Private tour

Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

4.9 / 5

29 reviews

Activity provider: Enjoy KyotoWalking

Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

Activity provider: Enjoy KyotoWalking

From US$ 80 per group up to 5

Take a walking tour in an old capital of Japan, Kyoto. Enjoy a private 2.5 hour tour from Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu Temple, one of the most popular ways of exploring Kyoto.

About this activity

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Duration 2 hours
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Live tour guide
Private group


  • Visit a Zen temple where you can see dry landscape gardens and traditional Japanese architecture
  • Get into a "womb" of Bodhisattva in Zuigudo Temple
  • Enjoy the scenery from Kiyomizu Temple
Full description
Meet up in the west gate (red gate) of Yasaka Shrine. At first, the guide will tell you about the history of Kyoto with a map of Kyoto. Start the tour with the explanation about Yasaka shrine. In Yasaka shrine, the guide will explain how to worship at a shrine.  Next, going through Maruyama Park, located next to Yasaka Shrine, you will find a busy street whose name is Nene-no-michi. Nene is the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a political leader in Japan in the late 16th century. Entokuin is a temple associated with Nene. Entokuin is a Zen temple, with beautiful dry landscape gardens, famous pictures depicted on sliding doors of the rooms in the temple. You can see  traditional Japanese rooms. You can enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple. After going out of the temple, you will find a narrow street called Ishibe-koji. Walking further, you will find red ornaments hung from the eaves of the  entrance of shops and restaurants. The ornaments are the dolls of monkey, a divine messenger of Koshindo. Koshindo is a place of folk religion, which originated in  Asian countries.   A five-storied pagoda, commonly called Yasaka-no-to(pagoda), is located close to Koshindo. You will see the pagoda from outside. Zuigudo is a sub-temple of Kiyomizu Temple. You will get into the basement floor of the temple which symbolizes the womb of Bodhisattva. Wooden balls symbolizing a rosary will lead you to the bottom of the temple. When you get out, you will feel as if you were reborn. The final destination, Kiyomizu temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. It was originally built in the 8th century. The temple has five million visitors a year from all over the world. The main object of worship is Kannon Bodhisattva. You can see Buddhist statues, including Kannon Bodhisattva. There is a wooden stage attached to the main hall. The stage is a wooden structure without the use of nails. The scenery from the stage is magnificent. From the stage you can see a three storied pagoda. It is called Koyasu Pagoda, or lliterally  pagoda for easy birth.  Women visit the pagoda praying for easy birth. Kiyomiozu literally means "pure water". The stream of water, running down from the mountain behind the temple, has never been dried up.  A lot of visitors stand in line to drink the water. There are an iron stick and iron clogs in the precinct.. They are donated items to the temple. The iron stick is very heavy. Why don't you try to lift it up?  After getting out of the main hall, the tour ends. Before ending the tour, the guide will explain something about Jishu Shrine, a shrine for match making.
  • Guide
  • Transportation to/from the meeting point
  • Meals and drinks
  • Admission fee to the temples
  • Insurance

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Meeting point

The west gate (red gate) of Yasaka Shrine If you use a train service, please get off at Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line, or get off at Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line. Walk to the east along the Shijo Street to the end, going up on stone steps to the top. You will meet the guide in front of the gate. If you use a bus service, please get off at a bus stop "Gion" and you will find stone steps before the red gate.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 29 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Ms. Ishii conducted the tour very professionally. She had a folder with overviews of the imperial succession and historical events, which were also illustrated with pictures. It was very easy to follow and gave a good overview of Kyoto's history without being confusing. Ms. Ishii was happy to answer questions and explained a lot about Buddhism to us. We are very glad we booked this tour. The price-performance ratio is unbeatable and highly recommended!

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September 3, 2019

Very informative and entertaining

I was lucky to be the only one on the tour (though I get why noone wants to suffer this humid air) so Masumi-San took her time to answer all of my questions about Kyotos but also Japans history. She is very knowledgable about the myths surrounding the two biggest religions and the historical figures involved in the creation of this wonderful country. I highly recommend this tour to everyone!

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July 31, 2019

A great intro to Kyoto.

Hisako met us for our tour as it was lightly snowing, and offered hand warmers for our pockets! It was just the two of us and having a private tour was wonderful. We really enjoyed all the history she imparted and it helped us appreciate Kyoto for the next few days. The highlight for us for a small Buddhist home/temple that we would not have found on our own. Hisako is well prepared, interesting, and was happy to answer all of our questions. We highly recommend this tour!

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February 9, 2019

Product ID: 66349