Kansai Walking tours

Our most recommended Kansai Walking tours

Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

1. Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

Discover Nara on a fully customizable tour. Nara is in close proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, and its rich collection of traditional sites make it an ideal destination for a day trip from either of its larger neighbours. Start your day by meeting your guide at your hotel or chosen location, then choose sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at the designated meeting point you chose and let the tour begin. First visit Kofuku-Ji temple, a historic site that has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover several designated National Treasures here including the Buddhist sculpture masterpiece, the Statue of Ashura. Next, head for Todai-Ji temple, a World Heritage Site that is Nara’s most famous landmark. Admire the statue of Kongo Rikishi at Nandaimon Gate and Japan’s largest Great Buddha statue. Stroll through Nara Park which is famous for its wild deer species. Enjoy the verdant natural setting of Nara while taking part in the popular activity of feeding the deer inside the park. Then discover Kasuga Taisha temple, another World Heritage Site with an impressive red main shrine. Explore the Kasuga-Taisha National Treasure Hall which contains valuable works of Buddhist art.

Nara Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

2. Nara Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Your guide will meet you at your accommodation and help you get familiar with the neighborhood, show you the best places to eat and shop and tell you about the easiest ways to get around. Choose a 2, 3 or 4-hour tour, and by the end you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of your stay. After booking you’ll be sent some questions so that you’re paired with a local guide based on your interests. The tour is completely customized so you can choose the meeting location and the starting time. During the walking tour you’ll have the option of taking public transportation or a taxi to get around the city (at your expense). Hear what it’s like to live in Nara, learn about cultural differences, local events and politics and get to know your guide on a personal level.

Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

3. Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

Explore Gion, the centuries-old entertainment district of Kyoto, which truly comes alive at night. With your guide, learn about the customs of the geisha and the apprentice maiko. You may catch a glimpse of a few of the women in full costume.  Walk through the narrow streets with the lanterns flickering on the wooden buildings. Enjoy a night visit to a Shinto shrine, with a beautifully lit pagoda. Wander through the grounds of a Zen temple in the tranquil calm of the night. Learn more about the modern history of the entertainment district from your guide.

Himeji: Private Customized Tour with Licensed Guide

4. Himeji: Private Customized Tour with Licensed Guide

Explore Himeji in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4-hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. This tour features a morning pickup at your hotel in Himeji, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below: The first stop is Himeji Castle, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle dates back to 1333, and has survived natural disasters, WWII bombing, and the wear of the weather. In 2015, it underwent restoration works, which helped return its facade to a brilliant white. Visit the castle with a local knowledgeable guide and learn about the castle's architecture. Next is Mt. Shosha, a picturesque temple area located in the mountains behind Himeji Castle. Take the ropeway cable car up to Mt. Shosha. Alternatively, if you’re feeling extremely energetic, you could hike up the mountain in an hour or less. Then stop by the Engyo-ji Temple. With so much to explore on the temple grounds, plan to spend around an hour here to see the main structures. The trails that lead through the grounds reveal Mt. Shosha's gorgeous flora, and little details that create a magical atmosphere. For lunch, you enjoy delicious local food around Himeji Station, such as amen, gyoza, tonkatsu, and sushi. The local shopping street arcade is another charm of Himeji, and your guide will pick out the best shops for you to visit.  Other popular places to visit on this tour could be the Himeji City Museum of Literature, the Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, or the Hiromine Shrine.

Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

5. Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

Explore the Naramachi district. Attend a mochi-pounding performance and have a mochi freshly made to get the best quality ever. Then, have a taste of the authentic sushis from Nara called "Kaki no Ha Zushi" (A special sushi, rolled in a persimmon fruit leaf). The real fun starts with a Sake distillery, where you will learn a lot about sake, its history, and its manufacturing, all with a delicious tasting session. Then, the next stop will be at a local craft beer microbrewery with a drink included. You will then finish with food, at a ramen restaurant and then a 65 years old traditional sushi restaurant from Nara. What a great way to start the evening!

Kamakura: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

6. Kamakura: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

Discover Kamakura’s historical sites, favorite local spots, and hidden gems on a private walking tour with nationally licensed guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour, whose itinerary can be customized to fit your interests. Located 1 hour from Tokyo, be introduced to some of the best spots, restaurants, and shops in Kamakura, which is home of the samurai and of great cultural importance to Japan. Visit and enter the interior of the huge Great Buddha statue, a symbol of great importance for Kamakura. Admire the is famous gardens of Hase-dera. During the rainy season (around June), 2500 colorful hydrangeas of 40 varieties bloom all at once to create a wondrous spectacle. Go to the Zeniarai Benten Shrine where legend says that when money is washed in the holy water of the shrine’s spring you will earn more money. Head to the Hokoku-ji Temple known for its splendid bamboo forest garden. Here, sample matcha tea while admiring the view of the forest.

Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

7. Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

Start at the vast 400-year-old Nishiki Market, nicknamed 'Kyoto's Kitchen,' where over 130 food shops and stalls will beckon your taste buds. Stroll through the Market and learn about its history and taste the various dishes unique to Kyoto including: Tofu Skin, Sesame Cracker, Japanese Pike Conger Eel, Sake, and etc. Then, rest your appetite by visiting a nearby shrine dedicated to the God of Education. Head for Pontocho Street by crossing through Teramachi Street, Shijo Street, and Kiyamachi Street- all of which will enable you to immerse yourself in modern Japanese culture. Pontocho street is very special, even for locals, because it is one out of the five Geisha districts in Kyoto. From here, you will walk across the majestic Kamo river and taste local sweets. The final section of the tour will lead you to Gion district (which is also another Geisha district). The guide will take you out of mainstream hustle and bustle of the crowded streets and into the more photogenic and hidden spots. Not only will you be educated about the Geisha tradition, you may even meet one. The tour finishes in Gion District on Shijo Street. From the finishing point, you can easily access Kiyomizudera which is most famous temple in Kyoto known for its stage with a great view.

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

8. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well-preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting.  Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

Wakayama: Mt. Koya Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

9. Wakayama: Mt. Koya Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

Explore Mount Koya in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4-hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. Meet your guide at the station near Mount Koya. The first stop will be Daimon, Koya-san’s main gate. Admire the impressive gate painted in a bright crimson color, and the large statues of guardian gods. Continue to Konpon Daito pagoda to discover Buddhist pictures and murals. Next, head to the Kongobu-ji Temple. Admire the beautiful features and architecture of the complex, such as sliding screens, art adorning the spacious rooms, and the largest rock garden in Japan. Stop for a Shoujin Ryori lunch, and experience vegetarian Buddhist cuisine. Stop at Okuno-in, the most sacred place on Mt. Koya. To reach the shrine, walk over the Ichinohashi Bridge and follow the Sandō path. Explore the famous Toro-do Hall with its "unextinguishable" flame. The final stop will be the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism.

Kumano/Tanabe: Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail Private Tour

10. Kumano/Tanabe: Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail Private Tour

Discover Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails on a private tour alongside a licensed local guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour option and receive a meet-and-greet service at your accommodation or from the main train station in Kumano or Tanabe. Let your guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. You can also pre-plan your itinerary in advance. Benefit from a guide that holds a Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter Certification issued by the Japanese government, which certifies that your guide holds good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history. Explore an ancient network of pilgrim trails dating back more than 1,000 years connecting historic shrines and temples running through the mountains of the Kii Peninsula. The most popular route, Nakahechi, along which past emperors traveled, crosses the width of the Peninsula from Tanabe town on the west coast to Shingu and Nachi-Katsuura towns on the east. Hikers of all levels can enjoy quiet mountain hamlets and onsens. Popular 6-hour itinerary - Hossinmon-Oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha: Experience a route that is a good mixture of ridge-top settlements and forest trails. Walk through Kumano Kodo to Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine and learn about its history and cultural importance. After lunch, visit the Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, one of the three grand shrines, standing on a small ridgeline in the north of the Hongu village. Admire the 800-year-old austere pavilions that are made of wood with impressive cypress bark roofs which architecture style.

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What people are saying about Kansai

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 96 reviews

Great tour and experience to explore Gion! Niall was very knowledgeable and friendly. He will show you multiple places, top spots for pictures (if you want to take some) and add history to the locations to add a deeper layer of appreciation. The information will go from the actual Geisha culture to multiple shrine information and background. Overall great tour and would recommended.

Nara is a great little town and this food and drink tour really does it justice, walking through the really atmospheric old quarter sampling its homegrown sake, beer, sushi and ramen. I had a fun afternoon exploring with Remi, a Frenchman who lives here, speaks fluent English and really knows his stuff. If I'd have had more time I'd have done one of his bike tours too.

Yamaguchi was an amazing guide. He was thoughtful, prompt, polite and informative. We very much enjoyed our time with him and would highly recommend!

I really enjoyed the walking tour with my guide Mr. Suzuki. He was very knowledgeable and kind. Highly recommend him.

thank you for your flexibility and guidance. much appreciated!