Ryōan-ji

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Ryōan-ji: 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: Private World Heritage Temples and Shrines Tour

4. 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: Private Driver Full-Day Temple Tour & Bamboo Grove

5. Kyoto: Private Driver Full-Day Temple Tour & Bamboo Grove

Make the most of your day in Kyoto with a private driver. Stop at the stunning Kiyomizu-dera temple and pass by Yasaka Shrine though Gion to reach the Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji temples. Stroll among the stalks of bamboo at the Arashiyama Grove and finish at Tenryu-ji. Get picked up from your accommodation in Kyoto and get ready to spend an unforgettable day in the ancient city. Meet your friendly, private driver and cruise through the streets taking in local life. Arrive at the picturesque Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site, and spend time admiring the pagoda, beautiful in every season. Continue on towards Kinkaku-ji and drive through Gion, the geisha district of Kyoto. Look out for hostesses in colorful kimonos on wooden bridges and be alerted by your driver when you pass by Yasaka Shrine. Visit your second and third temple of the day at Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji to learn about Zen Buddhist tradition and wonder at the fascinating architecture. Relax in the peace of the stone gardens and meditate on life. Wander through one of the most popular sites in Kyoto at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, immersing yourself in another world of towering stalks. Make sure to take some photos and listen to the rustling wind. Ranked first among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, finish your trip at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Tenryu-ji, where Zen Buddhism is practiced. Step into the garden created by Muso Soseki and watch the shimmering reflections in the Sogen Pond.

Kyoto: 3.5-Hour UNESCO Historical Walking Tour

6. Kyoto: 3.5-Hour UNESCO Historical Walking Tour

Start your tour at 9.00 AM in front of Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station. Meet your informative guide who will take you through the famous temples of Kyoto and will explain more about Japanese culture and history. First, explore Ninna-ji temple and learn about its heritage and its connection to the Japanese emperor. Shake hands with a Kannon deity, and explore the various halls of the temple. Next, make your way to the Zen Buddhist Ryoan-ji temple. Wander through the famous beautiful stone gardens and learn about the role that religion has played in the development of Japanese culture Marvel at the magnificent Golden Pavilion of the Kinkaku-ji temple as your local guide takes you through the surrounding gardens. Discover the devout ancient art of Sutra copying known as Shakyo. After your tour, drink some Matcha Tea with local sweets, finishing up just before lunchtime.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ryōan-ji

Want to discover all there is to do in Ryōan-ji? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ryōan-ji

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 179 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!

The local Tour was amazing! Really made me feel like a local. An impossible task but one he really tried to accomplish. Helped me understand how Kyoto works from the ground up. Great experience and a great visit!!

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.