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 surroundings (8 days)

  • Departure city/Airport : Osaka (Kansai International Airport : KIX)
  • Kyoto (7 nights, including 1 day trip to Nara)
  • Return city/Airport : Osaka (Kansai International Airport : KIX)

Please find below the itinerary details.

Tour length : 7 nights / 8 days (+ 1 day at the beginning if you leave from Europe)

PLEASE NOTE: The departure and end dates shown on this page only apply to your stay in Japan. You must therefore leave Europe the day before the first day of your tour. The date of your return flight and that of your return to Europe are identical due to the time difference.

Example : 

  • Departure from Europe : January 1st
  • Arrival in Tokyo (= the date to be selected in the calendar when booking) : January 2nd
  • Return flight from KIX airport / Return to Europe : January 9th

Please note that flights are not included in the price of your tour.

This tour information was last updated on May 14, 2024.

Why this trip to Japan?

  1. Welcomed at the airport by our team, you will be taken to your hotel in Kyoto by shuttle bus
  2. Settle in the heart of Kyoto in your 3* hotel chosen for its comfort and location
  3. Take advantage of 5 days of transport to visit Kyoto and its region
  4. At nightfall, a guided tour of the traditional geisha quarter awaits you
  5. Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
  6. If needed, contact our bilingual Japanese/English-speaking assistance team available 7/7
  7. A number of guided days or other optional activities are available (tea ceremony, etc.)
  8. 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!

    Welcome through customs by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents and your Pocket WiFi.
    Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to Kyoto (see details).

    The transfer is done in a shared shuttle or bus, with other guests departing for the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers depart between 1.5 and 3 hours after your scheduled flight arrival, and stops may be made before your hotel.

    If you would like a private, non-stop transfer directly after the arrival of your flight, feel free to take the "Private Taxi from the Airport" option.

    Check into the RAKURO 京都 by THE SHARE HOTELS or equivalent (rooms available from 3pm).

  • Day 2 : First steps in the old capital

    You have 4 days to visit Kyoto.
    Start in the afternoon in the historic Gion district, close to your accommodation :
    - Kiyomizu-Dera, the impressive water temple ;
    - The historic lanes of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka ;
    - Kôdai-ji, Kyoto's temple of maple trees and bamboo.

    Finish your day with a stroll through the Gion district and enjoy the sunset.
    Meet your guide at 7 p.m. to start your evening walk around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.
    More details on the exact day and meeting point can be found in your travel guide.

    At the end of this 1h30 walk, your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat dinner!
    Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take pictures in the historic district of Gion.

  • Day 3 : Gold and Silver Treasures

    For your second day in Kyoto, we recommend the following itinerary:
    - The Zen garden of Ryôan-ji ;
    - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) ;
    - Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
    - The enchanting Philosopher's Path ;
    - Nanzen-ji temple.

    Then, step into a serene tea room and be graciously welcomed by a tea master for a traditional tea ceremony. Witness the meticulous preparation and presentation of matcha, a vibrant green tea, served in exquisite handcrafted pottery. Savor the delicate flavors of wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet, alongside the frothy tea. This enchanting experience promises a glimpse into the heart of Japanese culture.

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these iconic sites (available as an option, from 9am to 5pm).

  • Day 4 : Between tradition and modernity...

    Continue your visit to Kyoto by heading west:
    - Nishiki, Kyoto's culinary market ;
    - Nijô Castle, former residence of the shogun ;
    - Arashiyama, with its bamboo grove and monkey mountain.

    Don't hesitate to 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 why not make the most of our many optional activities :
    - Want to enjoy nature? Discover our cycling activities along the Kamo-gawa river or hiking in the Takao gorges!
    - If you're more into the Japanese arts, you'll love our tea ceremony, meditation activities or private visits to secret gardens!
    - If you're in the mood for the Japanese countryside, let yourself be tempted by a trip to Ohara or try our popular 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.

    For the last day, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, included in your package.

    Visit Nara, Japan's first fixed capital in the 8th century.
    Discover :
    - The Kasuga-taisha Shinto shrine and its thousands of lanterns
    - Tôdai-ji, with its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate ; 
    - Kôfuku-ji temple and its delightful pagoda.

    Return to Kyoto and stop to see the sunset at the Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto's immense shrine of 10,000 torii.

    If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will reveal all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional).

  • Day 7 : On the trail of the Samurai

    For your final day before departure, we recommend a captivating journey that combines historical wonder and vibrant nightlife.

    Immerse yourself in history with a visit to Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Revered as Japan's most perfectly preserved castle, its elegant white facade earns it the nickname "White Heron Castle". This journey takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes by train from Kyoto (including two transfers, all covered in your package).

    After your historical exploration, take a train and metro ride (included) to Osaka's energetic Dôtonbori district. Indulge in a delicious dinner and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant nightlife before returning to Kyoto. Trains depart frequently (every 10 minutes) until 11:30 pm, ensuring a comfortable return journey (approximately 50 minutes).

    Let our English-speaking guides craft the perfect itinerary, whether it's a full-day adventure, a half-day exploration, or a delectable evening focused on Osaka's culinary delights.

    If you have more time and are interested in exploring further, consider these additional destinations:

    - Embrace tranquility in Uji, the city of tea, and visit the stunning Byôdô-in Temple, also known as the "Phoenix Hall" (approximately 30 minutes by train) ;
    - Explore Hikone Castle, a magnificent example of Japanese castle architecture. Don't miss the captivating beauty of the surrounding gardens (approximately 30 minutes by train) ;
    - Step into a postcard-perfect scene in Miyama, a village renowned for its traditional thatched-roof houses (approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes by bus) ;
    - For a refreshing break, head to Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake. Enjoy the scenic beaches during the summer months (approximately 20 minutes by train).

  • Day 8 : Sayonara, and see you next time!

    Take a direct transfer to Kansai International Airport (included but not accompanied).

    Return flight to your home country.

    Don't hesitate to extend your trip by a few days, in Kansai or elsewhere... Get in touch and we would be happy to advise you!



    Included in your self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    - 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.

  • Transport

    - Return airport transfers <> Osaka (KIX)

    - Prepaid public transport card

    - Kansai Area Pass 3 days 

  • Experiences

    - Airport welcome

    - Night guided tour of Gion, Kyoto

    - Tea ceremony in Kyoto

  • Additional services

    - Unlimited internet access with Pocket WiFi

    - Complete digital travel guide sent before your departure

    - Telephone assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Japanese bilingual. The number will be given to you in your travel pack. This phone number is valid for telephone calls and also for WhatsApp.

  • Not included in the price of your trip

    - Flights Europe <> Japan

    - Optional insurance

    - Personal expenses, including meals (breakfasts can sometimes be added as an option at your hotel reception, see details). For other meals, you will find addresses selected by us in your travel pack.

    - Public transport once your transport cards have run out (see details)

    - Everything not mentioned in the section "Included in your tour".

More about your trip

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.
  • Children and babies accepted. From 3 to 11 years old a child rate is offered. In each accommodation, a standard adult bed will be offered to them, and a standard seat will be allocated to them in transport. From 0 to 2 years old inclusive, a "baby" rate is offered. This price corresponds to the allocation of a cot in the majority of the accommodation of the chosen circuit. However, we cannot guarantee a baby cot in each accommodation.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • 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 ticket, transportation card, Kansai Area Pass voucher) and Pocket WiFi upon arrival at the airport by our airport assistant.
  • 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.
  • If the flights have been purchased by your care without the intervention of Japan Experience, it is necessary to send us by mail 1 month before your departure your flight information (flight number, airport, date and time of arrival) to allow us 'Organize your welcome and airport transfer.
  • 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$) (Suica or Pasmo brand) and a 3-day Kansai Area Pass. These 2 cards should cover the vast majority of your journeys in this tour of Kyoto and its region, Kansai. Please note that apart from the prepaid transport card, where the journey is charged to you, the other 2 cards are not usable on the JR network but rather on the private network (about 2/3 of the total network in Kansai). The 3-day Kansai Area Pass is valid for 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days. When the passes and the 1,500¥ prepaid transport card expire, you will have to pay for all your journeys by reloading your prepaid transport card (in the ticket machines at all stations and metro stations. A metro ticket in Kyoto costs around  £1.71 / 2.42$, 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 lasts around 2 hours and departs at 7pm. Please note that the tour will be conducted in English if your group is made up of travellers of different nationalities. More details on the meeting point in your travel pack. Dinner is not included, but your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat.
  • For the tea ceremony, you will be welcomed into an authentic tea room, and served by elegant Japanese ladies who have made the tea ceremony their way of life. You will taste traditional Japanese pastries (wagashi) and tea will be served in specially made pots. The exact location and time of your tea ceremony will be communicated to you at a later time. Please make sure to check your emails.

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 given to you at the airport of arrival.
  • 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.

When you buy, Japan Experience offers you 2 types of protection:

Japan Experience Flex : 
Cancellation insurance before departure under conditions.

Japan Experience Protect :
Pre-departure cancellation insurance under conditions and on-site assistance under conditions. COVID protection included.


Frequently asked questions

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  • specialised team is available 7 days a week by phone or email
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City break - Kyoto tour

$897 per person - 8 days

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