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

Himeji castle

Contrasts of Japan (9 days)

From £ 1,945 p/person
This 9-day tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour. See Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Kawaguchiko, Nagoya, Kyoto and Hiroshima, ending in Hiroshima or Tokyo. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2019.


Essential Japan (7 days)

From £ 1,485 p/person
See Japan by coach! This 7-day tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Kawaguchiko, Nagoya and Kyoto, ending in Osaka. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2019.

Nakasendo Trail

The Nakasendo Trail

The Nakasendo way linked Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period. It was the ‘road through the mountains’ travelled by feudal lords and their retinues, samurai, merchants and travellers. From Tokyo, spend four days walking along the Nakasendo. By day travel along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages along an easy path, […]



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 […]

Asakusa Temple, Tokyo

Budget Japan Tour 13 days

Discover the essentials of Japan on this Group tour from £ 1,599!
Enjoy Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka in the company of like-minded budget travellers and an experienced Adventure Leader. This is a GROUP tour starting and ending in Tokyo, with departures throughout 2018.

The torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima

Wonders of Japan (11 days)

From £ 2,505 p/person
See Japan by coach! This 11-day trip visits Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Himeji, Okayama, Hiroshima and Matsuyama, ending in Osaka. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2019.

Travel on the bullet train with the Japan Rail Pass

Explore Japan by Rail 21 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 with departure dates until May 2019.

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 which […]

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 Rail […]



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 […]



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, travel to Nikko, around 95 miles north of Tokyo, and one of Japan’s most beautiful shrines. Then the historic city of Kyoto is used as a base to explore nearby Nara, […]

Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, Shirakawa-go


Tour Japan taking in one of the country’s most important World Heritage Sites. Takayama’s streets of old wooden houses offer a glimpse of life in Japan’s bygone days. The highlight of Shirakawago are unique structures called Gassho-Zukuri, or “joined-hands” thatched farmhouses, many of which are well preserved and still used. At Gokayama, another World Heritage […]



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 & Nishiki Market Walking tour

Visit Kenninji, the older Zen Temple in Kyoto. Enjoy a stroll around the traditional district of Gion, and take part in a Tea Ceremony. Then head to Kyoto’s kitchen, Nishiki Market. This tour offers many ways to experience the culture and tradition of Kyoto.

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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