City and Market Private Guided Tour, Kyoto

On this half day guided tour, you’ll visit two of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and call in on a local market. You’ll kick-start the day with a trip to Kinkaku-ji, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion, one of Japan’s best known sights. It was originally built in in 1397 as a retirement villa for the Shogun and was later turned into a temple. Unfortunately, a young monk burnt the temple to the ground in 1950 and so five years later it was rebuilt to the original design. Dazzling in the sun over a tranquil pond, it’s quite a sight.

Once you’ve had your fill of temples for the day it’s on to Nijo-jo, an ornamental castle built in 1603 as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun. The ornamental and ostentatious style of the building was to convey prestige and today it’s known for its extravagance and quirks, including the nightingale floors and concealed chambers for bodyguards.

You’ll finish up your tour with a trip to Nishiki Market, otherwise known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’.  Down this narrow street you’ll find over a hundred shops selling everything from fresh seafood and Japanese sweets to excellent Japanese chef knives.



  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kinkaku-ji and Nijo-jo

  • Shop at the eclectic Nishiki Market

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I love Japan for its striking contrasts of cities and national parks, and living and teaching in Tokyo was the chance to perfect my Japanese. I’ve now been a Japan travel specialist for 10 years and have explored it top to toe. My next challenge is to cycle the entire island of Shikoku, with its pilgrimage trail of 88 temples!

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