Kyoto Prefecture
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Kyoto Prefecture Nature & Adventure

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

1. 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.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

2. Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

Start the tour from the JR Saga Arashiyama station. The Arashiyama district, located west of the Kyoto city center, has long been a scenic leisure spot. Many ancient aristocrats had their villas here 1000 years ago and enjoyed writing literature and poetry. Today, the area is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto.  First, explore the Bamboo Forest and quiet Sagano District, a peaceful neighborhood known for its beautiful maple trees. Then, visit Tenryu-ji temple which was built in 1339 by the Shogun Ashikaga in memory of the Emperor Go-Daigo and was a complex of more than 100 buildings. They were mostly destroyed by fires and civil wars over the years, but the traditional garden remains in its original form, designed by the monk Muso. Enjoy walking in the landscaped garden. After walking, taste Japanese croquette, leek pancakes, and sweet potato. Then, head over to the Togetsukyo bridge which, as the area’s landmark, dates back to the 9th-century and provides a good photo taking spot for visitors today. At the end of this half-day tour, have a nice sweets. If you like, you can enjoy shopping around after the tour because the this tour finished in a district where you can find many souvenirs.

From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

3. 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.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

4. Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

Your guide and chariot await at Kyoto’s iconic Togetsu-kyo bridge in Arashiyama, a nationally designated historic site and place of scenic beauty on Kyoto’s western fringe. Be amazed by the district’s main attraction, a towering grove of thick bamboo stalks with a pedestrian and rickshaw path cutting through it. Seeing its beauty, you’ll understand why the Japanese have a fond appreciation for nature. Admire the scenery, which is a blend of serene nature, tended gardens, and dazzling shrines, as your rickshaw driver pulls you up the mountain. Next you’ll see the beautiful Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto site. If you’ve chosen the 45-minute tour, at this point you’ll end back at the starting point. But if you choose a longer tour, up to 3 hours and 10 minutes, you’ll continue through more of Arashiyama’s wealth of sites. Explore Rakushisya’s cottage, a rustic thatch-roof cottage that was once the home of one of Japan’s revered poets and haiku masters. Those continuing on will be pulled to spots not seen by many tourists. Explore more ancient temples, including Shinto shrines and the Buddhist Nison-in, as your guide whisks you through some amazing places before returning to Togetsu-kyo bridge. The Kyoto Arashiyama Tour is available in four different options: 45 minutes, 1 hour and 10 minutes, 2 hours and 10 minutes, and 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Kyoto Hike and Hot Springs Visit

5. 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.

Arashiyama: Bamboo Grove and Temple Tour

6. 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.

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

7. 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: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

8. 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: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

9. Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

Stumble upon Nonomiya Shrine, a sacred site for the purification and preparation of the priestesses of the Ise Grand Shrine. Wander through pretty Kameyama Park and stop on Togetsukyo Bridge, from where you can admire the swooping cormorant birds. During the summer months, trained cormorants are used in a method of fishing called ukai, where the birds catch the fish for the fishermen. Continue your way up the ancient stone steps of Daihikaku Senkoji Temple, located on the side of a scenic mountain with panoramas of the Hozu River valley, Arashiyama area, and Kyoto City on the horizon. Here you will have the unique opportunity to engage in an authentic Zen meditation under the guidance of a resident monk. Partake in a traditional matcha green tea ceremony, one of the hallmarks of Zen Buddhist culture. Head back along the Hozu riverside to the lively main road of Arashiyama where your tour ends, outside the Randen Keifuku Arashiyama station. The station area provides an assortment of eating and shopping options for you to indulge in. There is also a glowing display of beautiful Kimono fabric patterns in transparent tubes, known as the Kimono forest. We also recommend the foot spa, where natural spring water can soothe your weary feet.

Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour

10. Kyoto Sake Brewery Tour

The Gekkeikan Okura sake museum have been making sake since 1637, with a nearly 4 century-old process. You'll be able to see how things have been done for generations.  At the museum you will also get a chance to see the sake brewery and get a sense of the traditional brewing process which involves a combination of water, malt, yeast and steamed rice. The different cut or variety of rice plays a big part in the distinction of the sake. If a grain of rice has a little grain shaved off, it is more bitter. Generally, the more grain that is shaved, the more sweet it will taste.

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What people are saying about Kyoto Prefecture

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 441 reviews

It was truly an experience like never before! We were able to enjoy the beautiful Bamboo Forest fully minus the walking and going thru the crowd of people. Our guides, Nabe and Daici were funny and entertaining, speaks English so well sharing with us the history of places as we paszed by, took our family pictures at great spots, give us insights on Japanese lifestyle and cultures. Our 8 year old son was so happy on the rickshaw. Truly, it is a must have experience for anyone who visits Kyoto!!

Warm, friendly, informative guide. Beautiful walk through woods, bamboo forest, and small shrines leading up to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Great way to see the area without entering with the masses of new year's visitors from the front entrance. Thank you.

Thank you! It was great to have a reserved tour! Our two Rickshaw drivers were awesome. They were ready early and we really enjoyed our tour! Thank you for the time and attention!

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.

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