Tenryuji is a great way to start our day in Kyoto. The temple has simplicity, beauty and functionality, and then there are the gorgeous gardens. We exit to the bamboo grove street. Altogether, about 45 minutes.
Still in the Arashiyama area, we next enter stately gates into Okochi Sanso, the historic estate of an early 20th century Japanese actor. Perfectly manicured, inviting grounds are dotted with noteworthy structure. We also take a break for some powdered green tea (matcha) here. We spend 45 minutes or so here.
A fifteen minute stroll down to the lovely and lazy Hozu River, then a continued walk alongside it leads us back into town. If you’re looking for Kyoto shopping suggestions, we’ve got them. We know some good lunch places too. If you’re not interested in the shops, we can easily breeze by that bit. About 75 minutes altogether for most, but this can vary.
Well-preserved storefronts line this actively used, historic part of the Gion district. There’s a nice stream running through the area we stop that makes for an even more atmospheric experience. About 15 minutes here.
Among the top things to do in Kyoto for a reason, our visit to Fushimi Inari will take you beyond the famous red gates and into parts less visited, or at least less explained. We get away from the crowds as we can, and let you in on stories and cultural points that will make your visit even more worthwhile. About 75 minutes here.
Consider making your day a couple hours longer with our “Xtra Large” package, available at time of booking. Please read more about some ideas we have for this time in the “Care to supersize your Kyoto tour from Kobe?” contained within the full tour description section above.
There are a couple of things we’d like to mention up front.
- Please come wearing comfortable shoes. It’s a car tour, but there’s still a good bit of walking to be done. If you wish to minimize the walking, please let us know (preferably in advance) and we’ll modify the itinerary to suit your needs.
- Kyoto tends to be a bit chillier in winter and even a bit hotter in summer than Kobe due to its landlocked, higher elevation locale. Please come dressed for the day with this in mind. Leaving things in the car while we stroll about is always an option.
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- All vehicle costs
- All guide costs
- Lunch, or any other food and drinks
- Admissions (plans on 1500 yen per adult on the standard tour, and for primary school and younger, around half that)
- Going “Xtra Large” allows for two more hours of touring.