12 Walking Tours In Kyoto, Japan - Updated 2021

walking tours in kyoto

Tokyo, the most technologically able and busy capital of Japan has a lot to offer to its tourists and visitors. Japan is a mix of the modern and the traditional, from its high rise buildings to its beautiful historic temples, from the luxurious three Michelin star restaurants to the delicious and unique street food. A city in Japan that you must visit to really understand everything Japan has to offer is Kyoto. One of the best ways to really explore Kyoto is through one of the cities many famous walking tours. After all, isn’t walking around the city best way to explore the city, understand the culture, try the amazing street food and imbibe the vibe? Here are some of the best walking tours in Kyoto that you can opt for.

1. Kyoto Arashiyama and Sagano walking food tour (from USD 110.0)

This walking tour is the best for all the foodie lovers and culture enthusiasts. Around three-and-a-half hours long, this walking tour of Arashiyama and Sagano takes you to visit the ninth century Togetsukyo bridge and the 14th-century Tenryu-Ji temple, both of which are world-famous. During the walk, you can enjoy delicacies and treats like rice crackers, leek pancakes, fried yuba cake and much more. Since this is usually a small group tour, you can ask your guide lots of questions to really understand the history of each monument. You will love walking through the beautiful bamboo forest, no wonder it is one of the best walking tours in Kyoto.

Kyoto Arashiyama & Sagano Walking Food Tour

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

2. Gion walking tour by night (from USD 12.0)

Known as the city’s most famous Geisha area, this walking tour is the best for people who want to discover the wonders of the Gion streets at night. This tour will basically help you understand and learn about the Geisha culture and ways. You can even see where the movie Memoirs of Geisha was filmed! Make sure to have your camera ready so you can capture some pictures of all the Geisha’s walking around. This tour is approximately two hours long, so it is a good way to spend one night in Kyoto.

Gion Walking Tour by Night with Virtual Option

Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

10 reviews

3. Fushimi Inari hidden hiking tour (65 USD)

walking tours in kyoto | fushimi inari hidden hiking tour
Source: Magical Trip

Burn some calories as you make your way to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. This hiking tour allows you to explore the lesser-known paths and trails going to the summit and discover hidden gems such as a secluded bamboo forest and smaller shrines. The fact that this tour only includes a small group of travelers will make your trip extra special. Of course, you will spend time at the main shrine at the base of the mountain where your guide will happily take photos of you and/or your group against the thousand tori gates. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family or alone, this trip will surely feel like a private tour and here you will have an intimate discovery of Kyoto because it steers away from mainstream tourist paths.

Fushimi Inari hidden hiking tour

Duration: 3 hours

Price: 65 USD

4. hour guided walking tour (from USD 20.0)

Think of this walking tour as one of the best walking tours in Kyoto to check out all the cities hidden spots. From hidden temples to small and local shops, from artisanal handicraft shops to Shinto shrines, this guided tour will help you explore Kyoto like a local. You can even shop for souvenirs and nicknacks at some shops which are not accessible to the public. This tour also includes a break for Japanese style tea.

5-Hour Guided Walking Tour - Walk in Kyoto, Talk in English

Duration: 5 hours

10 reviews

5. Sagano Bamboo Grove and Arashiyama walking tour (from USD 136.0)

If you are a nature lover, then this is definitely one of the most amazing walking tours in Kyoto for you! This five-hour tour is a combination of walking and touring by boat. During this tour, you get to visit the UNESCO-listed Tenryū-Ji Temple as well as the Jojakko-Ji, walk around nature at the Sagano Bamboo Grove and roam around the Zen gardens. After all the sight-seeing, the tour organizes a lunch cruise during which you can try some of the amazing local food. Don’t forget to charge your phone battery for lots of pictures, because the sights are beautiful!

Arashiyama with Sagano Grove, Tenryu-ji plus Lunch Cruise

Duration: 5 hours

7 reviews

6. Kyoto Arashiyama insider walking tour (75 USD)

kyoto arashiyama insider walking tour
Source: Magical Trip

If you’re in Kyoto and would like to explore it like a local, there’s no better way than to have a guide who has been born and raised here. On this personalized walking tour, your local guide will show you the beauty of Arashimaya, famous for its “instagrammable” bamboo grove. But first, you will visit Saga-Toriimoto for a glimpse into the traditional way of living. It is now a national preservation district and here you can purchase local artifacts as a souvenir. After that, you will then walk to the world-famous UNESCO world heritage site of Tenryu-ji, taking beautiful photos and simply immersing in the beauty and freshness of this natural bamboo haven. Finally, you will then have an authentic Kyoto-style lunch which is already included in the total tour package that lasts for about four hours.

Kyoto Arashiyama insider walking tour

Duration: 4 hours

Price: 75 USD

7. The alternative Fushimi Inari walking tour (from USD 59.0)

This four-hour tour is a must do on every cultural enthusiast’s list! If you want to understand the history behind the various temples and shrines in Japan, then you will absolutely love this educative tour of Fushimi Inari. Fushimi Inari Is basically the head shrine of the god Inari, which is located at the base of Mt Inari. From seeing Zen gardens and forest bathing sites, from hearing folklore and stories about temples and Gods and Goddesses, this tour will keep you mesmerized. In fact, you will even get to see sites which most of the public do not get to visit.

The Alternative Fushimi Inari Walking Tour

Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

8. Half day small-group Kyoto cultural tour (from USD 80.0)

If you really want to understand the traditions of Japan, view the historic monument in the city of Kyoto and visit the famous temples, then this is one of the most fulfilling walking tours of Kyoto. In this four-hour tour, you get to do it all. You get to stroll through the Geisha district of Gion, shop at the local souvenir shops, enjoy the peace of the Zen Garden and admire the beauty of the Tokufuji temple. Think of this tour as your one-stop shop to explore Kyoto as a local!

Kyoto Cultural Half-Day Small-Group Tour with Geisha District

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

9. Expert-led private Nishiki Market food tour (from USD 258.0)

This is one of the best walking tours in Kyoto for foodies as well as food enthusiasts who like to try new cuisines. This walking tour of the Nishiki Market will allow you to sample all of Kyoto’s local food. This three-hour tour is great in the afternoon or around lunchtime – think of it as a walking lunch! During this, you will learn about the four main types of Japanese food and Japanese cuisine. This tour is always led by food experts, so budding chefs will also really enjoy this.

Kyoto Nishiki Market Private Walking Tour with Scholar Guide

Duration: 3 hours

3 reviews

10. Expert-led private tour of Kyoto: Shinto and Buddhism (from USD 218.0)

If you follow Buddhism or are at least intrigued by the religion, then you must go for this tour. At this tour, you will have a local religious scholar as your guide – is there a better way to learn about Buddhism and the practices of Shintoism? This tour will make you visit the Yasaka Shrine, the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple and the streets of historically famous Gion, all while the religious scholar is imparting knowledge. You will also get to see and learn about the daily rituals and activities of the Buddhist monks during this three-hour tour.

Kyoto Shintoism and Buddhism Private Scholar-led Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

11. Expert-led private tour of Kyoto's gardens and landscapes (from USD 213.0)

Another one of the best walking tours in Kyoto for nature lovers, this three-hour tour will make you visit some of the most exquisite and elaborate creations of nature. You will get to visit the mirror pond in Kinkaku-Ji, stroll through the famous Zen Buddhist gardens and as well as the Karesansui Garden, check out the water and rock features at Ninna-Ji Temple. This tour will also help you understand the thought and design behind the intricate gardens in Japan.

Kyoto Gardens and Landscape Private Scholar-led Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours

6 reviews

12. Private tour: Kyoto photo shoot and sightseeing

private tour: kyoto photo shoot and sightseeing

Do you want to document your visit to Kyoto without the hassle of carrying your own camera? Then this is the perfect Kyoto city tour for you. While you walk around the city and explore the streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka, a professional photographer will be taking pictures of you. This is basically a private tour, where you can visit tourist attractions like the Kiyomizu Temple or buy souvenirs at the local shops. At the end of this four-hour tour, the photographer will hand you an SD card full of your memories!

Private Tour: Kyoto Photoshoot and Sightseeing with Photographer Guide

3 reviews

Get your walking shoes on

Excited to visit the beautiful city of Kyoto? These walking tours in Kyoto will help you explore the insta-worthy sites and streets!

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A freelance content writer by profession, Anaanya is an avid traveller whose main goal in life is to visit as many new places as possible. Anaanya enjoys travelling, not just because of her love...Read more

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