Kyoto Prefecture
Private Experiences

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Our most recommended Kyoto Prefecture Private Experiences

Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

1. 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.

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Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

2. Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

Get to know your local host who can give you advice and recommendations for things to see and do with your family. 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. They will also suggest family-friendly restaurants where the locals eat that serve the kind of food you all like. Explore the temples, gardens, and places in Kyoto that make the perfect backdrop for your family day out. Visit world famous attractions where your kids can learn and explore, parks to run off any extra energy, and interactive exhibits at the Railway Museum to get hands-on. Explore the unique and exciting aspects of Kyoto’s magical culture. Explore the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is a great temple for children and adults. You can also visit Tainai-Meguri if none of your party are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. Jishu-jinja and Otowa-no-taki Spring are other temples you can explore. The Sannen-Zaka and Ninen-Zaka preserved neighborhoods are beautiful lanes lined with restaurants, teahouses, and souvenir stores which the kids will also enjoy. At Maruyama-koen Park you can see some of the famous Kyoto rickshaw pullers and the carp and turtles in the pond. Shoren-in Temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto and has a beautiful garden that the kids can explore with a bamboo forest.  Head to downtown Kyoto for lunch where you will be surrounded by restaurants. Your host will recommend a place that is to your taste. Kyoto Railway Museum is a great museum for the kids to explore. Nishiki Market is Kyoto’s best food market and it is fun to check out all the mysterious items on offer.

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Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

3. Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

Discover Kyoto like a local and see the top attractions on a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour private walking tour. Meet your host and get insider tips on what to see and do, learn about the culture and discover hidden gems along the way. 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 your preferred tour duration at least 72 hours in advance so that the best experience can be created in advance. You will be contacted shortly after booking to chat about your needs and interests. A like-minded host will then be provided, along with a bespoke, but flexible, itinerary exclusive to you. Visit sacred sites like the shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha or Kinkajuki Temple, explore the cultural district of Gion or get off the beaten path in historic neighborhoods with the help of your guide. Stop for lunch at an authentic spot, recommended by your host to suit your taste and budget, or snack on street food as you walk. Get advice on how to spend the rest of your time in the city and more.

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Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

4. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

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Kyoto: Japanese Gardens Private Customizable Tour

5. Kyoto: Japanese Gardens Private Customizable Tour

Explore the many gardens of Kyoto on this customizable tour with a private guide. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly.  Visit various styled gardens and experience traditional Japanese spirits which are represented in plants, rocks, and the entire design. Relax at both, artistic landscape gardens with seasonal plants and dry landscape gardens at Zen temples. Learn about the meaning and the history of the gardens from your knowledgeable guide. Most popular places to visit for this tour: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Kinkakuji Temple Ginkakuji Temple Ryoanji Temple Honen-in Nanzenji Temple Tofuku-ji Temple Kyoto Imperial Palace Shugakuin Imperial Villa Daitoku-ji Temple Kokedera Suzumusidera Katsura Imperial Villa Kyoto Botanical Garden

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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.

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Kyoto: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

7. Kyoto: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

The tour provider will organize the locations for your photo shoot based on your own unique requirements, whether it be a family getaway, a romantic trip, or a livelier one with friends.  Once the details are organised you will receive confirmation of all the information you need. All you need to do is simply meet the photographer on location in Kyoto and let them work their magic, capturing your travels in a contemporary and candid style of photography. Your highly experienced Kyoto vacation photographers are handpicked local experts, who will share their knowledge of the city with you like an old friend. When your photo tour has finished you will receive a link to your own personal online gallery (password protected) within 5 working days, containing your professionally edited images, all free to download. Create mementos that will last a lifetime and look back over your travels with fond memories.

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Kyoto: Izakaya Food Tour with Local Guide

8. Kyoto: Izakaya Food Tour with Local Guide

Join a like-minded host to experience Kyoto's nightlife like the locals do - gathering in izakaya, the small local drinking houses, and tachinomiya, Japan's unique street-side standing bars, to enjoy a few beers, share plates of food, and sip sake with friends after work. 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. Spend the night bar exploring the historic Gion district, or for a truly authentic glimpse into izakaya culture, explore the city's train station bars where locals gather for drinks before catching the last train home. Once you've bar hopped your way through this tangled network of bars, perhaps head to another yokocho, the historic alleyways that are steeped in tradition and dotted all over the city, where you'll find more character than you thought could ever be squeezed into such narrow streets.

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Kyoto: Private Car Hire with Professional Driver

9. Kyoto: Private Car Hire with Professional Driver

Hire a private car and driver to enjoy stress-free sightseeing in Kyoto. If you choose the full-day option, you will be able to visit 3 or 4 major sites, assuming you spend around 1-1.5 hours in each place and stop for lunch along the way.  The most popular places to visit in Kyoto are the Golden temple, Arashimaya Bamboo Forest, Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Imperial Palace, Ryoanji, and the Nishiki Market.  After completing your booking, let the local partner know where you would live to visit to confirm your chosen itinerary. If you want a more local experience, you might like to add a stop at a local mall or supermarket. Here, you will be able to see what the locals like to buy and eat. Using a chauffeur service in Kyoto will make your trip more efficient and enjoyable, no matter what the season. In spring and autumn, which are the peak seasons for tourism, you will be able to avoid long waiting times for public transportation. And in summer or winter, you can avoid the extreme hot or cold weather.

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Kyoto: Traditional Tea Ceremony & Make Your Own Matcha Tea

10. Kyoto: Traditional Tea Ceremony & Make Your Own Matcha Tea

Take part in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Meet at in Nakagyo Ward of Kyoto, and enter the venue for the tea ceremony. Originating in China, the Tea ceremony, or sado, is a ritual which explores the Zen Buddhist principles of hospitality, simplicity, and harmony in the imperfect. Don a kimono and begin your ceremony by admiring a hanging scroll. As you enter the venue, your Omotesenke (host), will guide you through the steps of the ceremony. Admire the gentleness and grace of the Omotesenke as the hot water is slowly poured into the green tea powder. Slowly sip your green tea. Taste adorable small Japanese sweets representing the 4 seasons. Appreciate the traditional flower arrangements. Learn about the significance of each step from your Omotsenke as you take part in a meaningful ritual.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto Prefecture

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What people are saying about Kyoto Prefecture

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.

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!

Hisako has been a great guide, very close and with many stories to tell. He has also given me many suggestions to visit after the tour. I have been delighted!

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!