KYOTO INSIDER-GUIDED TOURS – Presented by “City of Kyoto Visitors Host”-

The Kyoto-Insider Guided Tours, produced by the Kyoto City Tourism Association, are more than just your average tour. You will be guided by a Kyoto Visitors Host, one of the City of Kyoto’s certified interpreter-guides rich with knowledge and local pride. You will be taken around different locales in Kyoto while learning about Japanese history, society, and culture, and discovering the meaning to things missed by the untrained eye. Join a Kyoto-Insider Guided Tour, immerse yourself in Kyoto’s culture, and see beyond the surface.

English Guided Tours at Nijo-jo Castle

Explore of one of Kyoto’s most historically-rich sites, Nijo-jo Castle, and dive into Japan’s feudal past. Participants will have a chance to stroll through the magnificent palace and gardens, and learn about the history of the samurai-ruled government and how it has affected society today. Join us on this tour and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every day, from 10am and from 12:30pm
    TOUR LENGTH: 90 minutes
    PLACE: NIJO-JO CASTLE (541 Nijojo-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto) MAP
    PRICE: ¥2,000 (castle entrance fee is not included)
    CAPACITY: 15 visitors (first-come, first-served basis)
    REGISTRATION: Reservations not required. For reservations, please click the following link.


English Guided Tours at Kyoto State Guest House

The Kyoto State Guest House, the premier facility for welcoming foreign dignitaries and home to many incredible Kyoto crafts, is open to the public for tours nearly year-round! Participate on this fantastic exploration of Kyoto culture, art, and traditional crafts, and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every day from 12pm, except Wed.
    TOUR LENGTH: 60 minutes
    PLACE: KYOTO STATE GUEST HOUSE (23 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto) MAP
    PRICE: ¥1,500, Middle or High School Student ¥700
    CAPACITY: 34 visitors (first-come, first-served basis)
    REGISTRATION: Reservations not required (Advance registration by Internet is given priority)For reservations, please click here.
    *There may be temporary closures


Kyoto Traditional Craft Morning Tour

The area around the Kyoto Imperial Palace was home to some of the most skilled craftsmen in all of Japan. Their legacy continues to this very day, so take a walk around this neighborhood, get a feel for the local lifestyle, and visit some of the amazing workshops to see these craftsmen’s skills first-hand. Join us on this tour and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every Tue. and Fri., from 9am
    TOUR LENGTH: 90 minutes
    PLACE: NOKU KYOTO HOTEL (205-1 Okura-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto) MAP
    PRICE: ¥2,000, ¥1,500 for NOKU guests
    CAPACITY: 10 visitors (first-come, first-served basis)
    REGISTRATION: Register at the front desk of the NOKU KYOTO HOTEL on the day of the tour.For more information, please contact NOKU KYOTO HOTEL (TEL: 075-211-0222)
    *Tour is recommended for age 10 and above


Kyoto Community Exploration Tour

The Furukawa-cho Shopping Arcade, once called the Eastern Kitchen of Kyoto, is a center for the Shirakawa community in eastern Kyoto. You will take a relaxing walk through this area and get an authentic look at everyday Japanese life. Join us on this neighborhood tour and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every Fri. from 9:30am
    TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours
    PLACE: FURUKAWA SHUZO (546 Furukawa-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto) MAP
    PRICE: ¥2,500 (Breakfast included)
    CAPACITY: 12 visitors (first-come, first-served basis)
    REGISTRATION: Reservations not required.For reservations, please contact FURUKAWA SHUZO (E-MAIL: Shirakawa.cmo@gmail.com)
    *Tour is recommended for age 6 and above


Higashi Hongan-ji Picture-Card Theater and Neighborhood Tour

Start your day off with a traditional early 20th century Japanese picture-card show and learn about Higashi Hongan-ji and the surrounding neighborhood. Once you are finished, you will go out and see the temple and the neighborhood that developed around it for yourself. Join this tour, just a short walk from Kyoto Station, and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every Sat. and Sun., from 10am
    TOUR LENGTH: 90 minutes
    PLACE: HOKKAIKAN OHANABO (66-2 Shokuyacho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto) MAP
    PRICE: ¥1,500, Children (Age 4 to 12): ¥1,000, Age 3 and under: Free
    CAPACITY: Tours are held for 1 person or more
    REGISTRATION: Please make a reservation via e-mail (inf@bunkayoku.com) or the tour organizer’s Facebook page.
  • Please include tour date, name, number of participants, and name of accommodation in Kyoto.


Discover Gion Morning Tour

Take a tour with a Kyoto Visitors Host, one of the City of Kyoto’s Certified Guides, and discover all that’s hidden in the many side streets of Gion. During your exploration of the area, you will visit distinctive temples and shrines, and see how some quintessential Japanese crafts are made. Join us on this neighborhood exploration and see beyond the surface.

  • TIME: Every Mon. and Thur. from 9:30am
    TOUR LENGTH: 90 minutes
    PLACE: HOTEL THE CELESTINE KYOTO GION (At the front desk, BF1) MAP
    PRICE: ¥2,000 *Hotel guests can get a discount based on the number of participants
    CAPACITY: 10 visitors (first-come, first-served basis)
    REGISTRATION: For reservations, please call HOTEL THE CELESTINE KYOTO GION (TEL: 075-532-3111).



For more information
City of Kyoto Visitors Host


The information is current as of September 2018.

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