji Temple has one of the most outstanding, timeless examples of Japanese gardens surrounding it's simple-but-majestic temple buildings. Then it's time for a walk up through the famous bamboo grove - a photo opportunity not to be missed - before arriving at the entrance to luxurious Okochi Sanso. Here you will try some matcha (Japanese green tea), before exploring the winding paths that connect the buildings, views, and garden areas. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a stroll alongside the river, then have free time for lunch and even a bit of shopping, if you wish. Next, enjoy the atmospheric streets of the Goin district, complete with a gurgling stream and rows of traditional tea house and restaurant buildings.  Not far from the Gion is Fushimi Inari-taisha, arguably the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the entire region. After having a look around you'll end your tour with a visit to the famous Torii gate.

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From Kyoto: Miho Museum & Shigaraki Pottery Village Day Trip

6. From Kyoto: Miho Museum & Shigaraki Pottery Village Day Trip

After meeting your driver at your hotel lobby in Kyoto, drive for about 1 hour to the Miho Museum. On the way, take a tunnel through a mountain to the impressive museum designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei, the designer of the Louvre Pyramid. Upon arrival, soak up the serene atmosphere as the museum’s architecture blends harmoniously into its natural surroundings. Enter the museum and explore the permanent exhibitions of ancient art pieces from areas such as Egypt, Western Asia, Greece, Rome, Southern Asia, and China. After exploring the museum, drive to nearby Shigaraki pottery town. Here, savor lunch at a local restaurant, then head to one of the town’s many pottery studios and join a workshop to make your own pottery. The pottery experience takes about 90 minutes, and you can choose to make objects such as a teacup or plate. The firing process will take several weeks, so your creation will be shipped to your home country once it is completed. Get introduced to how pottery was made historically in the old large kilns that you can see in the town, and enjoy the many different ceramic objects on display and for sale. Lastly, drive back to Kyoto and be dropped off at your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto Prefecture

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What people are saying about Kyoto Prefecture

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 554 reviews

The bamboo grove was spectacular. Pictures were amazing but seeing it person is sooo much ch better. The mountain climb to the tea garden and beyond was an unexpected lovely surprise. The views are breathtaking. The temples and shrines are a thing of beauty as well. Monkey park was thoroughly enjoyable. From the beautiful hike to reaching the top and enjoying the monkeys. Marvelous!!

The experience was good. Mariko our guide was very kind. This trip was a good way to spend one day in Kyoto without having to worry about logistics. I wish though that some areas we would have more time but it's understandable given the time we've received as it's about 40-50 minutes between each site. Overall, I'm glad we did this tour. It made everything so much easier.

Great experience....Very comfortable trip. Our guide Rika was very sweet and well informed. Would like to visit Kyoto again for sure...!!!

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

Our lady guide was caring and helpful to the old age as my sister and I had this visit with our mum, who is 83.