Kyoto Private Tour - Southern and Eastern Kyoto

Kyoto, the ancient capital for more than 1,000 years, is one of the most popular travel destinations in Japan where numerous historical assets are dispersed throughout the city. History and unique traditional culture are rooted in the everyday life of people today. With the help of your guide, walk through, view, and be inspired by the rich traditions of Kyoto.

Sample Itinerary (8-hour tour)

Start with visiting Kyoto Imperial Palace which was actually used as the residence of the Imperial Family until 1868 when the capital moved to Tokyo. The palace complex is enclosed by long walls which consists of several gates, historical building structures, and a beautiful traditional stroll garden where seasonal flowers can be enjoyed.

Then, take a subway and train to Fushimi Inari Shrine, known for its thousands of bright red torii gates and is the head shrine of 30,000 Inari shrines throughout Japan. It was established in 711 A.D. when Inari-okami was enshrined here at Mt. Inari and people prayed for good harvest. Today, people gather to pray not only for harvest, but for business prosperity and for safety of their family and home. Mt. Inari, the holy mountain 233 meters high is considered a sacred place and a pathway leads up to the top of the mountain which makes it a nice and easy hiking spot.

For lunch, your guide will recommend a local restaurant. A casual restaurant with hand-made soba or udon noodles is recommended.

Kyoto_Private_Tour_Tofukuji.jpgWalk to Tofukuji Temple, a Zen temple built in 1236. This temple is not only renowned for its historical buildings but also for the artistry of its gardens. There are four gardens that surround the head priest's quarters; traditional sand and rock Zen garden, cylindrical stone garden, checker-board pattern of square moss and stones, square pruned azalea bushes. Take your time to imagine the philosophy expressed in each garden.

Kyoto_Private_Tour_Kiyomizudera.jpgVisit Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a world heritage temple with a history of more than 1,200 years. It is most famous for the wooden stage that offers a panoramic view of Kyoto. Visitors can see a statute of Kannon Bodhisattva, the goddess of mercy at the main hall and drink water from the three waterfalls beneath the main hall which is said to have the power for longevity, success in studies, and love.
*The temple is undergoing renovation and the main hall and stage are covered with scaffolds. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020.

Kyoto_Private_Tour_Ninenzaka.jpgAt the end of the tour, enjoy strolling around historical stone paved streets, Sanneizaka and Ninenzaka which is lined with souvenir shops, craft shops, restaurants, and cafes. The lively main streets are fun to explore as well as the quiet back streets where traditional machiya buildings are preserved.

The tour can be customized to your interest.



Sanjusangendo Temple (National Treasure)
Sanjusangendo's 120 meters long main hall, the longest wooden structure in the world, houses 1001 Kannnon Bodhisattva (National Treasure) carved in the 12th and 13th century. The statues are carved out of cypress and covered with gold leaves. Each of them has slightly different features and it is said that you should find one that looks similar to you.


Kawai Kanjiro's House
This is a house of Kawai Kanjiro, a famous potter and key figure to the Japanese folk art movement. His artworks of pottery, statues, and furniture are displayed throughout the house like they are still in use, not like usual museums with glass cases and labels. Behind the house, you can see the actual kiln that Kanjiro used to create his pottery.


Private Tea Ceremony
Experience a private traditional tea ceremony in an authentic tearoom using special utensils. Learn The tea master will perform the tea ceremony and explain about the history and cultural meaning of this ceremony. Through the ceremony, you will be able to learn that this is a form of art that requires simple, calm, and content state of mind.


Gion district was originally developed to serve food and drinks for pilgrims visiting Yasaka shrine and this district has flourished as the largest geisha quarter in Kyoto. Gion is now home to exclusive restaurants, casual café and sweets shops, and art and crafts shops. Stroll through picturesque cobblestone streets reminiscent of old days as well as Gion Shirakawa where weeping willow trees are lined along the canal. If you are an art lover, your guide will escort you to Shinmonzen street with many antique shops that carry Japanese pottery, paintings, woodblock prints, hanging scrolls, and other art and crafts.

Also please see:

Activities we can arrange in your tour

Traditional & Modern Culture

  • World Heritage Temples and Shrines
  • Walk through picturesque paths with traditional buildings
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Kimono Wearing
  • Ikebana Flower Arrangement
  • Geisha Dinner
  • Wagashi (Japanese sweets) making
  • Sake Brewery


  • Antiques
  • Traditional crafts
  • Unique Kyoto food


  • Luxury or local restaurants
  • Shojin (Buddhist vegetarian) lunch
  • Cooking Class
*Extra fees may be added to your tour price for certain activities.

Price for this sample itinerary

(price per group)

2 persons3 persons4 persons
8 hours 75,000 yen 82,000 yen 93,000 yen

(10% consumption tax included)

Including: Nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide, admission fees, public transportations

Not Including: Lunch


  1. Our private tours can be customized to your interests and preferences. Let us know any place you wish to visit. If you would like to include one of the optional sites/activities among above-mentioned "Options" or "Activities we can arrange in your tour", please let us know.
  2. The price is for the sample itinerary above. Price may be subject to change depending on the options/activities you choose.
  3. Day trips to Kyoto from other cities can be arranged upon request. (ex. From Osaka, additional 10,000 yen per group will be charged as it takes 2 hours for round trip, which makes 10-hour tour. For other cities, please contact us.)
  4. Private car can be arranged for extra fee.
  5. Tours can be arranged for larger group. We will recommend appropriate transportation taking your group size into consideration.


Please pay by credit card. You will receive an E-mail with an URL where payment can be made online. The page is protected by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to ensure the safety of your credit card information. We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners, and JCB.

Request for a Private Tour

Why tour with us?

    • Customized Private Tour
      We will customize your own tour depending on your interests and preferences. Since all tours are private tours, you can enjoy your tour thoroughly at your pace.

    • Nationally-Licensed Guides
      Our locally-based guides who are knowledgeable, friendly and flexible ensure pleasant, comfortable and worry-free tours.

  • Authentic Experiences
    Our travel consultants from all over Japan with network and knowledge - not just highlights but also off the beaten paths - work passionately to enrich your experiences.

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We can also arrange privately-guided tours in other destinations throughout Japan. Also, your tours can be tailored to your specific interests such as culture, food, and nature.

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