Kyoto
Garden & Park Tours

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Our most recommended Kyoto Garden & Park Tours

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

1. From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

Start the tour with pick up from central Osaka and travel to historic Kyoto. Over the course of the day, you'll be presented with a balanced view of this historic city and its surroundings. The Arashiyama district is the first stop, and it is here where you'll be introduced to Japanese garden and temple design. Tenryu-ji Temple has one of the most outstanding, timeless examples of Japanese gardens surrounding it's simple-but-majestic temple buildings. Then it's time for a walk up through the famous bamboo grove - a photo opportunity not to be missed - before arriving at the entrance to luxurious Okochi Sanso. Here you will try some matcha (Japanese green tea), before exploring the winding paths that connect the buildings, views, and garden areas. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a stroll alongside the river, then have free time for lunch and even a bit of shopping, if you wish. Next, enjoy the atmospheric streets of the Goin district, complete with a gurgling stream and rows of traditional tea house and restaurant buildings.  Not far from the Gion is Fushimi Inari-taisha, arguably the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the entire region. After having a look around you'll end your tour with a visit to the famous Torii gate.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

2. Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

Start the tour from the JR Saga Arashiyama station. The Arashiyama district, located west of the Kyoto city center, has long been a scenic leisure spot. Many ancient aristocrats had their villas here 1000 years ago and enjoyed writing literature and poetry. Today, the area is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto.  First, explore the Bamboo Forest and quiet Sagano District, a peaceful neighborhood known for its beautiful maple trees. Then, visit Tenryu-ji temple which was built in 1339 by the Shogun Ashikaga in memory of the Emperor Go-Daigo and was a complex of more than 100 buildings. They were mostly destroyed by fires and civil wars over the years, but the traditional garden remains in its original form, designed by the monk Muso. Enjoy walking in the landscaped garden. After walking, taste Japanese croquette, leek pancakes, and sweet potato. Then, head over to the Togetsukyo bridge which, as the area’s landmark, dates back to the 9th-century and provides a good photo taking spot for visitors today. At the end of this half-day tour, have a nice sweets. If you like, you can enjoy shopping around after the tour because the this tour finished in a district where you can find many souvenirs.

Kyoto: Nijo-jo Castle Guided Walking Tour

3. Kyoto: Nijo-jo Castle Guided Walking Tour

Explore Niji-jo Castle with a licensed and experienced multilingual guide, who will introduce you to sides of Japan that ordinary tourists do not usually get to discover. Learn why this monument's feudal-era castle architecture is so significant in terms of history, culture, and art history. Hear all about the 400-year old castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its significance in the history of Japan.

Kyoto: Japanese Gardens Private Customizable Tour

4. 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

Kyoto: 3-Hour Cycling Tour

5. Kyoto: 3-Hour Cycling Tour

Kyoto is a city that is best explored by bicycle. Your guides have carefully curated a selection of tours that focus on showing you the beautiful contours of this ancient capital. More than just visiting the busy tourist sites, these journeys are crafted on leisure, scenery, and culture, while uncovering some of the best-kept secrets in Kyoto. You begin with stops at World Heritage temples and shrines, and gradually make your way along cozy backstreets to quieter, more intimate Zen garden settings. You will be taken to places rarely seen by the average Kyoto dweller, tranquil environments carefully hidden from the hustle and bustle of the urban landscape. Treat yourself to a new and unique understanding of Kyoto, put down the guidebook, and allow us to give you a truly unforgettable experience. 

Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

6. Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

Stumble upon Nonomiya Shrine, a sacred site for the purification and preparation of the priestesses of the Ise Grand Shrine. Wander through pretty Kameyama Park and stop on Togetsukyo Bridge, from where you can admire the swooping cormorant birds. During the summer months, trained cormorants are used in a method of fishing called ukai, where the birds catch the fish for the fishermen. Continue your way up the ancient stone steps of Daihikaku Senkoji Temple, located on the side of a scenic mountain with panoramas of the Hozu River valley, Arashiyama area, and Kyoto City on the horizon. Here you will have the unique opportunity to engage in an authentic Zen meditation under the guidance of a resident monk. Partake in a traditional matcha green tea ceremony, one of the hallmarks of Zen Buddhist culture. Head back along the Hozu riverside to the lively main road of Arashiyama where your tour ends, outside the Randen Keifuku Arashiyama station. The station area provides an assortment of eating and shopping options for you to indulge in. There is also a glowing display of beautiful Kimono fabric patterns in transparent tubes, known as the Kimono forest. We also recommend the foot spa, where natural spring water can soothe your weary feet.

Kyoto: 3-Hour Fushimi Inari Shrine Hidden Hiking Tour

7. Kyoto: 3-Hour Fushimi Inari Shrine Hidden Hiking Tour

Take the only tour at Fushimi Inari that goes off paved paths and onto actual forest trails. Avoid the crowds of tourists trying to get a good photo and enjoy a personal hiking experience in a small group. Discover hidden bamboo groves, secluded trails that lead to old and hidden altars, and the beautiful evergreens around Fushimi Inari Shrine and its thousands of red torii gates. The tour begins at Tofukuji Station. From there, wander into a quiet neighborhood and visit small shrines on the way to the mountain. Then, take a trail to see a wonderful bamboo grove, and connect to the main path filled with the famous vermilion torii gates. Reach the summit of the mountain, which is covered in the shrine altars, then venture back down the mountain on a forested trail, visiting smaller shrines on the way to another bamboo grove. This will lead you to the most famous area of Fushimi Inari, perfect for a memorable photo. Finally, finish at the main shrine at the base of the mountain, where you can enjoy some local street food before you continue your adventure in the wonderful city of Kyoto. Half of the tour is walking in the forest, so you don't get sunlight directly.

Kyoto: Private World Heritage Temples and Shrines Tour

8. Kyoto: Private World Heritage Temples and Shrines Tour

Meet your guide at Kyoto station to start your experience. Take a bus to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, where students come to pray from all over Japan. Continue to Hirano Shrine, famous for its beautiful cherry trees. Walk to Kinkaku-ji, the famous golden temple, and learn its history from your local guide. Stop for lunch at a popular soba noodle restaurant before relaxing in the gardens at Ninna-ji, another world-heritage listed temple. Ride the bus to your last stop, Ryoan-ji, also a World Heritage site. Admire the stone garden that makes this temple special.

Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

9. Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

This experience is perfect for natural early-risers, and for those who are seeking a unique experience and don't mind getting up early for it. The tour takes you to three of the most famous sites in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shirine, Kiyomizu Temple, and Arashiyama bamboo forest. Start at the world-famous Fushimi Inari Shrine before the crowds arrive. Marvel at the thousands of red gates that line the path up the hillside. This is a magical time to see the amazing temple complex and get a view of the city coming to life below you. Proceed then across town to Arashiyama, where you'll get to see the beautiful bamboo grove, which will still be relatively quiet and thus a great setting for snapping some fantastic photos. Before leaving Arashiyama, if time allows, visit one of the most beautiful zen temples in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tenryuji Temple. Explore its radiant garden to round off the four-hour experience. Along the way, pick up insights into the history of Kyoto, Buddhism, Japanese garden design, and more. Your friendly guide will also answer any other questions you may have regarding the rest of your stay in Japan.

Kyoto: Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Guided Walking Tour

10. Kyoto: Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle Guided Walking Tour

Experience a 3-hour immersive experience filled with unforgettable sights and stories on this walking tour in Kyoto.  First stop is the Imperial Palace. Enjoy a brief stroll around the gardens before entering the Palace’s grand buildings. As you walk around the complex, your guide will tell you stories about the palace’s history and design.  After leaving the Imperial Palace, feel like a local as you cross the Takeyamachi area, where an interesting mix of traditional Japanese homes, modern buildings, and locals shops and cafes come together. After a casual 15-minute stroll, you’ll reach Nijo Castle.  Nijo Castle dates back to the early 1600s, and consists of two palaces. The first is Ninomaru Palace, where you'll relive the days when the Shogun held court and conducted affairs from this imposing complex. After leaving the Ninomaru Palace's interior, you will continue to the second palace of the development, the smaller Honmaru Palace. Here a fortified wall and other defensive features remain, as well as a peaceful garden. Combining the Imperial Palace with Nijo Castle allows you to take a closer look at some of Kyoto's most valuable treasures, while also affording you lots of time to spend the rest of the day as you please.

Frequently asked questions about Kyoto Garden & Park Tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kyoto

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What people are saying about Kyoto

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 127 reviews

The tour basically enters the Fushimi Inari shrine area from the back, meaning the crowds are pretty thin at first and you have a moment there to yourself. But first we paused at a bamboo grove that was otherwise empty of visitors. The path through the shrine itself was inspiring and scenic. Our guide Suzy explained the significance of statuary, rituals and other significant sights along the way. We stopped for some coffee and a hardboiled egg each, served beneath a canopy along the stone-paved trail and tucked next to shrines. It was a fun experience made better by our knowledgeable and patient guide.

Great Tour. Informative.

Loved using these bikes, felt very calming cycling around the streets of Japan, tour guide was friendly, positive, informative - really good energy and up for a laugh! Saw some cool things I wouldn't have known to go see, in a short amount of time, and without any hassle of trying to find them. Learnt a lot of cool things about Japanese culture!

Warm, friendly, informative guide. Beautiful walk through woods, bamboo forest, and small shrines leading up to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Great way to see the area without entering with the masses of new year's visitors from the front entrance. Thank you.

The tour up the other side was great even after a rainy day. There was hardly any visitors to the shrine at the first part which was great. The whole experience was well informed and great hidden scenery for all selfie takers.

Excellent! Yuya is the ultimate guide. Knowledgeable, informative and very friendly.