Bamboos at Arashiyama, Kyoto
Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto
Sunset in Kyoto

About Kyoto

Kyoto is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.

Kyoto is considered to be the centre of Japan’s cultural life. Here cherished traditional art forms are maintained, making it a rich experience for the visitor. With more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 270 Shinto shrines, the city is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite functioning as a modern city today, in many ways it stands in contrast to the metropolis of Tokyo.

  • Many of Japan’s most important and ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Imperial Family’s residence until 1868
  • Nishiki’s fresh food market
  • Nijo Castle
  • Kinkakuji, the Golden Temple
  • Higashiyama preserved historic district
  • The "Philosopher’s Path", famous for its cherry blossoms
  • The Jidai Matsuri festival held annually on October 22


Highlights include the Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Jingu, the Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle with its nightingale floors. Not forgetting the less-visited temples, such as Ryoan-ji with its stone garden and the villas of Manpuku-ji, Shisen-do and Ginkaku-ji, offering moments of peace among their small courtyards and traditional architecture.

A stroll through the central parts of Kyoto is the best way to see the bustling marketplace in Nishiki-koji, the picturesque neighbourhoods of Kiyamachi and the famous Geisha quarters of Gion and Pontocho.

Unlike most other Japanese cities, Kyoto is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. The city is planned according to Chinese models, with streets running perpendicular to each other. Kyoto was burned and pillaged many times during the Middle Ages, but is the only major Japanese city which was not bombed during WWII.

Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese food. The special circumstances of Kyoto as a city away from the sea and home to many Buddhist temples resulted in the development of a rich vegetable-based cuisine peculiar to the Kyoto area.


Practical information:

  • From Tokyo to Kyoto by Bullet train (2h30)
  • From Osaka to Kyoto by train (30min)

Kyoto on our Google map

Our packages includes Kyoto

The torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima

Wonders of Japan 12/16 days

See Japan by coach! This 12-day tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Himeji, Inbe, Hiroshima and Matsuyama, ending in Osaka. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018. An extended version of this tour also visits Mt.Koya, […]


Essential Japan and Korea 13 days

This guided coach trip travels westwards through Japan, then takes the short sea crossing, to take in the highlights of Japan’s closest neighbour, Korea. The tour visits Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, Hiroshima, Busan, Daegu and Seoul. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Japanese Capitals 12 days

See Japan by coach! This tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Hiroshima, Matsuyama and Tokushima, Mt Koya and Kyoto. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

Chandeokgung Palace, Seoul, Korea

Classic Korea and Japan 13 days

See Japan and Korea by coach! This 13-day tour visits the the major historic sites of Korea and Japan on a guided coach tour. See Seoul, Jeonju, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Mt.Koya, Kyoto and Tokyo. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until October 2017.


Treasures of Japan 10 days

See Japan by coach! This 10-day tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Himeji, Inbe, Mt.Koya and Kurashiki. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2017.


Explore Japan by Rail 22 days

Explore Japan in depth on this fully-escorted tour, from the southern island of Kyushu to Sapporo in the north, taking in many fascinating towns and cities on the way. Travel by train including the world-famous Bullet train with your Japan Rail Pass. This is a GROUP tour departing the UK 18 March, 08 April and […]

Tokyo Sky Tree


And JTB, as Japan’s largest and longest-established travel organisation, has the experience and reliable operations to make school trips to Japan a success.
Why Japan?

A culture very different from Europe, influential worldwide
A unique culture, embracing tradition and modernity
A safe and friendly environment
A reliable and comprehensive public transportation […]

Anime and Manga in Tokyo


See the places which inspired anime film director Hayao Miyazaki to create his stunning artwork and scenery for the Studio Ghibli anime productions such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. On this self-guided tour, explore the world of Studio Ghibli, and take time in Tokyo to explore and visit the specialist shops for anime-related merchandise. […]



Appreciate the natural beauty of southern Kyushu, including the World Heritage site of Yakushima Island.
About 2.5 hrs by high-speed hydrofoil from mainland Kyushu, Yakushima is an island wilderness where the unique woodland environment remains unspoilt. One of Japan’s World Heritage sites, the island is covered with lush green forests, which includes many Yaku cedars […]

Tokyo by night


Honshu is the largest island of Japan, and the country-wide Japan Rail Pass allows you to explore all the cities and regions at your own pace.
Our itinerary suggestion includes travelling down from Tokyo using the newly-opened HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN line to Kanazawa and on to the historic city of Kyoto. The package includes the 7-day […]



Relaxing in a bath of natural hot spring water is part of the Japanese way of relaxation and health. See bustling Tokyo and the quieter, country spa resorts of Hakone and Kinosaki, and experience this essential part of Japanese culture.
Highlights of this tour suggestion include:
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Located in the Odaiba district of Tokyo, this hot […]



Experience the tradition of the Kumano Kodo – the pilgrims’ path to the Kumano Shrine through the woods and hills of the Kii Peninsula, south of Kyoto.
For over 1,000 years, people from all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the arduous pilgrimage to Kumano. These pilgrims used a network of […]



Take in the major historic sites of Japan on this semi-escorted tour. After a stay in Tokyo, with a guided tour of the city, a full day excursion is included to see the Great Buddha at Kamakura, a marvel of bronze casting which now stands in the open after a tidal wave swept away the […]

Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, Shirakawa-go


Tour Japan taking in one of the country’s most important World Heritage Sites. Nikko, around 95 miles north of Tokyo, is one of Japan’s most beautiful shrines. Now protected in a National Park, Nikko is one of Japan’s most important UNESCO World Heritage sites. Takayama’s streets of old wooden houses offer a glimpse of life […]



This tour visits Mt.Koya, where some of the most historic Buddhist temples in the country nestle in peaceful hillside and forest.
Flying into Osaka(KIX) airport makes it a convenient and cost-effective way of combining the highlights of this tour. After a stay in Kyoto, including guided sightseeing and time to relax and explore this fascinating city, […]


Tea Ceremony at Gion & Ginkakuji Temple Walking tour

Visit Ginkakuji Temple (the Silver Pavilion), a World Heritage site. The main building at the temple was built in 1474 by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa to emulate to Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) built by his grandfather. The intention was to cover it in silver, but austerity due to waging wars meant that construction was halted, and […]

Mt.Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi


An ideal tour for the first-time visitor to Japan, this trip includes Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Hakone and a ride on the famous “Bullet train” to the historic city of Kyoto.
Tokyo is where modern and traditional live side by side: the famous sights of contemporary Japan like Akihabara with its electronics shops and the scintillating nightlife of […]


Kyoto 1-day tour

The Kyoto full day tour visits all the main highlights of this historic city: Nijo Castle, with palace buildings arguably the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era, and a UNESCO World Heritage site; the Golden Temple (Kinkakuji), a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered […]


Sagano Bamboo Grove & Arashiyama Walking tour

Enjoy the scenery of Arashiyama and the bamboo groves of Sagano on a walking tour with English-speaking guide. Arashiyama (嵐山) is a pleasant district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during spring, […]

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