City break - Kyoto tour
Kyoto, the former imperial capital, is Japan's must-see city.
With 17 UNESCO heritage sites, 2,000 temples and sanctuaries, and plenty of gardens, this city never ceases to fascinate those who explore it. Visiting Kyoto is an opportunity to discover the soul of Japan in every way!
This one-week city break tour includes a transport pass and a guided tour.
1 week itinerary in Kyoto and its region (8 days)
Our suggestion for the trip :
- visit Kyoto in 4 days
- 1 day excursion to Nara
- 1 day excursion to Osaka and Himeji Castle
The first and last day are reserved for your arrival and departure from Japan (and for the last bit of souvenir shopping!).
Please find below the itinerary details.
WARNING : The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. On departure, you will have to leave Europe on the day before. The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference. For further details, refer to "More about your trip".
Why this trip to Japan?
- Welcomed at the airport by our team, you will be taken to your hotel in Kyoto by shuttle bus
- Settle in the heart of Kyoto in your 3* hotel chosen for its comfort and location
- Take advantage of 5 days of transport to visit Kyoto and its region
- At nightfall, a guided tour of the traditional geisha quarter awaits you
- Recommendations available in your travel diary
- Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
- If necessary, contact our Japanese bilingual English-speaking assistance 24/7
- A number of guided days or other optional activities are available (tea ceremony, etc.)
- Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan.
Your trip to Kyoto and Kansai in detail
Day 1 : Wake up in Kyoto 京都
Arrival at Kansai International Airport (KIX).
Welcome to Japan! Yokoso 日本へようこそ !
Reception at the exit from Customs in English by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents.
Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to your hotel in Kyoto (see details).
Check-in at Hotel Tsugu 京都三条 or equivalent 3* (rooms available from 3:00pm).
You can pick up your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception desk.
Day 2 : First steps in the old capital
What is there to do in Kyoto in 4 days?
We advise you to start your visit to Kyoto slowly by visiting the city centre and the Gion district:
- The Nijo castle, former shogun's residence
- Nishiki, Kyoto's culinary market
- Kiyomizu-Dera, the great water temple
- The historical streets of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka
- Kodai-ji, the maple and bamboo temple of Kyoto
Finish off seeing the sunset in Gion.
Meet your guide at 19:00 to start your late stroll around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.
More details on the exact time and location in your travel diary.
At the end of this 1 hour 30 walk, your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to eat out!
Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take photographs in the historic district of Gion.
Day 3 : Gold and Silver Treasures
We recommend the following itinerary for this second day's visit to Kyoto:
- Ryoan-ji Zen Garden
- The Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
- Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
- The bewitching path of philosophy
- The Nanzen-ji temple
One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these symbolic sites (optional, from 9:00 to 17:00).
Day 4 : Between tradition and modernity...
For this fifth day, there are still many places to discover according to your taste: the Arashiyama bamboo grove district, the Shimogamo sanctuary or the Daitoku-ji temple complex... or Kyoto station and its tower for the futuristic side!
Don't hesitate to follow the many suggestions in your travel diary.
Or better still, book an English-speaking guide for the day (optional) to visit Kyoto off the beaten path!
Day 5 : Now for some activity...
This is your last full day to visit Kyoto, so make the most of our many optional activities:
- Want to enjoy nature? Check out our cycling activities along the Kamogawa River or hiking in the Takao Gorge!
- Prefer Japanese arts? tea ceremonies, meditation activities or private visits to secret gardens will seduce you.
- Looking for Japanese countryside? Let yourself be tempted by a trip to Ohara, or try our flagship activity: on the Tea Road!
If you wish to visit at your own pace, continue exploring Kyoto's 2000 unique temples, shrines and gardens!
Day 6 : Between temples and deer
For that first day out of Kyoto, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, which is included in your package.
Visit to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan in the 8th century.
- The Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha and its thousands of lanterns
- The Todaiji, its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate
- Kofukuji temple and its beautiful pagoda
Return to Kyoto and stop for sunset at Fushimi Inari, the huge 10,000 torii sanctuary in Kyoto. If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will unveil all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional, return trip from Kyoto).
Day 7 : On the trail of the Samurai
On this last day before the day of your departure, we recommend a visit to Himeji Castle and a memorable evening in Osaka.
Himeji, 2 hours 15 by train from Kyoto (a journey with 2 small changes included in your offer) presents the best preserved castle in Japan: the White Heron Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the afternoon, head to Osaka (train and metro included) and its lively Dotonbori district for an unforgettable dinner and evening. Take your time, return trains to Kyoto leave every 10 minutes until 23:30 (50 minute ride).
Don't hesitate to ask one of our English speaking guides to visit Osaka for a full day, half day or evening culinary activity.
- Uji, the city of tea, and Byodo-in, its temple of the phoenix (30 min by train)
- Hikone, its castle and its garden full of cherry blossoms (30 min by train)
- Miyama, and its traditional thatched village (1 hour 30 by bus)
- Lake Biwa and its beaches in summer (20 min by train)
Day 8 : Sayonara, and see you next time!
Direct transfer to Kansai International Airport (included but not accompanied).
Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia.
Do not hesitate to extend your trip by one or more days to Kansai or elsewhere... We will be able to advise you!
- 7 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of the city, close to public transport
The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.
Included in your self-guided tour
- Airport transfers <> hotel in Kyoto
- Pre-paid public transport prepayment card
- Kyoto metro + bus pass 2 days
- 3-day unlimited transport pass (Kansai Thru Pass)
- Airport welcome
- Guided night tour of Gion (1h30)
- Unlimited Wi-Fi access with pocket wifi
- Complete e-travel diary sent 20 days before your departure
- 24/7 telephone assistance in English and bilingual Japanese
Not included in the price of your trip
- Flights Europe <> Japan
- Optional insurance policies
- Personal expenses including meals (breakfasts optional)
- Public transport when all 3 cards are exhausted (see details)
- Anything not included in the "included in your tour" section
Your tour :
- The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
- Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Children over 3 years of age are allowed. Rates for children are available for people from 3 to 11 years old inclusive.
- This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
- Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
- Travel diary by email 3 weeks before departure
- Paper documents (airport transfer tickets, transport cards) when you arrive at the airport by our airport assistant.
- Your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception upon arrival.
- N.B.: no ticket for airport transfers to and from the airport. The reservation is registered in the name of the tour reservation.
Your accommodation :
- Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
- Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option.
- Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed.
- Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants.
- 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
- In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close.
- Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
Your transport :
- Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
- The departure and end dates shown on this page are for your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan via Kansai International Airport KIX (not Itami ITM) and will also depart from KIX. You will have to leave Europe the day before and land at 6:00pm at the latest to make the most of the airport services of your tour (welcome and transfer to Kyoto). The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference, with a departure time of 9am at the earliest. Please do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for precision in the choice of international flights.
- Airport transfers: The shared shuttle bus leaves from the airport and stops in front of your hotel, and vice versa on the return journey. Our airport assistant in Kansai Airport will drive you to the platform to take the airport transfer. Afterwards, this hotel transfer is unassisted. If you would like to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception please choose the option "Accompanied Airport Transfer".
- Included in your tour is a pre-paid transport card with 1500¥ loaded in advance (about £10.30 / 14.54$) (Suica or Pasmo brand), a 2-day metro/bus pass to Kyoto intramural and the 3-day Kansai unlimited travel card. These 3 cards should cover the vast majority of your journeys in this tour of Kyoto and its region, Kansai. Please note that apart from the pre-paid transport card, where the journey is charged to you, the other 2 cards are not usable on the JR network but rather on the private network (about 2/3 of the total network in Kansai). The Kansai unlimited travel card is valid for 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days. When the passes and the 1,500¥ pre-paid transport card expire, you will have to pay for all your journeys by reloading your pre-paid transport card (in the ticket machines at all stations and metro stations. A metro ticket in Kyoto costs around £1.71 / 2.42$, depending on the length of the journey).
Your trips :
- Airport reception is in English. Your airport assistant will be waiting for you at the customs exit holding a sign with the name of the reservation. They will give you your travel documents and take you to your airport transfer. They will not accompany you to Kyoto (this is possible, but optional).
- The guided tour of Gion takes place in groups of 12 people maximum, from 6:00pm to 7:30/8:00pm. In English. More details on the meeting place in your travel journal. Dinner is not planned but your guide will be able to give you their best spots.
Your meals :
- No meals are included in your package. Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option.
Your additional services:
- A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your pocket wifi will be delivered to you on arrival at the first hotel on your tour, in the name of your tour reservation.
- It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
- A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
- A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.
Frequently asked questions
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