Kyoto Prefecture

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Top attractions in Kyoto Prefecture

Our most recommended things to do in Kyoto Prefecture

  • Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

    1. 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 y...

    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.

  • Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

    2. Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

    You will take you place on the tatami, the traditional Japanese floor mat and be met by your English-speaking host, who is a licensed tea master from Urasenke, the biggest school of tea ceremony in Japan. Watch as the host carries out the ceremonial preparation of matcha, powdered green tea. Then, you will have the chance to make tea yourself, while the host informs you about the history and spiritual role of the tea ceremony and the effects each tea-making method has on its flavor. Afterwards, savor some traditional Japanese sweets Once the ceremony has come to a close, you will have the chance to take photos and see examples of kimonos and beautiful woven textiles made in the Nishijin district of Kyoto. If you'd like to wear a kimono during the experience, you can select it as an add-on during booking and take photos to remember the experience.

    The experience was excellent! it was amazing to experience some traditional Japanese culture, it was very tranquil, and the tea was delicious!

  • Kyoto: Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class

    3. Kyoto: Afternoon Japanese Izakaya Cooking Class

    Join an afternoon Izakaya cooking class to enjoy a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese dining culture as well as learn authentic Japanese foods that are eaten at home and in local restaurants. The cooking course consists of two parts. First, you will cook 2 or 3 dishes together with your chef and enjoy them. Then you will return to the kitchen and learn 2 or 3 more dishes before eating once more. As in many Izakaya (over the counter) restaurants, be ready to talk with your chef while cooking and eating at the same time. 

    Loved the experience. There were two instructors that were both friendly. One was very much more organized and prepared than the other. Lots of delicious and easy recipes. Would definitely do again. Note: The saki that is offered to adults at the end is not included, though they don't tell you that until you leave. Overall, well worth the experience.

  • Kyoto: Arashiyama Guided Animal Walking Tour

    4. Kyoto: Arashiyama Guided Animal Walking Tour

    Arashiyama is famous for its shrines and temples but if you climb the mountain, you'll find the facility where more than 100 monkeys live. Join them in their world and pet and feed them safely. You will also visit famous tourist spots including Bamboo Forest Path which has one of the most photogenic spots in Arashiyama. Another highlight is Togetsukyo Bridge, an iconic bridge over the Katsura river. Relax here and take in the mountainous views.  Next, it's the animal time. Visit Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama. This is the park where wild monkeys come and visit from the mountain behind the park. You can pet, feed, and take photos of them. As the park is in the mountain, you can enjoy the changing greenery by the seasons. Then you're on to the cafe located along a river where you can munch on rice dumplings, fish, beer, and so on. Lastly, you can spend some time looking at the bamboo...

  • 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

  • From Kanazawa : One-Way Thunderbird Train Ticket to Kyoto

    6. From Kanazawa : One-Way Thunderbird Train Ticket to Kyoto

    Take the fast route to Kyoto from Kanazawa with a trip on the Thunderbird Express. Book a one-way ticket in advance and enjoy a hassle-free ride to the beautiful city of Kyoto. Simply redeem your ticket at JR Kanazawa Station, then enjoy the comfortable express train. Along the way, admire scenic views of the Fukui Prefecture and Ishikawa Prefecture countryside before you arrive at Japan's old capital city.

  • Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

    7. Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

    Explore the Gion district by night with an experienced English, German, French, or Spanish-speaking tour guide who knows everything there is to know about the area. The tour starts near Kamo river, where you’ll learn about how the tradition of Geishas came to be. After a short stroll along a busy commercial street, you’ll slip into a calm, quiet area to visit the Yasaka Jinja shrine. After that touch of education, it’s off to the Gion.   The Gion has secrets and history scattered across its narrow streets, but this is also a modern entertainment district—so it’s time for a deep dive into what goes on here. Your guide will keep it light and fun, and explain some of the more interesting cultural mores of these parts. Step into a restaurant and graze from a multitude of small plates at a sort of Japanese-style tapas experience. Enjoy a drink as well before continuing on.   Between restaur...

    Enjoyed the history and seeing a couple out-of-the-way neighborhoods. Mardi was an outstanding guide and provided an enjoyable evening visiting places we’d never have found on our own.

  • Kyoto: Fushimi Inari & Sanjusangen-do Half-Day Cycling Tour

    8. Kyoto: Fushimi Inari & Sanjusangen-do Half-Day Cycling Tour

    Ride alongside a local guide and enjoy a half-day tour to visit the impressive Fushimi Inari and Sanjusangen-do monuments in Kyoto, stopping at various popular photoshoot spots along the way. Meet your guide at Kyoto station, get settled into your bike, and begin your cycling exploration riding to Sanjusangen-do Temple, which is famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Japanese Buddhist goddess of mercy. Get off your bike and walk around this ancient structure with life-sized golden Buddha statues. Continue to the next stop which is Fushimi Inari Shrine and it's Senbon (Thousand) Torii Gate. This stop is one of the most picturesque square spots in Kyoto and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  After visiting the shrine, follow your guide as you explore the area and see other examples of traditional Japanese architecture.

  • Kyoto: Morning Ikebana Class (Japanese Flower Arrangement)

    9. Kyoto: Morning Ikebana Class (Japanese Flower Arrangement)

    Your Ikebana lesson will be hosted by a master of Ikebana from the Mishq school, one of the most famous flower-arranging schools in Japan.   Your instructor will explain the history of Ikebana in English before showing you how to cut the flowers and trees at the correct angles for the arrangement. See how the flower arrangements differ from those in Western culture.  You may also take part in a tea ceremony after with a master craftsman after your Ikebana lesson. 

    Ria was a very gracious instructor. Despite a shorter runtime than advertised, we learned some key concepts of ikebana.

  • Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

    10. 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...

    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!

Frequently asked questions about Kyoto Prefecture

What top attractions are a must-see in Kyoto Prefecture?

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What people are saying about Kyoto Prefecture

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,256 reviews

As a man, this was such a fun experience. When I checked in, I think the (male) receptionist was a bit shocked to see it was only me, but he handled it with care and I didn't feel embarrassed at all. The photoshoot itself only lasted about 10 minutes, but they do offer to take some personal pictures with your cell phone. (So you don't only get the professionally shot photos advertised!) They also have an option to go to a private shoot in a home, but the cost was like $400 or something. Something to consider if you really want to have an extra special experience.

very nice cooking class with a perfect english speaking teacher. all meals were very very delicious, the best food we ate in japan yet. if you don't like any of the ingredients, you can choose an alternative. also got insider tips from our teacher, thanks for that! :) we highly recommend this class if you are staying in kyoto or the area around.

We had an absolutely wonderful experience! Our guide, Yuka, was incredibly knowledgeable, flexible to our interests, and a great photographer. would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Kyoto.

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!