Ginkaku-ji Temple

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Ginkaku-ji Temple: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

1. Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

Discover Kyoto like a local and see the top attractions on a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour private walking tour. Meet your host and get insider tips on what to see and do, learn about the culture and discover hidden gems along the way. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Book your preferred tour duration at least 72 hours in advance so that the best experience can be created in advance. You will be contacted shortly after booking to chat about your needs and interests. A like-minded host will then be provided, along with a bespoke, but flexible, itinerary exclusive to you. Visit sacred sites like the shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha or Kinkajuki Temple, explore the cultural district of Gion or get off the beaten path in historic neighborhoods with the help of your guide. Stop for lunch at an authentic spot, recommended by your host to suit your taste and budget, or snack on street food as you walk. Get advice on how to spend the rest of your time in the city and more.

Kyoto: Japanese Gardens Private Customizable Tour

2. 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

Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

3. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

Kyoto: 1-Hour Ginkaku-ji Temple Guided Walking Tour

4. Kyoto: 1-Hour Ginkaku-ji Temple Guided Walking Tour

Take a short, fantastic, and value-packed trip to the Silver Pavilion, Ginkaku-ji Temple accompanied by a nationally-licensed guide. Discover the history of the Silver Pavilion, or Ginkaku-ji Temple, along with its beautiful and unique gardens of moss and dry sand. Built in the late 1400s, Ginkaku-ji was originally planned as a retirement villa for an art-obsessed shogun. Initial plans involved covering it with silver foil. Those plans were never realized, but the name remained. You can learn more about the history of this temple from one of your guide while strolling through the grounds and admiring the aesthetic beauty of the gardens and buildings.

Kyoto: Ginkaku-ji, Philopher's Path and Nanzen-ji Tour

5. Kyoto: Ginkaku-ji, Philopher's Path and Nanzen-ji Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour walking tour covering some of central Kyoto's best-kept secrets in the Higashiyama area. First stop is Ginkaku-ji temple, which dates back to the 15th century and was restored 10 years ago. The temple was constructed with heavy wooden beams, and has an elaborate roof and typical Japanese sliding wooden doors with rice paper. You’ll then explore the surrounding gardens. Experience the starkness between carefully raked stones, moss, and then more elaborately presented grasses, plants, and trees. Learn about Buddhism from your guide and how its teaching are linked to the design of the temple and its gardens.  Next, head down a quaint, traditional shopping street that lead to the Philosopher's Path, or "Tetsugaku-no-michi" in Japanese. You’ll walk approximately 2 km (about 1.25 miles) down this gently winding, flat path that mostly runs along a lovely stream and beneath a canopy of trees.  During the brief cherry blossom season, this scene is particularly gorgeous, but the relative solitude of the path makes for fine walking any time of year. As you walk down the path, the guide will tell you stories about Japan, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions.  You’ll then arrive at Nanzen-ji, a smaller temple and gardens. Walk around the complex that includes an imposing wooden gate tower, temple spaces, a bridge and other peaceful areas.

Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour around Philosopher’s Path

6. Kyoto: Guided Walking Tour around Philosopher’s Path

Meet your friendly guide at JR Kyoto station and get on the bus together. Arrive at 'Ginkaku-ji' and start exploring the philosopher's world. Visit Ginkaku-ji Temple, the silver temple, located at starting point of the Philosopher’s Path. Learn why it is called a silver temple even though it isn't covered with silver. Taste soft serve with a piece of gold or silver leaf on it. You can choose between gold and silver. Discover why Philosopher’s Path is famous among locals. Experience the perfect place to stroll while being lost in thought. Gaze at cherry blossoms in spring, fireflies in summer, and autumn leaves in fall. Continue to Otoyo Shrine, one of the unique shrines located alongside the Philosopher’s Path. Shrines like this one usually have a statue of dogs made from stone, but this site has a rat statue which is unique to this shrine. Then, experience Nanzen-ji Temple, said to be the most special among all the temples in Kyoto. You can climb up on the gate which is like an observatory and have a panoramic view of Kyoto city. Don’t miss the photogenic spots such as the beautiful garden and the Lake Biwa Canal, built in the Meiji era (1868-1912) and considered as a piece of important modern architecture.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ginkaku-ji Temple

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What people are saying about Ginkaku-ji Temple

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 157 reviews

Our guide Agustin was so helpful and friendly. He took us to a lovely temple that wasn't on the main tourist trail, which was a great opportunity to escape the crowds of Kyoto in the autumn colours season. Our walking tour included all the things that we'd expressed interest in when booking. After the tour, Agustin also kindly emailed me information that he had researched for us about a museum exhibition and antique shop because we'd explained that we were interested in Japanese netsuke. Thank you Agustin!

Although not a native Japanese, Tanya is an experienced tour guide. She knows a lot about Kyoto as well as the history and culture of Japan. She contacted us in advanced with a proposal for the private day tour based on our interests. She even managed to bring us to a temple, where a traditional ceremony was held. Thank you for this unique experience Tanya!

My guide was wonderful and had great suggestions, very patient with American tourist. I was excited to see everything, he planned a wonderful itinerary. Helpful with train took picture of meeting place.

The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.

Kokoro was great, very helpful and knowledgeable. We covered a lot of ground.