10 Day Tours In and From Kyoto, Japan - Updated 2024

day tours in kyoto
| 4 min read

This island city houses the exquisite Shinto shrines and is also quite renowned for its kaiseki dining, which consists of several precise dishes. And we must not forget the geisha, female entertainers in the Gion district. Kyoto beats a different rhythm from Japan’s fast-moving capital of Tokyo. Things are much slower in Kyoto. It is the perfect respite if you’d like to take a break from all the skyscrapers and bright neon signboards that clutter your vision and mind a little too much. Here’s a list of day tours in Kyoto that could make your planning to this part of Japan a more smooth-sailing one.

1. Away from the city life in Nara (from USD 70.0)

There is so much to do in Japan’s Nara prefecture which is rich in history. First up, soak up the ancient history that Nara has to offer through visits to the temples and shrines. Nara’s Todaiji temple houses one of the oldest wooden buildings in Japan and visits the Buddha statue that is within its premises. Next up, visit the gatekeepers of Nara Park - the deers, who are strong in numbers - almost a 100 of them, and remember to take a snap with them as you catch them wandering freely around the park. End off a trip to Nara at the Kasuga Taisha shrine where you witness a huge number of bronze lanterns as you step into its premises.

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Nara Tour: Todaiji Temple, Deer Park, Kasuga Shrine from Kyoto

Duration: 6 hours

234 reviews

2. Living the life of the Japanese for a day (from USD 101.0)

What better way to experience Japan than to wear their brightly colored national costume - Kimono which is made of silk. This experience will prove to be like no other because not only you get to wear and doll up like a doll (no pun intended), the tour will allow you to wear this traditional costume around the area and experience how it is like as a Japanese woman.

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Long-sleeved 'Furisode' Kimono Experience in Kyoto

Duration: 1 to 9 hours

1 review

3. Where night lights and lanterns guide you to food and drinks (from USD 64.0)

When night falls, go on a tour as the guide brings you through the alleys to eateries and shops that are hidden amongst the orange-red lanterns that lit up the area at night. Indulge in the unique Japanese snacks the area has to offer and busy yourself with some souvenir shopping after warming your bellies up at the local food stalls. Limited to a small number of people in a group, this is one intimate experience you would not want to miss!

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Kyoto Small-Group Evening Walking Tour with Snacks, Drinks

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

57 reviews

4. The foodie haven at Nishiki market (from USD 236.0)

Feast your eyes on food as you go through a walking food tour, and food markets provide you glimpses into the local food scene. At the Kyoto Nishiki market, fresh seafood, processed food, fresh produce and many more await you! The tour brings you on food sampling to try out some of the finest foods they have to offer at the market. To end off the food tour, you will indulge in a seven-course lunch which is all paid for in this tour and dine in a traditional Tatami room where you will also learn more about the chopstick etiquette in Japan.

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Kyoto Nishiki Market Tour

Duration: 3 hours 5 minutes

27 reviews

5. Be spiritually calm after this spiritual tour (from USD 64.0)

Go on a rejuvenating trip a little out of Kyoto to find the peace and serenity you yearn for on this holiday break. It brings you to Hozu river as you stand in awe at the colors of the season - how the leaves change its color as the season changes. Experience the epitome of Zen as the tour provides you a meditation by a Buddhist monk. Also, the tour brings you to a green tea ceremony where you will learn the green tea diet of a Japanese - that it is very much a part of their diet because of the health benefits it brings.

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Western Kyoto Spiritual Tour: Forest Spirits of Bamboo and Zen

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

31 reviews

6. The tofu experience at Yutofu Junsei (from USD 166.0)

Take a break from the sightseeing as the tour brings you to Yutofu Junsei restaurant and where food places are filled up with locals, you know the food there must be good. While beancurd and tofu might be a foreign idea to you, experience the diet of a Japanese local and try out dishes that are made of soybean which is a staple ingredient of the Japanese diet.

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Kumanokodo Walking ( Hosshinmon-oji to Hongu Taisha)

Duration: 6 hours

7. The floating Itsukushima shrine in Miyajima (from USD 371.0)

Setting aside a day away from Kyoto to Hiroshima, this modern city which has gone through so much back in the days has plenty for you to explore. When you reach Hiroshima city, give Miyajima and its Itsukushima shrine a visit. The shrine alone with a high tide gives you a golden photo opportunity as you snap the moving blue waters with the shrine amidst the currents.

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Hiroshima & Miyajima 1-Day Tour from Kyoto

Duration: 12 hours 30 minutes

8. The best of bamboos (from USD 151.0)

the best of bamboos
Source: www.viator.com

When you hear the use of the word ‘bamboo’, do you think of only those evergreen long plants that have leafy leaves growing out of it? Go on a curated tour journey which brings you through the bamboo journey, the uses of it and its significance to the Japanese as bamboos play a huge part in Japan’s history and culture.

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A Unique Bamboo Journey

9. Experience the best of Kyoto (from USD 153.0)

A day tour in Kyoto brings you around the gems of Kyoto and one of the must-go on your list should be to Kyoto Cultural Forest. This tour brings you to the many acclaimed UNESCO-heritage sites, the lost, hidden and sometimes unexplored if you don’t know where to go. Be sure to go on this tour because it brings you to the temples and shrines such as the Kiyomizu-Dera temple and the renown Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine with its eye-catching orange architecture that can be spotted easily from afar.

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Kyoto Cultural Forest, Shrine and Temple Tour with Options

Duration: 9 to 11 hours

10 reviews

10. Visit the Himeji Castle and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

The Himeji castle is yet one of the many UNESCO world heritage sites you can find in Kyoto, the lush white exterior of the castle resembles that of a palace and against the backdrop of a blue sky, it gives you the best photo taking opportunities! Next up, you wouldn’t claim to have been to Kyoto if you haven’t visited the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge which is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.

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Himeji Castle and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour from Kyoto

Duration: 9 hours

23 reviews

The best of day tours

Fushimi Inari shrine , 伏見稲荷大社 - panoramio (7)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user z tanuki used under CC BY 3.0

The best of all is that these tours are delivered in English and the coaches are fully air-conditioned thus hopping onto the bus would be a perfect break from that scorching hot weather. Kyoto has so much in store for you to visit, it’s either now or soon and shouldn’t be left to ‘later’ to visit because this place is so rich in history, color and bamboos that you shouldn’t miss out on!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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